Life Under Siege: 
Sixteen Days in Ukraine

New York Magazine

For full experience please go to the New York Magazine website.

New York Magazine’s March 14–27, 2022 issue tells the story of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through the perspective of the country’s youth, all of whom have only ever known a free and independent Ukraine. Over the course of two weeks, the 30 contributors shared their stories with us. Rather than showing war photography, which other outlets were doing an excellent job of, we wanted the photo direction to tap into the personal worlds of the people telling their stories. We scoured Instagram and other social media platforms to find young people on the ground who were sharing the experience of living through a new war.

I worked with Lisa Bukreyeva, a 28 year old photographer who sheltered in her friend’s basement with her family and their dogs. She barely slept, and when she did she kept her boots on in case they had to flee. Her photo diary, which she shared with us, helped to keep track of the days. I also had the unique experience of collaborating closely with a 20 year old named Petro Chekal, who was sheltering with his family in Kharkiv — and taking photographs the entire time. Petro sent me photos of everything, and we spoke for two hours over spotty wifi about his experience. He told me about the initial shock of Putin’s invasion, and the heartbreaking moment of telling his grandmother they were leaving for Lviv, even though she would not go with them. He then documented his long journey with his parents and brother, finding relative safety 600 miles from his home.