Exodus From Ukraine
I am a photographer. I do other things for my living but what I _am_ is a photographer. This is from one I know via the internet and should emulate.
An Exodus From Ukraine Visual Diary-day 3
I am now inside Ukraine!
Today, I boarded a train in the Polish border town Pzemyśl, the border crossing town where now many of the more than 600,000 Ukrainians have crossed through fleeing the brutal Russian invasion of the Ukrainian homeland.
In my 66 years I have never made a train quite like this. The train was full of Ukrainian men going back to join the fight against the Russian military, women that had decided they could no longer stay away from their homes, and a handful of foreign journalists.
As the train passed through the Polish border into Ukraine, it came to a stop, and many soldiers of the Ukrainian army boarded the train, along with several Ukrainian border customs agents.
Every passport was checked throughly, and one passenger was mysteriously removed from the train, not to board again.
As the customs check took place, a train arrived in the station coming from Kyiv and pulled up right next to our train heading east into Ukraine. […] Most of the people in the window of this train were mothers and children-and many very young babies pressed their heads against the window-a sight they will likely not remember in time, but a moment in their life they will never forget.
A young man stood holding his wife as she cried, and they looked each other in the eyes, and whispered to each other. […] This couple was crying a good bye that no person on this earth could ever be prepared for. I didn’t make a photograph of this moment, and touched the shoulder of the young husband and told him I would think of him, and them. He spoke to me and said, “at this moment, we don’t have the right words”.
As I finish tonight, I realize I too don’t have the right words. I have images that will stay with me forever-some sharp, and some very out of focus-and all with pain with no anesthesia to make lighter or more bearable.
© All photographs by Peter Turnley, Ukraine, March 9, 2022.