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  • Changemaker Talent

Changemaker John Moore, reporting from Donbas, Ukraine

"Kolya and Olya, both 67, take a Sunday stroll down their snowy street, as artillery thunders nearby. They live in Chasiv Yar, not far from Bakhmut, in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, where Russian Wagner mercenaries have been attacking Ukrainian troops for months, at high cost to both sides. I asked the couple if they plan to leave and they said not for now, despite the slowly approaching frontline and occasionally close-by rocket strikes, one of which happened a few nights before, only a short distance from where this photo was made. But it’s their home, and they want to stay as long as they can.

In the upcoming weeks I’ll likely be photographing some tough scenes, as Russia’s war on Ukraine grinds towards it’s bloody one year mark. I don’t want to call it an anniversary.

Witnessing the senseless pain, overwhelming heartbreak, outrageous waste and, from a visual person’s perspective, the mindnumbing gore can create a sort of blindness, a tunnel vision, making one unable to see the brief glimpses of tenderness and love that appear, sometimes in the most unlikely of places.

But these small moments, after all, are part of what this country is fighting for."

- as reported by Getty Special Correspondent, Pulitzer Prize-winning Photojournalist and Changemaker Talent speaker, John B. Moore


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