One month later. Twenty-eight snapshots that capture Russia’s destructive war against Ukraine


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Today, March 24, 2022, marks one month since Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to undertake a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. These four weeks have changed the country beyond recognition: Ukrainian cities — from Kharkiv to Volnovakha, and Mariupol to Kherson — have suffered widespread damage and destruction from bombardments; more than 3.6 million people have been forced to flee abroad as refugees. The United Nations has recorded at least 2,685 civilian casualties, including 1,035 killed and 1,650 injured. The real toll is much higher — thousands have reportedly died in besieged Mariupol alone. The actual number of military casualties, both Russian and Ukrainian, also remains unknown as yet. To bear witness to this catastrophic month, Meduza shares one photo from each day of Russia’s war against Ukraine. 

Warning: Some of the images below contain scenes of violence and death that readers may find disturbing.

Day one

The city of Chuhuiv in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, under shelling by Russian forces on February 24, 2022.

Day 2

The body of a Russian soldier on the outskirts of Kharkiv.

Day 3

Territorial Defense volunteers inspecting weapons in Kyiv.

Day 4

A rare light in the windows of apartment buildings in Kyiv. According to the UN, roughly 370,000 refugees had fled Ukraine from February 24–28.

Day 5

Sunset in Kyiv, seen through an apartment window that had been taped to avoid shattering in case of an explosion.

Day 6

Bodies of victims of the shelling of Freedom Square in Kharkiv. “A missile in Kharkiv’s central square – naked, undisguised terror,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said of the attack. 

Day 7

A girl inside a bus that had crossed the checkpoint on the Moldovan-Ukrainian border. The bus was carrying refugees to Chisinau.

Day 8

The village of Borodyanka in the Kyiv region after shelling.

Day 9

A home on fire in the city of Irpin, just outside Kyiv.

Day 10

Ukrainian volunteers learn how to handle weapons in a movie theater in Lviv.

Day 11

Irpin burns after bombardments.

Day 12

Residents of Odesa fill sandbags.

Day 13

Before it was destroyed, the bridge from Irpin was the city’s only evacuation route.

Day 14

Ukrainian rescue workers carry a wounded pregnant woman out of a maternity hospitals that came under shelling in Mariupol. The woman’s child did not survive and she died on March 14.

Day 15

Russian tanks destroyed by Ukrainian troops along the main road leading from Brovary to Kyiv.

Day 16

An explosion in a residential building during an air raid on Mariupol.

Day 17

A woman with a child cries in the corridor of a hospital in Mariupol. Her second child died during the shelling of the city.

Day 18

A man wounded during a missile strike on the Yaroviv military base, 10 kilometers (about 6 miles) from the Polish-Ukrainian border.

Day 19

A man holds his cat killed by shelling in Kyiv.

Day 20

Trails from Ukrainian air defense systems trying to shoot down a Russian drone over Kyiv.

Day 21

Rescuers remove a body from the rubble of the Kharkiv Regional Administration building. According to Ukrainian media reports, Russian troops launched more than 50 air strikes on different Kharkiv neighborhoods on March 16.

Day 22

A man mourns next to the body of his mother, who was killed as the result of rocket fragments hitting a residential building.

Day 23

Medical staff at a children’s hospital in Zaporizhzhia treat patients seriously injured during shelling. The hospital’s windows are blocked with sandbags.

Day 24

A satellite image shows the aftermath of an airstrike on a drama theater in Mariupol, where civilians were sheltering in the basement. The word “children” is written on the ground outside of the theater in Russian script.

Day 25

A mother at a railway station in Lviv hugs her son, who escaped from Mariupol.

Day 26

Firefighters try to put out the flames that engulfed Retroville mall in Kyiv’s Podilsky district. The Russian Defense Ministry acknowleged that the shopping center war struck by Russian troops.

Day 27

Dr. Anatoly Pavlov takes photos of bombed psychiatric hospital in Mykolayiv.

Day 28

Graves outside of a residential building in Mariupol.

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