“It’s worth reminding adults – the whole world – that children see all this, live it, feel it. And unlike us, they can’t make decisions,” said Olena Sotnyk, Ukrainian politician and adviser of the Prime Minister. as well as one of the organizers of the exhibition.
“They expect adults and the world to act to stop the war.”
The exhibit, titled “Children. War. Future,” opened to reporters on Friday at a central metro station in Kyiv, which has been closed since the Russian invasion began on Feb. 24.
The Maidan independence shutdown instead functioned as a bomb shelter under the site of massive pro-democracy protests in 2014 that toppled Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin leader.
Paintings by Ukrainian children across the country depict horrors in places like Mariupol – a city brutally besieged and shelled by Russian forces – and Bucha, one of the first towns where civilians were found mass murdered.
Others are optimistic: a smiling soldier fastens a helmet, a woman wears a crown of blue and yellow flowers with a dove surrounded by multicolored flowers.
But the captions are unambiguous: “No to war”, “I don’t want to die”.
“What these children feel is fear of war, anxiety. But on the other hand, there is faith, hope, support, understanding that there will be bright days. in the future,” said Danylo Tsvyok, who also helped direct the collection.
Sotnyk said there are plans to create a digital exhibit of several thousand images of children reflecting on the conflict.
Ukraine’s prosecutor general says at least 347 children have been killed and 646 injured since the start of the Russian invasion.