It’s been a week unlike anything many Europeans have ever seen, unless they lived through the first dark days of the Second World War: Russian tanks pouring over the frontier, apartment blocks turned into craters by rocket fire, families taking shelter in the subways, death and fear everywhere, no one sure what will happen next.
From their eastern and northern borders to the Black Sea coast, Ukrainians mobilized to fight the invasion launched Thursday by President Vladimir Putin, who claims he wants to “demilitarize” a country whose independence from Russian rule he considers a historical mistake. His Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, called it “a declaration of war against the whole of Europe.” He pleaded for the West’s help as dozens of civilians and military personnel perished in the first days of conflict.
Photojournalists have captured remarkable images of the invasion, up close and sometimes at great risk to their safety. This is an overview of what they’ve seen so far, and where they saw it.
The capital had dreaded invasion for months when, early on Thursday, explosions and gunfire first rang out from the airport. Russian troops soon closed in from Belarus to the north.
Ukraine’s second-largest city is near the Russian border. Since Thursday, it has suffered rocket attacks that destroyed apartment buildings and infrastructure.
Donetsk and Luhansk
Since 2014, two industrial cities in eastern Ukraine have been the strongholds of pro-Kremlin “people’s republics” that are now launching points for a Russian invasion from the east.
Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine, is an important way station for Ukrainians fleeing into Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova.
Mariupol is a strategic Black Sea port just a few kilometres from separatist-held areas. It and Odesa, another port farther west, came under attack from Russian landing craft on Thursday.
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