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Russia - Ukraine war

‘I must work. I can’t cry’: capturing Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian civilians

Dmytro Pletenchuk, a press officer, took photos in the aftermath of last week’s devastating shelling in Kherson

  • Warning: some of the images in this article are graphic

When the barrage began, Dmytro Pletenchuk was outside Kherson railway station. A shell set fire to a train evacuating civilians. Another plunged into the square. Pletenchuk, a major in the Ukrainian navy and press officer for Kherson’s defence forces, ran to his car to get his flak jacket. He came back to a scene of carnage: a body covered in blankets; a dazed man slumped on the pavement, his foot bleeding; glass everywhere and debris.

Pletenchuk took photographs. “I’m a professional. I must work. I can’t cry,” he said. The same morning, the Russians bombed a petrol station, a private building and a supermarket, in one of the worst attacks since the invasion. “I saw four dead people lying in the aisle. Red Cross workers rescued a young boy. You could see the bone in his leg,” Pletenchuk said.

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