Malaya Rohan is a small village a few miles outside of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city. The village was occupied by Russian forces early in the war in 2022. The residents spent a month under occupation before Ukrainian forces managed to drive out the Russians. Residents are traumatized, having experienced shelling from two opposing military forces as well as war crimes committed by the occupying Russians. I was able to spend some time in Malaya Rohan in August of 2022.
Vasylyi Zabara stands among rubble near his home in Malaya Rohan, where he and his neighbors work to clear rigged grenades and mines left behind by Russian forces in Malaya Rohan, Ukraine on Aug. 10, 2022.
Nadegda Ilchenko walks through her garden in front of her garage, which was leveled by shelling. She is unsure if it was a Russian or Ukrainian shell that destroyed it.
Vyacheslav Ilchenko cradles a stray kitten on the street outside his childhood home in Malaya Rohan, Ukraine on Aug. 10, 2022.
Hennadyi Balabonav walks among the burnt remains of his home, burned down by Russian forces in revenge for his son's military service.
Hennadyi Balabonav drags a missile casing from his backyard, where he has a small pile of missiles and shells that have landed on his property.
Hennadyi Balabonav believes his neighbor betrayed him to the Russians, informing them of his son's military service.
Children man mock checkpoints all around Ukraine. The password to enter the village is, "Glory to Ukraine."
Two young boys with toy rifles, along with their dog, man a mock checkpoint to enter part of Malaya Rohan.
A vehicle destroyd by a shell in front of Vasylyi Zabara's home.
Nadezhda Zabara checks on her two dogs.
Holes left by artillery shrapnel in a steel door to a shelter, utilized by Vasylyi Zabara’s family of six during Russian occupation.
A pile of toys stored in Vasylyi Zabara’s attic, which belonged to his grandchildren before they fled the village after it was liberated.
Vasylyi Zabara on the second floor of his home, which experienced heavy damage from shelling and missile attacks. He has only a couple months to patch the holes to protect himself from Ukraine's harsh upcoming winter.
Two stray kittens in Nadegda Ilchenko's front yard. She takes care of the many stray animals in her neighborhood.
Vasylyi Zabara (right) and his wife Nadezhda Zabara outside their damaged home.