After a year of war, air raid sirens have sounded more than 15,000 times in Ukraine by El País
The unmistakable rising and falling pitch of air raid sirens, warning of danger and destruction, have sounded every day somewhere in Ukraine since February 24th, 2022. That is the best sentence to resume this work of the Visual Narratives team of El País, which decided to explain Ukrainian people’s situation after a year of war through its air strike alarms data.
The data used in this article had been collated by Ukrainian developer Vadym Klymenko and came from alarms sent by the єТривога app to users across Ukraine based on their location. At first, those alarms became something extraordinary and scary for civilians but, after months of conflict, Ukrainian population has become inured to warnings of imminent danger.
After the first visualization tries, we saw that data itself explained the whole story of war. At a first glance, we could see most tense days on some regions such as Kyiv, Donetsk, or Mykolaiv; specific attacks in Odessa and Kharkiv, or the silence in Lviv.
For this project we used Spreadsheets for downloading and processing raw data -provided by Vadym Klymenko- and R for data arrange and visualization. The final step was Illustrator for final annotations and artboard-creations. We combined data visualizations with videos and sound to try to transmit air strike alarm sensation, and how Ukranian people have been living live like this through more than a year now.