LIUDMYLA DIACHENKO from Citizens of Kyiv. series

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20 x 28" (52 x 70cm)

Alexander Chekmenev (Luhansk-Kyiv), 1969-present

Citizens of Kyiv. Color photography, February–March 2022

Until the invasion, Liudmyla Diachenko, 74, commuted each day to her job outside the capital at Multivac, a manufacturer of industrial, consumer and medical packaging machines. Now, she and her husband retrace the short journey between their apartment in Kyiv and the bomb shelter in the subway station nearby. Her husband taped their windowpanes so that glass would be less likely to shatter and fly through the rooms in the event of an explosion outside. (During the bombardment’s second week, a rocket or missile landed about 50 meters from her apartment. It was a dud.) With no job to occupy her, Diachenko has tried bringing order and control to the days by filling time with ordinary tasks. Distraction has provided little relief. “It’s depressing, depressing,” she said. “I try to do something — maybe cook something, maybe clean something. It’s very, very hard.” The world, she said, must somehow understand. “We are good people,” she said. “We need to explain this to others. We have not done anything wrong.”