Home » Ukraine in critical condition two years after the start of the war: “Every time I cross that bridge I still feel afraid”

Ukraine in critical condition two years after the start of the war: “Every time I cross that bridge I still feel afraid”

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Ukraine in critical condition two years after the start of the war: “Every time I cross that bridge I still feel afraid”

It has been two years since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The faces that starred on the covers of the largest forced population movement since World War II are trying to regain some normality, while the conflict stagnates and fatigue takes over Europe.

Julia, Olek and Emma: the exodus of Irpin

Julia, the young mother who became a symbol of the war when she was photographed with her baby in her arms fleeing from Irpin under the ruins of the bridge, still feels afraid every time she crosses it. She, her husband Olek and her two-year-old daughter Emma are among the more than 3.4 million internally displaced people who have returned to their homes. “To be honest, I feel the same fear,†Julia confesses. “I’m not going to regain a sense of security until the war is over.”

Victor: two Ukraines in the same war

Victor, a regional deputy in kyiv and journalist, experiences the war from two perspectives: the almost normality of the capital and the brutality of the east, especially the Donbas. “We will never forgive Russia,” he says. “We need more help or this will be a disaster for Ukraine and for Europe.”

On the front, the lack of resources, ammunition and soldiers is a reality. Soldiers like Victor, 23, operate 1964 Soviet tanks without shells, and live in constant fear of Russian drones. “I have seen too many strong things in these two years,†says Victor, who got married and had a baby during the war.

President Zelensky insists on asking European countries to abandon their conformity and send the weapons that Ukraine needs to defend itself. “It is impossible to win a war with rifles or shotguns,†says Dolf, a doctor in the Azov battalion. “We need ammunition, artillery, aviation and drones.”

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Two years after the start of the war, Ukraine is in a critical state. The Ukrainian population continues to live in fear and uncertainty, while the international community is torn between support for Ukraine and conflict fatigue. Ukraine’s future remains uncertain, but one thing is certain: the Ukrainian people will not give up.

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