Startling photographs show how Ukraine's cities now resemble Syria

The ghosts of Aleppo haunt the streets of Ukraine: Startling photographs show how the cities pounded by Putin’s bombs now resemble Syria’s infamous battlegrounds

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24 and dropped bombs in Kyiv after claiming his country could not develop because of a ‘constant threat’ from Ukraine 
  • Putin claims his invasion was started in a bid to rid Ukraine, a country led by Jewish President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, of ‘neo-Nazism’ 
  • Russia’s war against Ukraine is now entering its ninth day and shows no sign of stopping any time soon after talks between the two sides yesterday broke up without agreement 
  • And heartbreaking images from Ukraine over just the last nine days show how similar the country looks to Aleppo after civil unrest in 2011 broke out into full-blown war by 2016 
  • Aleppo was reduced to rubble due to in-fighting between pro-government forces, US-backed rebel troops and terrorists in the form of ISIS, who all wanted to seize control of the city 
  • Click here for MailOnline’s liveblog with the latest updates on the Ukraine crisis 

Five years after Syria was rocked by civil war which left its most populous city Aleppo in a scene of death and destruction, harrowing images reveal how Ukraine’s cities now appear in a similar state.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24 and dropped bombs in Kyiv after claiming his country could not develop because of a  ‘constant threat’ from Ukraine.

Putin claims his invasion was started in a bid to rid Ukraine, a country led by Jewish President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, of ‘neo-Nazism’.  

Russia’s war against Ukraine is now entering its ninth day and shows no sign of stopping any time soon after talks between the two sides yesterday broke up without agreement.

Putin then went on TV to declare that he would keep battling for ‘total victory’ whilst spouting propaganda that Russia’s forces are not deliberately targeting civilians and that the ‘special operation’ is proceeding on time with all of its major objectives completed to schedule. 

Russian troops have seized Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine after a firefight that set part of the complex ablaze with President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Putin of resorting to ‘nuclear terror’ and risking a catastrophe ‘six times worse than Chernobyl’ that would affect the whole continent.  

The Russians announced the capture of the southern city of Kherson, a vital Black Sea port of 280,000, and local Ukrainian officials confirmed the takeover of the government headquarters there, making it the first major city to fall since the invasion began a week ago.

A Russian airstrike on Thursday destroyed the power plant in Okhtyrka, leaving the city without heat or electricity, the head of the region said on Telegram. In the first days of the war, Russian troops attacked a military base in the city, located between Kharkiv and Kyiv, and officials said more than 70 Ukrainian soldiers were killed.

‘We are trying to figure out how to get people out of the city urgently because in a day the apartment buildings will turn into a cold stone trap without water, light or electricity,’ Dmytro Zhyvytskyy said.

Heavy fighting continued on the outskirts of another strategic port, Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. The battles have knocked out the city’s electricity, heat and water systems, as well as most phone service, officials said. Food deliveries to the city were also cut.

And heartbreaking images from Ukraine over just the last nine days show how similar the country looks to Aleppo after civil unrest in 2011 broke out into full-blown war by 2016.    

Famous for textiles, soap and its UNESCO-listed citadel, Aleppo was Syria’s economic hub and of huge historic and cultural importance.

It was reduced to rubble due to in-fighting between pro-government forces, US-backed rebel troops and terrorists in the form of ISIS, who all wanted to seize control of the city.

Houses were left inhospitable, schools and hospitals obliterated by bombs and Aleppo’s once iconic structures are in ruin.

A wounded woman is seen as airstrike damages an apartment complex outside of Kharkiv, Ukraine on February 24

An injured woman reacts at a site hit by airstrikes in the rebel held area of Old Aleppo, Syria, April 28, 2016

Serhii, father of teenager Iliya, cries on his son’s lifeless body lying on a stretcher at a maternity hospital converted into a medical ward in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2

A Free Syrian Army fighter cries near the body of his comrade in front of Dar El Shifa hospital in Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A civilian trains to throw Molotov cocktails to defend the city, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in Zhytomyr, Ukraine March 1

An opposition fighter throws a Molotov cocktail into a building held by government forces during an offensive attack in the Saif al-Dawla neighbourhood of Syria’s northern city of Aleppo, amid heavy street fighting on August 29, 2012

A woman fleeing Russian invasion of Ukraine hugs a child at a temporary camp in Przemysl, Poland, February 28, 2022

An Internally displaced Syrian woman carries a child in front of a tent at a camp, before being transported to a new housing complex in the opposition-held area of Bizaah, east of the city of al-Bab in the northern Aleppo governorate, built with the support of Turkey’s emergencies agency AFAD

Ukrainian volunteers carry a victim out of the City Hall building, following shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Men carry a dead body at a site hit by what activists said were barrel bombs dropped by forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo’s al-Shaar district April 24, 2014

Natali Sevriukova reacts next to her house following a rocket attack the city of Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, February 25, 2022

Syrian Zakia Abdullah sits on the rubble of her house in the Tariq al-Bab district of the northern city of Aleppo on February 23, 2013

A view shows destroyed military vehicles on a street, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in the town of Bucha in the Kyiv region, Ukraine March 1, 2022

In this January 20, 2017 file photo, residents walk through the destruction of the once rebel-held Salaheddine neighborhood in the eastern Aleppo, Syria

A view of the square outside the damaged local city hall of Kharkiv on March 1, 2022, destroyed as a result of Russian troop shelling

Burnt vehicles are pictured in front of the damaged the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)-backed al-Quds hospital after it was hit by airstrikes, in a rebel-held area of Syria’s Aleppo, April 28, 2016

A view shows a residential building damaged by recent shelling, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in Chernihiv, Ukraine March 3, 2022



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Residents inspect damage in a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by warplanes loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo, April 18, 2015

A view to a shelled gym building near the TV Tower on March 2, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine

An elderly Syrian sits outside a newly-reopened shop amid the destruction, where he sells tablecloths in the old city of Aleppo on July 22, 2017

A Czech medical team evacuates Ukrainian child patient Yaroslava Zun, 9, who they picked up from Lviv, at the border crossing in Korczowa, Poland on Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Relatives wheel a injured boy outside a hospital following shelling by Syrian government forces during battle with rebel fighters in the northern city of Aleppo on October 9, 2012

An aerial view shows a residential building destroyed by shelling, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in the settlement of Borodyanka in the Kyiv region, Ukraine March 3, 2022

An aerial view of the buildings destroyed by the Assad Regime forces and Russian Army in the Tariq al-Bab neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria on October 2016

A Ukrainian man stands in the rubble in Zhytomyr on March 02, 2022, following a Russian bombing the day before

Yousef Hayeni stands in front of the remains of his house following an air strike in the Syrian town of Azaz, near the northern restive city of Aleppo on August 15, 2012

Firefighters extinguish fire in a building after the shelling attack by the Russian army, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Chernihiv, Ukraine, March 3, 2022

Syrian emergency personnel extinguish the smouldering facade of the Al-Dabbeet hospital after rockets reportedly fired by rebels hit the government-controlled neighbourhood of Muhafaza in the northern city of Aleppo on May 3, 2016

A firefighter works to extinguish fire at a warehouse that caught flames, according to local authorities, after shelling, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in the village of Chaiky in the Kyiv region, Ukraine March 3, 2022

Syrian firefighters try to extinguish a fire at a bakery after it was hit by a barrel bomb dropped by Syrian regime forces in Ansari neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria on June 9, 2015

People walk past a destroyed Russian military vehicle at a frontline position on March 03, 2022 in Irpin, Ukraine

Syrians inspect the destroyed buildings following a Syrian government air strike in Aleppo, Syria, on June 26, 2014

Flames and smoke rise from a damaged gym following shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022

A Syrian rebel walks inside the damaged Umayyad Mosque in the old city of Aleppo hours before the Syrian army retook control of the complex on October 14, 2012

A man rides his bike past destroyed buildings on March 03, 2022 in Irpin, Ukraine

A boy bicycles by a damaged mosque in A’zaz, Syria, on October 17, 2012

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