Tears of relief and grief: Photographs from liberated towns in Ukraine

·3-min read
Tears of relief and grief: Photographs from liberated towns in Ukraine

Dozens of Ukrainian towns occupied by the Russian forces since the first weeks of the the full-scale invasion back in February were retaken by Ukrainian forces last week.

Photographs of locals stepping out of their damaged homes to meet the Ukrainian troops, of others returning home first time in 6 months together along with horrific images of mass graves, exhumations and evidence of violent deaths have emerged. See some of the most striking images from the liberated Kharkiv region in this selection. Some viewers may find these images disturbing.

September 2022. Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo
Svetlana, Volodymyr and Andrii Iezyk gather near their apartment in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine, which has been without gas, water and electricity for 6 months - September 2022. Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo
Leo Correa/AP Photo
Houses destroyed and damaged after Russian attacks on civilian neighbourhood in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine. September 2022 - Leo Correa/AP Photo
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo
Unidentified graves of civilians and Ukrainian soldiers in a cemetery during an exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine. September 2022 - Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo

You may find the following images disturbing.

Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo
Emergency workers move the body of a civilian during exhumation in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine. September 2022 - Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo
A view of exhumed unidentified graves of civilians and Ukrainian soldiers in a cemetery in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine. September 2022 - Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo
Juan Barreto/AFP
A pile of passports are pictured inside a destroyed police station in Izyum, eastern Ukraine, September 2022 - Juan Barreto/AFP
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo
A church can be seen in the distance through an apartment building destroyed by an airstrike in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine. September 2022 - Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo
Tetyana, 68, collects wood for heating from a destroyed school where Russian forces were based in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine. September 2022 - Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo
People receive water as humanitarian aid is handed out in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine. September 2022 - Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo
Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP
A watermelon with a face drawn on it is seen next to a rifle at a security checkpoint near the retaken town of Kozacha Lopan, Kharkiv region. September 2022 - Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP
Serhiy Bobok/AFP
Destroyed military vehicles and equipment are seen in the village of Husarivka, not far from the city of Balakliya, Kharkiv region, Ukraine. September 2022 - Serhiy Bobok/AFP
Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP
Olga Valkova embraces her sister-in-law Lidya Kandaurova as she returns to her liberated home village after more than six months. Troitske, Kharkiv region. September 2022 - Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP
September 2022. Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP
Olga Valkova, 64, and her husband, visit the home of her brother as she returns to her liberated home village after more than six months. Troitske, Kharkiv region. - September 2022. Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP
Kostiantyn Liberov/AP Photo
A Ukrainian soldier helps his wounded colleague while military vehicles move on the road in the freed territory in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine. September 2022 - Kostiantyn Liberov/AP Photo
Kostiantyn Liberov/AP Photo
Wounded Ukrainian soldiers are seen inside a vehicle in the freed territory of the Kharkiv region, Ukraine. September 2022 - Kostiantyn Liberov/AP Photo
Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo
A destroyed bridge across Siverskiy-Donets river is seen in the recently retaken area of Izium, Ukraine. September 2022 - Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo