Life and death in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region

One of the largest cities of Ukraine, Kharkiv, has been withstanding brutal Russian attacks since the very start of the full-scale invasion. Being located just 40 km from the border with Russia, it was one of the major initial targets of the Russian occupation that relied on the myth that Kharkiv will warmly welcome the invading army. Instead, its citizens united to repel the aggressor and the negative attitude towards the Russian Federation has skyrocketed in the city that once was the closest go-to for the big attractions for the Russian Belgorod and has a lot of mixed families.

Northern Saltivka, a residential district in Kharkiv, is among the most destroyed territories now. Despite the brutality of daily attacks, the city continues to live, presenting a surreal picture of modern coffee shops selling almond milk latte with the almost constant sound of air raid alert in the background. Many people have chosen to return to Kharkiv after having initially fled it – although not everyone is up for the challenge of living in a city constantly under enemy fire.

Ruination inevitably brings not only deaths of civilians and destroyed infrastructure – it also affects the availability of utility services in the city. However, the local utility service personnel have already become legendary in Ukraine due to the never ceasing effort of these people to make life in Kharkiv comfortable and the streets clean and neat despite daily attacks.

Ukraine In Flames #179 once more offers to take a look at how Kharkiv lives during the war and how its people refuse to give up.


  • Hanna Bezverkha, volunteer, Krasnokutsk council deputy, Kharkiv region
  • Maryna Kotsyura, IDP from Kupyansk, Kharkiv region (temporarily occupied territories)
  • Kostiantyn Hryhorenko, journalists, Izium, Kharkiv region

UKRAINE IN FLAMES project is created by Ukraine Crisis Media Center and NGO “Euroatlantic Course”. We are aiming at searching a loud support for Ukraine in the war started by Russia on the 24th of February 2022.

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