An apartment building in Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast, targeted by the Russians forces on March 12, 2022. (Evgeniy Maloletka)
It is widely believed that Russian leadership expected its all-out invasion of Ukraine to succeed within days.
Twenty days later, Ukraine still stands, and Russia has no major victories to claim. It seized only one large city and regional center, Kherson in southern Ukraine.
To force Ukraine to surrender, Russia has shelled civilians in residential areas and attacked military and civilian infrastructure, including schools, kindergartens, and hospitals all across the country. Photos of Kharkiv’s wrecked downtown and a destroyed maternity hospital in Mariupol have appeared on the front pages of newspapers all over the world.
Since Feb. 24, Russia’s aggression has killed thousands of Ukrainians, forced some three million to flee, and left cities and villages in ruins.
Ukrainian emergency workers carry an injured pregnant woman after Russian troops shelled a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast on March 9, 2022. The woman and her unborn baby have died. (Evgeniy Maloletka)
A mass grave in Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast, on March 9, 2022. According to local authorities, over 2,000 residents have been killed in the city since Feb. 24, 2022. (Mstyslav Chernov)
Firefighters rescue people from an apartment building in Kyiv that was shelled on March 14, 2022. At least one person was killed and dozens were injured. (Getty Images)
A woman in despair after an apartment building was destroyed by shelling in the northwestern Obolon district of Kyiv on March 14, 2022. (AFP/Getty Images)
Firefighters extinguish fire at a destroyed shoe factory following an airstrike in Dnipro on March 11, 2022. (AFP/Getty Images)
A burned tank and a damaged building in Volnovakha, Donetsk Oblast on March 12, 2022. The city was occupied by Russian forces after 16 days of heavy fighting. (Getty Images)
Funeral ceremony held for three Ukrainian servicemen Taras Didukh, 25, Andrii Stefanyshyn, 39, and Dmytro Kabakov, 58, in Lviv on March 11, 2022. (Getty Images)
A resident prays by a candle while sheltering in the basement as Russian forces move through the city on March 7, 2022 in Irpin, Kyiv Oblast. (Getty Images)
Andriy says goodbye to his partner Yarina before boarding a train to Dnipro on March 9, 2022 in Lviv. As civilian Ukrainians flee to western Ukraine and abroad to escape Russia’s assault, military personnel are heading east to fight. (Getty Images)
Firefighters put out the fire after a Russian missile hit downtown Kharkiv on March 14, 2022. (Getty Images)
The bodies of two civilians killed by Russian shelling are seen in the central park of Irpin, Kyiv Oblast, on March 10, 2022. Irpin, a suburb northwest of Kyiv, had experienced days of sustained shelling by Russian forces advancing toward the capital. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
A family walks down a stairwell pocked with shrapnel from an earlier rocket strike in Mykolayiv. The regional capital in southern Ukraine has been under frequent bombardment by Russian forces trying to advance along the Black Sea coast. (Getty Images)
People walk amid destruction as they evacuate from Irpin, Kyiv Oblast, on March 10, 2022. A body of a civilian man killed by Russian forces is seen nearby. (Getty Images)
A rescuer pushes a trolley with an elderly woman during an evacuation in Irpin, Kyiv Oblast, on March 8, 2022. (AFP/Getty Images)
A Ukrainian soldier stands near the blown-up bridge in Irpin, Kyiv Oblast, as Territorial Defense volunteers help civilians cross the river and flee on March 7, 2022. (Volodymyr Petrov)
A man stands inside his house wrecked by Russian shelling in Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast. The city has been under Russian siege for over two weeks. (Evgeniy Maloletka)