Before and after photos of Ukraine one year on from start of Russian invasion

Before and after photos of Ukraine one year on from start of Russian invasion
Satellite imagery captures key areas of Ukraine before and after Russian invasion

One year ago, Russia invaded Ukraine sending the country into a crisis and the rest of the world into chaos.

Since then, over eight million people have been displaced, 7,000+ people have died, and areas of the country have been destroyed by bombings.

All, a result of Russia’s invasion under Vladimir Putin.

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To understand the scope of the damage and loss Russia has caused we’ve compiled several photos that show how Ukraine appeared before 24, February 2022 and after.

Kyiv subways

The first photo was taken more than a month before the invasion in January 2022. It shows people using the escalator to exit and enter the Kyiv subway.

But since the start of the war, the subways have been used as air raid shelters to protect civilians. The second photo, taken on 10, February 2023 shows people using the subway escalator as a place to sit as they wait for the all-clear.

The subway escalator in Kyiv, photographed one year apart Getty Images

The streets of Lviv

In the first photo, taken in Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine, in August 2021, children are playing in the streets joyfully.

In the second photo, Ukrainian military members carry the casket of a fallen serviceman in the town of Lviv in March 2022. At the start of the war, the vibrant city was once considered a safe haven for those fleeing eastern Ukraine. However, Russian shellings and bombings have left Lviv in darkness.

The streets of Lviv have become war-torn since the start of the Russian invasion Getty Images

Kharkiv City Hall

A photo of the Kharkiv City Hall, featured below, taken before the war.

However, after a Russian missile hit the building in early March 2022, it was severely damaged.

Kharkiv City Hall before and after a Russian missile hit the building Getty Images

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery

The below photo shows the famous golden-domed monastery located in St. Michael’s Square in Kyiv on 24, February 2022 - the day of the invasion.

The second photo, taken on 2, February 2023 shows what one year’s worth of fighting has done. Stacked outside of the monastery are Russian military tanks.

One year after the Russian invasion, burnt Russian military vehicles sit outside St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery Getty Images

The Petro Sahaidachny Monument

In Kharkiv, the Petro Sahaidahcny monument honors the Ukrainian leader.

But the below photo, taken in June 2022, shows how Ukrainians are trying to protect their monuments from bombings- by stacking sandbags around them. The monuments are no longer totally visible to the public as municipal workers try their hardest to prevent them from being destroyed.

To protect monuments, Ukrainians have stacked sandbags around them, hoping to prevent Russian bombings from ruining them iStock / Getty Images

Downtown Kyiv

The first photo shows a young man riding an electric scooter in 2019 in downtown Kyiv, shortly before the country voted for President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The second photo shows civilians viewing burnt Russian tanks in downtown Kyiv in August 2022. The military vehicles were left behind after Russia unsuccessfully attempted to capture Kyiv during the early months of the war. For many Ukrainians, the tanks represent Ukraine’s determination to defeat Russia.

Downtown Kyiv features some new elements since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war Getty Images


In the first photo, Ukraine’s president appears as he did when he was first elected: clean-shaven and in a suit.

But one of the most noticeable outward changes to Ukraine is perhaps best reflected in Zelensky who has courageously and strongly represented Ukraine throughout the war. Now, Zelensky opts for a more rugged look to remain in solidarity with the people of his country.

There is perhaps no better example of how the war has changed Ukraine than in President Volodymyr Zelensky's appearance Getty Images

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here.To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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