Urban centers in Ukraine, including Milwaukee’s sister city Irpin, continued to face increasingly heavy bombardment on March 6 and 7 as Russia’s nearly two-week invasion of its neighboring country intensified.

Scenes of destruction were reported around the country, with Ukrainian soldiers seen carrying civilians away from Russian attacks. Others who could not be saved from the barrage lay dead in the streets.

A Ukrainian presidential adviser said that as the sun went down the largest wave of missile attacks would began, with heavy shelling on the outskirts of Kyiv but also hitting Irpin, Chernihiv, Mykolaiv, and Kharkiv.

Amid the deaths, the fires and the crowds of desperate people fleeing the fighting, there were glimmers of hope, like the wedding of two members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces, with flowers, fatigues and a helmet for a wedding crown. Others, meanwhile, attended church services.

Diplomatic efforts to end the war continued with meetings and calls among leaders in Europe and beyond. So far some 1.5 million Ukrainians have been driven from their country by the violence.

Ukrainian servicemen help an elderly woman in Irpin. 📸 Аndrіy Dubchаk

A Ukrainian man rides his bicycle near a factory and a store burning after they had been bombarded in Irpin. 📸 Еmіlіо Mоrеnаttі

A soldier holds a helmet as a wedding crown during the wedding ceremony for members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces Lesia Ivashchenko and Valerii Fylymonov, at a checkpoint in Kyiv. 📸 Еfrеm Lukаtsky

A woman cries during a religious service at the St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral in Kyiv. 📸 Vаdіm Ghіrdа

A worshipper prays in front of pictures of fallen soldiers at the Saints Peter and Paul Garrison Church in Lviv, western Ukraine. The memorial is dedicated to Ukrainian soldiers who died after 2014. 📸 Bеrnаt Аrmаnguе

A Ukrainian woman dressed in military attire prays inside the Saints Peter and Paul Garrison Church in Lviv. 📸 Bеrnаt Аrmаnguе

Civilians cross a destroyed bridge amid rubble in the city of Irpin, near Kyiv. 📸 Оlеksаndr Rаtushnіаk

A man opens his arms as he stands near a house destroyed in the Russian artillery shelling, in the village of Horenka close to the capital, Kyiv. 📸 Еfrеm Lukаtsky

A woman carried by Ukrainian soldiers crosses an improvised path while fleeing the town of Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv. 📸 Оlеksаndr Rаtushnіаk

Refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine form a line as they approach the border with Poland in Shehyni, Ukraine. 📸 Dаnіеl Cоlе

Refugees who fled Ukraine from the war cover themselves with a blanket while they wait for a bus to leave Korczowa border crossing, Poland. 📸 Czаrеk Sоkоlоwskі

People hide from Russian artillery shelling in a school basement in the village of Horenka close to Kyiv. 📸 Еfrеm Lukаtsky

Residents of Irpin, Ukraine, flee heavy fighting across a ruined bridge as Russian forces enter the city. 📸 Chrіs McGrаth

Strollers sit, abandoned, under a ruined bridge as people flee the city of Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine. 📸 Аrіs Messіnіs

Ukrainian soldiers and militiamen carry a woman in a wheelchair as artillery echoes nearby, while people flee Irpin on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine. 📸 Еmіlіо Morеnаttі

Аndrіy Dubchаk, Еmіlіо Mоrеnаttі, Еfrеm Lukаtsky, Vаdіm Ghіrdа, Bеrnаt Аrmаnguе, Оlеksаndr Rаtushnіаk, Dаnіеl Cоlе, Czаrеk Sоkоlоwskі, Chrіs McGrаth, and Аrіs Messіnіs