40 Powerful Photos of Daily Life During the Ukraine Crisis

People Hiding in Kyiv Metro Station

Kyiv, Ukraine. February 24, 2022. People hiding in a metro station. (Photo: Fotoreserg)

Though for some the war in Ukraine may seem far away, it doesn't take much for us to be reminded that we're all connected. When our partners at Depositphotos reached out to mention that they were based in Ukraine, we were grateful to learn that they were doing their part to shed light on what's really happening on the ground.

In an effort to combat misinformation being spread by Russian-backed media, the Depositphotos team has pulled together a powerful collection of photos that show life in Ukraine. The photographs are updated in real-time and are free for anyone to download and use. With many customers based in Russia, Depositphotos felt that they had a duty to ensure that the correct information was being spread.

Vadim Nekhai, the vice president of VistaCreate and Depositphotos, sent an email to customers based in Russia asking them to seek the truth about what was happening in Ukraine. He asked that they contact their friends and family in Ukraine to understand what's happening, to follow international news media, and to spread truthful information. He wrote, “We urge you to please not close your eyes to what is going on! This bloody war is not only a threat to the freedom of Ukraine, it is a direct threat to freedom of speech, finance, and movement.”

Looking through the collection, one is immediately struck by the way in which entire communities have pitched in to help with the war effort. Women, children, elderly—they are all helping when needed. But one is also struck by the sense of panic people must have felt when crowding the ATM, sitting in long lines for gas, or seeing empty shelves in the grocery store. While the UN estimates that 1 million citizens have already left Ukraine, many are staying in the country with their lives turned upside down. In fact, The New York Times reports that just in Kyiv alone 15,000 people have now relocated to the subway for shelter. It's a stark contrast to just a few weeks ago when these same people where able to sleep in their own beds.

We've pulled together a collection of 40 images that show how the war has developed since it began on February 24 and how life has changed in an instant for people in Ukraine. By looking at these photos, it's our hope that the conflict will hit home and that everyone will do their part to help bring the Russian invasion to an end before more lives on both sides are lost.

As Russia's invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, people began scrambling to find shelter in a safe place.

eople sleeping in a shelter at a school in Kyiv

Kyiv, Ukraine. February 25, 2022. People sleeping in a shelter at a school. (Photo: Fotoreserg)

Ukrainian People in a Bomb Shelter with their Dog

Kyiv, Ukraine. February 25, 2022. People in a shelter. (Photo: Fotoreserg)

People Sheltering in Dnipro

Dnipro, Ukraine. February 27, 2022. People take shelter after the first civil defense siren goes off. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Schools and basements are being used as bomb shelters.

People Taking Shelter in Basement in Kyiv

Kyiv, Ukraine. February 25, 2022. People sit on the ground in the basement of a residential tower block that doubles as a shelter on the second day of the Russian invasion. (Photo: Ukrinform)

People Taking Shelter in Basement in Kyiv

Kyiv, Ukraine. February 25, 2022. People stay in the basement of a residential tower block that doubles as a shelter on the second day of the Russian invasion. (Photo: Ukrinform)

People Taking Shelter in Basement in Kyiv

Kyiv, Ukraine. February 25, 2022. A man and a woman stay in the basement of a residential tower block that doubles as a shelter on the second day of the Russian invasion. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Girl Sitting on a Mat in a Shelter in Ukraine

Dnipro, Ukraine. February 27, 2022. A girl sits on the mat in a shelter after the first civil defense siren goes off in Dnipro, central Ukraine. (Photo: Ukrinform)

In Kyiv alone, the mayor estimates that 15,000 people are living in the subway.

People Sheltering in Kharkiv Metro

Kharkiv, Ukraine. February 28, 2022. People take shelter from bombings in the Kharkiv metro. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Family in Ukraine Hiding in Metro Station

Kyiv, Ukraine. February 24, 2022. People at the metro station hiding from shelling. (Photo: Fotoreserg)

As the conflict started, many Ukrainians started finding ways to leave the country.

People Crowding Ticket Office at Train Station in Odesa

Odesa, Ukraine. February 24, 2022. People crowd the ticket offices at the railway station in Odesa, southern Ukraine. (Photo: Ukrinform)

People crowd at the Uzhhorod-Vysne Nemecke checkpoint on the Ukraine-Slovakia border

Uzhhorod, Ukraine. February 27, 2022. People crowd at the Uzhhorod-Vysne Nemecke checkpoint on the Ukraine-Slovakia border, Zakarpattia Region, western Ukraine. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Others waited in long lines as supplies began to run low.

People Lining Up to Use the ATM in Kyiv

Kyiv, Ukraine. February 24, 2022. People standing in line at the ATM. (Photo: Fotoreserg)

People Standing in Line at the Grocery Store in Kharkiv

Kharkiv, Ukraine. February 26, 2022. People stand in a line outside a supermarket. (Photo: Ukrinform)

War of Russia against Ukraine. Empty shelves in Kiev stores

Kyiv, Ukraine. February 28, 2022. Empty shelves in Kyiv grocery stores. (Photo: palinchak)

Empty shelves in Kyiv grocery stores

Kyiv, Ukraine. February 28, 2022. Empty shelves in Kyiv grocery stores. (Photo: palinchak)

Many Ukrainians have stood their ground to defend their country and report on what is happening.

Soldiers Protecting Residential Building in Kharkiv

Kharkiv, Ukraine. February 24, 2022. Ukrainian soldiers protect a residential building in Kharkiv. (Photo: standwithukraine)

Reporter in Kharkiv During Russian Invasion

Kharkiv, Ukraine. February 26, 2022. Reporter in Kharkiv city during Russia's invasion of Ukraine. (Photo: standwithukraine)

Faced with a difficult situation, the population has banded together to help when needed.

Aid for Ukrainian defenders in Vinnytsia

Vinnytsia, Ukraine. February 26, 2022. Local residents bring food, medicines, and disposable tableware for Ukrainian defenders, Vinnytsia, central Ukraine. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Volunteers Collecting Supplies in Ukraine

Uzhhorod, Ukraine. February 24, 2022. Volunteers of the Zakarpattia Soldiers Assistance Movement collect supplies in Uzhhorod, Zakarpattia Region, western Ukraine. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Unfortunately shelling in residential areas continues.

Damaged Residential Building After Shelling in Kharkiv

Kharkiv, Ukraine. February 26, 2022. Damage done to a residential building is seen after shelling in Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Damage from Shelling in Kharkiv

Kharkiv, Ukraine. February 28, 2022. Damage done to a butcher shop is seen after shelling in Kharkiv. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Communities are working together to create what is needed to defend their country against Russia.

Ukrainian Volunteers Preparing Molotov Cocktails

Uzhhorod, Ukraine. February 28, 2022. Volunteers prepare Molotov cocktails at a local park. (Photo: Fotoreserg)

Locals Make Molotov Cocktails in Ukraine

Uzhhorod, Ukraine. February 27, 2022. Local residents make Molotov cocktails. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Production of Molotov cocktails in Uzhhorod

Uzhhorod, Ukraine. February 28, 2022. A woman adds foam plastic during an effort of making Molotov cocktails. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Production of Molotov cocktails in Uzhhorod

Uzhhorod, Ukraine. February 28, 2022. Three boys carry a crate with glass bottles during an effort of making Molotov cocktails. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Whether making camouflage nets or donating blood, every contribution is important.

Making camouflage nets in Uzhhorod

Uzhhorod, Ukraine. February 28, 2022. People make camouflage nets for Ukrainian defenders. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Ukrainian Volunteers Making Camouflage Nets

Uzhhorod, Ukraine. February 24, 2022. Volunteers of the Zakarpattia Soldiers Assistance Movement make camouflage nets in Uzhhorod. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Uzhhorod, Ukraine. February 28, 2022. A woman weaves a camouflage net for Ukrainian defenders. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Uzhhorod, Ukraine. February 28, 2022. Women rip a piece of blue fabric to use the stripes to make camouflage nets for Ukrainian defenders. (Photo: Ukrinform)

People Waiting in Line to Donate Blood in Ukraine

Dnipro, Ukraine. February 25, 2022. Volunteers wait in the queue to donate blood at the Dnipro Regional Blood Transfusion Station, Dnipro, central Ukraine. (Photo: Ukrinform)

People Donating Blood in Ukraine

Dnipro, Ukraine. February 25, 2022. People donate blood at the Dnipro Regional Blood Transfusion Station. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Ukrainian Woman Donating Blood

Uzhhorod, Ukraine. February 25, 2022. A woman donates blood at the Zakarpattia Regional Blood Transfusion Station. (Photo: Ukrinform)

People Carrying Sandbags in Ukraine

Kharkiv, Ukraine. February 26, 2022. People carry bags during the Defense HQ. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Humanitarian aid in Dnipro

Dnipro, Ukraine. February 28, 2022. The coordination center for volunteers set up in the Media Space building near Rocket Park accumulates and distributes clothes, drinking water, and personal care items to help Territorial Defense Force and internally displaced persons. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Medical aid for Ukrainian defenders in Uzhhorod

Uzhhorod, Ukraine. February 28, 2022. Volunteers collect medical aid for Ukrainian defenders. (Photo: Ukrinform)

As shelling continues, the damage is devastating even if the Ukrainian spirit is resilient.

Shelling in Kharkiv

Kharkiv, Ukraine. February 24, 2022. The consequences of shelling by Russian troops are seen in a residential area in Piatykhatky. (Photo: Ukrinform

Apartment Ruined by Shelling in Ukraine

Kharkiv, Ukraine. February 24, 2022. The consequences of shelling by Russian troops are seen in a residential area in Piatykhatky. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Apartment Ruined by Shelling in Ukraine

Kharkiv, Ukraine. February 24, 2022. The consequences of shelling by Russian troops are seen in a residential area in Piatykhatky. (Photo: Ukrinform)

Rescue Work in Kharkiv

Kharkiv, Ukraine. March 2, 2022: Rescue work after rocket attacks in Kharkiv. (Photo: Fotoreserg)

Related Articles:

Artists Are Expressing Their Support for Ukraine in Emotional Illustrations

Ukraine’s President Being Hailed as a Hero for Facing Down Russian Invasion

15+ Ukraine Anti-War Protest Signs From People Demonstrating Across the Globe

Devoted Ukrainian Cat Cafe Is Staying Open to Care For 20 Kitties During the War

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content