Ukraine faces winter amid war: A photojournalist’s dispatches

The 2022 Russian war in Ukraine is in its eighth month, with no end in sight.

Ukrainians are preparing themselves for winter, a little more than a month away, as Russian forces target the nation’s infrastructure with missile strikes.

The Times’ Carolyn Cole is on the ground in Ukraine and will be filing first-person dispatches from cities whose residents worry about staying warm as temperatures drop.

Follow Cole on Twitter and Instagram.

Wednesday, Nov. 9

Large portraits of soldiers and a lone figure stand in a dimly lit plaza, with an ornate building at the far end.

In Kyiv’s Sofiivska Square, usually flooded with light, posters near St. Sophia Cathedral memorialize Petro “Kit-Kat” Korol, 23, and other soldiers who lost their lives in the war with Russia.

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Darkness comes early in Kyiv at this time of year, along with the cold, long nights. The city is home to some 3 million people, many who have come seeking safety from the war.

Most leave work after dark, and often take their time heading home, stopping at the surprising number of restaurants open around town.

It’s not what you would expect in a country at war, but Ukrainians pride themselves on not letting the war define their existence. Life goes on as normally as possible.

A man's phone lights up his face as he stands on a darkening city street

Vlad Khlopenko takes a work break outside at dusk amid in Kyiv’s rolling blackouts and voluntary power shutoffs.

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Thursday, Nov. 10

Several people in heavy coats pause near bare trees on a sidewalk, most kneeling and one apparently in tears

Residents of Borodyanka, Ukraine, north of Kyiv, pause in tribute as a funeral procession for Oleksii Kozlenko, 32, passes en route to the cemetery. The well-known husband and father was killed on the front line in Bakhmut.

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Driving north out of Kyiv, signs of war remain, including checkpoints, bunkers and burned-down buildings.

See also  Las Vegas suspect asked showgirls to take photo with knife before deadly stabbings, officials say

The village of Borodyanka, which I visited in April as mass graves were being uncovered, has come back to life despite devastating damage along Center Street.

Mothers stroll with baby carriages while children play in the shadow of ruins. Coffee huts, food stalls and barber shops are open for business even as the power goes off and on due to shortages.

With winter on its way, many residents are busy sealing broken windows and doors to keep out the cold.

A group of people in dark clothes or military camouflage follow a flower-covered casket on a city street

A procession of family and friends follow Oleksii Kozlenko’s casket through his hometown of Borodyanka, Ukraine. Residents of the town, left in ruins by Russian troops several months ago, are working to rebuild and carry on as winter draws near.

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Others wait in line for government assistance with materials for rebuilding.

But everyone stops what they are doing as a funeral procession for a local soldier killed in action moves slowly down Center Street. They kneel along the curb to pay respect to yet another fallen soldier, father and friend from their community.

The residents of Borodyanka have lost so much, but say they will rebuild the city they love.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button