Intense clashes around Izyum have destroyed much of the city, city officials say, with new satellite images revealing the extent of devastation in the eastern Ukrainian city.
The images were taken on Thursday by Maxar Technologies.
They show a huge crater about 12 meters wide in a field in the center of the city. On one side of the crater is the burnt wreckage of a school, on the other a football field. Part of a hospital across the street is also seen destroyed.
The city has been caught in the crossfire as Russia tries to link progress in the Kharkiv region of northern Ukraine with its stronghold in the far east of the country.
Council delegate Max Strelnyk told DailyExpertNews on Thursday that the city had been “completely destroyed” by Russian aircraft and artillery, even as fierce fighting continued in Izyum for control of the ground.
North of the school in the satellite images, a large boiler house and every nearby residential building appear destroyed. There appear to be no identifiable military targets in this part of central Izyum.
About 5 kilometers northwest of Izyum, a convoy of Russian self-propelled artillery is seen heading toward the city.
Russian forces are now controlling urban sectors on the north bank of the Seversky Donets River, which splits Izyum in two, Strelnyk said. The Ukrainians control the urban sectors on the south bank of the river.
Five miles northeast of the city, Russian self-propelled artillery can also be seen in a field, the turrets of which point toward the center of Izyum.
Another image shows two vehicular bridges over the Seversky Donets River partially destroyed, in what appears to be a deliberate attack to stop a Russian advance across the river.
But the Russians have found a detour and are now entering the city from the south.
To get around the blown bridges, the Russians built two pontoon bridges over the Seversky Donets River to encircle the city. A mile from those bridges, on the south bank of the river, you’ll see a convoy of tanks moving along a highway toward the Ukrainian-controlled sectors of Izyum.