As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, citizens caught in the crossfire are grabbing their suitcases — and their pets — as they seek safety in bomb shelters or neighboring countries.
Caman Denysenko tries to calm his spooked cat as he joins hundreds of people seeking shelter underground in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Minutes after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation on Thursday morning, The New York Times reported, explosions were visible in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city.
In Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, the airstrikes started before dawn on Thursday. Across the city of 3 million people, the sound of explosions, gunfire, and sirens was heard, Reuters reported.
A woman with a suitcase and an enclosed cat carrier in Kyiv.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky posted a defiant video on Friday, purportedly from streets of besieged Kyiv, with top government leaders.
"We are all here," he said in a video posted to his Facebook page with the words: "We're in here. We are in Kiev. We defend Ukraine."
A woman holds her dog while talking on the phone after crossing from Ukraine into Romania.
Many Ukrainians are fleeing to nearby countries, including Poland and Moldova.
As Business Insider previously reported, hundreds of Ukrainian refugees crossed the border into Poland on Thursday, and government officials believe another 1 million could arrive in the coming weeks.
Romanian Interior Minister Lucian Bode said that nearly 11,000 Ukrainians crossed into Romania on the first day of the Russian invasion, Reuters reported.
Of the almost 11,000 people, Bode said 7,000 remain in Romania while 3,660 people passed through the country on their way to Bulgaria and Hungary.
So far, Romania, Poland and Finland are accepting families with their pets.
We pray for Ukraine and the quick resolution to this madness.