Be Brave for Your Mother


The Mirror’s front page on February 28 2022 contained one of the most eye-catching images from the war in Ukraine.

In the photograph by the Mirror’s Andy Stenning a young father makes an emotional farewell to his son at a station in Lviv. The image captured the personal sacrifice made by so many Ukrainians after their country was illegally invaded and brought home the emotional toll of conflict. As Stenning said: “War is not just bombs, bullets and numbers of dead but the devastating effect on ordinary lives torn apart by events beyond their control.” Covering the conflict for the Daily Mirror, Stenning had a tip off the thousands of Ukrainians were trying to leave Lviv ahead of the advancing Russian forces. Amid the chaos he was saw Ruslan Gladkiy saying goodbye to his son Hordeiy. Stenning immediately sensed this image encapsulated the anguish, fears and bravery of the Ukrainian people. It told the story of thousands of fathers and husbands who were separated from their partners and children as they stayed to defend their country. It was Stenning’s skill as a journalist to realise the importance of getting the details behind the picture. Through the help of complete stranger who spoke some English he obtained Ruslan’s contact details allowing his Mirror colleague Andy Lines to give the full story behind this defining image. The bold presentation and the simple headline "Be Brave for Your Mother" perfectly matched the quality of the photograph.