RUTH'S BLOG
The images that stick with us forever

A desperate Ukrainian mother has written details of who to contact in the event of her death on her young daughter's back

08 Apr 2022
BY RUTH SMEETH

There are some images that touch your heart and make you want to weep. Images that become iconic for an event in history. The Tank Man in Tiananmen Square. Rosa Parks’ arrest picture. The picture of Alan Kurdi dead on the beach. The couple kissing on VE Day. Piles of shoes and suitcases at Auschwitz.

These images live in the public consciousness. And a new one joined their ranks this week.

On Monday evening I checked social media just before bed. There was a huge part of me that wished I hadn’t because an image on my feed made me cry.

I saw an image of a toddler in a nappy. Her mother had taken the heart-wrenching decision to write on her daughter’s back. The words give details of who to contact in the event that her parents were killed. Sasha Makoviy, a Ukrainian artist, watching the horror around her felt this was the best way to protect her daughter.

I really don’t have the words to express the horror or fear that that image speaks to.

Images stick with us forever. And the picture of an innocent toddler whose parents are preparing for their own deaths because of the actions of a tyrant will stay with me forever.

Index provides a voice for dissidents. Today we also provide a platform for that little girl and the horrors her family, and many others, are facing as I type.

We stand with Ukraine. We stand with democracy. We stand with peace.

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