Early photos of smoke, fire, bodies and bloodshed have emerged following the start of Russian
president Vladimir Putin’s military incursion into Ukraine, offering a small but powerful glimpse into the wide-ranging attack that’s left the country’s cities and military bases battling a barrage of deadly air and missile strikes.
The photos, taken mere hours after Russia launched its first assaults in the early hours of Thursday morning, come as Russia carries out a long-anticipated invasion of the former Soviet republic. The attacks first started from the air, and
Ukrainian authorities later reported ground assaults as well.
Russian troops crossed Ukraine’s borders from the north, east and south, and explosions were reported in regions throughout the country, including in the capital of Kyiv. There, photos appear to show Russian military helicopters flying on the outskirts of the city and a Ukrainian military aircraft smoldering in a field after it was shot down.
Other photos, taken outside of the capital, show blasted apartment complexes, wounded and dead civilians, and others attempting to flee.
Here is a selection of those photos.
NOTE: Some may be disturbing. A flame is seen from an area near the Dnieper river in Kyiv on Thursday. President Vladimir Putin has cast aside international condemnation and sanctions before launching the invasion, warning other countries that any attempt to interfere would lead to “consequences you have never seen.” Ukrainian Armed Forces trucks transport armored vehicles in the Kyiv region. Gleb Garanich via Reuters In this handout photo taken from video released by Ukrainian Police Department Press Service, military helicopters — apparently Russian — fly over the outskirts of Kyiv. Ukrainian Police Department Press Service via AP View of an explosion near Dnipro, Ukraine, on Thursday. SOCIAL MEDIA via VIA REUTERS Russian military tanks and armored vehicles advance in Donetsk, Ukraine. Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Rescuers work at the crash site of a Ukrainian Armed Forces' Antonov aircraft, which, according to the State Emergency Service, was shot down in the Kyiv region on Thursday. Ukrainian State Emergency Service/Handout via Reuters Damaged radar arrays and other equipment at a Ukrainian military facility outside Mariupol. A woman who was wounded by an airstrike on an apartment complex outside of Kharkiv, Ukraine. Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Damaged radar, a vehicle and equipment at a Ukrainian military facility. A view shows a Ukrainian State Border Guard Service site damaged by shelling in the Kyiv region. Ukrainian State Border Guard Service/Handout via Reuters A woman waits for a train to leave Kyiv. People outside a destroyed building, following bombings of the eastern Ukrainian town of Chuguiv. ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images An air defense base in Mariupol in the aftermath of an apparent Russian strike. A man mourns near a body following an airstrike on an apartment complex outside of Kharkiv. Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images A woman holds a cross as she prays on Independence Square in Kyiv. DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images Police officers inspect the scene following an apparent Russian strike in Kyiv. Ukrainian firefighters arrive to rescue civilians after an airstrike hit an apartment complex in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv Oblast. Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Ukrainian servicemen get ready to repel an attack in Ukraine's Lugansk region. ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images Ukrainian soldiers ride in a military vehicle in Mariupol. Ukrainian security forces accompany a wounded man after an airstrike hit an apartment complex in Kharkiv Oblast. Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images People taking shelter in a metro station in Kyiv. Air raid sirens rang out in downtown Kyiv as it faced what Ukrainian officials said were Russian missile strikes and artillery. DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images A man sits outside his destroyed building on Thursday after bombings in the eastern town of Chuguiv. ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images A column of military vehicles leaves the town of Armyansk, northern Crimea. Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images Black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev, near Kharkiv. ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images A resident in Mariupol sits in a car before leaving the city, after Putin authorized a military operation in the eastern Ukrainian city. Carlos Barria via Reuters People at a metro station in Kyiv early Thursday. DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images Those trying to leave Kyiv faced heavy traffic on Thursday. Pierre Crom via Getty Images Local residents follow the news on their mobile devices in a Kyiv bomb shelter. Pierre Crom via Getty Images People board a bus as they attempt to evacuate Kyiv. Pierre Crom via Getty Images The queue outside a gas station in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Thursday. YURIY DYACHYSHYN/AFP via Getty Images The Ukrainian side of the border crossing between Poland and Ukraine on Thursday. Kacper Pempel via Reuters A woman crosses a road in Ukraine's Donetsk region, which was already under the control of pro-Russian separatists. Anadolu Agency via Getty Images