Photos from Inside the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

On February 24th, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin all-out invasion of its launched an escal country Ukraine following years of conflict and failed diplomacy since 2014. The world has watched as ordinary Ukrainians have taken up arms to join soldiers in the defense of their nation.

These photographs captured by photographers in the midst of the war-torn areas offer an inside look at what the ongoing war has done to life in Ukraine and how it has overturned the lives of Ukrainians running and hiding from the violence.

View of a civilian building damaged following a Russian missile attack the city of Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.
Rescue service works near a house destroyed by Russian missile in Kyiv. Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.
View of a civilian building damaged following a Russian missile attack the city of Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.

Russia’s invasion is one of the largest military attacks on European soil since the conclusion of World War II.

Smoke over Gostomel and Bucha. Photo by Fotoreserg.
Ukrainian soldier smokes near Kharkov, Ukraine. Photo by Fotoreserg.
People donate blood at the regional blood transfusion station in Uzhgorod. Photo by Fotoreserg.
Volunteers gathering supplies. Photo by Fotoreserg.

Russia boasts the world’s fifth-largest standing army of around 900,000 active duty personnel and 2 million reservists compared to Ukraine’s 196,000 active troops and 900,000 reservists, but ordinary Ukrainians have volunteered to be equipped and trained on short notice to join the fight.

Kyiv territorial defense. A large number of civilians enrolled in the territorial defense units. Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.
Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.
Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.
Mines and grenades for exposition during an open military training for civilians organized by the Lviv Region Defense HQ at the Lviv skeet shooting range as part of the Don’t Panic! Prepare! campaign, amid threat of Russian invasion. Photo by Kolya Tys.
Two young people 21 years old, who married on the first day of Russian attacked Ukraine and afterwards instead honeymoon immediately both joined Kyiv territorial defense. Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.

The UN estimates that over half a million Ukrainians have fled their country since the start of the war.

UNHCR [the UN Refugee Agency] is also working with Governments in countries, calling on them to keep borders open to those seeking safety and protection,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi says in a statement. “We stand ready to support efforts by all to respond to any situation of forced displacement.”

Refugees from Ukraine on the border with Slovakia (checkpoint “Uzhgorod-Vyshne Nemeckoe”) in the Zakarpatya regions. Photo by Fotoreserg.

Other Ukrainians who are unable or unwilling to leave have taken refuge in makeshift shelters across cities that are being bombarded.

Mines and grenades for exposition during an open military training for civilians organized by the Lviv Region Defense HQ at the Lviv skeet shooting range as part of the Don’t Panic! Prepare! campaign, amid threat of Russian invasion. Photo by Kolya Tys.
Ukrainian people sitting in bomb shelter during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Photo by Stand with Ukraine!
People hiding in metro station. Photo by Fotoreserg.
People sleep in a shelter at a school. Photo by Fotoreserg.
Ukrainian people sitting in bomb shelter during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Photo by Stand with Ukraine!
People in a shelter. Photo by Fotoreserg.

Barricades have been constructed to slow the invasion of troops and tanks into major city centers.

People build barricades on the streets of Zhytomyr. Photo by Fotoreserg.
Photo by Fotoreserg.
Barricades on the streets of Zhytomyr. Photo by Fotoreserg.

Ukrainians who are staying put have been met with lines and shortages at gas stations and supermarkets.

The line of cars for a gas station. Photo by Fotoreserg.
People stand in line at the store. Photo by Fotoreserg.
Empty shelves in Kiev grocery stores. Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.
Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.

One of the weapons of defense taken up by civilians is the Molotov cocktail, an improvised incendiary weapon created with a bottle used and thrown to create fireballs and flames. Ukrainians are gathering and creating Molotovs in large numbers.

Volunteers prepare Molotov cocktails in one of the local parks in Uzhhorod. Photo by Fotoreserg.
Members of Kyiv territorial defense making Molotov cocktails. Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.
Volunteers making Molotov cocktails. Photo by Fotoreserg.
Members of Kyiv territorial defense making Molotov cocktails. Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.

Signs of war and destruction can be found throughout cities and landscapes that just days ago were bustling and peaceful areas.

View of a civilian building damaged following a Russian missile attack the city of Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.
A residential building damaged by an enemy aircraft in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.
Empty streets of Kyiv in wartime. Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.
Streets of Kyiv in wartime. Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.
Fighters of the battalion of territorial defense of the city of Kyiv. Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.
An armed local resident carries a cat in a carrier and a fish in an aquarium, which he rescued from an apartment building damaged by recent shelling. Photo by Mikhail Palinchak.
The wreckage of the rocket, on the playground. Photo by Fotoreserg.
A car damaged as a result of a breakthrough by an enemy. Photo by Fotoreserg.

Russia’s invasion has been condemned by much of the international community, and anti-war protests have erupted around the globe, including in Russia. Many countries have imposed sanctions on Russia, pushing the nation into a financial crisis that has caused the ruble to plummet against the US dollar.

Destroyed Russian MT-LB (light armored multi-purpose transporter-tractor) near Kharkov. Photo by Fotoreserg.
Destroyed Russian MT-LB (light armored multi-purpose transporter-tractor) near Kharkov. Photo by Fotoreserg.

Depositphotos, a stock photo agency founded in Kyik, Ukraine, has launched a new free-to-share image collection titled Say No to War to show “the brutal truth of what’s happening in Ukraine.”

“State-controlled Russian media continues to spread ‘information’ using phrasings such as ‘special military operation on Donbas’ and ‘protecting civilians from the genocide carried out on the behalf of “Kyiv’s regime”’,” Depositphotos tells PetaPixel. “At the same time, the Russian military is bombing housing blocks, hospitals, kindergartens, and schools in Ukraine. Innocent civilians are dying and thousands have lost their homes already.

Things found near a wrecked MT-LB (light armored multi-purpose transporter-tractor) near Kharkov. Photo by Fotoreserg.
Soldiers near the burnt Russian AFV “Tiger” in Kharkiv. Photo by Fotoreserg

“We are watching this terror unfold with our own eyes, as a big part of our Depositphotos team and the VistaCreate team is currently in Ukraine,” Depositphotos says. “This war is a direct threat not only for Ukraine, but a threat to the freedom of speech, finances, movement, and the rights of each citizen. Everyone deserves to know the truth.

“Everyone deserves to know what is really happening right now.”


Image credits: Header photo by Stand With Ukraine!. All photos licensed from Depositphotos.

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