Kateryna Kovalska visits the grave of her late husband Volodymyr Kovalsky, a Ukrainian military veteran who lost both legs below the knee in combat in 2016. At that time, she was pregnant and about to give birth.
Originally from Kherson region in southern Ukraine, they moved to Kyiv to study at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute where they met. They lived in Bucha with their 5-year-old son when Russia launched its full-scale war in February 2022.
Volodymyr, who had a successful business repairing vehicle engines, went to fight the Russian invasion on two prosthetic legs. He was killed in combat the first week of the war while giving cover to other soldiers not far from his picturesque suburban home.
Kateryna and Volodymyr amicably separated a few months before Russia’s full-scale invasion. She believes the stress of him being a wounded combat veteran played a significant role, as the two of them grew apart after he was wounded.
Kateryna and her son barely escaped the occupation and cruelty that Russian soldiers wrought upon to their hometown. Bucha, Ukraine, July 28, 2022