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Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Associated Press Photos: Documenting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

During the six months of the war in Ukraine, Associated Press photographers have captured pictures that are stark and telling. The click of a shutter is brief, but the stories they tell are profound.

Sometimes they depict a life that ends in an instant: the corpse of a Russian soldier lying in the snow near a destroyed tank. Others record the end of a life amidst agony and terror: doctors carrying a seriously injured pregnant woman on a stretcher through the ruins of a bomb-ravaged hospital in Mariupol.

There are also moments of bold energy, such as a woman carrying a rifle as the Ukrainian flag waves, framed by an intense blue sky as the tower of a Kyiv monastery rises in the background.

Some photos show that life is about to change, going into the unknown. A father stands outside a railway carriage in Kyiv, his hands pressed against a window that frames his young daughter’s face as the train prepares to leave the besieged city for distant but peaceful Lviv. Hundreds of people congregate under a destroyed bridge in the Kyiv suburb of Irpin, wondering if the bullets will be short enough to give them a chance to escape into the unknown.

In another image, a woman takes her dog to Kyiv, a phenomenon in everyday life. She gazes at her pet, who is taking her face off the ruins of a rocket-destroyed shopping center right behind her.

Another photo is of President Volodymyr Zelensky, sitting on a staircase in his office, apparently casually, with his legs crossed and his chin pinned to one side. From his posture, he may be the one waiting for his romantic partner, who is late. But behind him the piles of bags of sand tell the continuation of the war. He is waiting, but not the date, but how and when the war will end.

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