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Photos: Evacuees flee Russian aggression, leaving cities and loved ones behind

<strong>March 13</strong>: A resident stands next to a sandbag barricade in Odesa.
Bulent Kilic
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AFP via Getty Images
<strong>March 13</strong>: A resident stands next to a sandbag barricade in Odesa.

Updated March 13, 2022 at 1:53 PM ET

Russia is intensifying its attacks on western Ukraine.

Russian forces launched a series of missiles at a Ukrainian air base near the town of Yavoriv, killing at least 35 people. The facility is located between Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine, and the border with Poland, a NATO member.

More than 2.5 million Ukrainians have fled their homes since Russia invaded more than two weeks ago, and around 1.5 million of the refugees are believed to be in Poland.

Polish authorities are converting sports arenas into shelters to house more Ukrainians, and scores of volunteers are helping people who cross the border find rides to safer areas.

Here's a look into the last few days on the ground.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

<strong>March 13:</strong> Yuri (right), a bus driver, and his son Ruslan, a doctor, stand in front of a bus damaged in this morning's air strikes at a nearby military complex, while they wait outside Novoiavorivsk District Hospital in Ukraine.
Dan Kitwood / Getty Images
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Getty Images
<strong>March 13:</strong> Yuri (right), a bus driver, and his son Ruslan, a doctor, stand in front of a bus damaged in this morning's air strikes at a nearby military complex, while they wait outside Novoiavorivsk District Hospital in Ukraine.
<strong>March 13:</strong> Ukranian servicemen carry a stretcher on a makeshift pathway to cross a river next to a destroyed bridge as they evacuate a man from Irpin.
Aris Messinis / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
<strong>March 13:</strong> Ukranian servicemen carry a stretcher on a makeshift pathway to cross a river next to a destroyed bridge as they evacuate a man from Irpin.
<strong>March 13</strong>: Ukrainian servicemen aim their weapons from a position under a destroyed bridge in Irpin.
Aris Messinis / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
<strong>March 13</strong>: Ukrainian servicemen aim their weapons from a position under a destroyed bridge in Irpin.
<strong>March 12:</strong> Refugees fleeing the war from neighboring Ukraine sit in the waiting room of the Suceava railway station, in Suceava, Romania.
Andreea Alexandru / AP
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AP
<strong>March 12:</strong> Refugees fleeing the war from neighboring Ukraine sit in the waiting room of the Suceava railway station, in Suceava, Romania.
<strong>March 13:</strong> Evacuees walk on a makeshift pathway to cross a river next to a destroyed bridge as they flee the city of Irpin.
Dimitar Dilkoff / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
<strong>March 13:</strong> Evacuees walk on a makeshift pathway to cross a river next to a destroyed bridge as they flee the city of Irpin.
<strong>March 13:</strong> Thousands of protesters taking part in a demonstration against Russia's invasion of Ukraine near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
John Macdougall / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
<strong>March 13:</strong> Thousands of protesters taking part in a demonstration against Russia's invasion of Ukraine near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
<strong>March 12:</strong> A Ukrainian serviceman walks near the position he was guarding in Mariupol.
Evgeniy Maloletka / AP
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AP
<strong>March 12:</strong> A Ukrainian serviceman walks near the position he was guarding in Mariupol.
<strong>March 12:</strong> Families board buses to the border of Poland in Lviv, Ukraine.
/ Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
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Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
<strong>March 12:</strong> Families board buses to the border of Poland in Lviv, Ukraine.
<strong>March 12:</strong> Families board buses to the border of Poland in Lviv, Ukraine.
/ Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
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Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
<strong>March 12:</strong> Families board buses to the border of Poland in Lviv, Ukraine.
<strong>March 12:</strong> A mother and son sleep in a family area while waiting to board a train to Poland in Lviv, Ukraine.
/ Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
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Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
<strong>March 12:</strong> A mother and son sleep in a family area while waiting to board a train to Poland in Lviv, Ukraine.
<strong>March 12:</strong> People talk near the wrapped statue of Diana, sitting atop a fountain, near the city council in Lviv, western Ukraine.
/ Yuriy Dyachyshyn/AFP via Getty Images
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Yuriy Dyachyshyn/AFP via Getty Images
<strong>March 12:</strong> People talk near the wrapped statue of Diana, sitting atop a fountain, near the city council in Lviv, western Ukraine.
<strong>March 12: </strong>Residents try to strengthen the wall of a house damaged by recent shelling, on the outskirts Kyiv.
/ Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images
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Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images
<strong>March 12: </strong>Residents try to strengthen the wall of a house damaged by recent shelling, on the outskirts Kyiv.
<strong>March 11: </strong>Ukrainians inside a bunker in Lviv, following the air raid alarm, amid Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Lviv, Ukraine.
/ Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images
<strong>March 11: </strong>Ukrainians inside a bunker in Lviv, following the air raid alarm, amid Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Lviv, Ukraine.
<strong>March 12:</strong> A view to the road and the smoke coming from the storage facility in Brovary, Ukraine.
/ Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images
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Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images
<strong>March 12:</strong> A view to the road and the smoke coming from the storage facility in Brovary, Ukraine.
<strong>March 11:</strong> People at a centre for displaced persons in Kyiv, Ukraine.
/ Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
<strong>March 11:</strong> People at a centre for displaced persons in Kyiv, Ukraine.
<strong>March 12:</strong> A Ukrainian soldier examines a destroyed Russian armoured personal carrier (APC) in Irpin, north of Kyiv.
/ Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images
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Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images
<strong>March 12:</strong> A Ukrainian soldier examines a destroyed Russian armoured personal carrier (APC) in Irpin, north of Kyiv.
<strong>March 12:</strong> Firefighters extinguish a fire on a house after shelling on the 17th day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Kyiv.
/ Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images
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Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images
<strong>March 12:</strong> Firefighters extinguish a fire on a house after shelling on the 17th day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Kyiv.
<strong>March 12:</strong> Police officers and residents stand next to a shell crater in front of a house damaged by recent shelling, on the outskirts Kyiv.
/ Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images
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Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images
<strong>March 12:</strong> Police officers and residents stand next to a shell crater in front of a house damaged by recent shelling, on the outskirts Kyiv.
<strong>March 11:</strong> A man in a bunker for displaced persons in Kyiv, Ukraine.
/ Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
<strong>March 11:</strong> A man in a bunker for displaced persons in Kyiv, Ukraine.
<strong>March 11:</strong> Funeral ceremony is held for three Ukrainian servicemen Taras Didukh (25), Andrii Stefanyshyn (39) and Dmytro Kabakov (58) in Lviv, Ukraine.
/ Alejandro Martinez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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Alejandro Martinez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
<strong>March 11:</strong> Funeral ceremony is held for three Ukrainian servicemen Taras Didukh (25), Andrii Stefanyshyn (39) and Dmytro Kabakov (58) in Lviv, Ukraine.
<strong>March 11:</strong> Funeral ceremony is held for three Ukrainian servicemen Taras Didukh (25), Andrii Stefanyshyn (39) and Dmytro Kabakov (58) in Lviv, Ukraine.
/ Alejandro Martinez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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Alejandro Martinez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
<strong>March 11:</strong> Funeral ceremony is held for three Ukrainian servicemen Taras Didukh (25), Andrii Stefanyshyn (39) and Dmytro Kabakov (58) in Lviv, Ukraine.
<strong>March 12:</strong> A Ukranian serviceman walks towards the front line in the city of Irpin, northern Ukraine.
/ Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images
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Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images
<strong>March 12:</strong> A Ukranian serviceman walks towards the front line in the city of Irpin, northern Ukraine.
<strong>March 10:</strong> A Ukrainian woman who fled the war in her country takes refuge in the main hall of an athletic complex in the Moldovan capital Chisinau (Kishinev).
/ Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images
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Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images
<strong>March 10:</strong> A Ukrainian woman who fled the war in her country takes refuge in the main hall of an athletic complex in the Moldovan capital Chisinau (Kishinev).
<strong>March 10: </strong>Trenches are prepared by the side of the road as a precaution amid Russian attacks, in Kyiv, Ukraine.
/ Emin Sansar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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Emin Sansar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
<strong>March 10: </strong>Trenches are prepared by the side of the road as a precaution amid Russian attacks, in Kyiv, Ukraine.
<strong>March 10:</strong> Residents of Irpin and Bucha flee fighting via a destroyed bridge in Irpin, Ukraine. Irpin, a suburb northwest of Kyiv, had experienced days of sustained shelling by Russian forces advancing toward the capital.
/ Chris McGrath/Getty Images
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Chris McGrath/Getty Images
<strong>March 10:</strong> Residents of Irpin and Bucha flee fighting via a destroyed bridge in Irpin, Ukraine. Irpin, a suburb northwest of Kyiv, had experienced days of sustained shelling by Russian forces advancing toward the capital.