Violent clashes around the city of Izyum have caused much of the city to be destroyed, city officials said, as new satellite images reveal the extent of the devastation inflicted on the eastern Ukrainian city.
Maxar Technologies took the photos on Thursday.
A huge crater about 40 feet (12 m) wide appears in a field in the city’s central district. The burning school wreck lies on one side of the pit and a football field on the other. Part of the hospital across the street was seen destroyed.
The city is caught in the crossfire as Russia tries to link progress in the Kharkiv region in northern Ukraine with its stronghold in the far east.
Council Representative Max Strinik told CNN Thursday that the city had been “completely destroyed” by Russian planes and artillery, even as fierce battles continued inside Isium for control of land.
To the north of the school in satellite images, a large boiler building and every nearby apartment building are seen destroyed. There does not appear to be any identifiable military objectives in this part of central Isium.
About 3 miles (5 kilometers) northwest of Izyum, a convoy of Russian self-propelled artillery was seen moving toward the city.
Strynik said that Russian forces now control sectors of the city on the northern bank of the Seversky Donets River, which divides Izyum in half. The Ukrainians control the city sectors on the southern bank of the river.
Three miles northeast of the city, Russian self-propelled artillery were seen stationed in a field, their turrets pointed toward the center of Isium.
Another photo shows two vehicular bridges crossing the Seversky Donets River partially destroyed, in what appears to be a deliberate blow to halt a Russian advance across the river.
But the Russians have found a way around and are now advancing toward the city from the south.
To bypass the collapsed bridges, the Russians erected two pontoon bridges over the Seversky Donets River to cordon off the city. A mile from those bridges, on the southern bank of the river, a convoy of tanks was seen moving along a highway towards the Ukrainian-held sectors of Izyum.
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