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The Ukrainians presented a photo book «How we walk through the fire»

Two years of the full-scale Russian invasion in 195 photos. The Ukrainians have prepared an English-language photo book "How we walk through the fire" with key images of the war. The publication includes all the photos from the English-language special issue of Reporters magazine, as well as new photos of important events of the Russian-Ukrainian war. All photos were taken between February 2022 and February 2024. This is the first book published by The Ukrainians Publishing.


Photo by Danylo Pavlov


"Our magazine was created in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. So part of the circulation was sent to diplomatic missions, and the magazine began to appear with various foreign politicians. It was placed in the diplomatic car of Ukrzaliznytsia. The publication received good reviews, and there is a demand for it. So we had the idea to publish a photo book on the second anniversary of the war, but with an expanded selection of photos. That was the request," explains Danylo Pavlov, photo editor of the photo book How We Walk Through the Fire.


Photo by Danylo Pavlov


The photo book features photographs by more than 40 Ukrainian documentary filmmakers. Some of them provided specific photos, while others gave Danylo access to their own archives, where he had to find exactly the right shots to fill the book.


Photo by Danylo Pavlov


The cover photo was taken with a night vision device by Oleksandr Popenko. Danylo says that he tried to choose a difficult shot for the cover, one that would "keep the intrigue, and everything else would be revealed inside." "I wanted it to be as veiled as possible. But at the same time, from a visual point of view, it looked both beautiful and strong," explains the photo editor.


Danylo says that he tried to fill the book with various photographs so that it would not seem too tragic or focused solely on "arrivals and ruins." The photo editor sought to find a balance that would cover important events and have an interesting visual appearance that would make the viewer stop and take a deeper look.


Photo by Danylo Pavlov


So the publication covers all the important aspects of the Russian invasion: footage of both military and civilians, of training, of burials, of the Verkhovna Rada, of the Ukrzaliznytsia train, of shelling, of blackouts, and so on.


Photo by Danylo Pavlov


"The photo book was made with the concept that one could understand and realize the chronology of certain events. Basically, I was working on this chronology and thinking about how to do it so that it would be sufficiently scattered over these two years. For example, if we open the book, the first thing we see is a photo on the spread: it's the Russian offensive in the Kharkiv region, and right next to a sign on the Kharkiv bypass road there is a dead Russian lying there. The second shot is of the destroyed air defense system in Mariupol. "So the beginning of the book is the events of the first day of the invasion - February 24," says Danylo Pavlov. "On the same day, we see a huge traffic jam on Beresteysky Avenue in Kyiv. This is followed by footage of people preparing for defense. Hedgehogs in the Zhytomyr region. These are all the events of the first days. The famous photo by Max Dondyuk of the evacuation from Irpin, which appeared on the cover of the American magazine Time, is also presented in the photo book. The book goes on to show how Ukrainians are practicing throwing Molotov cocktails, the first casualties, military portraits, and shots from the Ukrainian-Polish border. A shot from the Mariupol maternity hospital of Yevhen Maloletka, which won the World Press Photo award, was shelled by Russians. Pictures of military graves in Lviv. The photo book ends with a shot of Yulia Kochetova. This is a very nice portrait of a military man from the exercises."


Photo by Danylo Pavlov


"How We Walk Through the Fire" is available in hardcover. The book is available in Kyiv at the Sense and Zbirka bookstores, as well as online. Delivery is available worldwide.


The material was created with the support of the international non-profit organization Reporters Without Borders.

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