At first glance, the subway car into which a displaced Ukrainian family has moved looks like an apartment, its long seat covered with a light pink throw, a folding chair nearby converted into a small table on which a coffee cup filled with a beverage has been placed.
And the laughing face of a pigtailed little girl peering out a bus window could almost be that of a young child going on an exciting vacation with her family.
The reality behind such images is much different.
The subway car in the besieged northeastern city of Kharkiv is being used as a bomb shelter and is a poor substitute for the home the family had to flee amid bombardment from Russian forces. The laughing child is luckily young enough that she doesn’t know her trip to Romania is actually a forced flight from danger.
In most of Ukraine, the reality of war was impossible to ignore. In one Associated Press photograph taken on the conflict’s 30th day, a man runs with bags of items he has hastily recovered from a shop that has erupted in flames after being attacked by Russian troops in Kharkiv.
In another photograph taken in Kharkiv, a wounded Ukrainian soldier, his head and arm wrapped in bloody bandages, lies on an operating table waiting for surgery.
In the village of Yasnohorodka, on the outskirts of the capital of Kyiv, a Ukrainian Orthodox Church is badly damaged, its floors littered with colored shards of glass and pieces of wall plaster that look like pieces of a puzzle, two of which show the painted heads of white-haired biblical figures.
And on the outskirts of the southern city of Mykolaiv, a strolling man is surrounded by devastation: an incinerated car, houses with splintered roofs and blownout windows, a crater carved into the ground by a bomb.