On Thursday February 24th, 2022, Russian forces invaded the sovereign country of Ukraine. These are the scenes from the Russian/Ukrainian war in March of 2022.
Words and photographs by Gavin Doran
Experts across all serious Western news organizations came to a quick conclusion; Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, would fall in “days.” To the world’s surprise, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the country’s President and a former comedian, resolved to stay in the country and fight.
With his decision came a massive wave of volunteers from not just from Ukraine but all parts of the world, to fight the bigger, stronger invading force. Months later and Ukraine is still standing tall, winning major battles and beginning to switch from a defensive stance to a more offensive posture in an attempt to drive the Russians out with freshly acquired weaponry sent from the United States and NATO.
Yet, despite Ukraine’s surprising success, it has not come without cost. Thousands of men were killed in battle. Thousands more innocent women, children and elderly slaughtered for doing nothing more than trying to live a peaceful and productive life. In Gavin Doran’s photo essay, titled ‘Slava Ukraini’, he breaks the war down into three chapters titled; ‘Refugees’, ‘To The Front’ and ‘A Great Cost.’
In each, he explores the impact of war not just on the country in the macro but on the individuals that pay the ultimate price for the ideals they hold dear. Volunteers help refugees onto the train heading to the border with Poland and away from war. Some get through that border easily while some wait for days. Their lives and land completely upended. Most are women and children and many, if and when they return, will have lost both homes, husbands and fathers.
Ukrainian soldiers gather at the railway station in L’viv. Some smoke cigarettes and stare pensively into the distance. Others laugh with comrades. Many say their final goodbye to loved ones. But all board the train to the front lines of the war with Russia.
By now, some of the men you see here have likely been killed. The ones who haven’t are still out there fighting for those you see in these photos and the very principle of Freedom around the world. Civilians and family attend a funeral for fallen Ukrainian soldiers at the Church of the Most Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in L’viv.
Gavin Doran was born in 1992 alongside his identical twin brother, Chase.
He is a graduate from the University of Florida and has been photographing professionally for over 12 years. While he resides in Brooklyn, NY, he is well known for his projects based in the American South, India, Italy and Iceland. Gavin’s work has been featured in Forbes, GQ and Rolling Stone.