Horrific before-and-after pics of the Ukrainian city Kharkiv shelled by Russia

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The effect of war on people is huge and around one million Ukrainians are already believed to have fled in the week since the war with Russia started.

The city of Kharkiv has been at the centre of war so far and has faced heavy bombardment, destroying some of its key landmarks in the process.

While concern lies mainly with people facing Vladimir Putin's bombs, it doesn't stop the destruction of such buildings from being an indication of the lengths Putin is willing to go to achieve his goals.

Experts believe it is clear that Putin thinks that Ukraine should be part of Russia – despite his false claim that the invasion is to 'de-Nazify' Ukraine – as the two share deep historical and cultural ties.

Despite this, buildings continue to be destroyed and the face of the city of Kharkiv has changed forever – the before and after pictures show us just as much.

Kharkiv Opera House

  • Brave Ukrainians celebrate as they take a joyride on seized Russian tank

The Kharkiv State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre was reported to have been hit on March 1. It is only a short walk from Freedom Square and appears to have been caught up in the attack.

The J. Paul Getty Trust said that the actions to target key landmarks in Ukraine are "deliberate".

CEO James Cuno said: "Cultural heritage has the power to unite us and is critical for achieving peace. It is also too often the target of war, another way to destroy and overtake a society by erasing its memory."

Kharkiv City Hall

  • Brave Ukrainians celebrate as they take a joyride on seized Russian tank

March 1 saw the bombing of Kharkiv's regional administration building by a missile.

Kharkiv region head Oleg Synegubov said: "Such attacks are genocide of the Ukrainian people, a war crime against the civilian population."

The city council building was also hit and the Kyiv Independent reported a day later: "According to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, the attack damaged the Kharkiv City Council building, the Palace of Labor, and high-rise buildings."

Freedom Square

Kharkiv's Freedom Square suffered a huge explosion that reduced the roads to rubble on March 1. Local authorities said at least 10 people were killed and 35 more were injured.

Before the war, Discover Ukraine said: "Since its origin and until now the Freedom Square is the centre of Kharkiv's cultural and public life.

"[The] town's major holidays, national festivities, fairs, concerts and other mass events are carried out here. The greatest number of people – over 250,000 – gathered on the Square on September 12, 2008, when the legendary band Queen performed here."

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said: "This is terror against Ukraine. There were no military targets in the square – nor are they in those residential districts of Kharkiv which come under rocket artillery fire."

Kharkiv University

Cities around the world count key university buildings among their most important.

Kharkiv University's – also known as Karazin University – Faculty of Sociology building was struck on March 2, causing a huge fire.

It is known as one of the best universities in Ukraine and is ranked between 511-520 in QS' Global World Rankings 2022.

  • Vladimir Putin
  • Military
  • Russia
  • Russia Ukraine war

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