Images from one year of fighting in Ukraine after Russia launched an all-out invasion by land, air and sea, the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War Two.
One year of war in Ukraine
Filed: February 17, 2023, 2 p.m. GMT
One year has passed since Russia launched its invasion of neighboring Ukraine, an operation that both Moscow and military experts predicted would be over in a matter of days.
But Ukrainian defenders surprised the world by unexpectedly holding out against early Russian attacks and then launching a series of counter attacks, laying waste to Russian armor, supply lines and manpower, pressing the invading superpower into a series of humiliating defeats that laid bare the many shortcomings of post-Soviet military might.
Twelve months after the conflict started the frontlines have stiffened. Russian forces, reinforced by the largest troop call-up since World War Two, have changed tactics, gambling on a grinding war of attrition in the once industrial, now-devastated Donbas region, seeking a foothold after months of setbacks to what Moscow calls its ‘special military operation’.
The war has devastated Ukraine, with cities and towns flattened by artillery and missile strikes. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed or injured. Some 8 million Ukrainians, roughly 20% of the pre-war population, have fled abroad for safety, while millions more remain displaced within the country.
A 600-mile (1,000-km) ferociously-contested frontline cuts across the southeast of Ukraine, where thousands of shells are expended and – according to Ukrainian officials - hundreds of soldiers killed daily in scenes reminiscent of the carnage of World War One.
Massive Russian missile strikes on major Ukrainian cities mean the capital Kyiv regularly goes dark, its metro system a citywide bomb shelter. Fields that once served as ‘Europe’s breadbasket’ now lay withered, scarred by artillery craters and tank tracks.
Reuters photographers have been documenting the conflict since the start, bearing witness to a war few military observers see ending anytime soon.
A veteran of the Ukrainian National Guard Azov battalion conducts military exercises for civilians amid the threat of Russian invasion, in Kyiv, Ukraine, January 30, 2022.
A civilian trains to throw Molotov cocktails to defend the city, in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, March 1, 2022.
People with their newborn children take shelter in the basement of a perinatal center as an air raid siren sounds, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 2, 2022.
Local residents run for cover as they escape from the town of Irpin, after heavy shelling on the only escape route used by locals, while Russian troops advance towards the capital of Kyiv, in Irpin, near Kyiv, Ukraine, March 6, 2022.
Several men carry a woman as people flee from advancing Russian troops, in the town of Irpin outside Kyiv, March 8, 2022.
A monument of city founder Duke de Richelieu is seen covered with sandbags for protection, in Odessa, Ukraine, March 10, 2022.
A Ukrainian soldier hides from a helicopter air strike near Demydiv, Ukraine, March 10, 2022.
A resident carries his cat that was rescued from his home after it was hit by a shell, in the Obolon district in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 14, 2022.
People and medics help a wounded resident off a house destroyed by shelling, in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 14, 2022.
Tracers are seen in the night sky as Ukrainian servicemen fire on a drone in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 14, 2022.
A service member of pro-Russian troops sits next to a body of a serviceman killed in fighting in the city of Mariupol, Ukraine March 31, 2022.
A teardrop rolls down a young woman's cheek aboard a bus after fleeing from Ukraine to Romania, at the border crossing in Siret, Romania, March 16, 2022.
Tetiana Chornovol, a former member of the Ukrainian Parliament, now a service member and operator of an anti-tank guided missile weapon system, pulls an anti-tank missile out of a car at a position on the front line, in the Kyiv region, March 20, 2022.
People receive food from volunteers in a metro station used as a shelter in northern Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 24, 2022.
A man walks past a fire after a shelling, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 25, 2022.
A view shows an armored convoy of pro-Russian troops on a road leading to the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, March 28, 2022.
Sergiy, who received injuries to his head and lost fingers during a rocket attack on his village, lies in a hospital bed in Chuhuiv outside Kharkiv, April 1, 2022.
Oleg Smolin reacts as a nurse treats his wounds after he was injured during a rocket attack, at a hospital in Chuhuiv outside Kharkiv, April 1, 2022.
The hand of Iryna Filkina, a woman who according to residents was killed by Russian army soldiers, is pictured as her body lies on the street, in Bucha, Kyiv region, Ukraine, April 2, 2022.
A Ukrainian service member walks in a front of an Antonov An-225 Mriya cargo plane, the world's biggest aircraft, destroyed by Russian troops, at an airfield in the settlement of Hostomel, in Kyiv region, Ukraine, April 3, 2022.
A body with hands bound by white cloth, who according to residents was shot by Russian soldiers, lies on the street, in Bucha, Ukraine April 3, 2022.
An aerial view shows damaged residential buildings in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 3, 2022.
A woman carries her cat as she walks past buildings that were destroyed by Russian shelling, in Borodyanka, in the Kyiv region, Ukraine, April 5, 2022.
Serhii Lahovskyi, 26, mourns next to the grave of his friend Ihor Lytvynenko, who according to residents was killed by Russian soldiers, after they found him beside a building's basement, in Bucha, Kyiv region, Ukraine, April 6, 2022.
A body of a woman is seen lying on the floor inside her house, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in the town of Bucha, outside Kyiv, April 6, 2022.
A bird is seen next to an installation representing a missile stuck in the ground, which was set up before Russia's attack on Ukraine, in front of the damaged Regional State Administration building in Kharkiv, April 11, 2022.
New graves are prepared for those killed during Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at a cemetery in Irpin, Kyiv region, April 18, 2022.
A view shows residential buildings destroyed during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the town of Irpin, outside Kyiv, April 29, 2022.
Service members of the Ukrainian armed forces, who surrendered at the besieged Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol, sit in a bus upon their arrival under escort of the pro-Russian military in the settlement of Olenivka in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, May 20, 2022.
A woman reacts during the funeral of Volodymyr Kochetov, 46, who was killed in a battle against Russian troops, in the village of Babyntsi, June 30, 2022.
Sergii Veselyi, 51, speaks to his wife Svetlana, as he lies in an emergency vehicle after he was injured during shelling in Sloviansk, in Kramatorsk, Donetsk region, July 5, 2022.
Ukrainian service members fire a shell from a M777 Howitzer at a front line, in Kharkiv Region, Ukraine, July 21, 2022.
Ukrainian servicemen carry bodies of Russian soldiers before putting them in a refrigerated rail car, in Kyiv, Ukraine, May 13, 2022.
A Ukrainian serviceman takes cover as an air-raid siren sounds during a Russian drone strike, which local authorities consider to be Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Shahed-136, in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 17, 2022.
A general view shows the city center without electricity after critical civil infrastructure was hit by Russian missiles, in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 24, 2022.
A young man eats inside a subway car, as residents find shelter from shelling in a metro station, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, April 11, 2022.
Local resident Nataliia Porkhun holds flowers to present them to Ukrainian service members in the recently retaken village of Kyselivka, outside of Kherson, Ukraine, November 12, 2022.
A Russian fighter jet flies above a railway junction on fire following recent shelling in the town of Shakhtarsk (Shakhtyorsk) near Donetsk, Russian-controlled Ukraine, October 27, 2022.
Colleagues and friends attend a funeral ceremony for Ukrainian serviceman and ballet dancer Vadym Khlupianets, who was killed in a fight against Russian troops, at the National Academic Operetta's Theatre in Kyiv, Ukraine, November 24, 2022.
Ukrainian servicemen with the Dnipro-1 Special Tasks Patrol Police regiment Raphael Karapitian, 45 and Roman Kapinus, 39, walks with with weapons beside a decorated Christmas tree in the trenches on the front line, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, on Christmas Eve in Bakhmut, Ukraine, December 24, 2022.
A Russian tank, destroyed during Russia's attack on Ukraine, is seen in a backyard garden of a local resident Valerii in the village of Velyka Dymerka, Kyiv region, Ukraine, July 22, 2022.
A woman reacts as she says goodbye to her serviceman husband before he leaves to the frontline in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, April 26, 2022.
Graves of Russian Wagner mercenary group fighters are seen in a cemetery near the village of Bakinskaya in Krasnodar region, Russia, January 22, 2023.
Yana Bachek is consoled by her partner Yevgeniy Vlasenko and her mother Lyubov Gubareva, as she mourns over the body of her father Victor Gubarev, 79, killed by shelling during Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, April 18, 2022.
The Wider Image
Writing: Jeremy Schultz
Photo editing: Reuters Staff
Text editing: David Ljunggren and Rosalba O’Brien
Design: Jeremy Schultz