Claim: An image shows people taking shelter at the Kharkiv metro station, allegedly during the Russian bombing on 26 May 2024.

Fact: The image is not recent. It does show people taking shelter at the Kharkiv metro station but the picture is from two years ago when Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

On 26 May 2024, X (formerly Twitter) user @k_sonin claimed (archived), “Kharkiv metro today. People are sheltering from Russian missiles and bombs. Putin and his criminal war must be stopped,” and posted a picture showing people taking shelter with their belongings at a metro station in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, suggesting that the scene is recent, when Russia bombed a superstore in Kharkiv on 25 May.

Russia bombed a hardware superstore in Kharkiv on 25 May 2024 leaving 18 dead. Reports of a second strike on the same day left eight injured. Kharkiv has been the worst-hit city since the beginning of the on-going Russia-Ukraine war, reports say.

Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.  The war, which has lasted for over two years, has caused at least 85,000 military casualties on the Russian side, whereas some reports estimate the casualties in numbers as high as 150,000.

The Ukrainian military, on the other hand, has suffered around 31,000 casualties as of February 2024. 

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check conducted a Google reverse image search of the image in question and found posts on X (formerly Twitter) which had shared the image as early as February 2022.

“People spend the night on the subway,” said one X user on 25 February 2022, about the same picture of people sheltering at the Kharkiv metro station. 

“The pictures I’ve seen coming out of Ukraine are horrifying. Those poor people, not knowing if they’ll be alive in the morning,” said another, while commenting on the scene in the immediate aftermath of the Russian invasion in 2022.

The reverse image search also led us to a report by The Daily Beast from 24 February 2022 which carries the image in the claim and describes the scene at the station as “surreal,” with families scrambling for safety from the Russian bombing.

Further verifying this event, The Daily Beast also quoted a February 2022 video report by CNN ‘s Clarissa Ward which depicted the atmosphere of chaos and fear at the site of the metro station at the time. When Ward asked a student for her reaction, who was taking shelter, all she could muster to say was, “Actually, it’s just horrible, very scary.”

Soch Fact Check, therefore, concludes that a picture on X, allegedly showing people at the Kharkiv metro station after the Russian bombing on 26 May 2024, is not recent. The image appeared in a news report and on social media as early as February 2022.


The X post garnered 110,000 views.

Conclusion: An X post claiming to show people taking shelter at the Kharkiv metro station recently is misleading. The photo appeared online as early as February 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine.

Background image in cover photo: The New Yorker

To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x