When war came to Ukraine on 24 February 2022, Makarii was asleep. Iliena was on her way to work. Liiana woke up to a call from her friend, and 10 minutes later, she heard the first explosion. They would all soon be forced to flee their homes and their country, as shelling shattered Ukraine’s cities and caused catastrophic loss of life.
One year on, the war continues to devastate Ukraine. But in the midst of the horror of this conflict are local peacebuilders and humanitarians supporting those affected, and refugees, building temporary lives elsewhere but ever determined to return home.
Now, we have the honour of sharing some of their stories with you.
Over the first six months of the war, our Local Peacebuilding Expert from Ukraine, Olga Konstantinova, and videographer Julien Couson, conducted a series of interviews with individuals affected by and responding to the war.
Through these portraits, we meet Makarii, Iliena and Liiana – three Ukrainians displaced by the war, and bear witness to their determination as they resiliently build their lives in temporary homes. We also meet two NGOs remaining in Ukraine, working tirelessly to organise aid and support within the country, despite the life-threatening situation they face. Beyond Ukraine’s borders, we get a glimpse into the efforts of international humanitarian workers, Elena and Monika, going to great lengths to provide support and safety to refugees, as well as sending resources to those that remain in Ukraine.
These moving interviews are a reminder of the power of human kindness. Take a look now: https://www.peaceinsight.org/en/articles/ukraine-war-portraits.
View the full series here: https://www.peaceinsight.org/en/articles/ukraine-war-portraits and please share with your networks.
Our deepest thanks go to Olga and Julien for their production of Portraits from the War in Ukraine, and to all the interviewees who honoured us with their stories for this series: Monika, Yaroslav and all at SpivDiia Hub Kyiv, Elena and her colleagues at Touraine-Ukraine Association, Iliena, Liiana, Makarii, Polina, Nastia, Mykhaylo, Uliana, Solomia and all at Ukrainian Volunteer Service.
To help us continue our work supporting local peacebuilders responding to conflicts, please consider sending us a donation now.