Aussie photographer Bryce Wilson’s shocking pics from Ukraine


In the sixth months since Vladimir Putin launched Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, Australian freelance photo journalist Bryce Wilson has snapped mass discruction, critical injury, some of over 6.6 million displaced Ukrainian refugees and confronting fatal incidents.

The Aussie photographer and volunteer, who is currently reporting from Dnipro, Central Ukraine has revealed the most confronting sights he has witnessed in a powerful interview.

He told news.com.au’s podcast, I’ve Got News For You, that while moving around the war-stricken country, he observed life in major cities including Kyiv, Odesa and Lviv returning back to a “somewhat normal” state, despite being only 30 to 40 kilometres from the frontline as fighting continues.

“The signs of the war are definitely still there, lots of people still haven’t returned to Ukraine, or some of these major capital cities, but public transport is running, stores are open,” he said.

“When you’re at the actual edge where the fighting is going on, any of the towns are essentially entirely destroyed and then you can drive 40 minutes away and you can go on order a pizza in some places.”

The photographer said he continued to remain in Ukraine following the first Russian invasion in 2014, despite having two of his colleagues shot and describes the moment conflict broke out again in 2022 as Russia declared war.

“It was confronting but more because in seven years, I guess of observing and reporting on the events here, no weapons like that were ever used,” he told Andew Bucklow on I’ve Got News For You.

“Now I’ve seen all sorts of weapons used like cluster munitions, heavy artillery fighter jet helicopters, tanks are used regularly, but it’s a completely different war and it was just very confronting to see something like that, especially flying over the middle of an entirely civilian city, on the main street where the risk of killing civilians was incredibly high.”

The photo journalist said one of the most shocking series of events he had witnessed was only a few days ago in the “destroyed” town of Soledar, where dozens of civilians had been killed.

“I was talking with one man and I saw a grave in the front yard of his apartment and I said to him, when was it and he said, “oh, that’s my brother, he was killed in a shelling struck” and he just been buried in the front yard of his brother’s apartment,” Mr Wilson said.

He also recalls meeting a Soledar man who had shrapnel in his arm and eye, blinding him.

“His eye was weeping and getting infected and starting to rot … I was trying to encourage him to leave, we’re telling him, if you don’t go to hospital, you’re gonna get an infection, and you’re gonna die here, you will lose your arm, you’ve already lost your eye and he just didn’t, he didn’t want to leave,” recalls Wilson.

“He was saying “no, I’m not going to go to hospital, I want to stay here, this is my home, and I was born here, and I will die here”.”

The reporter said he was most confronted by the impacts of the invasion on residents continuing to live in Ukraine with no water, electricity, safe housing and gas.

“That’s what really impacts you and stays with you. It’s not the horrors of war, so to speak, on the bodies and limbs and chaos. It’s like the impact on people who are living, and especially on children,” he told I’ve Got News For You.

Bryce also recounted the “close call” he had while delivering humanitarian aid to civilians.

“I heard rockets coming in on top of us, and we had a couple of seconds to respond and run into a building,” he said.

“Within a couple of seconds of getting into the apartment building to take cover, te whole area outside was just being hit with rockets called grads, which is the Russian translation for hail … there was just shrapnel and it was exploding and really believe if we would have been out there we would have been killed.”

Anthony Albanese visited Kyiv in July, with Mr Wilson saying he was “proud” and “impressed” to see the Prime Minister supporting Ukraine.

“I could tell he was very impacted and shocked by what he was seeing, as well as when he visited the satellite suburbs where the Russian military had conducted heinous war crimes like executing civilians, raping women, looting, pillaging, destroying massive amounts of that area,” Bryce said.

The reporter said he believes the war will continue for months.

“I think there will be a mass scale humanitarian crisis in the east of the country where I’ve been working a lot. There’ll be no heating out there. Many people are living in basements in areas that have been showered, they don’t want to leave. There’s no water supply. Come winter, I think these people are going to struggle. I think the wall will go on for many more months. I don’t want to see happen,” he said.

“The war is going on every day and Ukrainian soldiers are being killed. Ukrainian civilians have been killed as a result of the Russian invasion and that just keeps continuing.

“I just don’t want that to get locked into this perpetual war that goes on for years and years and just continues to slow down Ukraine’s development and growth.”



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