In the heart of Russian-occupied Ukrainian cities

(Borodyanka and Irpin)

December 2022, I travel to the cities most heavily shelled by Russian forces in the region north of Kyiv (Kiev): Borodyanka and Irpin

When I arrive in Borodyanka by car, silence is imposed in front of the desolate spectacle.

Residential areas, buildings surrounded by children’s playgrounds, houses and shops of which almost nothing remains have been targeted by the Russian occupiers who have left behind them a disfigured city.

Traumatised by a month of Russian occupation, the inhabitants of this small town seem to have resumed their habits. In the face of adversity, they are gradually bringing their ravaged town back to life. Reconstruction has begun. But the memory remains intact.

Marina, who took refuge with her son for 38 days in a cellar during the occupation, tells me:

“All the people in the world need to see these pictures in order to understand and remember clearly what ‘Russian peace’ really looks like.”