War in Ukraine.
It’s dominating the news. It’s what we are all talking about.
We see the stories, the loss of innocents and the slow, methodical destruction of a country.
The following images may be disturbing to some readers.
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Day 35 of the Russian invasion: Life before the war seems like the distant past.
Uncertain paths. Desolate peace. Silent pauses. Crippling fears. These images no longer belong.
The landscape of war is shifting. Russians regrouping. Ukrainian towns liberated. Innocents dead. Humanity descending into the abyss.
I have exited Ukraine. Stepped away for health reasons. Grateful for the folks who shared their worlds with us. Feel guilty for abrupt departure. I do hope that there will be no more war to return to. Lastly, please support the journalists that are still on the ground.
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Day 34 of Russian invasion: Oleg Supereka survived bombardment three times in the same place — the regional administration building.
The citizen-turned-soldier helped the injured despite his wounds. He returned to duty after every attack. “We want to defend our country,” he said.
In heavily bombarded Kharkiv, a Ukrainian soldier guards what’s left of a landmark building. “We unite and fight back,” he says.
Monday, March 28, 2022
Day 33: The Red Cross is doing crucial humanitarian work in Kharkiv. They bring food, essential medicine and supplies to residents cut off from world.
Volunteers flag the neediest. They venture into great risk and chaotic environments. They bring heart and courage to their work.
To keep morale up, they cook and dine together. Pineapple juice for pizzaz. Instant mash potatoes for warmth.
Kostiantyn Bashkirov expresses relief to see everyone alive after a supply mission to a liberated town. A toast: “For us, and each and every moments of our lives.”
Sunday, March 27, 2022
Day 32 of the Russian invasion: Veronika is comforted by her mom Yana. They live underground now.
Sofia Yufit sleeps in the locker room below the subway station.
Children are not meant to be in war.
Some shelters are almost dungeon-like. Vera cries. “I just want peace. There is no meaning in fighting.”
Saturday, March 26, 2022
Day 31: A maternity hospital has moved underground. Several layers of blast doors to duck through. Old paint peeling off.
More than 200 pregnant women remain in Kharkiv.
“How can we leave the people behind. It was not their choice to become pregnant during the war. They can’t get well without the doctors. We gave oath to our jobs and we can’t abandon our patients.”
Kate Shepel lies in the darkness. Her hand comforts her belly. Nurses work quietly in the hallways. Premature newborns next door.
For Ukrainian women seeking safety as they give birth, it is an ordeal more terrifying than war. “We can’t abandon our patients,” a maternity ward supervisor says.
Friday, March 25, 2022
Day 30: A trail of blood dragged into the subway. A rocket lands. Caution. A humanitarian aid station attacked the day before. Posters with a pinup girl and flowers inside a guard shack. Photographers run toward the siege. People walk away.
Warning: Graphic images
A mushroom cloud, then flames. Cars speed by. Residents pass by unfazed, with supplies. Burned civilians grimace in pain. Layers of skin peel off like latex gloves. Their hair singed.
On the ground: Clothes with shredded flesh. A half-smoked cigarette. Human brain on top of a frozen pool of blood. A knitted beanie. A hand, cleanly sliced-off on knuckles. A razor edge of sunrise peering through the roof. The ray lifts a curtain of darkness, revealing the madness.
What had been a thriving metropolis of nearly 1.5 million people, Kharkiv, remains in Ukrainian hands, but at an enormous cost.
Thursday, March 24, 2022
In a city stalked by death and bombing, just four mourners gathered in a blustery chill for the final farewell to Boris Romantschenko, a 96-year-old survivor of Nazi concentration camps who was killed by a Russian missile strike.
His funeral, at a roadside cemetery on Kharkiv’s southern edge, was simple, stark — and held in haste. It was too windy to light candles. The stiff breeze quickly dried tears.
Everyone wept. A piece of history was gone. A boy who had survived the worst of human nature died an old man in a fresh atrocity.
A Holocaust survivor, killed by a missile strike on his apartment, is buried amid the devastation of the war in Ukraine.
In besieged Rohan, at least 50 people take refuge in a freezing cellar. Primitive living conditions. They drink water from a leaky pipe. Tied-together tree branches are used as insulation on the bare floor. Candles at night. Galina covers herself in a blanket and cries.
Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Day 28 of the Russian invasion: Vitaliy was hungry. Electric stoves are useless without power. He went looking for a gas stove. He was shot several times in the leg.
He dabbled with cars before the war. “I don’t build any roads. Now we have to rebuild all the roads here in Kharkiv and in Ukraine.”
Marina pauses before surfacing in downtown Kharkiv. A Lada with two bullet holes through the windshield. Aid sent to families with food shortage for 10 days. An office diorama in display after a bombardment sliced a university building.
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Horror in Nemyshlianskyi district. Assault carves out cross-shaped scar.
Hallways become crematoriums. Kitchens burnt crisp.
Monday, March 21, 2022
Day 26 of invasion: Courage is forged by love. Of country, of culture, of language, they say.
The Svoboda gather in formation. Their stoic gaze scan the flickering dimness. A commander arrives.
Foreboding reminder of duty. “Glory” they chant. Shift change.
Sunday, March 20, 2022
Day 25 of invasion: A rocket came almost 200m to a surrogacy center. The babies taken underground.
Nursing work is round the clock. Some pull double duty. Some juggle more. A crescendo of cries.
One by one, babies are evacuated. Foreign parents await. Svetlana bids farewell to her Romeo, born in the war. Tears shed.
“You feel like they are your soulmates.” They eat, sleep, eat, sleep. “I have to be here to take care of these little angels.”
The war rages on.
Friday, March 18, 2022
Day 23 of invasion: A dead body lays exposed in the debris field. Russia strikes again. Hard.
His hands are together, as though asleep. I prayed he felt no pain.
A woman sobs in her dark bathroom. A grown man cries in his bedroom. It is cut open.
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Day 22 of Russian invasion. The bombardment continues.
Authorities say Russian missile was intercepted. The deadly threat broke into pieces. It still wreaked havoc for civilians.
1 dead, 3 injured. Tarps are handed out. Windows need to be covered.
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Day 21 of the Russian Invasion. Sun rises on a ghostly city. 36 hour curfew in Kyiv. No movement.
No field work to keep the mind preoccupied. Could not sleep more than 45 minutes at a time. Occasional sounds of explosions.
So many more lives upended. One less buddy to check in with. A small voice in my head bids farewell. Sun sets, but war does not.
Took a deep breathe.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Day 20: Shards of broken glass litter the ground. Flowers lay down to wither.
The bombardment is centering its crosshairs. The bell continues to toll.
Ukraine pleads for help.
Monday, March 14, 2022
Day 19 of Russian invasion: War is inching closer to Kyiv.
Bombardment reaches into Obolon district in Kyiv. Authorities say 2 people killed, 9 others wounded.
Falling debris grows into a pile. Civilians evacuate.
Sunday, March 13, 2022
Day 18 of Russian invasion: Saying goodbye to Irpin.
Dimness sustains. Ferrying souls to a broken bridge. A gentle kiss to reassure. Dog paralyzed with fear. Bombardment reaches beyond. Dark smoke paints sky. A journalist killed. Daylight tears.
Russian soldiers came from behind us. Caught us by surprise. Missed chance to photograph. Sidestepped into a doorway. Homeowner ushered us to hide inside. Soldiers stroll past. We remain silent. Windows can reveal us. Searching for a signal.
Saturday, March 12, 2022
Day 17 of Russian invasion: Soldiers march into Irpin, Ukraine.
A house bombarded. A cross burns. Holdouts linger. A driver pleads with them. “You will die if you stay.” They huddle for strength. They cook for warmth. Explosions echo through the corridors. A mother comforts her son.
First there were dogs. Then there were cats. Today, we went to a house ablaze in the besieged town of Irpin, saw chickens running from it. Under a nearby shrub, this poor burned chicken. It was terrified but still alive.
Volunteers face grim decisions in Irpin, a suburb of Kyiv, as Russian forces continue their inexorable advance.
Friday, March 11, 2022
Baryshivka. Evening time usually ends in silence and calmness. Looking up reveals a missile smoke trail tearing through the sky. It fishtails. It darts. Moves from shade of amber to shade of blue. I can’t even begin to imagine the shade of color destruction brings.
Thursday, March 10, 2022
Day 15 of Russian invasion: Ukrainian soldiers visit their wounded comrades.
Between Irpin and Bucha, Ukraine: Czech hedgehogs become ubiquitous. A plume of smoke rises after Ukrainian bombardment. Golden and purple hues illuminate sky. Wood stocked for warm fires. Soldiers sprint from cover to cover. Sunset gleams off tank at rest.
Neighbors do welfare check on each other in a town besieged. A wife sobs as she cares for wounded husband. A doctor hunches inside a tunnel leading to a bomb shelter.
I saw a dog stuck inside a store at gas station that we walked past in Irpin today. It refused to come out.
There was broken glass all over. It was afraid. We did everything we could to console and encourage him. He refused and stayed inside. Godspeed.
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Day 14 of the invasion: So much misery and suffering all across Ukraine.
But the freeze is coming to Kyiv. So are the Russians. Blockades have been set, trenches dug, and stockpiles ready. People without have cars go by foot.
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
On the road to Kyiv: A Ukrainian soldier lowers his rifle, raises his fist in salute & chants ‘Slava Ukraine.’ He acknowledges his fellow soldiers as they return from battle in a vehicle up the road.
An explosion just rocked the town of Kalynivka, Ukraine.
A dark plume of smoke weaves through the forested edge of town. Black and blue containers scatter all over. A security guard for truck depot next door tells us that it is a storage facility for chemicals.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Monday, March 7, 2022
Day 12 of the invasion: Two men walk under a bridge clutching their rifles.
Two men walk up a bridge with a stretcher. One man lies on his side on a badly damaged bridge. Dead.
A dark plume of smoke rises in the distance.
Sunday, March 6, 2022
Day 11 of the invasion: Russia is bombarding evacuation routes.
The whistle sound of incoming artillery haunts in reality and in memory. Hundreds flee Irpin.
Some walk for miles, cross broken bridges, take cover in ditches. They run in fear.
Ukrainian soldiers brace for incoming Russian artillery fire in Irpin.
Russia is pressing its offensive on Kyiv, intensifying attacks. Zelensky again pleads for a no-fly zone.
A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding.
Saturday, March 5, 2022
In the village of Markhalivka, 13 miles southwest of Kyiv’s center, an airstrike Friday left a rubble-filled crater and killed six people — including a 12-year-old girl.
Her father, Igor Majayev, a 54-year-old driver, sifted through the ruins of what had been his two-story home on Saturday. “What can I say?” he said, pausing for a moment to take in the totality of the destruction. When the strike happened, Majayev was lying down in the room next to where his daughter, Masha, was sleeping.
“This was her wheelchair,” he said in a daze. Now, she’s dead. So is his wife, Anya. Two grandchildren, 7 and 8, were injured and taken to a hospital in nearby Vasylkiv. “Never in my life did I imagine this situation, and from Russia,” he said.
Friday, March 4, 2022
One car arrives. Two. Three. Victoria gets into the passenger seat and bursts into tears. She no longer can contain it. The bombardment continues. The fight continues to besiege the city. Urgently, they race to safety.
Saving souls: Ukrainian soldiers help civilians rush to evacuate on one of the last trains ferrying mostly women and children out of Irpin as the sounds of battle gets closer.
The fight rages closer. Sounds of gunfire and bombs intensify under a smoke-filled sky. The men say goodbye to their families. Soldiers with weapons drawn rush to get women and children to board a train to evacuate out of Irpin, Ukraine.
Dramatic escape today out of this small town called Irpin, Ukraine. There was gunfire and artillery constantly hitting the town.
We arrived at the train station, saw women and children boarding the last train. The shelling hit a house a few buildings from the train tracks. Soldiers drew their guns and aimed in the direction of the Russians. Smoke columns fill the air, you could smell the cordite. It felt like a scene out of a movie.
Last train out. Women and children had to go. Men stayed behind. Soldiers were vigilant about protecting the train from the Russians.
Thank you to a gentleman named Greg, an American from Kentucky who picked up a pair of curious hitchhikers (reporter Nabih Bulos and myself) on a highway near Makariv, Ukraine. The man was en route to Kyiv to reunite and evacuate his girlfriend! We wish you well on your journey.
Columns of smoke rise from the horizon as loud explosions echo from the north, as seen from the Irpin River.
Thursday, March 3, 2022
Saw some things today that one cannot unsee: A mother’s child. A soldier. A lifeless body. A lonely hand. A heart on the road.
Russian forces met a violent end on a highway near Sytnyaky. Bodies scattered. Military vehicles reduced to incinerated husks. Ukrainian soldiers prepare for a possible onslaught of Russian tanks outside Kyiv, Ukraine.
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
On Day 7 of the Russian invasion, while I was reporting in a Kyiv subway station, 9-year-old Uliana tapped me on my arm. She gifted me a heart-shaped item she’d embroidered while sheltering underground with her family during air raids.
Lena wipes her brow in exhaustion as she takes care of Max, 3, whom she has only known for a few days. Max’s parents were getting some rest in a subway station where civilians are taking shelter from Russian air raids in Kyiv.
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Below, standing on top of a bridge that was destroyed, an elderly couple stay close together (he’s embracing her) as they gaze at people crossing a river to make their way out of their besieged city of Irpin, Ukraine. They eventually turned around.
On Day 6 of the invasion, the Kyiv train station is packed. Hundreds people are trying to board a train heading out of town, with news of the Russian convoy approaching the city.
Monday, Feb. 28, 2022
On Day 5 of the invasion, volunteer fighters stand in formation, check their weapons, put on yellow armbands, get marching orders and head out to their posts to defend Kyiv from the Russian invasion.
Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry asked citizens in a tweet to “make Molotov cocktails and take down the occupier.” Then came the elbow-grease grass-roots effort to fight back. We went three floors underground to see it.
Even with sporadic sounds of gunfire and blasts, the silence blanketing Kyiv at this moment gives me the creeps. It feels like a scene out of ‘28 Days Later.’
Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022
Monday, Feb. 21, 2022
Must-read stories from the L.A. Times
Get the day's top news with our Today's Headlines newsletter, sent every weekday morning.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.