Photos: Inside the Russian invasion of Ukraine

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Stringer/REUTERS


Developments in the Russian invasion of Ukraine seem to evolve by the hour. After months of failed diplomacy, weapons build-ups and saber-rattling by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia launched an attack on its western neighbor on February 24. Since then, much of the world has watched — and lent support in the form of condemnations, ammunition and sanctions — as Ukrainians have resisted with everything they have.

Here’s a look at the ongoing fighting in Ukraine, as well as a snapshot of what life is like for Ukrainians fleeing the violence.

Here, a local resident prepares Molotov cocktails to defend the city of Uzhhorod, after Russia launched a massive military operation in that city, February 27, 2022.

Warning: Some photos in this gallery depict slain fighters and other images that may be disturbing.

Among the ruins

A residential building is damaged, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Kyiv

Umit Bektas/REUTERS


A child sits on a swing in front of a damaged residential building on February 25 after Russia launched a military operation against Kyiv, Ukraine.

On February 28, both had agreed to hold talks in the neighboring Russian ally state of Belarus.

A missile on the street

A militant of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic inspects the remains of a missile that landed on a street in Donetsk

Alexander Ermochenko / REUTERS


A militant of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic inspects the remains of a missile that landed on a street, in this photo taken February 26, 2022.

Donetsk is part of an eastern region controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

A toy in rubble

Russia Attacks Ukraine

Anastasia Vlasova / Getty Images


A child’s doll lies in rubble near a Kyiv apartment block. The complex was struck by a missile on February 26, 2022, on the second night of Russia’s invasion.

The invasion already has killed scores of people and prompted widespread condemnation from U.S. and European leaders.

Fighting a fire

Firefighters extinguish fire in an apartment building damaged by recent shelling in Kyiv

Gleb Garanich / REUTERS


Firefighters extinguish a blaze in an apartment building damaged by recent shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The date: February 26, 2022.

Pass the ammunition

A Ukrainian serviceman holds a rocket-propelled grenade launcher at fighting positions outside Kharkiv

Maksim Levin / REUTERS


A Ukrainian serviceman holds a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher at a fighting position outside the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine, February 24, 2022.

Russian forces invading Ukraine faced more initial resistance than the U.S. believes Russia anticipated, a senior defense official has said.

New life underground

A woman holds her newborn baby as they take shelter in the basement of a perinatal centre in Kharkiv

Stringer/REUTERS


A woman holds her newborn baby as they take shelter in the basement of a perinatal center in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

The date: February 28, 2022.

Inside a supermarket

A member of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces stands inside a supermarket in Bucha

Maksim Levin / REUTERS


A member of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces stands inside a supermarket as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues.

The photo was taken in the town of Bucha in the Kyiv region, Ukraine, February 28, 2022.

In the tank

A serviceman of pro-Russian militia is seen inside a tank in the Luhansk region

Alexander Ermochenko / REUTERS


A serviceman of a pro-Russian militia is seen inside a tank of armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic.

The photo was taken on a road in the Luhansk region, Ukraine, February 27, 2022.

Makeshift barricade

Russia Attacks Ukraine

Anastasia Vlasova / Getty Images


A view of a makeshift barricade on February 28, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

Many Ukraine residents have been fighting the invasion with whatever they have on hand.

In flight

People flee from Ukraine to Romania at the border crossing in Siret

Stoyan Nenov / REUTERS


A boy looks behind a curtain of a bus  fleeing from Ukraine to Romania, after Russia launched its military operation against Ukraine. 

This photo was taken near a border crossing in Siret, Romania, February 27, 2022.

After a strike

People remove debris at the site of a military base building that, according to the Ukrainian ground forces, was destroyed by an air strike, in the Sumy region

Irina Rybakova/Press service of the Ukrainian ground forces


People remove debris at the site of a military base building that, according to Ukrainian ground forces, was destroyed by an air strike. 

This photo was supplied to the media in the town of Okhtyrka, in Ukraine’s Sumy region, on February 28, 2022, by a press representative for Ukrainian ground forces.

Lonely toy

A residential building is damaged, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Kyiv

Umit Bektas / REUTERS


A toy is seen inside a damaged residential building in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The photo was taken on February 25, 2022, the day after Russia launched what Ukrainian officials called a “full-scale invasion.”

Burning depot

A view shows a burning oil depot reportedly hit by shelling near the military airbase Vasylkiv in the Kyiv region

Maksim Levin / REUTERS


An oil depot burns near the military airbase Vasylkiv in the Kyiv region.

The complex was reportedly hit by shelling on February 27, 2022.

Toll of war

The body of a person lies on the ground next to a military base building that, according to the Ukrainian ground forces, was destroyed by an air strike, in the Sumy region

Handout/Ukrainian ground forces


The body of a person lies on the ground next to a military base building that, according to the Ukrainian ground forces, was destroyed by an air strike.

This photo was supplied to the media in the town of Okhtyrka, in Ukraine’s Sumy region, on February 28, 2022, by a press representative for Ukrainian ground forces.

Downed launcher

A view shows a destroyed Russian Army multiple rocket launcher in Kharkiv

Maksim Levin / REUTERS


A destroyed Russian Army multiple rocket launcher is seen in Kharkiv, Ukraine, February 25, 2022.

The letter “Z” can be seen painted on its side.

Violence at home

Residential areas damaged after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Kyiv

Umit Bektas / REUTERS


A person walks around the wreckage of an unidentified aircraft that crashed into a house in a residential area.

The photo was taken on February 25, 2022, after Russia launched its attack against Kyiv, Ukraine.

Shared rations

People fleeing violence in Ukraine at Polish border crossing

Bryan Woolston / REUTERS


A brother and sister share a bowl of soup in Medyka, Poland, on February 26, 2022, after they and their mother fled the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have fled to Poland in recent days, and the United Nations refugee agency says as many as 4 million people could be displaced by the fighting.

Ready to fight

Members of the Territorial Defence Forces of Ukraine are seen during a shift change in Kyiv

Stringer/REUTERS


Members of the Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine are seen during a shift change in Kyiv on February 26, 2022.

Two days later, the U.S. Defense Department would estimate that about two-thirds of the combat power Russia had arrayed around Ukraine‘s borders had been committed inside that country. 

Tearful goodbye

UKRAINE-RUSSIA-CONFLICT

DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images


A couple waits an evacuation train at Kyiv’s central train station on February 28, 2022. 

The Russian army said on February 28 that Ukrainian civilians could “freely” leave the capital and claimed its air force dominated Ukraine’s skies as its invasion entered a fifth day.

Taking shelter

People take shelter in a subway station, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Kyiv

Viacheslav Ratynskyi / REUTERS


People take shelter in a subway station after Russian President Vladimir Putin initiated a military operation in Ukraine.

The photo was taken in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 24, 2022.

Fallen soldier

The body of a soldier, without insignia, who the Ukrainian military claim is a Russian army serviceman killed in fighting, lies on a road outside Kharkiv

Maksim Levin / REUTERS


The body of a soldier, without insignia, lies on a road outside the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine February 24, 2022.

The Ukrainian military claims is a Russian army serviceman killed in fighting.

Homemade barriers

Local residents make anti-tank obstacles to defend the city of Uzhhorod

Stringer/REUTERS


Local residents make anti-tank obstacles to defend the city of Uzhhorod, Ukraine, after Russia launched its military operation on February 27, 2022.

May Ukrainians were also being given guns and ammunition to help repel the Russian assault.

Safer in Poland

Civilians continue to arrive in Poland after Russia's attacks on Ukraine

Beata Zawrzel/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Non-Ukrainian citizens take a rest after crossing the Ukrainian-Polish border due to the ongoing crisis.

The location: Medyka, Poland, on February 28, 2022.

Treatment goes on

Patients At Children's Hospital In Kyiv Shelter Amid Russian Invasion Of Ukraine

Getty Images


A mother tends to a child who is undergoing cancer treatment in the bomb shelter of an oncology ward at Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine, on February 28, 2022.

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its fifth day, the capital was quieter overnight but Russian forces continued to mass outside the city. 

Making homemade ammo

Local residents prepare Molotov cocktails to defend the city of Uzhhorod

Stringer / REUTERS


Uzhhorod residents prepare Molotov cocktails to defend the city.

The date: February 27, 2022.

Helping a neighbor

Rescuers help a local resident after shelling in the town of Starobilsk

Handout/Ukrainian State Emergency Service


Rescuers help a local resident after shelling in the town of Starobilsk in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine.

This photo was released to the media by the Ukrainian State Emergency Service, February 25, 2022.

Life interrupted

Russia Attacks Ukraine

Anastasia Vlasova / Getty Images


A smashed grapefruit lies by a Kyiv apartment block which was hit with a missile on February 26, 2022. 

More missile strikes were reported around Kyiv on the second night of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Precious cargo

German Couple Evacuate From Kyiv With Surrogate Babies

Pierre Crom / Getty Images


A German citizen identified only as Boris carries his baby, Josephine, to a train evacuating the population to western regions of Ukraine on February 28, 2022 in Kyiv. 

Josephine was born two days earlier to a Ukrainian surrogate mother in Kyiv. 

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has heavily impacted Ukraine’s booming surrogacy industry, the second country after the United States where families seek surrogacy services.

Checkpoint search

Russia Attacks Ukraine

Getty Images


Police officers search a man at a checkpoint on February 28, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its fifth day, Russian forces continued to mass outside the city. Ukrainian forces waged battles to hold other major cities.

Cracked window

Russia Attacks Ukraine

Anastasia Vlasova / Getty Images


A car with a smashed window is seen on February 26, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

Explosions and gunfire were reported around Kyiv on the second night of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A child rests

Patients At Children's Hospital In Kyiv Shelter Amid Russian Invasion Of Ukraine

/ Getty Images


A child suffering from cancer rests on a sofa in the bomb shelter of the oncology ward at Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital on February 28, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

Crash site

Rescuers work at the crash site of the Ukrainian Armed Forces' Antonov aircraft in Kyiv region

Handout/Ukrainian State Emergency Service


Rescuers work at the crash site of a Ukrainian Armed Forces’ Antonov aircraft.

According to the State Emergency Service, which supplied this image February 24, this plane was shot down in the Kyiv region of Ukraine.

Left behind

People fleeing Russian invasion of Ukraine arrive at the Polish border town of Medyka

Kai Pfaffenbach / REUTERS


Worn out sneakers, left at the border by people who fled the Russian invasion of Ukraine, are seen at the border checkpoint at Medyka, Poland.

The date: February 28, 2022.

Hoping for safety

UKRAINE-RUSSIA-CONFLICT

DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images


A woman waits an evacuation train at Kyiv central train station on February 28, 2022. 

The Russian army said on February 28 that Ukrainian civilians could “freely” leave the  capital, Kyiv, as its invasion entered a fifth day.

Smoke and flames

Smoke and flames rise over during the shelling in Kyiv

Gleb Garanich / REUTERS


Smoke and flames rise during the shelling in Kyiv, as Russia continues its attack on Ukraine, February 26, 2022.

Two days later, Ukraine called for a cease-fire during talks with Russia. The two sides agreed to meet again.

Taking cover

People take cover as an air-raid siren sounds in Kyiv

Gleb Garanich / REUTERS


People take cover as an air-raid siren sounds.

The photo was taken near an apartment building damaged by recent shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 26, 2022.

Abandoned toy

Russia Attacks Ukraine

Anastasia Vlasova / Getty Images


A toy and a notebook lie among the debris by a Kyiv apartment block which was hit by a missile on February 26, 2022.

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said February 28 that he plans to open an investigation “as rapidly as possible” into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.

Desperate to leave

Russia Attacks Ukraine

Pierre Crom / Getty Images


Local residents jump over a fence in Kyiv to catch a train evacuating people to the western regions of Ukraine on February 28, 2022. 

On the fifth day of Russia’s invasion, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said more than half a million people had fled to neighboring countries, a number that was “rising exponentially, hour after hour.”

Burned-out cars

Russia Attacks Ukraine

Anastasia Vlasova / Getty Images


Burned-out police and civilian cars on February 26, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

The photo was taken in the city’s Solomianska area.

Dangerous debris

Russia Attacks Ukraine

Anastasia Vlasova / Getty Images


Rubble is seen near an apartment block hit with a missile on February 26, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

The apartment is at 6A Lobanovsky Avenue.

Standing guard

Russia Attacks Ukraine

Getty Images


Police officers stand guard at a checkpoint on February 28, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

Kyiv was still on edge that night, but residents were allowed out of their houses and shelters for the first time since Saturday night, when the local government — bracing for an escalation of Russia’s siege on the city — said anyone out on the streets would be treated as an enemy.

Home no more

Russia Attacks Ukraine

Anastasia Vlasova / Getty Images


Here’s another view of the apartment block at 6A Lobanovsky Avenue, which was hit with a missile on February 26, 2022, in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

Russia reportedly also has been targeting fuel centers and airfields. 

Patch up

Russian military operation against Ukraine continues

Valentyn Ogirenko / REUTERS


A local resident tapes up a window near the site of night fighting with Russian troops.

The photo was taken February 26, 2022, after Russia launched its military operation against Kyiv, Ukraine.

Trying to stay warm

People fleeing Russian invasion of Ukraine arrive at the Polish border town of Medyka

Kai Pfaffenbach / REUTERS


People who fled the Russian invasion of Ukraine try to stay warm at the border checkpoint in Medyka, Poland, on February 28, 2022.

Many refugees had to walk for many miles to reach the nearest border.

Damaged vehicle

Russian military operation against Ukraine continues

Valentyn Ogirenko / REUTERS


Ukrainian servicemen walk by a damaged vehicle at the site of a fighting with Russian troops.

The photo was taken in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 26, 2022.

Separatist territory

Smoke rises from a burnt car after recent shelling in Donetsk

Alexander Ermochenko / REUTERS


Smoke rises from a burned car after recent shelling in the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk, Ukraine, February 28, 2022.

Donetsk is a separatist stronghold in eastern Ukraine.

Ready to fight

Ukrainian servicemen are seen at fighting positions at the military airbase Vasylkiv in the Kyiv region

Maksim Levin / REUTERS


Ukrainian servicemen are seen at fighting positions at the military airbase in Vasylkiv, Ukraine, February 26, 2022.

The area is about 23 miles south of Kyiv.

Taking a rest

Civilians continue to arrive in Poland after Russia's attacks on Ukraine

Beata Zawrzel/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Non-Ukrainian citizens take a rest after crossing the Ukrainian-Polish border in Medyka, Poland, on February 28, 2022.

The United Nations refugee agency says as many as 4 million people could be displaced by the fighting.

On guard

Ukrainian servicemen stand guard on a road in Kharkiv

Maksim Levin / REUTERS


Ukrainian servicemen stand guard on a road in Kharkiv, Ukraine, February 25, 2022.

Taking cover in a shelter

Ukrainian servicemen take cover in a shelter at fighting positions at the military airbase Vasylkiv in the Kyiv region

Maksim Levin / REUTERS


Ukrainian servicemen take cover in a shelter at the military airbase Vasylkiv, in the Kyiv region, February 26, 2022. 

Reports have indicated fierce fighting in that area.

A bridge is out

A view shows a destroyed bridge near Bucha

Maksim Levin / REUTERS


A view shows a destroyed bridge near the town of Bucha in the Kyiv region, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, February 28, 2022.

Destroyed Russian vehicle

A view shows destroyed Russian Army all-terrain infantry mobility vehicles Tigr-M (Tiger) in Kharkiv

Stringer / REUTERS


A destroyed Russian Army all-terrain infantry mobility vehicle Tigr-M (also known as a Tiger) sits idle on a road in Kharkiv, Ukraine, February 28, 2022.

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