15 of the most powerful images from Ukraine since the start of Russia's invasion

15 of the most powerful images from Ukraine since the start of Russia's invasion
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  • Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine on February 24, changing European history.

  • Since then, almost eight million Ukrainians have fled bombings and devastation in the country.

  • The scale, devastation, and humanity of the conflict is captured in striking images like these.

On February 24 this year, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of its neighbor Ukraine, prompting vast lines of traffic out of Kyiv, the capital, as people fled.

kyiv traffic
Inhabitants of Kyiv, Ukraine, leave the city following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.Pierre Crom/Getty Images

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy quickly announced martial law, forcing many Ukrainians to say goodbye to their loved ones to fight.

Ukraine farewell serviceman
A Ukrainian soldier says goodbye to his girlfriend before departing in the direction of Kyiv at the central train station in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on March 9, 2022.Aleksey Filippov / AFP via Getty Images

Tides of people pushed to evacuate as Russian forces blasted the smaller cities surrounding Kyiv, prompting scenes like this in Irpin.

Ukrainians crowd under a destroyed bridge as they try to flee crossing the Irpin river in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 5, 2022.AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

Since the start of the war, around 7.8 million Ukrainians have left the country, 4.8 million of which have sought refuge in Europe, according to the UNHCR.

Thw wounded Ukrainian teacher Olena Kurilo made international headlines with this picture of her standing outside her destroyed home.

kharkiv ukraine
Olena Kurilo after a strike on an apartment complex outside of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on February 25, 2022.Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Kurilo needed multiple surgeries in Poland and the UK to regain some of her eyesight, she told Anadolu Agency last month.

In March, Russia bombed a maternity hospital in Mariupol, injuring this pregnant woman. The woman and her baby later died.

pregnant woman mariupol
An injured pregnant woman outside a maternity hospital damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 9, 2022.AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

Source: The Associated Press

In April, mass graves were uncovered in the Ukrainian town of Bucha in the wake of Russia's occupation there. The images sparked revulsion around the world.

Several men, dressed in white and some wearing masks, pull a body out of a ditch.
A team pulls a body from a mass grave in Bucha, Ukraine, in April 2022.Erin Trieb for Insider

Russia has denied responsibility for the killings of civilians in Bucha, The Guardian reported.

Russia's invasion has had a profound impact on Zelenskyy, who is seen here both before the war in 2021, and during a visit to Bucha in April 2022.

zelenskyy before and after ukraine war
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Berlin, Germany, on July 12, 2021 (left) and in Bucha, Ukraine, on April 4, 2022 (right).Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Stefanie Loos/Pool via Getty Images

Source: Insider

In May, the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol became the last pocket of resistance to Russian attack. Ukrainian soldiers stayed in the plant for months, rarely seeing sunlight. They eventually surrendered, but were hailed as heroes in Ukraine for their long resistance.

Azovstal steel plant
A Ukrainian soldier inside the ruined Azovstal steel plant stands under a sunlight ray in his shelter in Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 7, 2022.Dmytro Kozatski/Azov Special Forces Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard Press Office via AP

Fighters of the Azov Batallion said their wounded comrades were living in unsanitary conditions "without the necessary medication and even food."

Azov regiment
Two injured Ukrainian servicemen inside the Azovstal iron and steel works factory in eastern Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 10, 2022.Dmytro Kozatsky/Azov Special Forces Regiment of /AFP via Getty Images

Ukraine was able to evacuate all of the remaining people in the steel plant in May, effectively ceding the city to Russia.

Source: ITV News

This heartbreaking photo, also taken in Mariupol, shows a father cradling the body of his teenage son who was killed by a Russian bomb.

mariupol son
Serhii, the father of Iliya, cries over his teenage son's lifeless body on a stretcher in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 2, 2022.AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

Source: The New York Post

The fighting between the two countries has been relentless, dominated by artillery fire. These photo from Izyum, northeastern Ukraine, shows a a field covered in craters from shelling.

shelling craters ukraine
A field is covered with craters left by the shelling close to Izium, Ukraine, on September 13, 2022.Kostiantyn Liberov via AP Images

The most senior US general, Mark Milley, said in November that around 100,000 Russian and 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed or wounded since February, according to the BBC.

Ukraine has been provided with military equipment like artillery pieces, long-range rocket launchers, and tanks, by more than 30 countries.

ukraine soldier
A Ukrainian soldier fires toward Russian positions outside Bakhmut, Ukraine, on November 8, 2022.Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images

Source: BBC

Ukraine has had some positive moments in the war, like the recapturing of the Kherson and Kharkiv regions, which led to this heartfelt moment between a civilian and a soldier.

kherson resident
A Kherson resident kisses a Ukrainian soldier in central Kherson, Ukraine, on November 13, 2022.AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

But Russia has changed its tactics in the last few months, attacking vital power infrastructure in Ukraine and thereby plunging millions into darkness.

People sit in a café without power on December 09, 2022 in Lviv, Ukraine.Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The war shows no sign of stopping. Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said it may be a "long process."

sergei shoigu vladimir putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, on October 28, 2022.Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Source: The Washington Post 

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