How Russian strikes destroy high-rise buildings

Entry type: Single project

Country/area: Ukraine

Publishing organisation: TEXTY.org.ua

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 2022-08-31

Language: English, Ukrainian

Authors: Nadia Kelm, Yevhenia Drozdova, Oleksii Nabozhniak


_Nadja Kelm_: designer at Texty.org.ua. Author of the course about design in data visualization for School of Infographic (Internews Ukraine), winner of the national competition The best book design 2019 (the Arsenal Book Festival).
_Yevhenia Drozdova_: data journalist at Texty.org.ua. Works with languages R, Python, JavaScript, specializes in creating interactive graphs and maps, in particular using d3.js, mapbox gl.js, leaflet.js, pixi.js libraries, scrollyteling projects.
_Oleksii Nabozhniak_: editor in Texty.org.ua, Kyiv, Ukraine. Communications expert, media trainer, thought leadership consultant, senior lecturer at Mohyla School of Journalism (“Economy for Journalists”), associated trainer at StopFake.org project.

Project description:

TEXTY decided to show 8 examples of how high-rise buildings are destroyed by Russian strikes, with comments from a civil engineer. There are examples of specific buildings to look at exactly how destruction occurs during shelling or fire, and which of them are or are not subject to restoration.
The project shows each destroyed building as a real photo and also as a constructive scheme with comments on important parts.

Impact reached:

Since the beginning of the large-scale invasion of Russia on February 24 and the related hostilities in Ukraine, almost 121 thousand residential buildings, in which about a million families lived, have already been damaged and destroyed.
The numbers are terrible. Some of the buildings are completely destroyed and can only be demolished. Others have suffered partial damage and can be rebuilt.
Why is there such a significant difference between the destructions? This question is important. And not only for those who are thinking about the future housing, but also for those who will build these housings.
We spoke with the design engineer Dmytro Makagon. He explains why in some cases the houses were built like “card locks” and what is the “core of rigidity” in the construction of modern residential buildings.

The most powerfull thing of our project is unique illustration. We draw constructive schemes for 8 types of buildings and merge it with the images of damaged one.
The visualization is terrifying and beautiful at the same time

Techniques/technologies used:

We closely worked with design engineer to make a project: used Adoe Illustrator to draw a constructive schemes of the buildings with a focus on constructive elements damaged by Russian strikes.

For layout of scrolly-telling elements we used scrollama.js.

Context about the project:

It was quite difficult project on emotion level. Some of the destroyed buildings being well-known for our authors.
Another story is about the future. In case of sampled destroyed buildings from Kyiv, Irpin, Chernihiv or Odesa our project gives a hope to rebuild or reconstruction, but it looks different in case of sample building from Mariupol.When we published the project, Mariupol was under occupation and already half-destroyed as a city, with thousands deaths under ruins. It means hundreds of buildings, one presented in our project, have to be rebuild. If there is someone to rebuild them for…

What can other journalists learn from this project?

We engaged an expert with whom we drew the schemes of the houses and jumped into the details. This approach is quite time-consuming, but as a result we created unique visual illustrations. Such cooperation with a specialist paid off, as we received many positive feedback from readers.

Project links: