AP PHOTOS: Amid Ukraine war, seeking moments of normalcy

Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_81611 People who fled from Mariupol wait to leave after being processed upon their arrival at a reception center for displaced people in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, late Sunday, May 8, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_53241 A Ukrainian emergency worker stands next to the bodies of Russian soldiers in the village of Vilkhivka, recently retaken by Ukrainian forces near Kharkiv, Ukraine, Monday, May 9, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_94774 A Ukrainian National Guard soldier sits inside a tank at a position near Kharkiv, Ukraine, Monday, May 9, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_53469 An elderly woman walks inside a metro station being used as a bomb shelter in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 12, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_51862 Donetsk People Republic Emergency Situations Ministry employees clear rubble at the side of the damaged Mariupol theater in Mariupol, in a territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, May 12, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_57218 A volunteer shapes metal plates with an angle grinder at a facility producing material for Ukrainian soldiers in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, Saturday, May 7, 2022. An old industrial complex in the southeastern Ukrainian riverside city of Zaporizhzhia has become a hive of activity for volunteers producing everything from body armor to camouflage nets, anti-tank obstacles to heating stoves and rifle slings for Ukrainian soldiers fighting the Russian invasion.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_58555 Ivan Andreiev who fled from Mariupol with his family kisses his cat Leonardo upon his arrival to a reception center for displaced people in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, Sunday, May 8, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_52573 A destroyed house is seen in Malaya Rohan, a village retaken by Ukrainian forces on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, Sunday, May 8, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_96418 A child and her family who fled from Mariupol arrive at a reception center for displaced people in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, Sunday, May 8, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_23787 The widow cries at the coffin of volunteer soldier Oleksandr Makhov, 36 a well-known Ukrainian journalist, killed by the Russian troops, at St. Michael cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, May 9, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_18087 Ukrainian servicemen carry an injured comrade on A stretcher to the hospital after an attack by Russian forces in Donetsk region, Ukraine, on Monday, May 9, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_33791 In this photo provided by Azov Special Forces Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard Press Office, an Azov Special Forces Regiment's serviceman, injured during fighting against Russian forces, poses for a photographer inside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_17194 Volunteer welders work on metal pieces at a facility producing material for Ukrainian soldiers in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, Friday, May 6, 2022. An old industrial complex in the southeastern Ukrainian riverside city of Zaporizhzhia has become a hive of activity for volunteers producing everything from body armor to camouflage nets, anti-tank obstacles to heating stoves and rifle slings for Ukrainian soldiers fighting the Russian invasion.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_41084 Police and volunteers exhume the bodies of civilians killed by Russian shelling in the village of Stepaky, close to Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_39785 People who fled from Mariupol, some of them from the Azovstal steel plant, are processed upon their arrival by bus at a reception center for displaced people in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, late Sunday, May 8, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_52971 A man, who left a shelter in the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal, walks to a bus between servicemen of Russian Army and Donetsk People's Republic militia in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Friday, May 6, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_37800 Maksym, 3, is photographed with his brother, Dmytro, 16, on top of a destroyed Russian tank, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine on Sunday, May 8, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_99986 A Ukrainian Su-25 jet flies release heat flares after an attack on Russian positions in Donetsk region, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_99825 Residents have their lunch in a facility for people with mental and physical disabilities in the village of Tavriiske, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. With around 425 residents, the institution is the largest such facility for people with disabilities in southeastern Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia region.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_56235 A baby bed is seen inside an apartment building damaged by Russian shelling in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Thursday, May 12, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_97399 Associate professor of Ukrainian literature Mykhailo Spodarets gives an online lesson from the basement of his house, used as a temporary shelter, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 12, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_29175 Stepan and Anastasia sit at a public park as the sun sets in Kyiv Ukraine on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.
Russia_Ukraine_War_A_Week_Photo_Gallery_29516 EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - The bodies of 11 Russian soldiers lie in the village of Vilkhivka, recently retaken by Ukraininan forces near Kharkiv, Ukraine, Monday, May 9, 2022.
(1/23)

A young girl hugs a beloved scraggly gray stuffed cat at a reception center for the hundreds of civilians evacuated from a Mariupol steel works plant after weeks of bombardment by Russian forces. Nearby, a young man kisses his real gray cat, the eyes of both man and pet closed in relief at their escape.

About 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers remained trapped this week in the tunnels of the Azovstal steel plant, including one service member of the Azov Special Forces Regiment who grimly posed for a photograph, the sleeve of his sweat shirt pulled back to reveal his missing left arm, blown off during the fighting against Russian forces.

This week’s Associated Press images continued to reveal the horrors and occasional lighter moments of the war, now in its eighth week since the Feb. 24 Russian invasion.

A father took a photo of his sons, 3-year-old Maksym and 16-year-old Dmytro atop a destroyed Russian tank Sunday on the outskirts of Kyiv, now again under Ukrainian control.

Police and volunteers exhumed the bodies of civilians killed by Russian shelling in the village of Stepaky, near Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, where brutal fighting continues. An elderly woman walked inside a metro station being used as a bomb shelter in Kharkiv, where sleeping bags and small tents lined the long underground platform alongside the train tracks.

An inconsolable widow draped in the blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag wept at the coffin of her husband, 36-year-old Oleksandr Makhov, a well-known Ukrainian journalist who was killed while fighting with his country’s volunteer forces, at his funeral at St. Michael cathedral in Kyiv.

The war came dangerously close this week to a facility for the mentally and physically disabled in the village of Tavriiske, near the southeastern front line, where staff were trying to decide how to evacuate the 425 residents as the threatening boom of artillery fire punctuated the air.

Still, there were moments of determined resiliency and escape from war, if only briefly, as a young couple embraced in the quiet of a Kyiv park.

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Tags:

mariupol | war

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up