On February 24th 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine using artillery shelling, airstrikes and ground attacks. Attempts to occupy areas of Ukraine were challenged by the Ukrainian counter-offensive, which saw Ukrainian forces reclaim Chernihiv, Kyiv, Sumy, Zhytomyr and Mykolaiv regions within the first year of the conflict.
While Russian military action was documented across the whole of Ukraine, including from the western Lviv region to the southern Odessa region, the oblasts bordering with Russia have seen the most intense fighting.
This includes Kharkiv Oblast, where Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, is located, on Russia’s westernmost border. Several weeks into the invasion, Russian forces had reportedly occupied dozens of cities and villages in the region, including Izyum, Kupiansk and Balaklia.
This resource presents Airwars’ documentation of civilian harm in Kharkiv oblast from the first allegation of harm recorded on February 24th 2022, to May 13th when Russian forces were pushed from the surroundings of Kharkiv city following a successful Ukrainian counter-offensive.
The full human toll of the war remains disputed and may take years to assess. This archive is intended to aid those efforts, while providing a window into how Kharkiv residents documented civilian casualties in one of the war’s most intense battle periods.