In cities like Lviv and Kramatorsk, worshippers gathered with willow branches and lit candles to mark the start of Holy Week for Ukraine’s estimated 30 million Orthodox Christians. The holy water was often mixed with tears.
In the town of Bucha, they observed Palm Sunday less than a month after a mass grave was discovered there, following the pullback of Russian forces from the Kyiv region.
Photographers captured striking images of church services throughout Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, now in its eighth week.
Russian forces are believed to be preparing to launch an all-out offensive in eastern Ukraine, and appear to be on the brink of taking control of Mariupol, though Ukrainian officials say it has yet to fall.
According to the United Nations human rights office, at least 2,072 civilian deaths have been confirmed in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began on Feb. 24, though the agency believes the actual death toll is likely much higher. More than 10 million Ukrainians have been displaced because of the violence, and more than 4 million of them have fled the country.
Those who have stayed behind continue to fight, and pray. Next Sunday, Ukraine’s Orthodox Christians will celebrate Easter.
What happened last week in Ukraine? Check out this explainer from Yahoo Immersive to find out.
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