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  • Writer's picture@ Cynthia Adina Kirkwood

Ukraine's Horrors on Exhibit in Coimbra, Portugal

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

“A retired teacher, known as Auntie Lyuda, short for Lyudmyla, was shot midmorning on March 5 as she opened her front door on a small side street. Her body lay twisted, half inside the door, more than a month later,” reported The New York Times. Her dog mourns her, says the exhibit placard. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak)


The searing eyes staring out of an unzipped black body bag lock my gaze. They are insistent. Remember me, they seem to say.

This photograph is unusual as the other photos in this exhibition are of civilian corpses lying face down.

Daniel Berehulak’s Bucha’s Red Winter, is on exhibit at the Municipal Museum of Coimbra, Edificio Chiado, until November 6th. Admission is free. Since September 13, there also are five other photography exhibitions sponsored by the city of Coimbra marking the resistance of the people of Ukraine to a Russian takeover.


Tetiana Petrovna reacts to the bodies of Roman Havryliuk, a 43-year-old welder, his 46-year-old brother, Serhiy Dukhli, and an unidentified man, reported The New York Times. The brothers sent the rest of the family out of Bucha. “My uncle stayed for the dog, and my father stayed for the house,” said Havryliuk’s son, Nazar, 17. The family’s two dogs were riddled with bullets.

(Photo by Daniel Berehulak)


Berehulak, himself a Ukrainian immigrant, grew up on a farm outside Sydney, Australia, spent weeks documenting the horror. In 2002, he began freelancing with Getty Images in Sydney. From 2005, he was based in London and from 2009 in New Delhi. In 2013, he began a freelance career. He is now based in Mexico City and is a regular contributor to The New York Times. Berehulak has been recognized with many awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes and six World Press Photo Awards.


People lived here. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak)


Russian forces invaded Ukraine without provocation on February 24. One of the initial moves was a push towards the capital of Kyiv, which stood strong. On February 27, Russian forces moved into the city of Bucha, where dead civilians populated the streets.

According to local authorities, 458 bodies have been recovered, reported the Washington Post (August 8). The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights documented the unlawful killings, including summary executions of at least 50 civilians. Radio Free Europe reported the use of a basement beneath a campground as a torture chamber. Many bodies were found mutilated and burnt. Girls as young as 14 were reportedly raped by Russian soldiers, reported Yahoo! News (April 3). Ukraine has asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the deaths to determine whether crimes against humanity were committed in the monthlong occupation.


(Photo by Daniel Berehulak)


Russian authorities have denied responsibility, reported Reuters (April 3). They claim that Ukraine faked footage or staged the killings itself, and call it “fake news”. Their assertions are countered by eyewitness accounts of residents and various groups and media organizations around the world.

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