'Undeniable Street View' Shows Heartbreaking Impact of Russia's War on Ukraine
There's no way to truly map the impact of Russia's war on Ukraine. The unmitigated misery and generational agony continue apace. Bodies pile up each day. Death screams echo through the night.
But a project led by Dubai-based agency And Us seeks to put the devastation—which began a year ago today—in relatable perspective. Street by ruined street.
Styled after Google Street View, the interactive experience documents the destruction of six cities using more than 60 miles of photography. Blasted neighborhoods in Kyiv, Irpin, Kharkiv, Izyum, Cherigiv and Sumy come into sharp focus. It looks like the apocalypse.
We'd do well to remember that for many in those formerly vibrant, bustling locations, it is just that: the end of everything they knew and loved.
Ukrainian organizations United24, Voices of Children, Nova Ukraine and Vostok-SOS worked with photographer Mykola Omelchenko to create "The Undeniable Street View." Their goal is to mark 365 days of tragedy and educate the world about realities on the ground.
These are images that sear the heart—like hot flak or jagged shards torn from high-rise towers where innocent human beings used to live. It feels hellish and bleak, and that's only right. Cities are what we build, our creations, designed to give us shelter, comfort and community. To see them ravaged so callously feels like an abomination. It reminds us of frailty of existence and stands as an unbroken monument to the heartrending folly of war.
"One of the biggest weapons of war will always be the truth," Omelchenko says. "As Ukraine citizens living amongst the destruction, we felt compelled to reveal the truth and highlight the daily realities of the ongoing war from our perspective. The damage cannot be denied and we want the wider world to experience first hand what is actually happening."
By sharing these visuals, the team seeks to stir our humanity and hasten an end to the bloodshed. Perhaps at some future time, the "The Undeniable Street View" will launch an update showing clean, rebuilt thoroughfares ringed with trees, traversed by thousands of people going about their daily lives. Perhaps soon, Ukraine will find peace and prosperity. Here's hoping.
The site includes a before and after mode, so users can better grasp just how much has been lost:
Communications Agency: And Us
Chief Creative Officer: Fadi Yaish
Executive Creative Director: Jamie Kennaway
Executive Creative Tech Director: Diogo Borges
Associate Creative Director: Panos Pagonis
Associate Creative Director: Gabriel Cavalheiro
Photographer: Mykola Omelchenko