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See Photos on the Ground in Ukraine

For weeks, a Russian invasion had been feared, but once the sweeping attacks began on Thursday, hitting seemingly every corner of Ukraine, the war became unavoidably tangible for its people, a hovering cloud of darkness that once seemed unimaginable in the post-Cold War era.

Hearing the booms of missile explosions and air attacks, and reports of battles that had killed both civilians and soldiers, some vowed to fight the intruders however they could. Most also realized, though, that life defying Russia’s overwhelming might was likely to be unsettled and treacherous.

In parts of Ukraine, people cleaned out grocery stores. They rushed the A.T.M.s to get their savings while they could. Many thousands waited in impossible lines for bus tickets or sat in their cars in monstrous traffic jams, all seeking to head west, ideally to NATO-protected Poland. Others took up arms in volunteer militias or donated blood to their fellow citizens.

As Ukrainian forces waged intense battles for Kyiv, the capital, and other major cities, people waited to see what might come of an agreement by their president on Sunday to hold talks with Russia. Photographers with The New York Times and other news organizations are throughout Ukraine, providing a look at a populace coping with the uncertainty and fear of a military invasion.

Civilian volunteers in Dnipro organizing and packing donations for distribution.

Loading empty bottles to be used for improvised gas bombs in Dnipro.

Volunteers filling sand bags in Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine, in an effort to fortify the city’s defenses.

Worshipers at morning services at St. Paraskeva Orthodox Church in Kalynivka, Ukraine.

The Sunday service in Kalynivka, in central Ukraine.

Emergency workers at the scene after a residential building was hit by missiles in Kyiv.

A burned vehicle at the scene of a fierce pre-dawn battle between Ukrainian and Russian forces in Kyiv.

Ukrainian emergency workers outside a residential building in Kyiv that was hit by a missile.

Ukrainian volunteers getting a briefing before being deployed to fight Russian troops in Kyiv.

A Ukrainian nurse, Iryna Salujan, drawing blood from Slava Kamshyshov, 50, as Ukrainians spent hours in line to donate blood for wounded soldiers and civilians in Kyiv.

Volunteers hand-tied camouflage netting for use by the military in Kalynivka.

An evacuee from Ukraine crying as she arrived with relatives in the Polish village of Medyka, at the border crossing with Ukraine. More than 100,000 Ukrainians had entered Poland as of Saturday.

Cars lined up for nearly two miles to pick up family members from Ukraine who had entered Poland.

An employee of the Kalynivka road service removed a road sign on Saturday. Workers around Ukraine were ordered to remove road signs to complicate navigation for Russian troops.

Svetlana Akimova, 82, on Saturday in a parking garage where she had been seeking shelter for the past day amid heavy fighting outside her apartment building in Kyiv.

Demonstrators confronting the police during an antiwar protest in Moscow on Saturday.

A member of a locally organized security patrol inspecting a bus shelter while on the lookout for Russian saboteurs in Khomutyntsi, in central Ukraine.

The body of a Russian soldier next to an armored vehicle that Ukrainian soldiers said was Russian, in Kharkiv.

Ukrainian soldiers at the entrance to Kharkiv, in the shadow of huge blue and yellow letters spelling the city’s name.

A Ukrainian military position outside Kharkiv.

Ukrainian emergency services officers in Kharkiv trying to remove the body of a rocket they said was fired by Russian forces on Friday.

A residential building was hit by missiles in Kyiv on Friday.

Cleaning up debris after a residential building was struck by missiles in Kyiv.

The remnants of a downed aircraft in Kyiv.

Social media videos and news footage from Friday depicted the scope of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the toll it was taking on its citizens.

People seeking safety from bombings in subway cars and in the halls of the subway station in Kharkiv.

Ukrainians leaving the Polish village of Medyka on a minibus after crossing the Ukraine-Poland border on Friday.

Ludmyla Viytovych with her daughters Sofia and Solomea at a makeshift reception center at the train station in Przemysl, Poland. Mrs. Viytovych was traveling toward Vienna, where her family lives.

Refugees from Ukraine waiting for transportation upon their arrival in Medyka at the pedestrian border crossing.

Military volunteers loading magazines with ammunition at a weapons storage facility after the Ukrainian government announced it would arm civilians to resist the Russian invasion.

Military volunteers receiving weapons in Fastiv.

The aftermath of a strike on a military airport on Thursday in Chuguyev, near Kharkiv.

Families boarding evacuation trains in Kramatorsk on Thursday evening, bound for Kyiv and Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine.

The remnants of a munition piercing an apartment near Kharkiv.

Lining up to withdraw cash in Severodonetsk.

Video: Families fleeing Thursday’s attack in Kyiv were stuck in traffic for miles on the capital’s longest avenue, as they tried to escape the advancement of Russian troops.

Ukrainian military vehicles on the side of the road outside Severodonetsk.

Covering a body after bombings in Chuguiv.

Packing up belongings from an apartment to move farther away from shelling in Kramatorsk.

Praying at St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery on Thursday in Kyiv.

Russian attacks damaged radar arrays and other equipment at a Ukrainian military site outside Mariupol.

Waiting for trains out of the city at the main station in Kramatorsk.

Dusk in Kyiv on Thursday. Russian forces were advancing on the city, a U.S. Defense Department official said.

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