World, Russia-Ukraine War

With image of airstrike survivor in Ukraine, Anadolu Agency shows world the face of war

Picture of teacher Olena Kurilo after she was wounded in Russian missile attack in eastern Ukraine went viral in newspapers, news channels worldwide

Mustafa Deveci  | 25.02.2022 - Update : 27.02.2022
With image of airstrike survivor in Ukraine, Anadolu Agency shows world the face of war


A photo of a Ukrainian woman captured by Anadolu Agency, broken but unbowed by the attack on her homeland, made headlines in the international press as a poignant symbol of Ukraine’s plight.

She exemplified the millions of civilians in Ukraine feeling the sting of the war at their doorstep since Russia’s military intervention began on Thursday.

In the city of Chuhuiv in eastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv region on Thursday, Anadolu Agency photojournalist Wolfgang Schwan took shots of civilians injured by Russian missile strikes.

Among his photos, the picture of teacher Olena Kurilo – her head wrapped in a bandage, her face caked with blood after the airstrike – has become one of the most striking pictures of the conflict.

Many international newspapers, including Britain’s The Guardian, The Times of London, The Sun, The Independent, and German daily Bild, used the photo on their front pages.

The Times used the photo with the headline "A dark day for Europe,” while The Guardian used it with the headline "Putin invades.”

The photo was also used by many international news channels, especially CNN and the BBC.

Tensions started escalating late last year when Ukraine, the US, and its allies accused Russia of amassing tens of thousands of troops on the border with Ukraine.

They claimed Russia was preparing to invade its western neighbor, allegations consistently rejected by Moscow.

Defying threats of sanctions by the West, Moscow earlier this week officially recognized the breakaway enclaves of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states, followed by the start of a military operation in Ukraine on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the operation aims to protect people “subjected to genocide” by Kyiv and to “demilitarize and denazify” Ukraine, while calling on the Ukrainian army to lay down its arms.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of trying to install a puppet government and said Ukrainians will defend their country against Russian aggression.

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