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Slovakian Easter for a Ukrainian Family

Photographer Ismail Ferdous spent Easter in Slovakia with a family from Kharkiv, on the first day of celebration since they had left their country.

Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia. As the church bells ring, the Shchupko family, from Kharkiv, starts preparing a restrained pic-nic in the house the Slovakian government provided for them. The family left Kharkiv after spending several days in a bunker, fled to Lviv on the first day it was bombed and then drove out of the country across the border. Ukrainians are Orthodox, they await their Easter on April 24th, but this is the first time they have a moment of release from the horrors of their recent past.

The family is hosted in a 400-year-old house, surrounded by a stunning Mediaeval town. Church songs and lit candles beat the time during the sunny day. The mood is positive, but it is hard for everyone to forget that in the same days in Kharkiv, their neighbors are being bombed.

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