Military

DISPATCH: 109 Empty Baby Carriages Become a Memorial to Lost Children in Lviv

March 19, 2022Marty Skovlund Jr.
baby carriages

A memorial of 109 empty baby carriages in Rynok Square in Lviv. There’s one each for every child known to have died in the war. Photo by Marty Skovlund Jr./Coffee Or Die Magazine.

LVIV, Ukraine — Arranged in a neat formation of straight lines, 109 empty baby carriages sit in Lviv’s Rynok Square, one each for the 109 children across Ukraine known to have died under the brutal Russian siege. Long-range missiles have begun to strike at Lviv in recent days, but the impromptu display is a memorial by the residents of this still mostly peaceful city for their fellow countrymen to the east, where even children have been unable to flee.


The empty carriages are roped off and sit in the shadow of statues that are covered in plywood to protect them from blast damage. The baby carriages are only a stone’s throw from a church where, just five days earlier, locals buried four of the 35 soldiers killed during the missile strike at Yavoriv.


On a recent afternoon, children skated on an ice rink in the square, just behind the carriages.


Off to one side, an entertainer blew large bubbles for another group of children.


ukraine baby carriages
Children play and life goes on in Lviv, Ukraine, but the memorial of empty carriages reminds those who pass by that war is drawing nearer. Photo by Joshua Skovlund/Coffee or Die Magazine.

Journalists with their cameras shuffle around, taking photos and talking on camera, trying to remain calm against the emotion elicited by the carriages.


Despite the war moving toward Lviv with the recent missile attacks, people continue living their lives here. Kids play, parents work, restaurants are open, traffic is thick.


And soldiers patrol.


Still, the military and police presence in Lviv has increased by the day. Some might call it paranoia, while others call it vigilance in the face of a violent war rife with Russian saboteurs and spies. The roving patrols can and do stop to ask people for their documents. This reporter has, on multiple occasions, had to prove American citizenship and have press credentials validated.


Lviv is safe. But the carriages stand as an homage to and a dire warning of how quickly that can change.


Read Next: Recalling Nazi Father’s Service, Schwarzenegger Pleads to Russians: Don’t Fight ‘Illegal War’



Marty Skovlund Jr.
Marty Skovlund Jr.

Marty Skovlund Jr. was the executive editor of Coffee or Die. As a journalist, Marty has covered the Standing Rock protest in North Dakota, embedded with American special operation forces in Afghanistan, and broken stories about the first females to make it through infantry training and Ranger selection. He has also published two books, appeared as a co-host on History Channel’s JFK Declassified, and produced multiple award-winning independent films.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Grizzly Forge BRCC shirt
Limited Edition: Grizzly Forge Blades on an Awesome BRCC Shirt

Lucas O'Hara of Grizzly Forge has teamed up with BRCC for a badass, exclusive Shirt Club T-shirt design featuring his most popular knife and tiomahawk.

BRCC Limited Edition Josh Raulerson Blackbeard Skull Shirt
From Naval Service to Creative Canvas: BRCC Veteran Artist Josh Raulerson

Coffee or Die sits down with one of the graphic designers behind Black Rifle Coffee's signature look and vibe.

Medal of Honor is held up.
Biden Will Award Medal of Honor to Army Helicopter Pilot Who Rescued Soldiers in Vietnam Firefight

Biden will award the Medal of Honor to a Vietnam War Army helicopter pilot who risked his life to save a reconnaissance team from almost certain death.

dear jack mandaville
Dear Jack: Which Historic Battle Would You Want To Witness?

Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.

west point time capsule
West Point Time Capsule Yields Centuries-Old Coins

A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.

Ouija Board aircraft carrier
Low-Tech ‘Ouija Boards’ Have Helped Aircraft Carriers Operate for Decades

Since the 1920s, a low-tech tabletop replica of an aircraft carrier’s flight deck has been an essential tool in coordinating air operations.

Army vs. Navy mascot
The Navy Goat vs. the Army Mule: Mascot Origin Stories

For nearly as long as the Army-Navy football rivalry, the academies’ hoofed mascots have stared each other down from the sidelines. Here are their stories.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
Contact Us
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved