A friend of mine recently posted an article discussing the conflict in Ukraine, and the article included a photo that really struck me. This photo is a panorama of Kiev's Independence Square. It shows half of the Square as it looked before the conflict erupted, and half of the Square as it currently looks, taken during the violence.
Of course, I was somewhat aware of the issues occurring in Ukraine before seeing this photo. I'd heard all about the various conflicts occurring between political figures, countries, citizens, etc. on the news and on the radio (if you're not up to date on what's going on in Ukraine, check out this CNN article). But somehow, the gravity of the situation and its actual effects on the country, its landscape and its people did not hit me until I saw this photo. It's easy to hear about a conflict and only hear the big details regarding what's happening between governments. It's also easy to hear the numbers of people being killed daily and to instantly forget about it; in a way, we have become desensitized to death and its numbers.
But this photo directly shows the effects that the violence and conflict have had on Ukraine. A clean and shiny Independence Square was torn down and turned into a dark and explosive battleground. I can't help but imagine the people that used to leisurely wander around this Square with family and friends. I wonder what has happened to those people, or to their family and friends, and how this explosive violence has affected them. This photo opened my eyes to the reality of the conflict in Ukraine. An image can demonstrate a conflict in ways that words in radio and news stories cannot.
If you're interested in viewing some more striking images of the conflict in Ukraine, click this link.