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Resilience Amidst Destruction: The Story of a Kitchen Shelf in Borodyanka, Ukraine

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Resilience Amidst Destruction: The Story of a Kitchen Shelf in Borodyanka, Ukraine

BORODIANKA, UKRAINE – APRIL 09: A kitchen shelf is on the wall of a destroyed apartment building on April 9, 2022, in Borodianka, Ukraine. The Russian retreat from towns near Kyiv has revealed scores of civilian deaths and the devastation of Russia’s attempt to seize the Ukrainian capital. (Photo by Alexey Furman/Getty Images)

Stories of hope and resilience can emerge from the ruins. One such remarkable story comes from the town of Borodyanka, located in the Kyiv district of Ukraine, which suffered heavy bombing and occupation by the Russian army in March 2022.

The consequences of the Russian invasion of the city were devastating. Following their withdrawal from the Kyiv region, Russian troops left behind a trail of destruction and despair. Homes were reduced to rubble, and the lives of the residents were shattered. Shocking footage from the town and the testimonies of eyewitnesses who survived the occupation provided evidence of the war crimes committed by the Russian army.

Amidst the ruins of Borodyanka’s houses, Ukrainian photographer Elizaveta Servatynska made a remarkable discovery. She noticed a lone kitchen shelf hanging on the wall of a destroyed section of an apartment building. It was truly unbelievable how this seemingly fragile piece of furniture managed to withstand the chaos. To add to the astonishment, a decorative clay sculpture of a rooster stood firmly on the shelf as if clinging to life with all its might. This resilient image mirrored the determination of the Borodyanka citizens during the hostilities and in the aftermath.

The photograph of the kitchen shelf adorned with delicate traditional Ukrainian pottery quickly spread through various media outlets and social networks. It soon became one of the symbols representing the strength and resilience of the Ukrainian people. Internet users left comments under the photo, encouraging one another to “be strong like this kitchen cabinet.”

Now, the kitchen shelf from Borodyanka is on the verge of being transformed into an exhibit at a museum. This initiative aims to preserve the memory of Borodyanka’s resilience and the wider Ukrainian experience during the war. By showcasing this symbolic artifact, the museum will stand as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the Ukrainian people.

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