In pictures

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Defiance and destruction on day six of Vladimir Putin’s war

Images of Ukraine’s fierce battle against Russian invasion have flooded out of the besieged nation since rocket attacks on the capital city Kyiv last week gave the first indication that Vladimir Putin had given the order for a full-scale assault. 

From volunteers signing up to defend the country on the frontline, to residents sheltering in metro stations to escape Russian shells, the conflict has been marked by the resilience of the Ukrainian people, embodied by their President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Below ground, above ground, there’s remarkable resistance,” said BBC international correspondent Lyse Doucet in The New Statesman. “In an existential war unleashed by a Russian leader who believes their country shouldn’t exist, Ukrainians have become ever-more Ukrainian.”  

Warning: this photo gallery contains graphic images which some readers may find disturbing.

1

23 February: Ukraine’s Independence Monument at sunrise in central Kyiv one day before Vladimir Putin gave the order for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine

23 February: Ukraine’s Independence Monument in central Kyiv at sunrise one day before Vladimir Putin gave the order for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine

Daniel Leal/AFP/Getty Images

2

23 February: Anton Lytvyn, 28, packs his military equipment at his house in Kyiv after President Volodymyr Zelensky called the country’s army reservists in specialist fields to active duty, and declared a state of emergency

23 February: Anton Lytvyn, 28, packs his military equipment at his house in Kyiv after President Volodymyr Zelensky called the country’s army reservists in specialist fields to active duty, and declared a state of emergency

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

3

24 February: Traffic jams form as citizens flee Kyiv following pre-offensive missile strikes by Russian armed forces

24 February: Traffic jams form as citizens flee Kyiv following pre-offensive missile strikes by Russian armed forces

Pierre Crom/Getty Images

4

24 February: A woman wounded following a Russian air strike on an apartment complex outside Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city

24 February: A woman wounded following a Russian air strike on an apartment complex outside Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city

Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

5

24 February: Ukrainian firefighters arrive to rescue civilians after an air strike on an apartment complex outside Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city

24 February: Ukrainian firefighters arrive to rescue civilians after an air strike on an apartment complex outside Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city

Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

6

24 February: Ukrainian servicemen prepare to respond to a Russian attack in the Lugansk region

24 February: Ukrainian servicemen prepare to respond to a Russian attack in the Lugansk region

Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty Images

7

25 February: People gather outside an apartment block in a Kyiv suburb hit by a Russian shell

25 February: People gather outside an apartment block in a Kyiv suburb hit by a Russian shell

Daniel Leal/AFP/Getty Images

8

26 February: Ukrainian servicemen search for unexploded ordnance following clashes with Russian troops on the outskirts of Kyiv

26 February: Ukrainian servicemen search for unexploded ordnance following clashes with Russian troops on the outskirts of Kyiv

Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images

9

26 February: Thousands wait for trains to Poland in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv

26 February: Thousands wait for trains to Poland in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv

Yuriy Dyachyshyn/AFP via Getty Images

10

26 February: A group of volunteers make Molotov cocktails in a Kyiv bomb shelter

26 February: A group of volunteers make Molotov cocktails in a Kyiv bomb shelter

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

11

26 February: Svyatoslav Yurash, 26, a lawmaker from President Zelensky’s Servant of the People party, patrols the streets of Kyiv amid rumours that Russian “saboteur” groups had breached the city

26 February: Svyatoslav Yurash, 26, a lawmaker from President Zelensky’s Servant of the People party, patrols the streets of Kyiv amid rumours that Russian “saboteur” groups had breached the city

Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images

12

27 February: Vladimir Putin meets with his Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov at the Kremlin

27 February: Vladimir Putin meets with his Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov at the Kremlin

Alexei Nikolsky/TASS via Getty Images

13

28 February: An empty road running out of Kyiv during a morning curfew in the capital

28 February: An empty road running out of Kyiv during a morning curfew in the capital

Pierre Crom/Getty Images

14

28 February: Children being treated in the basement of a Kyiv hospital in an effort to keep them safe from Russian shelling

28 February: Children being treated in the basement of a Kyiv hospital in an effort to keep them safe from Russian shelling

Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images

15

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signs an application for ‘immediate membership’ of the EU

28 February: President Zelensky flanked by members of his cabinet after signing an application for “immediate membership” of the EU

Ukrainian presidency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

16

A man says goodbye to his daughter before she boards an evacuation train at Kyiv Central station

28 February: A man says goodbye to his daughter before she boards an evacuation train at Kyiv Central station

Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images

17

The aftermath of Russian shelling in Kharkiv’s Freedom Square

1 March: The aftermath of Russian shelling on Kharkiv’s city hall

Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images

18

2 March: Emergency service workers remove the body of a man killed after Russia shelled Kyiv’s main television tower

2 March: Emergency service workers remove the body of a man killed after Russia shelled Kyiv’s main television tower

Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images

19

2 March: President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen rises to her feet during a standing ovation following an address by President Zelensky

2 March: President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen rises to her feet during a standing ovation following an address by President Zelensky

John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

20

Families shelter in a Kyiv metro station during a Russian bombardment

2 March: Families shelter in a Kyiv metro station amid renewed Russian bombardment of the capital

Aris Messinis/STF/AFP via Getty Images

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