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Photos show Ukrainians working together to fight Russian invasion


LVIV — The war effort is everywhere in Lviv.

The city, the largest in western Ukraine, has around 200,000 people displaced from elsewhere in the country since the Russian invasion in late February. Some of its schools and theaters have been turned into shelters to accommodate new residents.

Street musicians in the narrow streets sing Ukrainian and foreign songs as they always have, but now with signs saying half the money will go to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Street music and birdsong regularly overlap with air raids.

The city was miraculously spared during World War II, but has so far suffered two aerial bombardments.

The people of Lviv, as well as the displaced Ukrainians, are united. Many Ukrainians see it as a continuation of their long history of struggle for independence.

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People watch after a Russian missile was shot down over apartment buildings in Bilychi, Kyiv on Sunday March 20.
A vehicle in kyiv is damaged in a residential area after the area was targeted by Russian rockets.

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A vehicle in kyiv is damaged in a residential area after the area was targeted by Russian rockets.
A firefighter extinguishes a fire in a house hit by a Russian rocket in kyiv.

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A firefighter extinguishes a fire in a house hit by a Russian rocket in kyiv.
A Russian missile is intercepted by a Ukrainian air defense system in kyiv.

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A Russian missile is intercepted by a Ukrainian air defense system in kyiv.

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have arrived from abroad to help their country and join the armed forces. The number of volunteers already exceeds the current capacity to train and equip them. Thus, most of those with previous military experience are called up for service, and others are put on a reserve list. Men and women, young and old, right and left, people from all walks of life and all professions are fighting shoulder to shoulder.

Civilians do not stand idly by. Some of them have been trained in first aid and the basic rules of handling weapons. Others make camouflage nets or unload and sort humanitarian aid. People donate to private and public initiatives by buying drones, vehicles and other military equipment.

Volunteers prepare trucks to be sent east to areas directly affected by the war. The volunteers come from a multitude of professions – managers, IT professionals, university professors and more – all coming together to process the boxes of foreign aid sent by the Ukrainian diaspora and other well-wishers abroad.

A young couple talk to each other on their mobile phones at the Lviv-Holovnyi train station where thousands of Ukrainian refugees cross daily trains bound for Poland, Romania and other neighboring countries to escape war as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues. Men between the ages of 18 and 60 have been banned from leaving Ukraine.

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A young couple talk to each other on their mobile phones at the Lviv-Holovnyi train station where thousands of Ukrainian refugees cross daily trains bound for Poland, Romania and other neighboring countries to escape war as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues. Men between the ages of 18 and 60 have been banned from leaving Ukraine.
A Ukrainian soldier hugs his girlfriend while waiting to board a train heading for the front lines at Lviv-Holovnyi station.

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A Ukrainian soldier hugs his girlfriend while waiting to board a train heading for the front lines at Lviv-Holovnyi station.
Ukrainian refugees board a train bound for Poland at Lviv-Holovnyi station.

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Ukrainian refugees board a train bound for Poland at Lviv-Holovnyi station.

There are plenty of supplies out there, but in a country where around one in four citizens have left their homes, demand is still very high. The most important needs are medicines, hygiene articles or simply food and clothing. Without forgetting the protective equipment of the soldiers.

A displaced woman, Aide, was celebrating her birthday. Aide, 48, is of Azerbaijani origin but has lived in Ukraine since the age of 13. She was kicked out of her home twice due to Russian aggression.

Aide, a refugee from the Donbass region, cries while standing for a portrait at a shelter in Lviv, Ukraine.

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Aide, a refugee from the Donbass region, cries while standing for a portrait at a shelter in Lviv, Ukraine.

In 2014, she and her family fled Donetsk to a town near Kryvyi Rih when war broke out and the Ukrainian government lost control of the east of the country. She worked at a local hospital that served food to patients. Aide’s daughter was killed in a bombing in 2014 and her son was kidnapped by Russian proxies to fight against Ukraine. Aide says he never spoke about what he went through there after refusing to fight against his own country.

This year, Aide, her son and her grandson were again forced to flee, this time to Lviv. They hope to go abroad once they have obtained the necessary documents.

A cafe-turned-shelter in Kyiv, Ukraine, where food is prepared, supplies are kept, and first aid courses are given to those sheltered and open to civilians who want to learn.

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A cafe-turned-shelter in Kyiv, Ukraine, where food is prepared, supplies are kept, and first aid courses are given to those sheltered and open to civilians who want to learn.
A volunteer sorts through various materials that will be used to make camouflage netting for the army in Ukraine.

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A volunteer sorts through various materials that will be used to make camouflage netting for the army in Ukraine.
Volunteers assemble camouflage netting.

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Volunteers assemble camouflage netting.
A volunteer from Lviv's main aid station pauses on a pile of blankets given to civilians fleeing their homes.

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A volunteer from Lviv’s main aid station pauses on a pile of blankets given to civilians fleeing their homes.
Young civilian men take part in firearms training in Lviv.

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Young civilian men take part in firearms training in Lviv.
Firearms training in Lviv.

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Firearms training in Lviv.

Like any war, this one has its victims. In Lviv, mourners usually pay their last respects to fallen warriors in the splendid baroque church of the Saints Peter and Paul garrison.

The number of servicemen and civilians who died in this unprovoked war is still unknown – the latest estimate of UN civilian casualties is 4,521, although the true number is likely higher.

Many people have lost their homes. In Chernihiv and Kharkiv, outlying residential neighborhoods were the first targets of massive shelling. Some cities, such as Volnovakha and besieged Mariupol, almost ceased to exist as such. Kyiv also has a number of damaged buildings, but its suburbs have suffered the heaviest assaults. Bucha, Irpin, Hostomel and Borodyanka have become known worldwide for the looting, destruction and atrocities that the authorities have committed according to Russian troops.

For millions of Ukrainians, the world has been shattered. Now they are doing everything to win this war and restore peace.

The Vyshyvanyi family mourns the loss of their second son, Kyrylo Vyshyvanyi, who died during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Their first son was killed during the first invasion of Ukraine. A funeral was held at Lychakiv cemetery in Lviv for four soldiers killed in a Russian rocket attack on the Yavoriv military training base on March 13: Kyrylo Vyshyvanyi, Oleh Yaschyshyn, Serhii Melnyk and Rostyslav Romanchuk the soldiers .

Seth Herald/Redux for HuffPost

The Vyshyvanyi family mourns the loss of their second son, Kyrylo Vyshyvanyi, who died during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Their first son was killed during the first invasion of Ukraine. A funeral was held at Lychakiv cemetery in Lviv for four soldiers killed in a Russian rocket attack on the Yavoriv military training base on March 13: Kyrylo Vyshyvanyi, Oleh Yaschyshyn, Serhii Melnyk and Rostyslav Romanchuk the soldiers .
A funeral held for fallen Ukrainian soldiers.

Seth Herald/Redux for HuffPost

A funeral held for fallen Ukrainian soldiers.

Director of Photography: Christy Havranek, Senior Photo Editor: Chris McGonigal, Deputy Political Editor: Elise Foley, Copy Editor: Jillian Capewell




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