Ukraine’s courage under fire

A gallery of images recording the experience of Ukraine’s civilians as the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion approaches.

The World Today Published 2 February 2024 Updated 21 March 2024 1 minute READ

Since Russia mounted its full-scale invasion on 24 February, 2022, Ukraine has confounded those who believed the country would fall in days. Nearly two years later, at least 10,000 Ukrainian civilian men, women and children have been killed and 18,500 injured in relentless air strikes and frontline fighting. The images on these pages bear witness not only to the shock and horror of ordinary Ukrainians, but also their resilience and spirit as they endure the most devastating conflict in Europe since the Second World War.

A Ukrainian man waves goodbye to his wife through a train window in Odessa, Ukraine, 5 March 2022

5 March, 2022
George Keburia waves goodbye to his wife Maya and their children as they leave Odessa by train for Lviv and safety before his return to the front line. Photo: Salwan Georges / The Washington Post via Getty Images.

Newlyweds embrace in bombsite in Kharkiv, Ukraine, 3 April 2022

3 April, 2022 
Nastya Gracheva, a nurse in an oncology clinic, and Anton Sokolov, a doctor, pose for photos in the ruins of a shopping mall in Kharkiv after their wedding. The newlyweds have worked as medical volunteers since the Russian invasion. Photo: Sergey Bobok / AFP via Getty Images.

A woman raped by Russian soldiers and hit by shrapnel covers her face with her right hand in Izium, Ukraine, 16 September 2022

16 September, 2022
Tears flow as a Ukrainian woman from the city of Izium tells of her ordeal after being raped by Russian soldiers and hit by a piece of shrapnel. Photo: Wojciech Grzedzinski / The Washington Post via Getty Images.

Rescue workers scrabble in the ruins of a smouldering building hit by Russian fire in Dnipro, Ukraine, 14 January 2023

14 January, 2023
Rescuers search through the rubble for survivors after a block of flats in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro was destroyed by a Russian missile strike. Photo: Wojciech Grzedzinski / The Washington Post via Getty Images.

A child and a woman flee an explosion caused by a missile strike behind the Palace of Culture in Pervomaiskyi, Ukraine, 4 July 2023

4 July, 2023
A Ukrainian girl runs in fear after a Russian missile strike disrupted a funeral ceremony for a fallen soldier in the main square of Pervomaiskyi. The shelling injured 31 people. Photo: Oleksandr Magula / Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images.