Presentation of the photo album "Ballad of Bakhmut. Photos from the War"

Today, we presented a new photo album at the Museum titled "Ballad of Bakhmut: Photos from the War."

The event took place in a symbolic location for this project—the space of the exhibition "Steel Titans of Bakhmut." The curator, Iryna Kotsabiuk, came up with idea to create a photo album about the Battle of Bakhmut while working on a related exhibition project.

During the preparation of this exhibition, amid the fiercest fighting in the Bakhmut area, officers of the press and public relations services of 16 brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard, the Special Operations Forces, the Territorial Defense Forces, the State Border Guard Service, and the National Police of Ukraine from the Eastern Group of the Armed Forces sent several thousand eloquent photographs to the Museum. The photos were captured at various stages of the battle throughout the year. From among the submitted images, the exhibition curator and the publication’s compiler, Iryna Kotsabiuk, selected more than 300 documentary photographs that became the basis of the photo album "Ballad of Bakhmut. Photos from the War".

These images show the city still filled with residents and already deserted; defenders firing from its empty streets with traces of death and destruction, soldiers preparing for an offensive battle on the front line or enjoying the peace during the brief lull. The photo alum gathers these scenes into a single picture and tells a story of the fiercest battle of the 21st century.

The presentation began with a speech by Yurii Savchuk, Director General of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War. The Museum director emphasized that the Armed Forces of Ukraine defend our country, not only with arms but also in the information warfare, which resulted in this publication, The Museum is dedicated to preserving the memory of the Ukrainian people’s victory and is always searching for new opportunities to do so.

Serhiy Cherevatyi, Deputy Commander of the Khortytsia Operational and Strategic Army Group for Strategic Communications and spokesperson for the Eastern Group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, emphasized in his speech that over time, all the events of the russo-Ukrainian war will be rethought by current or future generations. Our joint publication will be one of those that will help to understand the strength and power of the defenders of Bakhmut.

At the end of the speech, the officer handed over a unique artifact to the Museum from the Commander of the Ground Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Syrskyi—a battle banner with the signature and the inscription "Glory to the Heroes of Bakhmut."

The press officers who provided photos for the publication were also invited to the presentation. Oleksandr Savchenko, at the time of the publication’s preparation a press officer of the 24th Mechanized Brigade named after King Danylo, was personally present at the event. Representatives of the 80th Separate Galician Air Assault Brigade and the 93rd Separate Mechanized Brigade "Kholodnyi Yar" recorded their video greetings from the combat zone.

Illia Yevlash, Acting Chief of Public Relations of the Ground Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, recalled when Iryna Kotsabiuk suggested creating a photo album. He and his colleagues immediately unanimously agreed to provide their photos. "Ballad of Bakhmut is about us; it is our DNA. We want the feat of the Ukrainian military to remain forever in our memory and hearts," the spokesman summarized.

During his speech, Ihor Stepurin, Acting Executive Director of the Ukrainian Association of Publishers and Booksellers, emphasized that he was delighted to be involved in creating such a significant publication in which the form corresponds to the content. The publisher also told the audience about the future of the printed copies. All of them will be distributed to libraries in Ukraine and abroad. The first books were delivered to Washington State and Berlin public libraries this week.

Some books will be transferred to the Yaroslav the Wise National Library of Ukraine. Its head, Oleh Serbin, was one of the honored guests of the presentation. Mr. Serbin promised that the book would reach a vast number of readers.

At the end of the official part of the event, Iryna Kotsabiuk, the compiler of the book "Ballad of Bakhmut. Photos from the War", head of the Museum’s scientific and exhibition department of the modern russo-Ukrainian war, also shared her memories of working on the book and thanked everyone involved in the project.

Notably, "Ballad of Bakhmut" won first place in the art competition "Book for Strengthening National Unity" and was published with the support of Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture and Information Policy.

We want to thank the Acting Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Rostyslav Karandieiev and the Ministry for their unwavering support of the project throughout its implementation.

Please wait for the publication to be available in your local library. When browsing through these emotional and eerie photos, remember the people who made it possible.