Ukrainian children use art to detail the trauma of war: ‘They don’t know what’s going on’

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When the Russian invasion of Ukraine forced the Bykovitz family to flee Kyiv in February, 6-year-old Sonya took the toys she could carry. What she left behind, she remembers through drawings: on one piece of paper is a colored photograph of her cat.

The United Nations reports that 90% of the approximately 5 million people who have fled Ukraine are women and children.

To help Sonya deal with the trauma, her parents post her artwork on the internet and created the site, UA Kids. They also collect drawings from other Ukrainian children and publish them on the Internet.

“We know that kids want to be recognized…to feel loved [they are] They are not alone but part of a larger community,” Artem and Anastasia Bekovits told CBS News correspondent Roxana Sabry.

The drawings come from kids ages 5 and up. Each child uses a picture to tell a story. Some of the pictures show soldiers, bombs and death.

“It might be hard for them to talk about it,” Artem said. “They don’t know what’s going on.”

Artem and Nastya left their home but decided to stay in Ukraine in search of safety in different cities. They said they believe that encouraging children to draw can also help parents like them.

“Sending them to sit somewhere and turn on their imagination and put it on paper also gives parents a chance to recharge the battery,” Artem said.

“We hope that people who see these photos will feel sympathy to support children and support Ukraine,” Anastasia said.

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