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Consider It 100% Evidence: Ukraine to Create a War Photo Archive

Consider It 100% Evidence: Ukraine to Create a War Photo Archive

Markiian Oliiarnyk
Ukrainian Warchive
  • Ukrainian Warchive is a media project to preserve documentary photographs about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • The initiators are photographers Misha Pedan and Emine Ziyatdinova, as well as editor-in-chief of Zaborona Kateryna Sergatskova and co-founder of Bird in Flight Yevhen Safonov.
  • The development and launching of the platform was supported by the Swedish Institute and the Hasselblad Foundation.

A team of Ukrainian journalists and photographers has started work on the creation of a digital photo archive about Russian invasion of Ukraine. It will support photojournalists who risk their lives to cover the horrors of war, as well as authenticate testimonies of Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

Zaborona talks about a crucial media project about the war in Ukraine.


Ukrainian Warchive: what is this project about

An easy-to-use interactive platform will preserve important evidences of the Russian invasion. Also, it will create a trustable source of material for media, civil society organizations and investigators. The platform allows the readers to search the large photography collection by date, location, author and themes.

The project was initiated by Ukrainian photographers Misha Pedan and Emine Ziyatdinova, as well as co-founder of Zaborona Kateryna Sergatskova and co-founder of Bird in Flight Yevhen Safonov. “Today we are witnessing not only Russian missiles trying to destroy Ukrainian cities, but also how, at the level of official propaganda, the Russian dictatorship distorts, tries to erase history. It denies the existence of Ukrainian culture as such. The idea of the archive is to preserve photo evidence of the war, already now, together with the stories of their creation,” says Misha Pedan.

A soldier of the Azov regiment stands on the ruins of the Azovstal steel plant during its siege in Mariupol, Ukraine, May 2022. Photo: Dmytro Kozatsky
Photo was taken by the Russian soldier in the apartment of the Ukrainian citizen on the Polaroid. Kyiv region, Ukraine, March 2022.

The creators also aim to support professional photographers who boldly cover war events in Ukraine and often risk their lives. As of June 29, 2022, there here have already been 33 deaths of journalists in the war. Eight of them were killed in the line of duty. 

The development of the project was supported by the Swedish Institute and the Hasselblad Foundation. The second one awards one of the world’s most prestigious photo prizes — The Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. Besides, the initiators of Ukrainian Warchive expect to attract additional interest to the work of Ukrainian photographers from other world media, foundations and institutions.

Destroyed bridge in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, 2022. Photo: Vladislav Krasnoshchok
Dead civilian with a bicycle on the roadside, Bucha, Ukraine, April 2, 2022. Photo: Mykhailo Palinchak
Fields near Slovyansk, Donbas, Ukraine, June 2022. Satellite photo by Maxar

Earlier, Zaborona informed about our friends’ project Saveualist. It is an Internet portal with comprehensive information on the weapons that Ukraine needs to fight Russia. The resource was created by a group of Ukrainian volunteers, entrepreneurs and military experts.

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