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Ukrainian artist remembers the lives lost in the Russian invasion through heartbreaking art series

Nearly every day since the beginning of the war, the artist has used her Instagram account to remember those who have lost their lives in the conflict.

Ukrainian artist remembers the lives lost in the Russian invasion through heartbreaking art series
Cover Image Source: Instagram/Olga Wilson

Ukrainian artist Olga Wilson has been chronicling the devastating loss caused by Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine in a heart-wrenching art series she calls "war notes." Nearly every day since the beginning of the war, the artist has used her Instagram account ( to remember those who have lost their lives in the conflict by posting poignant portraits of the dead and heartbreaking accounts of how they died. Each story, each "war note"—some requested by the loved ones of those who were killed—demonstrates the grave devastation that has come from this war.


Here are some of Wilson's war notes:



"Yesterday, 14.03.22, there was information about the death of a pregnant woman in Mariupol, after the missile hit the maternity hospital. She had a separation of the right thigh [and a] cesarean section [couldn't ]save her child... I would like to dedicate this small art to this mother and other women, who were forced to suffer from the horrible crimes committed by Russian сriminals and their supporters. This war has no dignity, no cause, no mercy. It's just blind rage and genocide of all Ukrainians. It's very painful to watch medieval barbarism in the twenty-first century in the middle of the European continent..."



"Russian soldiers shot at a line of civilians waiting for bread. 10 died on spot. Chernihiv. March 16, 2022."



"On February 28, 2022, near Makariv village, a Russian fighting vehicle fired at a burgundy Daewoo Lanos from a 30-mm cannon. An elderly couple was in that car... Since the beginning of the war, it's difficult to even count the number of civilian vehicles, which were shot by Russian soldiers. In these cars were innocent people, including families, children, volunteers, health workers, journalists and so on. An adequate explanation for such brutal behavior doesn't exist..."



"In Chernihiv, a family of 5 people died due to an airstrike. March 17, 2022. Not a single family will be forgotten."



"On March 11, Russian occupiers fired from a tank at a nursing home in Kreminna. They put a panzer in front of the house and started firing. Those who lived till old age in this house - 56 people died on the spot. 15 people, who survived were abducted by the occupiers and taken to the occupied territories."



"On March 6, a family of mother, boy and girl died from mortar shelling near Irpin while trying to reach evacuation buses. The father—Sergiy Perebyinis, learned about the tragedy, from photographs in news. A 26-year-old volunteer died as well while helping them carry a bag. Father gave an interview, which was published in The New York Times. In the year 2014, the Perebyinis family evacuated from Donetsk, which was occupied by Russian soldiers, and moved to the Kyiv region to start a new life..."



"Historian Jens-Kristian Wagner published on his Twitter a note about the death of 96-year-old Boris Romanchenko, who was a prisoner in fascist concentration camps and survived Buchenwald, Peenemünde, Mittelbau-Dora and Bergen-Belsen. But he didn't survive after being bomb-shelled by the Russian army. After the bombing of his apartment in Kharkiv, only his bones and ashes were found. In 2012, Boris Romanchenko read Buchenwald's oath 'to create a new world where peace and freedom reign' during the celebration of the anniversary of the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp."



"Anastasia Yalanskaya's life ended on the 10th day of the war - March 4 in Bucha. Nastya and her two friends were shot by occupiers right in a car while returning from the dog shelter, where food for dogs was brought."



"Train conductor Natalia Babicheva. For two weeks, her evacuation train rescued people from all over Ukraine. It came under fire when it was going to Lyman to pick up a group of children. Natalia died of shrapnel. She was 48 years old. Her daughter says she wants to be like her mother."



"Oleg Ivanov was pouring tea for everyone when a Russian missile hit Kramatorsk railway station. He was helping to evacuate 4,000 people, who wanted to flee the war that day. From the very beginning and before the war, he has been taking care of the inhabitants of his city: he insisted on repairing sirens and arranging bomb shelters. The Department of Civil Protection has lost an incredible man. He left behind his wife, 25-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son."



"Every living being is suffering from war. Animals in shelters and farms in occupied territories are massively dying from lack of food and water or after shelling. I watched a terrible video recorded in Borodyanka. Volunteers found only around 150 survived animals from 485."



"On April 5 the death of a four-year-old boy named Sasha was officially declared. Many people had joined to search for him. Sasha and his grandmother fled from the occupied Vyshhorod district. Their boat capsized, and grandmother and other people in it died. The child was in a life jacket, but he couldn’t be found for a long time. Three weeks later, the body was found."



"On April 7, in the village of Motyzhyn, Bucha district, Kyiv region, the village head Olha Sukhenko, her husband Ihor and their son Oleksandr, who were killed by the Russian military, were buried. Olha, her husband and son were found tortured to death by the Russian military. May their souls rest in peace..."



"Krasnobryzh Igor Vitaliyovych died defending his hometown Mariupol, where he was born and lived."



"On April 8 our friend Dasha died in a rocket attack on Kramatorsk railway station. Natalka Sosnitskaya, the founder of the free space 'Friends' at Kostiantynivka, where Dasha volunteered, said: 'She was always interested in everything, an open child. She always wanted to be a part of something big. She was kind and always-always smiled, and laughed a lot. And at the same time, she was quite shy, but brave.'"



"Alyona Kushnir - senior sergeant, medic, mother, Ukrainian… Died while rescuing and defending Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol."



"A dog stands next to the body of an elderly woman who was killed inside a house in Bucha. April 5, 2022."



"Khokhlenkov Bohdan Olexandrovych. He was wounded during the fighting with the occupiers in Mariupol, as a result of which he died. He has left his two-month-old daughter, Athena, and his wife, Marianne. The drawing was created at the request of Bogdan's wife."



"'On March 14, the Russians shot my brother and his two friends in the street because they saw them. My brother was 18 years old. They fired from BMP and assault rifles. For what? My brother had nothing in his hands. Now, after his death, I have only one wish: the end of the war and for me to bring food from McDonald's to my brother's grave. We talked with him about what will happen once the war is over, where we will go, and what we will do. He said: 'But first - we will go to McDonald's.' And now the first thing I will do after the war is to bring this food to my brother, but to his grave. He wanted it very much.' The picture was created at the request of the sister of the killed brother."



"The brave pilot Dmytro Chumachenko died near Zhytomyr, taking his plane from the village to the forest and saving many lives."



"I received this letter on April 11: 'Yesterday we received very sad news from Ukraine. A Georgian 21-year-old boy, Nika Shanava, died in Ukraine. He was fighting and his 19-year-old brother was with him. We Georgians will be grateful if you draw it. We will defeat evil. With regards, Tamari.'"



"Oleksandr Klymenko died heroically for the freedom and independence of Ukraine. April 11, 2022 Popasna, Luhansk region. Artillery shelling. Oleksandr used to make unique handmade items. He played the trumpet in the presidential orchestra. He also taught children in the orchestra 'Vodohray' in Vyshgorod. He left behind his 10-year-old son and wife."



"Before the war, Tanya and her husband were dog breeders in Bucha. A week after the war started, Tanya fell ill with pneumonia and died from lack of medical aid and being unable to call an ambulance. Maxim tried to distribute what food they had among 21 dogs, but unfortunately, five of them died. The remaining dogs need treatment. The dog in the picture was named Stallone."



"Bartosh Vitaliy Valeriovych is a senior lieutenant of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a good friend, the best son, a wonderful husband and just a good man. On March 6, 2022, on the day of his wedding anniversary, he was grievously wounded on the front line and died."



"We have Easter today. Ukraine and Russia are both Orthodox and have Easter today. But instead of greetings, Easter cakes and eggs, Russia sent 7 cruise missiles to Odesa. Some of them hit a house and killed a 3-month-old child, her mother and grandmother. Odesa, April 23, 2022."



"On February 28, 2022, as a result of the first shelling of city Sievierodonetsk, my colleague Oksana Yaremenko died - a zoo volunteer and just a good person. She always helped animals and people in any situation. She died going out to feed her сats."



"Under the rubble of the Kharkiv regional administration, near which the Russian missile exploded on March 3, a young Kharkiv resident Yulia Zdanovska died. This girl—a talented mathematician—was known around the world. 'We lost one of us. Yulia Zdanovska, a patriot of Ukraine, volunteer, winner of the European Mathematical Olympiad and teacher of computer science and mathematics. 21 years old... She was helping people till the end. Unfortunately, Yulia died from a shell that the Russian occupiers fired at the Kharkiv administration,' volunteers wrote on their website."



"'Be strong! You have to be strong,' he repeated to her every day, as though he felt something, as if he was preparing her for something... Andriy Romanov, a loving husband and father of three children, died heroically while performing a combat mission on Zhytomyr highway near the village of Zabuchchia, Kyiv region, on March 31, 2022. After this mission, he had to return home to his family. But he didn't make it home..."



"A couple, Bohdan and Mila, were killed in the shelling. They recently had a wedding and a week before their deaths, they received the news that they are expecting a baby. They passed away on April 23."



"Yesterday I heard the sad, touching and tragic story of our friends. Adele and her friends tried to leave Hostomel and were surrounded by these inhuman occupiers. She covered her little son and saved him. She managed to call her husband and say: 'They are shooting at us. I love you!' She was such a bright, good woman. Now she is a guardian angel... The child was returned to the family by good strangers. His father told him that his mother is now in heaven, protecting them wherever they are. Take care of yourself and your loved ones! Peace to all of us!"

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