Dima, a civilian from Kharkiv, drives past the Lysychansk oil refinery that was for the very first time hit by Russian artillery. “Firemen attempted to blus the fire—but without any luck. Not that it mattered: the oil refinery was targeted weekly when the Russian forces advanced further to the city,” says the photographer Daphne Wesdorp. “By mid-June, Ukrainian troops pulled back from the city shortly after Severodonetsk was taken. ‘We didn’t want Lysychansk to turn into a new Mariupol’, one soldier told me.”
Daphne Wesdorp is a Dutch photographer, videographer and writer focused on global crises and underreported conflict. She has been working all over Ukraine since the very beginning of the war, mainly documenting the civilian impact, broader Ukrainian resistance, and the variety of military units fighting against Russia. She spends most of her days in the East, working in Kharkiv and the Donbas.
Before working in Ukraine, Wesdorp was reporting from Iraq, Kurdistan, Greece, Palestine, and Kosovo. Her main fascination lies in global grassroots resistance and popular mobilisation.
Before pursuing her career in journalism, she briefly studied Fine Arts at Minerva Academy in Groningen. After this, she finished her bachelor of Cultural Anthropology in Utrecht. During her study, she specialised in Middle Eastern Studies and Conflict Studies.