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A closed shelter. The aftermath of the missile attack on Kyiv, photo by Mstyslav Chernov

A man sits by the body of his granddaughter. Kyiv, 1 June 2023. Photo by Mstyslav Chernov

On the night of 1 June 2023, the Russian army launched a missile attack on Kyiv. At least sixteen people were injured and three people died. A child was among the dead.

The Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers publishes photographs by Mstyslav Chernov, who captured the aftermath of the night's massive Russian military attack on the capital.

Locked door

The Russian army launched another massive attack on Kyiv on the night of 1 June 2023. According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the air defence forces destroyed all 10 of the 10 missiles that the Russian military launched from Iskander missile systems. The wreckage fell 10 minutes after the air alert was announced. As a result, there was devastation, three deaths and at least sixteen injuries, seven of whom were hospitalised. Three districts on the left bank of Kyiv suffered the most damage: Dniprovskyi, Desnianskyi and Darnytskyi.

The building of a children's polyclinic in Kyiv, the doors of which were locked. Kyiv, 1 March 2023. Photo by Mstyslav Chernov

The clinic's storage facility in Kyiv. 1 June 2023. Photo by Mstyslav Chernov

In the Desnianskyi district of the capital, rocket fragments hit a children's clinic, damaged doors and windows in two schools and a residential building, and destroyed the buildings of a police station and a kindergarten. Three people died because of the closed shelter in Desnianskyi district: A 9-year-old girl, her 34-year-old mother and a 33-year-old woman. People were walking to the shelter but were unable to enter.

An elderly man in a grey jacket, who is pictured sitting alone next to a body covered with a silver blanket, lost his daughter-in-law and granddaughter in one morning. The chair was first brought to his wife, who became ill during the identification. The woman was taken away by an ambulance, and the man did not leave the dead child until the forensic team took her to the funeral home.

Yaroslav's wife was killed by falling debris. At that moment, the man himself went to look for a security guard to open the shelter. "There was an alarm, people were running for cover. The shelter was simply not opened and that was it. People knocked, and at that moment it came," Yaroslav told journalists.

The body of a woman killed when debris fell on a polyclinic building in Kyiv. 1 June 2023. Photo by Mstyslav Chernov

The Kyiv police have launched an investigation into the negligence that led to the grave consequences. On the eve of the missile attack, the Kyiv City Military Administration promised to check all shelters - residents of the capital complained about closed shelters in almost all districts.

Morning of 1 June 2023 in Kyiv. Photo by Mstyslav Chernov


Mstyslav Chernov is a Ukrainian photographer, Associated Press journalist, filmmaker, war correspondent, President of the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers, Honorary Member of PEN Ukraine and writer. He has covered the Revolution of Dignity, the war in eastern Ukraine, the aftermath of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, the Syrian Civil War, the battles of Mosul in Iraq, the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, including the blockade of Mariupol (for this work he received the Deutsche Welle Freedom of Speech Award, the George Gongadze Prize, Knight International Journalism Awards, Biagio Agnes Award, Bayeux Calvados-Normandy Award, Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award, Free Media Awards, and was included in the 2022 People of NV 2022 in the Year of War and 14 Songs, Photos and Art Objects that Became Symbols of Ukrainian Resistance rankings by Forbes Ukraine, while video footage from Mariupol became the basis for the film 20 Days in Mariupol.

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As a reminder, the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers has launched a series of materials dedicated to the key events of the Russian war against Ukraine, where it publishes memoirs and photographs of Ukrainian documentary photographers.

The project is implemented thanks to the support of IWM Documenting Ukraine.


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