Satellite images reveal widespread destruction in Ukrainian industrial city of Sievierodonetsk
The northeastern Sievierodonetsk city of Ukraine came under heavy attack on Wednesday from Russian forces who see the capture of the industrial city as key to control of the surrounding Luhansk region.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the fighting has shifted to the eastern region of Ukraine after Russian forces failed to capture Kyiv and Kharkiv regions of the country. Russian troops have made significant gains in the eastern region.
High-resolution images collected by Maxar Technologies over a period of 24 hours on Monday show damaged buildings from artillery shelling in downtown Severodonetsk and around a hospital. From a hole in the roof, to charred buildings, the images showcase how the area has been laid waste by constant shelling.
Severodonetsk, an industrial hub
Satellite image shows destroyed buildings in Rubizhne, Ukraine, near Sievierodonetsk.
Severodonetsk, an industrial hub, is key to Russia's plan as its fall would open up the route to Kramatorsk, the main city of Donetsk.
At least 70 per cent of Severodonetsk is reported to be under Russian control, though the Ukrainian forces are fighting back.
Ukraine repelling Russian attacks
The regional governor, Serhiy Haidai said tough street battles were continuing with varying degrees of success. “The situation constantly changes, but the Ukrainians are repelling attacks,” he said. (In photo) A 40-meter crater can be seen next to destroyed buildings.
Sievierodonetsk important for Putin
Russia seeks victory in Sievierodonetsk, which would give it full control of Luhansk province. When Vladimir Putin began his invasion on 24 February, he pledged to “liberate” the parts of Donetsk and Luhansk where were in separatist hands.
(In photo) This image shows a field peppered with craters caused by artillery, northwest of Slovyansk
'Would not surrender the city'
Russian forces have been focused for weeks on seizing Sievierodonetsk, which was home to some 106,000 people before Moscow invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, but the Luhansk region's governor said Ukrainian forces would not surrender the city.
(In photo) This image shows active artillery shelling in the town of Bogorodichne, Ukraine, northwest of Slovyansk
With neither side prevailing on the battlefield, there seems little prospect of negotiations. Most observers in Kyiv now expect the war to continue through the summer until at least the end of the year. (In photo) This satellite image shows damaged buildings around a hospital in Sievierodonetsk, Ukraine.