Ukrainian citizens return to Kharkiv: Ukraine war in photos

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Ukraine war in photos: In Kharkiv, ‘normal’ may be a long way away

Earlier in the war in Ukraine, after Russian mishaps and a strong Ukrainian resistance forced a Russian retreat from the area surrounding the capital, Kyiv, we soon saw evidence of a return to normalcy in the city. People returning to their homes, businesses reopening, foreign dignitaries visiting and so forth.

Now, the Russians have been driven from the country’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, and in some ways, that pattern is repeating itself. People are returning to the city or emerging from shelters, and trying to return to something like life before the war began.

But as these photos make clear, the similarity ends there. While the battle for Kyiv was fought in the towns and small cities that surround the capital, the battle for Kharkiv was felt intensely inside the city itself. So in this case, returning home is a very different proposition. The rebuilding will take a long time. The trauma will be felt more deeply. And anything like “normalcy” may be a long way away.

ZHUKOVSKY, KHARKIV, UKRAINE - 2022/05/17: Workers clean debris from a destroyed building in the Zhukovsky district. As Russia re-supplies its troops and concentrates the offensive on the eastern part of Ukraine, Kharkiv and the surrounding area of Ukraine are now under constant threat of Russian bombardment and airstrikes. (Photo by Aziz Karimov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - MAY 19: A destroyed Russian tank is seen in a damaged field in the village of Biskvitne, Kharkiv region, Ukraine on May 19, 2022. (Photo by Sofia Bobok/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - MAY 19: A destroyed Russian tank is seen in a damaged field in the village of Biskvitne, Kharkiv region, Ukraine on May 19, 2022. (Photo by Sofia Bobok/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - MAY 19: A destroyed building is seen in a damaged field in the village of Biskvitne, Kharkiv region, Ukraine on May 19, 2022. (Photo by Sofia Bobok/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - MAY 19: A destroyed building and a destroyed vehicle are seen in a damaged field in the village of Biskvitne, Kharkiv region, Ukraine on May 19, 2022. (Photo by Sofia Bobok/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - MAY 19: Damaged solar panels are seen at the damaged meat processing plant after Russian attacks in the village of Vilkhivka, Kharkiv region, Ukraine on May 19, 2022. (Photo by Sofia Bobok/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - MAY 19: A destroyed building and a destroyed Russian tank are seen in a damaged field in the village of Biskvitne, Kharkiv region, Ukraine on May 19, 2022. (Photo by Sofia Bobok/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - MAY 19: Russian shells are seen in a damaged field in the village of Biskvitne, Kharkiv region, Ukraine on May 19, 2022. (Photo by Sofia Bobok/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - MAY 19: A military ammunition left over from the clashes is seen on the road in the village of Biskvitne, Kharkiv region, Ukraine on May 19, 2022. (Photo by Sofia Bobok/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - MAY 19: A damaged farm and cows are seen after Russian attacks in the village of Vilkhivka, Kharkiv region, Ukraine on May 19, 2022. (Photo by Sofia Bobok/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - MAY 19: A view of damaged farm building after Russian attacks in the village of Vilkhivka, Kharkiv region, Ukraine on May 19, 2022. (Photo by Sofia Bobok/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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