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A massive missile attack on critical infrastructure. The aftermath of the shelling of Kyiv in the photos of Yevhen Zavhorodnyi and Serhii Korovainyi

A massive attack on Kyiv on October 17, 2022. Photo by Yevhen Zavhorodnyi

On October 10, 2022, the Russian military launched the first massive missile attack on Ukraine's energy infrastructure and, at the same time, the most massive missile attack on the entire territory of Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. The missiles were launched in several waves from the Black and Caspian Seas, as well as from airplanes. The Russian military used 84 missiles, while air defense forces managed to shoot down 43. Photographer Serhii Korovainyi captured the aftermath of the shelling in Kyiv.

Wounded near the site of a rocket hit near the DETEK Tower in Kyiv. October 10, 2022. Photo by Serhii Korovainyi

Not a movie

On this day, 23 people were killed by shelling, and 105 others were injured. In total, 28 energy infrastructure facilities were damaged by missile attacks on October 10 and during less intense shelling on the next two days.

The site of the missile attack near the DETEK Tower in Kyiv. October 10, 2022. Photo by Serhiy Korovainyi

And on October 17, 2022, the Russian military used air-, sea-, and land-based cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, anti-aircraft guided missiles, and for the first time, Shahed-136 strike UAVs.

Photographer Yevhen Zavhorodniy arrived at the scene after the first wave of missile attacks. Then came the next drone attack and he filmed the shelling in real time. He recalls that debris started falling and his colleagues, who were filming the destruction, seemed to be coming out of the smoke.

A week later, Kyiv was attacked again. This time with missiles and for the first time with Iranian drones. October 17, 2022. Photo by Yevhen Zavhorodnyi

"One of the old houses came under fire. I went up the street to take photos on my computer. Just a few meters away, there was a completely different life, cafes were open, people were walking. If it wasn't for my colleagues who were walking around with a sign that said "Press," it would have been very difficult to find the site of the tragedy. I was very impressed by this contrast," says Yevhen Zavhorodniy.

Not far from the impact site is the railway station. There are a lot of people with suitcases. October 17, 2022. Photo by Yevhen Zavhorodniy

Yevhen Zavhorodnii says that there was very good natural light during the filming. "The sun was rising, rays of light were breaking through the smoke, and it seemed like a movie set was built here. However, this is not a movie, this is a war," says the photographer.

Rescuers are dismantling the rubble and getting the victims out. A young couple died in that house and remained in their bed forever. October 17, 2022. Photo by Yevhen Zavhorodnyi

Not staged

Photographer Serhii Korovainyi remembers October 10, 2022, in Kyiv well. "I heard explosions very far away, in Obolon. I immediately jumped in my car and drove to the scene. I drove very fast, avoided traffic jams and damaged the underside of the car's protection," says Serhiy Korovainyi. "I kept driving, the car scraped against the asphalt and made just terrible sounds.

Serhiy arrived when the burning cars were already extinguished at the intersection of Shevchenko and Volodymyrska streets. It seemed that everything was fine, but there was another very loud explosion. All the people around fell to the asphalt. "I followed the ambulance to the train station. Glass had shattered from a huge skyscraper and there were a lot of wounded people. Blood was pouring down people's faces. I took pictures of everything," Korovainyi says.

People at the site of a rocket attack in Shevchenko Park in Kyiv. October 10, 2022. Photo by Serhiy Korovainyi

Serhii Korovainyi has two vivid memories of that day. The first is that he took pictures of women with blood on their faces and posted them on Instagram. "I received a comment that it was a staged photo and why the women's faces were 'covered with jam'. I knew that such cases had happened, but this was the first time I personally faced such accusations," explains the photographer.

Soldiers and service workers at the intersection of Volodymyrska Street and Shevchenko Boulevard, where a Russian missile hit. October 10, 2022. Photo by Serhii Korovainyi

The second memory is about a fellow photographer who was taking pictures of a man with a badly injured face. "He was photographing a man whose face was covered in blood. He took pictures of him for a very long time, from different angles, and brought the camera up to his face. The photos he took were strong, but it's not a good idea to photograph injured people in this way," Serhii says.

An injured man near the DETEK Tower office center in Kyiv. October 10, 2022. Photo by Serhiy Korovainyi


Photographer Yevhen Zavhorodniy has been shooting for about 20 years for both Ukrainian media and foreign agencies. He began by documenting the events of the Orange Revolution in 2004. His photos were published by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Guardian, Deutsche Welle and others. Prior to the full-scale invasion, he had been photographing the Ukrainian parliament for a couple of years. Since the beginning of the invasion, he has been documenting the consequences of Russian aggression. Yevhen's works have been exhibited at collective exhibitions in Ukraine and the EU.

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Serhii Korovainy is a Ukrainian documentary photographer who actively covers the events of the Russian-Ukrainian war. He collaborates with international publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Guardian, Financial Times, and others. In his projects, he focuses on the Russian-Ukrainian war, ecology, and various aspects of Ukrainian modernity. He studied in the United States at the Master's Program in Visual Storytelling as a Fulbright Scholar. In 2018, he joined The Gate, a leading Ukrainian photo agency. Sergiy's work has been exhibited at numerous solo and group exhibitions in Ukraine, the US and the EU.

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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 being implemented thanks to the support of ЗМІN.


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