'I want to go back to our normal life': Ukrainians face horror of 6 months of war

As the Russia-Ukraine war grinds on with neither side gaining on the other, Ukrainians brace themselves for a long, dark winter. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: ST
A woman walks past a house burning after being shelled in the city of Irpin, outside Kyiv, on March 4, 2022. PHOTO: AFP
Helena, a 53-year-old teacher stands outside a hospital after the bombing of the eastern Ukraine town of Chuguiv, on Feb 24, 2022. PHOTO: AFP
Residents walk past destroyed Russian military machinery on the street, in Bucha, Ukraine, on April 6, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Women look out from inside an evacuation train at the station in Irpin, Ukraine, on March 4, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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It is still summer in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, and flowers are in bloom, but an outing to the park is not the same anymore for Kira Meshcherska and her step-sister Daria Tkachenko.

The 13-year-olds live with the constant fear that a bomb could shatter their lives at any time. Before the war, both were regular teenagers who hung out with their friends at the local mall or cafe. All that has changed since Russia attacked Ukraine six months ago. Every missile strike is a fresh reminder that life is fragile and no one is safe.

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