By Jiachuan Wu, JoElla Carman, Erin Einhorn and Monica Hersher
Feb. 25, 2022
When explosions first rang out across Ukraine around 5 a.m. local time on Thursday, residents scrambled for cover and headed for the country’s borders to flee to safety. Moscow had officially launched a series of attacks on the country, which Russian President Vladimir Putin had been foreshadowing.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country was under attack “from the south, north, east and from the air.” Russian ground forces entered regions across the country, bombs fell on major cities, and cruise and ballistic missiles targeted military control centers in the area of the capital, Kyiv. On the second day of the advance, as the capital was rocked by explosions, residents and leaders braced for the city to be overrun.
By Thursday afternoon, Russian forces had taken control of the Chernobyl nuclear plant north of Kyiv where a 1986 reactor explosion caused the release of large amounts of radiation into the environment.
The invasion represents what could be the largest security threat to Europe since World War II. Ukrainian officials reported that more than 100 Ukrainian soldiers and Russian soldiers have died, along with at least several civilians. The Ukrainian government warned residents in Obolon, a district north of the capital, not to go outside early Friday.
Use this interactive map to explore the areas affected, with photos and videos. Events are in roughly chronological order.