Irpin is a Hero City of Ukraine located on the Irpin River in Bucha Raion, Kyiv Oblast (province) right next to Kyiv. Hero City of Ukraine is a Ukrainian honorary title awarded for outstanding heroism during the invasion. The Battle of Irpin was part of the Kyiv offensive, for control of the city of Irpin. The battle lasted from 27 February 2022 to 28 March 2022 and ended with Ukrainian forces recapturing the city. The battle was part of a larger tactic to encircle Kyiv. The battle was marked by fierce urban fighting.
During the invasion, heavy fighting took place in Bucha as part of the Kyiv offensive, resulting in severe Russian losses. The city was captured by Russian forces on 12 March. Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk announced the recapture of Bucha by Ukrainian forces on 31 March 2022. A few days after the recapture, on 2 April 2022, news reports and videos emerged showing streets in Bucha covered with the bodies of men dressed in civilian clothes. Some of those found had their hands tied. Among those killed were women and children. According to first estimations at least 280 bodies were found. There was also evidence that Russian soldiers had systematically tortured, mutilated and executed many Ukrainians in the basement of a summer camp. The event caused the Ukrainian government to call on the ICC to investigate whether or not Russia had committed war crimes. On April 7, the mayor of Bucha, Anatoliy Fedoruk, reported that almost 90% of the dead residents had bullet wounds, not shrapnel wounds.
During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Borodyanka was on the main axis of the russian advance on Kyiv launched on 24 February 2022 and it came under heavy Russian air strikes and artillery shelling early in the war. Invading forces blew up bridges and blockaded the area – leaving survivors to starve as supplies couldn’t reach the town. Russian soldiers looted shops and residences. By 30 March 2022, as the Russian forces — bogged down in a stalemate around Kyiv — withdrew to their launch point in Belarus, Borodyanka had been devastated, its residential blocks left in ruins and civilians trapped in rubble. On 5 April 2022, Ukrainian officials warned that casualties in the town were likely higher than those in nearby Bucha. Inhabitants reported that Russian troops were deliberately targeting them and blocking rescue efforts during their presence in the area. Some people were reported abducted, interrogated and taken to Belarus. The bombardments were at the beginning of March, so in April, those who were hiding in the buildings’ basements when they collapsed are dead. Excavation equipment is not readily available, leaving the death toll an early estimate of 200 to 400 people. A curfew was in place until April 7 for de-mining to take place. Volunteers were collecting bodies from accessible spaces. In November 2022, a number of murals appeared on the walls of damaged buildings in the town. The anonymous British street artist Banksy later posted images of one mural on social media.
The Battle of Brovary was a military engagement during the Kyiv offensive for control of the suburb of Brovary, to the east of the capital city. Invading forces advanced west from southern Chernihiv Oblast and were engaged by Ukrainian forces. Control of the suburb was contested until Russian forces withdrew on 2 April 2022.
On 24 February 2022, the first day of the full-scale invasion, the city was under siege by the Russian Armed Forces according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, in its first battle since the Second World War. On 10 March 2022, Mayor Vladyslav Atroshenko announced that the city had been completely encircled by Russian forces. On 5 April 2022 Governor of Chernihiv Oblast Vyacheslav Chaus stated that the Russian military has left Chernihiv Oblast, but that it had planted mines in many areas.
Slavutych is a city in northern Ukraine, purpose-built for the evacuated personnel of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant after the 1986 disaster. During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Slavutych became encircled and isolated by the Russian forces in the course of their Kyiv offensive in late February 2022. On 25 March 2022, following days of shelling, the Russian troops entered the city, seized a hospital and detained the mayor, while locals took to the streets to protest the occupation. Following the persistence of the protests when confronted with flashbang grenades and warning shots, the Russian forces agreed to leave Slavutych and release the mayor on the conditions that the Ukrainian military would not be present in the town and most weapons would be handed over to the mayor. While in Slavutych we will also visit the Museum of Chornobyl and have a tour of the city showcasing the different styles of architecture from all over the Soviet Union that were used here.
We will spend the day in Kyiv – walking through the city and listening to the stories of local people who will tell you what it was like during the war and showing you their own photos and videos. We will take the time to see a mixture of locations, all with their own history and story to tell.
Travel to/from Ukraine
Many people ask questions about how to get to/from Ukraine at the moment, our recommended route would be to fly to Poland (Krakow or Warsaw, but other cities also work) and then use Flixbus (or, if they have no availability, infobus.eu). AirBnB is popular in Ukraine, however the meeting point for the tour is Hotel Ukraine, they have simple but clean and cheap rooms – and also a bomb shelter under the hotel
- Comfortable transport during the tour
- Professional guide
- Travel to and from Ukraine