Sergiy Maidukov is an illustrator from Kiev, whose work has appeared in this magazine, as well as in The New Yorker, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He was born in Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, now occupied by Russia and its militant allies. Maidukov works with journalists about the conflict. His photographs, presented here with his comments, capture the fear and danger of the war as it rolled towards the capital.

February 25
The vehicles are empty. They appear to have just been damaged by gunfire after a skirmish with the Russians who infiltrated the Obolon borough. Soldiers scurry around, tinkering with their equipment.

© Sergiy Maidukov

February 25
On day two of the war, all I can think of is helping Ukraine by donating blood. So four of my friends and I queued for several hours as the line behind us got longer and longer as we waited. It was the first time in my adult life that I overcame my fear of needles and donated blood.

© Sergiy Maidukov

February 26
A curfew has been declared for tomorrow. No one is allowed outside, as the military plans to track down Russian saboteurs. Anyone found on the street is, we are told, considered an enemy, with all the consequences that entails.

February 27
The war is only three days old. I rushed to evacuate my daughter, barely slept and an overdose of news. Despite the curfew, I decide to go out and help the neighbors prepare Molotov cocktails. The journey is less than 100 yards from door to door, but within sixty seconds I am thrown to the ground and handcuffed at gunpoint. At least I wasn’t shot.

When I am delivered to the police station, the mood is lighter. The cops googled me and let me go, joking about how lucky I am and that I had to run home quickly.

These are our bags, packed and ready to go if we get the chance.

© Sergiy Maidukov

March 2nd
I help two journalists who are looking for female soldiers in our territorial forces to interview. While they do, I sit down and draw this soldier guarding their headquarters. His name is Oleh. He was a programmer before volunteering to fight.

© Sergiy Maidukov

3 March
Two days ago, two Russian missiles hit here in Dorohozhychy. Everything that was here has turned to black rubble. This was an attack on a transmission tower near Babyn Yar, the site where Jews, Roma, prisoners and tens of thousands of people died between 1941 and 1943.

© Sergiy Maidukov

4th of March
Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the main square of Kiev, morning. Soldiers allowed me to draw for 20 minutes.

© Sergiy Maidukov

6 March
Two days ago, a Russian plane was shot down in the village of Markhalivka. As it began to fall from the sky, the pilot fired his missiles into the city to prevent them from exploding on impact. A few houses were damaged; one of them is just a hole in the ground surrounded by wreckage. Six people died, including two children, burned in a car.

Behind the buildings is an open field and in the distance I can see pieces of debris blown away by the explosions. The kind of power that could do this is shocking to imagine. So I don’t draw the houses, but the power of death.

© Sergiy Maidukov

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This post An illustrated diary from Kiev: ‘I do not draw the houses, but the power of death’ was original published at “https://www.ft.com/content/97613596-9323-471e-9cd6-eb672aa06650”

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