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Debris, flowers, and extreme fatigue. Consequences of the missile attack on Vinnytsia in the photos of Roman Pilipey

A view of the site of a Russian missile strike between the Officers' House and the House of Welfare in Vinnytsia. July 14, 2023. Photo by Roman Pilipey

On the afternoon of July 14, 2022, the Russian military fired Kalibr missiles at the center of Vinnytsia. The shelling killed 29 people, including children. July 15 was declared a day of mourning in Vinnytsia and the region.

Today, the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers publishes the photos of Roman Pilipey taken after the rocket attack in Vinnytsia. He has been a member of the association since 2023.


White birds

On July 14, 2022, at 10:15 a.m., an air raid alarm sounded in Vinnytsia. Half an hour later, there were reports of explosions. The spokesman for the Air Force Command, Yuriy Ihnat, said that the strike was carried out by Russian Kalibr missiles fired from a submarine in the Black Sea. The missile strike took place during a conference in The Hague on the prosecution of Russian war crimes.

Yuvileinyi House of Welfare in Vinnytsia. July 15, 2023. Photo by Roman Pilipey

As a result of the rocket attack, the Officers' House was destroyed, the medical center located in the Yubileiny House of Residence completely burned down, and more than fifty cars were destroyed or damaged. In Vinnytsia, 29 people were killed, including children. More than 200 residents and visitors were injured.

A memorial sign "To the Victims of Missile Attacks on Vinnytsia" was installed on Victory Square, where the Kalibr missiles hit. The silhouettes of 29 white birds flying into the sky symbolize the dead people.

People bring toys and flowers to the site of the terrorist attack in Vinnytsia. According to official figures, 26 people were killed, including three children (a 4-year-old girl and boys aged 7 and 8). About 202 more people sought medical assistance. 8 people went missing. July 15, 2023. Photo by Roman Pilipey

Black land

Photographer Roman Pilipey came to Vinnytsia from Kyiv. He found out about the rocket attack and was in the city at five in the evening. "I was amazed at the scale of the destruction. It was a very strong rocket attack: many burnt cars, destroyed buildings, mangled houses and, unfortunately, many dead," says Roman Pilipey.

"A lot of burnt cars, destroyed buildings, vandalized houses and, unfortunately, many dead." July 14, 2023. Photo by Roman Pilipey

Destroyed cars in Vinnytsia near the epicenter of the missile strike. July 14-15, 2023. Photo by Roman Pilipey

Residential buildings near Victory Square were heavily damaged by the blast wave. Photographer Roman Pilipey went inside and talked to the locals. People let him into their apartments without asking questions and told him about the rocket attack. "I remember a guy who was cleaning up glass shards, but he was badly wounded, all cut up. He rented an apartment in the building and did not know what to do next or where to go," recalls Roman Pilipey. The photographer emphasizes that he always asks how people are feeling first, and then asks for permission to shoot.

People are cleaning in and around their homes. July 14, 2023. Photo by Roman Pilipey

"In Vinnytsia, no one refused me, people wanted to show the consequences of the shelling and tell me about their experiences. I took a general view from the window, which clearly shows the work of the rescuers," says Roman. What he remembered most were the firefighters who worked virtually without rest. "The rescuers and firefighters did an incredible job. At the end of the day, they were extremely tired and would lie down on the ground to get some rest. They were recovering from everything they had to do and see," says Roman. The photographer stayed in Vinnytsia the next day and filmed the cleanup and commemoration of the victims. All day long, people were bringing toys and fresh flowers to the site of the tragedy.

Rescuers eliminate the consequences of a missile attack on Vinnytsia. July 14-15, 2023. Photo by Roman Pilipey

Rescuers have a rest near the Yubileinyi House in Vinnytsia. July 14, 2023. Photo by Roman Pylypiy


Roman Pilipey is a Ukrainian freelance photographer based in Kyiv, Ukraine. He has been a member of the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers since 2023. From 2017 to 2022, he lived and worked in Beijing, China. For many years he worked with the EPA agency, then with Getty Images. Now Roman works with AFP as a freelancer.

The photographer has received several significant awards: Photographer of the Year, POY Asia 2022, NPPA award winner, nominated for The Guardian Photographer of the Year in 2019 and 2022. In 2023, his photo from Bucha was a finalist for POY.


Social networks of the photographer:

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 being implemented thanks to the support of ЗМІN.


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