These Powerful Photos Show the Start of Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

The devastating human cost of war is already apparent as Russian forces launch a major invasion of Ukraine, with photos showing artillery strikes on cities in eastern Ukraine.
Dipo Faloyin
London, GB
A wounded woman is seen after an airstrike damaged an apartment complex in city of Chuhuiv, Kharkiv
A wounded woman is seen after an airstrike damaged an apartment complex in city of Chuhuiv, Kharkiv. Photo by Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Air-raid sirens rang out in Kyiv in the early hours of Thursday morning as Russia began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Thousands of people are now trying to flee the capital as Russian troops have begun military action in multiple major Ukrainian cities.

“Putin has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine,” the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, wrote on Twitter. “Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes. This is a war of aggression. This is a war of aggression. Ukraine will defend itself and will win. The world can and must stop Putin. The time to act is now.”

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Ukrainian security forces accompany a wounded man after an airstrike hit an apartment complex in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Ukrainian security forces accompany a wounded man after an airstrike hit an apartment complex in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Photo: Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Firefighters work on a fire on a building after bombings on the eastern Ukraine town of Chuguiv on February 24, 2022

Firefighters work on a fire on a building after bombings on the eastern Ukraine town of Chuguiv on February 24, 2022. Photo: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images

People stand outside a destroyed building after bombings on the eastern Ukraine town of Chuguiv on February 24, 2022

People stand outside a destroyed building after bombings on the eastern Ukraine town of Chuguiv on February 24, 2022. Photo: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images

GettyImA woman stands in a street as black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv on February 24, 2022ages-1238719152.jpg

A woman stands in a street as black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv on February 24, 2022. Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images

Inhabitants of Kyiv leave the city following pre-offensive missile strikes of the Russian armed forces and Belarus on February 24, 2022

Inhabitants of Kyiv leave the city following pre-offensive missile strikes of the Russian armed forces and Belarus on February 24, 2022. Photo: Pierre Crom/Getty Images

A religious woman holds a cross as she prays on Independence square in Kyiv in the morning of February 24, 2022

A religious woman holds a cross as she prays on Independence square in Kyiv in the morning of February 24, 2022.

A couple speaks with each other at a metro station in Kyiv early on February 24, 2022

A couple speaks with each other at a metro station in Kyiv early on February 24, 2022. Photo: DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

A column of army trucks moves across the town of Armyansk, northern Crimea.

A column of army trucks moves across the town of Armyansk, northern Crimea. Photo: Sergei Malgavko\TASS via Getty Images

People take photos of a rocket as it is removed on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

People take photos of a rocket as it is removed on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

People wait for buses at a bus station as they attempt to evacuate the city on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

People wait for buses at a bus station as they attempt to evacuate the city on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo: Pierre Crom/Getty Images

An Ukrainian armored military vehicle is pictured in central Kyiv on February 24, 2022.

An Ukrainian armored military vehicle is pictured in central Kyiv on February 24, 2022. Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images