Ukraine was occupied with utter chaos, destruction and devastation soon after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” against the country. Russia bombed Ukraine and explosions were heard in many parts of Ukraine, plumes of smoke emanating from bombed buildings have become a common sight.
Twitter is crawling with the hashtag #WorldWarIII, and the photos and videos of this devastation on social media only deepen the sense of dread we’ve all been experiencing since morning. Amidst all this, a quiet moment of life, of love, has come to the fore sharing a picture of a young man.
The photograph was clicked at the Kyiv metro station. Ukraine’s underground metro stations have doubled up as bomb shelters following the Russian invasion. As missiles whizzed past, air raid sirens were sounded, and in horror, in fear, people rushed to take refuge in several of the city’s underground metro stations.
There are mothers holding their babies nearby, running to find a corner; Families sitting on the stage waiting endlessly for the situation to improve slightly; People are helplessly calling on their cellphones to their loved ones – perhaps stranded in another subway station – hoping they are still safe.
Right in the middle of all this chaos and uncertainty, this image of a young man and woman, quietly looking into each other’s eyes, neither with any answers, simply surrendering, is what caught our attention.
An AFP photographer captured this moment as time stood still for this couple – and Ukraine. It almost poetically depicts the wait and uncertainty that the Ukrainian citizens face right now. The fear in their eyes is palpable. Is it a final goodbye or the promise of this-too-shall-pass?
Only time will tell. Till then, let this haunting yet calming image linger on in your memories.