Ukrainians know it’s coming. Their resolve is well-documented.
Fighting has grown fierce.
Powerful explosions were heard in Kramatorsk, in Ukraine’s east, Kherson in the south and in the northeastern city of Kharkiv, in advance of an expected major Russian onslaught in the industrial eastern heartland known as the Donbas.
Carolyn Cole, who has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Liberia and Gaza, to name a few, turns her lens to the struggles Ukrainians face amid the invasion by Russian forces.
April 30, 2022 - Lviv, Ukraine
April 27, 2022 – Kharkiv
April 26, 2022 – Kharkiv, Ukraine
April 25, 2022 – Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine
April 24, 2022 - Bucha, Ukraine
In Dnipro, hundreds of worshipers arrived at the end of curfew at dawn to celebrate Orthodox Christian Easter at Troitska Church illuminated with hundreds of candles inside. They circled the church carrying Easter baskets, filled with Easter cakes, fruit, and other goodies, along with a lighted candle.
“We tried to go earlier,” said Juliet, “but they wouldn’t let us leave. But because of Easter, there’s no fighting, and it’s quiet. We told them we have a sick child who needs an operation and they let us go.”
— Juliet Korotvkova, 37
April 23, 2022 – Borodyanka, Ukraine
April 22, 2022 - Bucha, Ukraine
Anatolii Oliinyk returned to his humble home in Bucha three days ago. He found his father facedown on the floor of his bedroom. Russian forces had broken the door open and killed him, leaving his barefoot body beside the bed where he slept. On the wall hung photographs of his children and his own portrait as a young man. Anatoly, age 38, a mechanic, evacuated with his wife and three children, but his father was too old to travel and didn’t want to go.
A simple, wooden cross marks the grave where Anatolii buried his father, also named Anatolii Oliinyk, 90, in the garden behind the house. He said he will take his father to the morgue to have his execution documented by investigators before giving him a proper burial next week.
April 22, 2022 — Ostrovskii family
Three members of the Ostrovskii family — Viktorya, 51; Anatoli, 75; and Vyacheslav, 32 — were buried together in a single grave at the Bucah cemetery Friday. The three were shot and killed by Russians on March 7, as they tried to flee Bucha in their car. A family friend was the only person there to see the bodies laid to rest.
April 21, 2022 - Bucha, Ukraine
Natalia buries her husband, who was killed when a missile struck near their home in Bucha.
I met Lyudmila, who said Russians killed her husband and held her captive for 20 days.
April 20, 2022 - Borodianka, Ukraine
A dead son. A corpse in a nightgown. Ukraine investigates Russian atrocities.
April 19, 2022 - Bucha, Ukraine
I met this mother who found her son lying with his hands folded beneath his cheek, as if sleeping. The scene across areas northwest of Bucha, Ukraine.
Items left behind
April 18, 2022 - Kramatorsk, Ukraine
April 17, 2022 - Severodonetsk, Ukraine
April 17, 2022 - Slavyansk, Ukraine
April 15, 2022 – Severodonetsk, Ukraine
April 14, 2022 – Slovyansk, Ukraine
April 12, 2022 – Odesa, Ukraine
Many of those left behind in Ukraine are those less fortunate, like this family in Odesa.
Carolyn Cole is a staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times. Her coverage of the civil crisis in Liberia won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. Cole has been named U.S. newspaper photographer of the year three times. Cole grew up in California and Virginia, before attending the University of Texas, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She went on to earn a master of art’s degree from Ohio University.