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The Story Behind a Defining War Photo

The Daily

The New York Times

News, Daily News

4.597.8K Ratings

🗓️ 15 March 2022

⏱️ 23 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript

Summary

This episode details graphic scenes and contains strong language. The image shows four people lying on the ground — a woman, a man and two children who had been fleeing from a suburb of Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. The woman and her children had been killed by a mortar moments earlier. Around them are Ukrainian soldiers attempting to revive the man. The picture was taken by the photojournalist Lynsey Addario, alongside Andriy Dubchak, a Ukrainian videographer. When it was published by The Times, the image became a watershed, offering irrefutable evidence that Russia’s tactics in the war were killing civilians. Guest: Lynsey Addario, a photojournalist currently working in Ukraine.

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0:00.0

From New York Times, I'm Michael Obaro. This is a daily.

0:10.0

A shocking photo that provides a picture of what is going on with civilians inside Ukraine right now.

0:16.0

I want to warn you though, it is graphic and it is disturbing.

0:21.0

Last week, my colleague, photojournalist Lindsey Adario, took a photograph that immediately defined the new reality of the war in Ukraine.

0:32.0

Russia's president Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied his forces are targeting civilians, but on Sunday the world saw the truth for itself, with this horrifying picture of a family lying dead after trying it.

0:44.0

And offered irrefutable evidence that Russia's tactics are killing innocent civilians and potentially violating the rules of war.

0:54.0

As civilians snide under intense firing around the suburbs of Ukraine's capital, the White House says there are now quote strong indications, their words, Russia's Committee war crimes in Ukraine.

1:03.0

Today, I spoke with Lindsey about the photo and the story behind it.

1:18.0

It's Tuesday, March 15.

1:27.0

Lindsey, tell us about how it is that you came to take this photograph.

1:33.0

So as the war started, I was kind of just covering everything. Every day I was covering a lot of shelling, the exchange of fire between the Russians and the Ukrainians.

1:44.0

And I wanted to capture what was going on with civilians and particularly women and children.

1:49.0

To me, they pay the highest price in war and for me, that's where I like to focus my coverage. So I heard that people were fleeing from the sort of suburb of Kiev called Irpin.

2:02.0

It's a place where there was heavy fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces.

2:07.0

And I was seeing a lot of images of civilians fleeing across this broken bridge.

2:13.0

The bridge had been broken by Ukrainians intentionally to stop the Russians advance into Kiev.

2:19.0

So there was no way to drive across. And so there were these incredible scenes of elderly, the ill, women, children, all sort of climbing across this bridge.

2:31.0

And so the night before I took this photograph, I decided I wanted to go.

2:37.0

So I went the next morning at 730 with Andrii, who was my fixer, driver, videographer, a very well-known photographer in Ukraine.

2:47.0

And we headed out with a New York Times Security Advisor, Steve. And the three of us went to the bridge.

2:55.0

And as we approached, I assumed we would be covering a regular civilian evacuation, sort of a stream of civilians, much like I'd seen in those photographs.

3:06.0

And very quickly after we arrived, I heard a lot of small arms fire, a lot of artillery.

...

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