Julia Kochetova Seameer image 1

Image: Julia Kochetova (

'There is nothing more powerful, than a honest human story. The war story is always incredibly sharp and painful - we’ve heard about fear and executions, fallen soldiers and killed civilians on the way to escape from the battlefield. Then you sit next to Nastia, a middle-aged daughter, she is showing you a TikTok video and can’t stop laughing. You remind again and again in your head - this terrifying kitchen talk and can’t start laughing. And when the camera is switched off - you feel gifted and challenged at the same time to hear this story. Buddhists keep saying, that pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. That pain makes your heart bigger - you could express the wider variety of feelings thanks to that. There is 5 mins before the curfew, we hugged each other with the family, who escaped, and I felt, how my heart became bigger.'

‘The real world is always about people’.

Life during wartime through Ukrainian photography

With the devastating situation in Ukraine, Trigger has been thinking what it could do to amplify photographers on the ground and those documenting protests around the world. We would like to invite you to follow Ukrainian photographers to get their view on the situation and what it’s like to work as a photographer in a war situation: personally and professionally. We encourage you to take note of them. It is another way to stay informed and offer support. This has no intention of being a ‘database’; it constitutes a simple gesture to share profiles from photographers and channels we think are crucial and interesting.

The editors

31 mrt. 2022 • 5 min

Our call runs parallel with Mark Neville’s instagram post on working with Ukrainian photographers. Neville is a British photographer, who has an Ukrainian press pass.

Some weeks ago, he stated:

‘Instead of sending more and more and more reporters from abroad, who do not understand the situation or the language or how to move around, contact me and either I will do it for you for no or little money, or I will connect you with amazing Ukrainian photographers who will do a better more accurate job than any of us.’

Neville just launched a book called Stop Tanks With Books (Nazraeli Press, 2022) which ‘calls on the international community to urgently support Ukraine and help deter further Russian invasion’.#Stoptankswithbooks

Besides enlisting the photographers and their instagram accounts, this page commemorates seven journalists/photojournalists and filmmakers who died covering this war till today.

Last but not least, we add a selection of links from arts initiatives, independent, general and grassroots press and donation initiatives.

Julia Kochetova Seameer image 3

Image: Julia Kochetova (

'My dear, I miss you so much.

I remember every day with you, my dear Kyiv. I keep telling everyone about crazy parties at the K41 club I’ve danced at and endless cider glasses I drunk in your bars.

We are looking for smoking sticks all over the city - that’s war, everyone smokes, no cigarettes left. In the small shop on the crossroad - the cashier is on the phone. There is a line already - people are nervous to get their bread and Pepsi right next to the military base.

«I’m so sorry», - the cashier says, holding onto the phone. «My brother is calling - he is serving on fronts right now, you know, it’s a heavy battle now. I have a chance to talk with him for a couple of minutes, he calls me once in 4 days, I’m so sorry, but let me… I need to talk with him».'

Julia Kochetova Seameer image 2

Image: Julia Kochetova (

'Then we pass the banner that says «Mariupol, we will host your people. Uzhorod». I've translated this sentence to my guys and tried to keep breathing.
The dark sound came from the north, even when we've been laughing at the balcony.

«I so badly want to wake up in Odesa», the guy says, passing me by near the Lva Tolstogo subway station. «I want to lie next to the sea wave and listen to this sound.»
I’m smiling – I’ve marked a trip to Odesa in my Google Calendar with my dog and parents at the end of March and it never happened. I went on assignment instead and the whole seaside was mined.

The most important thing – is to have a place in this world where you need no return ticket from. A person whom you hug and time stops.
A bed where you wake up alive.

I’m sharing these pictures of my city and think that there are no tears anymore, but there are. One day, my dear, we will wake up in my bed. Alive.'

Photographers who are currently in Ukraine and covering the war for different channels:

Julia Kochetova @seameer

Igor Chechakov @chekachkov

Ivor Prickett @ivorprickett

Evgeniy Maloletka  @evgenymaloleka

Dimitrar Dilkoff @theblindkocho

Yana Sidach @yana_sidash_st

Maxim Dondyuk  @maximdondyuk

Mikhail Palinchak @mpalinchakphoto

Katya Moskalyuk @kathryn_moskalyuk

Justyna Mielnikiewicz @justmiel

Sergeykorovayny @sergeykorovayny

Natalie Keyssar @nataliekeyssar, Anna liminowicz @annaliminowicz, Steph Glinski @stephglinski, Paula Bronstein @pbbphoto, Francesca Volpi @Francesca_volpi_photo, Laurence Geai @laurencegeai, Erin Trieb @erintrieb, Heidi Levine @heidi_levine, Alina Smutko @alina_smutko, Anastasia Taylor-Lind @anastasiatl, Ioana Moldovan @ioanacmoldovan, Zuzana Gogová @zuzkagogova, Jędrzej Nowicki @jnowickiphoto, Maciek Nabrdalik @macieknabrdalik, Lynsey Addario @lynseyaddario, Emilio Morenatti @emilio_morenatti, Tyler Hicks @tylerhicksphoto, Brendan Hoffman @hoffmanbrendan, Sergey Ponomarev @sergeyponomarev, Emile ducke  @emileducke, Nanna Heitmann @nannaheitmann, Alex Lourie, Aris Messinis @aris.messinis, Justin Yau @justinnyau, Oksana Parafeniuk @oksana_par, Anastasia Vlasova @sia_vlasova, Nicole Tung @nicoletung

Ivor ukraine 9

Image: © Ivor Prickett/NY Times/Panos

'More than a million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion last week, with many more seeking safety in the western part of the country or underground.
A day after gaining control of their first major Ukrainian city, Russian forces on Thursday laid siege to urban areas across the country in a grinding offensive that has pummeled civilian neighborhoods with increasingly heavy artillery and reduced basic services to rubble. The assaults have deepened a humanitarian crisis that has prompted one million people to flee the country, and a million more to abandon their homes for Ukrainian cities farther from the fighting. According to the UN refugee agency, there were already 854,000 people displaced inside Ukraine as a result of the conflict that began in 2014.'


Image: Igor Chekachkov

'10 years ago I started my “Daily Life” series, documenting how people share a common space. Now, commissioned by @nymag, I continue to take photographs of people who was forced to leave their home because of russian invasion to #Ukraine and now share the space with people who host them, as well as other displaced.
My friends from Kharkiv living in a small flat in Lviv.'

In commemoration:

Maks Levin, a Ukrainian photojournalist, was killed by two shots from small arms in the Kyiv region.

Mantas Kvedaravičius, a Lithuanian filmmaker, was killed in Mariupol, reported, a camera still in his hands.

Oleksandra Kuvshynova, 24yr old Ukrainian producer for FOX news was killed as their vehicle was met by Russian shelling.

Pierre Zakrzewski, a FOX news cameraman, was killed, the vehicle hit by Russian shelling near Kyiv.

Brent Renaud, an American journalist, was shot and killed by Russian forces in Ukraine.

Oksana Baulina, a Russian reporter for The Insider, was killed in Kyiv shelling.

Evgeny Sakun, a Ukrainian cameraman for the LIVE TV channel, was killed in shelling in Kyiv.

Initiatives in the arts:

@artistsatrisk, a non-profit network institution dedicated to mapping the field of persecuted art practitioners, facilitating their safe passage from their countries of origin and hosting them at AR-Residencies. They have a ‘Ukraine Resource’ section on their instagram.

Fast Forward: @Women In Photo launched a prints sale to support Ukrainian female artists, to raise money for the charities working on the ground. @mkapajeva

@ietmnetwork, International network for contemporary performing arts representing 500+ members in 60+ countries worldwide.

@app________app, The Archive of Public Protest from Poland – report a lot of protesting in Poland concerning Ukraine. Photographers who are part of this: @rafal.milach, @karolinagembara, International residency and artist studios in Antwerp, Belgium. They have residency available for artists from Ukraine.

Independent (local) media:

@donbas.frontliner, @kyivindependent_official, @ukraine__world, The Euromaidan press

Russian Media - recently a few were closed:

@novayagazeta, @meduzapro

General press:

@afpphoto, Photos by Agence France-Presse photographers on Instagram and from the global AFP wire. Publishes photos by amongst other Sergei Chuzavkov, Aris Messinis, Genya Savilov, Dimitrar Dilkoff etc.

Ukraine Resources | Linktree

AP Coverage of the war in Ukraine

Grassroots conflict reporting:


Donations initiatives:

DONATIONS | Artists at Risk (AR), Artists at risk organize donations for artists who are in need.

@yelizavetta, Paris based designer, through her you can donate food and medicines.

@unhcr_belgium, The UN Refugee Agency, you can donate through

@razom.for.ukraine, Non-profit supporting people of Ukraine in their continued quest for democracy and progress.

Other channels in that regard:

We like to thank Ksenia Kuleshova (@ksukuleshova), Julia Kochetova and Mark Neville for their input and advice.

We send out our gratitude to Julia Kochetova, Ivor Prickett and Igor Chekachkov for the images reproduced here. The title for this article is based on an instagram post by Kochetova, referring to Antoine de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince.

We wish all photographers and the Ukrainian people lots of strength.