“I’ve never seen so much evil.”

A photographer's reflections on the war.

"I enjoy capturing the moment."

Misha Vavylyuk, 43, is a photographer and writer for Mission Without Borders (MWB) in Ukraine. He is married to Anna, 33, and they have two children, Ivan who is five, and Amelia who is one and a half. Like all our staff in Ukraine, Misha’s life hasn’t been the same since 24th February 2022. His photographs of bombed-out schools, weary villagers showing him their once-loved homes, now destroyed, and residents queuing for boxes of food and bread, reflect the reality of life now in parts of Ukraine. All our local staff have quickly adapted to the changing needs in Ukraine, even as they live amidst the horror of their country coming under brutal attack. 

“I am fond of photography as fine art, with all its capacity for expression,” Misha said. “I enjoy capturing the moment. When you stop a moment in time, the beauty, meaning and uniqueness of that moment is revealed. I humbly believe that my passion for photography has become a tool for telling the truth about this war. In every place I visit, my purpose is to document and express the things I see in such a way that the spectator can truly feel and come to realise what is going on in Ukraine.”

Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe. A third of its territory has been torn apart and destroyed. Now, even a year after the war began, my mind still refuses to accept the fact that such a war could even be possible in our civilised world in the 21st century. Also, I gave up trying to understand how anyone could support this inhuman invasion.

What has changed in these nine months? Ourselves. Our land, our language and identity mean to us much more because they want to take it away from us. They kill us only because we are Ukrainians. We began to hugely respect our soldiers who are paying the highest price to try and stop the occupier from committing atrocities against our women and children. We began to love our neighbour more. There has never been such unity among our people. Everyone is helping and supporting anyone who’s in bigger need than themselves. We have begun to pray a lot, because we believe that God’s protection can stop the missiles that hit our homes.

Also, we have been learning to be more thankful: for electricity for a couple of hours a day, for warm radiators in the house, for a hot meal. We are thankful for the people from abroad who donate generously and try their best to support us. I am amazed at the fact that worldwide, people have united to keep Ukraine alive through this cruel war.

The Bible says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). I’ve never seen so much evil and so many good deeds as I have over this past year. Our belief is that good will overcome evil. God bless you!"



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