Signs of resolve and collective grief


A 16-meter-high bronze monument to Taras Shevchenko, a national hero in Ukraine, survived World War II. Ukrainians have shielded it with countless layers of sandbags in hopes it also will survive Russian attacks.

Shevchenko’s right arm is outstretched, clenched with a fist at the end, while he holds the folds of his garments in the other hand. The monument in Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv is one of many signs of Ukrainian resolve that has endured through 32 days.

In another part of the country at a battle-damaged shop, the words “Glory to Ukraine” are written next to graffiti depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Images captured by The Associated Press also show lonely walks among damaged buildings, piles of rubble and bullet-ridden vehicles. Others show collective grieving by both sides.

Five men leaning over a gravesite in the Yuzhne, Odessa region of Ukraine use rope to lower a casket holding the remains of Ukrainian serviceman Oleksiy Lunyov into the ground. Dozens look on, including one with his hands crossed in front and his head bowed, and another ready with a shovel of dirt to fill the grave of the man killed during a Russian missile attack.

In another photograph taken in Kara-Balta, west of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, a mother wearing a blue floral headscarf clenches a handkerchief and cries during a farewell ceremony for her son, Russian Army soldier Rustam Zarifulin.

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