‘Glory to the heroes!’: Ukrainian children’s drawings boost soldiers’ morale – in pictures | Global development

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  • A picture by Amalia, from Kharkiv, drawn in the Regional Children’s Library in Lviv. The words read: ‘Ukraine will always win.’ Amalia is one of the hundreds of children displaced by the war involved in art therapy groups

    A picture by Amalia, from Kharkiv, drawn in the Regional Children’s Library in Lviv. The  <div data-ad-id=

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  • Refugee children in the Polish village of Medyka, the main border crossing point from Ukraine. Since the Russian invasion began, Ukrainian children have had to abandon their schools, toys and games

    Refugee children in the Polish village of Medyka, the main border crossing point from Ukraine.

  • ‘We have already won!’ reads the message on a drawing by a child from a village in east Ukraine. Tanks, helicopters and soldiers are the most common subjects portrayed by Ukrainian children

    ‘We have already won!’ reads the message on a drawing by a child from a village in east Ukraine.

  • Ukrainian soldiers stand ready for battle as a helicopter takes off in the background. ‘Ukraine is undefeatable!’ reads the message on this boy’s drawing. Like others, the picture will be sent to the men on the frontline to help with their morale

    Ukrainian soldiers stand ready for battle as a helicopter takes off in the background. ‘Ukraine is undefeatable!’ reads the message on this boy’s drawing.

  • Oleksii, centre, one of many refugee children from Kryvyi Rih, the largest city in central Ukraine, arrives at the railway station in Lviv, where tens of thousands of people have sought shelter since the beginning of the invasion

    Oleksii, centre, one of many refugee children from Kryvyi Rih, the largest city in central Ukraine, arrives at the railway station in Lviv

  • Many of the child victims of the war long for peace. Nastya Savina, 8, drew doves in the colours of the Ukrainian flag

    Nastya Savina, 8, drew doves in the colours of the Ukrainian flag

  • ‘Ukraine is undefeatable’: the phrase crops up again and again in the children’s drawings, such as this one, made at the Regional Children’s Library in Lviv. Many children displaced by the war have an urgent need to create and draw, according to mental health workers

    ‘Ukraine is undefeatable’: the phrase crops up again and again in the children’s drawings, such as this one

  • People wait for a bus from the Medyka border crossing to one of the Polish shelters. The trauma of the conflict runs deep for children, with many bearing the psychological scars of terror. Constantly on the move, they are travelling long distances on foot and by train, car and bus

    Queues waiting for a bus to take people from the Medyka border crossing to one of the Polish shelters

  • The sun is reflected in a pond. There are trees, flowers and a Ukrainian flag. This is how Khrystyna imagines hope and the future. The words read: ‘Victory is very important to me’

    The sun is reflected in a pond. There are trees, flowers and a Ukrainian flag. This is how Khrystyna imagines hope and the future. The words read: ‘Victory is very important to me’

  • ‘Glory to Ukraine, glory to the heroes,’ wrote Illya, from Lviv, a safe haven for thousands of refugees. ‘Ukrainian children draw bombs and tanks because that’s what they see with their own eyes,’ says Kateryna Sukhorebska, who runs art activities for displaced children in her bookshop in Lviv

    ‘Glory to Ukraine, glory to the heroes,’ wrote Illya, from Lviv, a safe haven for thousands of refugees.

  • A train leaves Lviv bound for Przemyśl in Poland. Thousands of children have stopped talking and are experiencing hysteria and panic attacks, according to mental health professionals in Ukraine

    Children on a train bound for Przemysl, in Poland, from Lviv

  • A cat with a backpack and a military helmet crosses the finish line in front of its Russian rival in this drawing by Solomia, 9. Therapists maintain there is hope in the children’s artworks, and the wish for peace and victory

    A cat with a backpack and a military helmet crosses the finish line in front of its Russian rival in this drawing by Solomia, 9.

  • A white dove of peace carrying an olive branch with the Ukrainian flag as a background. On the back of her drawing, Anastasia, 7, from a village in east Ukraine bombed by the Russians, writes: ‘Well done! Keep up the good work!’ The message will be delivered to frontline Ukrainian soldiers

    A white dove of peace carrying an olive branch with the Ukrainian flag as a background. On the back of her drawing, Anastasia, 7, from a village in east Ukraine bombed by the Russians, writes: ‘Well done! Keep up the good work!’

  • Refugees, many children among them, stand in queues stretching up to 10 miles before crossing the border into Poland. It can take up to 40 hours. According to Ukraine’s general prosecutor, 90 children have died in the conflict so far

    Refugees stand in queues stretching up to 10 miles before crossing the borders into Poland

  • A dove with blue and yellow wings, the colours of Ukraine, soars among helicopters and trees. Vitalik, 9, from Lviv, writes: ‘Glory to Ukraine!’

    A dove with blue and yellow wings, the colours of Ukraine, soars among helicopters and trees. Vitalik, 9, from Lviv, writes: ‘Glory to Ukraine!’

  • A giant heart in the centre of the Ukrainian flag with a message from the artist, a young girl: ‘Glory to Ukraine, glory to the heroes!’ According to the volunteers who deliver the drawings, the soldiers take strength and courage from the children’s messages

    A giant heart in the centre of the Ukrainian flag with a message from the artist, a young girl: ‘Glory to Ukraine, glory to the heroes!’

  • A father from Sloviansk, Donetsk, cradles his son before his departure. Mental health practitioners in Ukraine say the sudden absence of fathers, forced to remain in the country after the government applied martial law banning men aged 18 to 60 from leaving, has also had a significant impact on children’s lives

    A father from Sloviansk, Donetsk, cradles his son before his departure

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