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AP PHOTOS: Hope amid a few surviving flowers in Ukraine city

By Via AP news wire
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Anna Shevchenko waters the few surviving flowers outside her destroyed home in the Ukrainian town of Irpin on the outskirts of Kyiv. The house, built by the 35-year-old woman’s grandparents, was leveled during Russian bombing in late March.

But in her beloved flowerbed this week, some roses, lilies, peonies and daffodils survived, giving her hope. “It is new life. So I tried to save my flowers,” she said.

The house was left a pile of splintered wood, a closet filled with the family's dust- and debris-covered clothing visible amid the destruction. In one day, the family lost their house and Shevchenko’s father lost his leg to an explosion as he tried to flee Irpin.

Shevchenko’s flowers were among signs of Ukrainian resilience and resistance during a week of devastating death and loss in the war. In Irpin alone, block upon block of homes were destroyed.

In Zaporizhzhia, Vera Velakanova and Lyudmila Vondarenko were among the many residents who gathered in cemeteries on Sunday, the day Ukrainians mark the day of the dead. The women ate lunch at a table amid the tombstones in the Kapustyanyy cemetery.

Sunday was also the day that some 100 women, children and the elderly were the first to be evacuated from a steel plant in the strategic port of Mariupol where they had been under Russian bombardment for weeks along with about 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers in the tunnels beneath the Azovstal steelworks. They arrived in Zaporizhzhia a day later.

The week was also marked by horrific images that offered a rare glimpse of the death and atrocities of the war. In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, which has been under sustained Russian attack since the beginning of the war in late February, bodies were everywhere.

Among them was the charred corpse of a man, unidentifiable, propped on an anti-tank barrier made of crossed I-beams outside the town, which has been under the control of both sides in recent days.

Elsewhere, the body of another man lay face down in an apartment as Russian bombardments continued in a village recently retaken by Ukrainian forces near Kharkiv.

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Dive Deeper:
Flowers in the rubble: Ukrainian woman sees a sliver of hope
By the time the harsh Ukrainian winter began turning into spring, Anna Shevchenko’s family had already paid a heavy price…
What happened in the Russia-Ukraine war this week? Catch up with the must-read news and analysis
Evacuees share horror of months in Avozstal steelworks bunker; why Putin’s shift to the east could lengthen the war; and…
'We're so sorry': Mariupol plant evacuees feel relief, grief
More than 100 civilians have finally emerged from the bombarded Azovstal steel plant, the last Ukrainian holdout in the ruined…
‘We’re so sorry’: Mariupol steel plant evacuees feel relief and grief
Some of the civilians who emerged from the bombarded Azovstal steel plant, the last Ukrainian holdout in the ruined city…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
More than 60 feared dead in bombing of Ukrainian school
People were sheltering in the basement.
Ukraine-Russia war: Zelenskyy says Mariupol 'destroyed completely' as Ukraine prepares to evacuate more civilians from steel plant — as it happened
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tells a British think tank that Russia believes it cannot be held responsible for committing war…
Get all your news in one place