Thanks to satellite technology and the vanished Iron Curtain, photos of Russia and Ukraine can be easily seen.
Several free websites offer photos around the world. The selection of photos for Russia and Ukraine online is remarkable for cities, small towns and even villages.
Panoramio is one wonderful website to find photos. You will need to know the region (oblast) of the village, town and city that you are searching. Villages are preceded with the word derevnya on Panoramio.
Luckily, Panoramio can be searched in English. It also can be searched in Russian but the search results will be returned in English. If you do not know how to spell the region’s name, you can search by name of the community and a list communities with the same name will appear with their regions.
To search for a place, list the village/town/city first, region second and Russia or Ukraine last. Panoramio does not have photos of every village, naturally, but it will show satellite views of communities that do not have photos.
If Panoramio does not have photos of the community you would like to see, check out Foto Planeta. This website requires use of Russian. Each community can be found in this format Russia or Ukraine> region> neighborhood> village or town.
Foto Planeta also gives the exact location of villages and town by latitude, longitude and altitude, a list of nearby villages and towns and the times for sunrise and sunset of the current day.
Here is a sample page from Foto Planeta’s on a village for one of my great-grandfathers. If you download Google Translate, it will be easier to use the sample page to find villages and towns of your relatives and ancestors.
Click on Russia from Start > Russia > Kursk > Rila district > Ivanovo on the top of the page. Then, the page for the regions of Russia will appear. Click on Start if you are looking for photos of Ukraine.
Google has a large collection of photos in its image section. I really do not recommend using Google Images. The last time I used Google Images, I got a horrible virus on my computer that has the best firewall.