Russia's Invasion Is Breaking Up Ukrainian Families And The Photos Are Heartbreaking

More than 1.2 million Ukrainians have fled their homeland, but many others are staying to fight, leading to emotional scenes at train stations as families say their goodbyes.

Andriy Andriyenko / AP

A couple embrace prior to the woman boarding a train carriage leaving for western Ukraine, at the railway station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine on Feb. 27, 2022.

As Russian missiles hit their towns and tanks roll through their streets, many Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homeland.

In an exodus that is unparalleled in recent European history, more than 1.2 million Ukrainians have sought sanctuary in neighboring countries since the Russian invasion began last week, UN High Commissioner of Refugees Filippo Grandi said Friday.

But many others have stayed to fight.

Ukraine's government has enacted martial law and required men ages 18 to 60 to remain in the country in order to defend it against the Russian attack.

That has led to heartbreaking scenes at train and bus stations across the country as children say goodbye to their fathers and wives bid farewell to their husbands.

Emilio Morenatti / AP

A couple says goodbye before a woman boards a train bound for Lviv at the Kyiv station, March 3, 2022.

Emilio Morenatti / AP

Aleksander, 41, presses his palms against the window as he says goodbye to his daughter Anna, 5, on a train to Lviv at the Kyiv station on March 4. Aleksander has to stay behind to fight in the war while his family leaves the country to seek refuge in a neighboring country.

Emilio Morenatti / AP

Stanislav, 40, kisses his wife Anna, 35, on a train to Lviv as they say goodbye at the Kyiv station on March 3.

Emilio Morenatti / AP

Natalia, 57, cries as she says goodbye to her daughter and grandson on a train to Lviv at the Kyiv on March 3.

Vadim Ghirda / AP

A woman bids a man goodbye after boarding a Lviv-bound train in Kyiv on March 3.

Andriy Andriyenko / AP

A child speaks on the phone as he says goodbye to a relative looking out the window of a train carriage waiting to leave Kramatorsk for western Ukraine on March 2.

Chris Mcgrath / Getty Images

Oleg kisses his wife, Yana, goodbye through a train platform fence in Irpin, Ukraine, as she waits to board an evacuation train with their 11-month-old son, Maksim, after fleeing heavy overnight fighting on March 4.

Emilio Morenatti / AP

Stanislav, 40, says goodbye to his son, David, 2, and his wife, Anna, 35, who are on board a train to Lviv at the Kyiv station on March 3. Stanislav is staying to fight while his family is leaving the country to seek refuge in a neighboring country.

BuzzFeed News has a team on the ground in Ukraine. Follow Chris Miller, Isobel Koshiw, and Pete Kiehart’s reporting on Twitter and read all of their work here.