Between late February and early May, I spent more than two months in Ukraine and two neighboring countries (Romania and Moldova) to document the impact of the war on civilians. I traveled the country for several media to understand how Ukrainian society adapted to the war and what traces the Russian invasion had left on the population. I worked as a journalist for print, web, radio and television, but I also documented with photography during my stay in the country at war.
running away from war
On the border with Romania, the first days of the war, thousands of Ukrainians fled the fighting, mainly from Kyiv. They found refuge in neighboring countries, thanks to the huge solidarity movement that has taken place in Europe.
Kyiv oblast: civilians targeted by Russian strikes
At the beginning of the war, Russian troops try to force their way into Kyiv, with a brutal offensive in the outskirts. In the villages surrounding the Ukrainian capital, civilians are targeted by bombardments which target civil buildings.
the Bucha massacre
Entering the town of Boutcha sounds like entering hell. Along Vokzalna Street, Russian tanks are gutted. Attacked by rust, the broken chains of these war machines are spread out on the ground. Overturned cars, charred by the fire of the bombs, litter the sidewalks. An electric pole no longer holds in place. All around, no dwelling was spared. The once charming little shacks are a field of ruin. It was on this street that the fighting between Ukrainians and Russians was the fiercest. The artery leads to Irpin, a city on the northwestern outskirts of kyiv and gateway to the capital that the Russian army aimed to conquer. On February 27, the Russians entered Bucha. In the days that followed, they cut the electricity, seized the whole city, and subjected the population to their domination. After a month of occupation, the inhabitants are trying to resume a normal life. But the massacres perpetrated in the city haunt people's minds.
Borodyanka : under the rubble, hundreds of civilians
At the end of February, the Russian air force massively bombarded this city located 60 kilometers northwest of kyiv before occupying it. In the now liberated locality, the Ukrainian authorities clear the debris from the buildings. They fear that the attacks have caused many civilian casualties.
TCHERNIHIV, life after the siege
In the devastated neighborhoods of the city center, diggers clear the ends of the walls spread out on the ground. Chernihiv cleans up the destruction and mourns its dead. But the reconstruction has not yet started. The city lacks basic materials, including glass to repair the many windows shattered by the blasts. After the withdrawal of Russian troops from the region, the inhabitants are back. They are trying to heal the wounds of war.
kharkiv, “We live underground. But we try to remain human beings."
In the streets of Kharkiv, a few rare souls advance, with hurried steps. No more strolling in the streets, the pleasure has deserted the place. Those who venture outside do so out of necessity. They are on the lookout for the slightest threat, their eyes fixed on the sky, which has become their greatest enemy. All around, the exploded buildings are now part of the landscape. In the large eastern city located a few kilometers from the Russian border, the only places to socialize are the supermarkets, where locals do their shopping in a hurry. Once their purchases are finished, they descend into the basements of the city, in the subways.
between sky and sea, Odessa faceS the russian offensive
City of cosmopolitanism, literature, of libertinism and banditry, Odessa has long been suspended from its idealized past. Targeted by a strike on a civilian building for the first time, the port city is preparing for an intensification of the bombardments. The threat of bombardment grows, but the Odessites seem to be resuming normal life. The pearl of the black sea loves paradoxes.