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. is the founding editor of Coffee or Die Magazine. 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
Dear Jack: I'm Retiring From The Military — Help!

In this installment of “Dear Jack,” Marine veteran Jack Mandaville helps a career service member figure out life after retirement.

March 31, 2023Jack Mandaville
navy chaplains suicide prevention
US Navy Deploys More Chaplains For Suicide Prevention

Growing mental health distress in the ranks carries such grave implications that the U.S. chief of n...

March 31, 2023Associated Press
ukraine lessons learned
Opinion & Essay
Nolan Peterson: Lessons From Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

After living in and reporting from Ukraine the last nine years, conflict journalist Nolan Peterson h...

March 30, 2023Nolan Peterson
black hawk crash kentucky
9 Killed In Army Black Hawk Helicopter Crash In Kentucky

Nondice Thurman, a spokesperson for Fort Campbell, said Thursday morning that the deaths happened the previous night in southwestern Kentucky during a routine training mission.

March 30, 2023Associated Press
richard stayskal act military medical malpractice
DOD Denies Most Stayskal Act Malpractice Claims

Master Sgt. Richard Stayskal was diagnosed with lung cancer long after military doctors missed a tum...

March 29, 2023Maggie BenZvi
ukrainian wounded soldiers
‘On Tour In Hell’: Wounded Ukrainian Soldiers Evacuated

With bandaged heads and splinted limbs, the wounded soldiers are stretchered into the waiting medica...

March 27, 2023Associated Press
US oil mission
US Launches Airstrikes in Syria After Drone Kills US Worker

While it’s not the first time the U.S. and Iran have traded airstrikes in Syria, the attack and the ...

March 24, 2023Associated Press
The Gift jason dunham
‘The Gift’ Explores the Life and Legacy of Medal of Honor Recipient Jason Dunham

"The Gift" tells the story of the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor after the Vietnam War. ...

March 24, 2023Mac Caltrider
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved