Both were in need of an embrace, the 12-year-old boy standing in the debris that was once his home. And the matted cat that wandered into the rubble. The child picked up the animal and they clutched one another amid the death and destruction of Chernihiv, a northern Ukrainian city besieged by Russian forces.
Shells and bombs that rained down on the city for weeks have reduced its buildings and neighborhoods to rubble. An elderly woman collects wooden planks in a street now gutted of homes. One explosion left an enormous crater in the ground alongside decimated homes that appears dozens of feet deep.
As more world leaders Wednesday demanded accountability for war crimes carried out by Russian forces, men in protective gear exhumed bodies of civilians in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv.
Family and friends wept and comforted one another as they mourned the death of Anatoliy Kolesnikov, 30, outside a morgue in Bucha. He was killed by Russian soldiers in his car trying to evacuate from Irpin.
Still, children in Bucha found a place to play. Their cheeks rosy from the chill, they rode bikes, they kicked a ball and they smiled.
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