♪ tonight, six months since the invasion of ukraine, the haunting images. >> like real life was suspended here the day the shells landed. and everyone left. >> our ian pannell inside the devastated city of kharkiv. the people still there standing strong. their blunt message for putin. >> i would tell him that whatever you want, whatever you need, you'll never take this city, 100%. plus feeding the hungry in the midst of war. celebrity chef jose andreas and the world's central kitchen volunteers. >> we are a very simple machine,
it's independence day in ukraine. but celebrations are muted. six months ago, as you know, russian president vladimir putin ordered his troops to invade the country. the war has cost thousands of lives, forcing millions from their homes. but what putin didn't account for, the heart and resilience of the ukrainian people. here's abc's chief foreign correspondent ian pannell in ukraine. >> reporter: it is a city of ghosts. silent specters. who walk these streets, pass through these walls, whispering. the memories of a time before, and the echoes of the people who once called this city home. for the past six months, the people of kharkiv have lived in a waking nightmare.
less than 20 miles from the russian border, it was one of the first targets of vladimir putin's frontline attack on ukraine. 2 million ukrainians lived here. the second-largest city in the entire country. from the very first seconds russia started this war, they've seen some of the fiercest fighting, forming a resistance putin never expected. fending off the russian onslaught every day. despite wave after wave after wave of nearly daily devastation. in its wake, parts of this major european city, now devastated. thousands dead. hundreds of thousands fleeing for their lives. a world turned upside down. wartorn and largely abandoned. parts of the city gutted and
lifeless. but some brave and some lost souls remain. kharkiv is one of the most consistently bombed cities across ukraine. almost every single day for the last six months, russia has pummeled this place. and overwhelmingly, it hasn't been military targets it's hit but places like this. people's homes, people's lives, reduced to charred ruins. this hasn't been a campaign against ukrainian military and government, it's been a campaign of terror against the ukrainian people. the residents who remain now live among the debris and the ruins. tell me about the happy times here. here in saltika, on the
outskirts of kharkiv, amid rows and rows of old soviet apartment buildings, yuri and halyna are trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. their apartment thick with soot and ash. the shelling leaving behind only fragments of what existed before the war. do you feel angry about what's happened here, what's happened to your other home? or just sad? because of everything that you've lost?
>> reporter: the trauma of seeing their beloved city laid low by russia's ruthless onslaught still raw. >> reporter: yuri takes me to his mother's home, a highrise building, its roof blown off by a rocket. the apartment's completely gutted. you can see all the debris has come out of the bottom. impossible to save this building. so many homes. so many lives. yet again, just needlessly
destroyed. for what? my god. each abandoned room is pregnant with the memories of what once was. almost like the real life was suspended here. the day the shells landed. and everyone left. look at the photos there. think of the happy lives that used to exist here. you wonder, where are they now? did they get out?
all the residents of kharkiv have had to learn how to survive. >> let's go one floor more. >> reporter: when you see this, every single day -- it's a struggle. >> emotional. >> reporter: roman isn't a soldier. as a firefighter, he still needs to battle. witness to russia's campaign of terror. that's aren't military sites, they're schools, homes, businesses, reduced to rubble by russian artillery. there are no weapons here, just some machinery and printing. and the embers still smolder. every call is potentially harrowing. a constant fight to save the lives of his neighbors, his friends, his countrymen. >> your heart starts beating faster. when you knowed from dispatch that some kid or some living
person in the place where you are going, more adrenaline. we know that almost each fire right now after the shelling, after the missiles, it will be huge. >> reporter: even in the face of the atrocity, roman, like many here in kharkiv, is unbowed, up broken, and unwilling to give another inch to vladimir putin without a fight. >> i would tell him, whatever you want, whatever you need, you will never take this city. 100%. if you make a blitzkrieg again and do something stupid and control something, just people will leave or just kick your ass again. >> reporter: in the more than three decades valentina's lived here, times have never been so bad. each night she braces for the rockets she knows will come, hoping it won't be her last. but the fear, she can't escape.
her city and her home in pieces. valentina's still unable to leave. she has no money, and her son's ill. so she does what she can to survive. every ukrainian now has the same struggle inside. the desire to escape the war, to save yourself and your family. but also the desire to stay, protect, and rebuild their country. the shelling doesn't worry you? >> no. >> reporter: yuri is an architect. he knows this conflict all too well. he designed many of kharkiv's
buildings, including one that housed the largest and oldest technical university in eastern ukraine. now completely destroyed. he mourns what remains of his life's work. as an architect, why does this matter so much? it must break your heart when you see this. >> reporter: but in that sadness, a glimmer of hope that
rebuilding kharkiv is possible. no matter how long it takes. up next, ian continues his journey in ukraine, showing how chef jose andreas and the world's central kitchen are feeding the hungry amid death, destruction, bombs, and bullets. woman tc: my a1c stayed here, it needed to be here. doctor tc: ruby's a1c is down with rybelsus®. man tc: my a1c wasn't at goal, now i'm down with rybelsus®. son tc: mom's a1c is down with rybelsus®. song: a1c down with rybelsus® anncr vo: in a clinical study, once-daily rybelsus® significantly lowered a1c better than the leading branded pill. anncr vo: rybelsus® isn't for people with type 1 diabetes. anncr vo: don't take rybelsus® if you or your family ever had medullary thyroid cancer, or have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if allergic to it. anncr vo: stop rybelsus® and get medical help right away if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, severe stomach pain, or an allergic reaction. anncr vo: serious side effects may include pancreatitis. gallbladder problems may occur.
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ukraine's been called the bread basket of europe, one of the largest export countries for products like wheat, corn, and barley. along with russia, the two countries produce one-quarter of the world's wheat, crucial food for millions of people around the world. but russia's war has created a global food crisis. millions on the verge of starvation, supply shock, food unable to reach markets, prices surging. the ukrainians, who now must live with the threat of bombs and bullets, the last six months have also brought other threats and hardships. millions have fled, so many can't or won't. for seem here, every day is a struggle to survive. in the ruins of places like
saltivkaren, some places don't have electricity. no heating, no food, no gas. food has become a scarce commodity. but throughout this conflict, even under the threat of a hostile power, the grit and grace of volunteers continues to shine a light through the darkness. >> very simple machine, but sophisticated. and here is all the people doing this. >> reporter: world central kitchens, just one of these groups. but their generosity felt across the country. founded by chef jose andreas, they've been on the front lines of this war since the beginning. >> we came within hours of this war beginning. and quite frankly, we are going to stay here for the long run. >> reporter: critical aid for so many here struggling in the wake of constant catastrophic russian attacks. and those who bring relief are also sometimes victims. russian missiles targeting a
food distribution train used by world central kitchen in june. despite the ricks and the losses, they're undeterred. what you're watching here is a lifeline for millions of people around this country. the people that work in this kitchen are effectively miracle workers, churning out meal after meal after meal to many people who have lost the ability to look after themselves and feed themselves. this kitchen is salvation for so many in kharkiv, started by a small band of volunteers under the name "450." code for the ukrainian military meaning "everything is fine on the front line." now with the backing of the world central kitchen, it's working around the clock making 12,000 meals every day. >> reporter: still, the small but mighty team of food fighters soldiers on.
just last month, the world central kitchen teams across ukraine hit a major milestone, serving its 100 millionth meal since it began its response to the russian invasion. dishes are packed up, waiting to be delivered to the residents of neighborhoods like saltivka. it's not much, but in times like these, a warm meal brings a brief comfort. a chance for the residents of this dwindling community to come together. a moment of relief in what sometimes feels like a nev never-ending sea of suffering. >> kharkiv has been bombed since the start of the war. the work that you do is highly dangerous.
why did you stay behind? why do you come to these dangerous areas every day? >> reporter: this is a story of suffering, yes. but also, incredible resilience. a small light of hope that shines against the darkness of putin's war. it may just be a meal, but for these people who have known the horrors of the last six months, horrors of the last six months, it makes all the difference. ail, starting with your digestive system. metamucil's plant-based fiber forms a gel to trap and remove the waste that weighs you down, helps lower cholesterol
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♪ more than a century ago, american general william sherman wrote "war is hell. i'm tired and sick of war. its glory is all moonshine. it's only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wound hot cry out for blood, for vengeance. the desolation. war is hell." these are the faces of russia's hell in ukraine. they will tell you, they say it with their eyes, with their hearts, with the pain in their smiles. that for six months, they've lived through hell. they've walked through its embers. a war of putin's choosing that they must suffer. and yet they continue to fight.