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Mariupol residents displaced to Lviv, seek refuge in Poland and elsewhere (photos)


This Is Reno photographer and video journalist Ty O’Neil, whose passion lies with documenting conflict zones, traveled to Europe to document the war in Ukraine and its impacts. This Is Reno will continue to follow Ty’s efforts in Ukraine as he is able to send them.

LVIV, Ukraine – The war in Ukraine has again brought me to the rail station in Lviv to meet an arriving train filled with displaced people from the besieged coastal city of Mariupol.

Mariupol, a nearly 24-hour long train ride from Lviv, is one of the hardest hit cities in Russia’s ongoing campaign of violence and destruction. Over the past several weeks, multiple safe passages set up to evacuate civilians from the town fell under fire from Russian bombardment trapping people within the city.

Thousands of Mariupol residents have now been able to escape on these trains.

The train was early as it pulled into the station, where some people had gathered to welcome its arrival. A man ran through the crowd with flowers in hand having recognized someone in the bustle of unloading passengers.

Two large groups of men disembarked and were put in marching lines by men in full military attire. The groups then departed the station in the opposite direction from the remaining passengers. I was not able to catch up with them to confirm what was happening.

It is impossible to know the mental state of those arriving from Mariupol – and I won’t guess –  but the mood seemed a mixture of relief and exhaustion. Many traveling with pets and children sat on the platform waiting for much of the foot traffic to fade before venturing into the station itself.

Some of the travelers continued via train toward Poland, but the biggest group, from my perspective, transferred to buses heading elsewhere within Ukraine.

Mariupol continues to be a central focus in the war and Lviv will likely see more trains bringing the coastal city’s residents to its relative safety.

Ty O'Neil
Ty O'Neil
Ty O’Neil is a lifelong student of anthropology with two degrees in the arts. He is far more at home in the tear gas filled streets of war torn countries than he is relaxing at home. He has found a place at This Is Reno as a photojournalist. He hopes to someday be a conflict photojournalist covering wars and natural disasters abroad.