Soviet Army soldiers of the Southwestern Front play with Ukrainian children in a small village prior to the Battle of Uman, shortly following Operation Barbarossa, the initial Axis invasion of the Soviet Union. At the outbreak of war with Germany, the Southwestern Front contained the Soviet 5th, 6th, 26th, and 12th Armies along the frontier. The 16th and 19th Armies were in reserve behind the forward forces. These forces took part in the tank battles in western Ukraine and were surrounded and destroyed at the Battle of Uman and the Battle of Kiev in August and September 1941. Cherkasy Oblast, Ukraine, Soviet Union. July 1941.