Intense clashes around Izyum have left much of the city destroyed, city officials say, with new satellite images revealing the extent of the devastation in the eastern Ukrainian city.
The images were taken on Thursday by Maxar Technologies.
They show a massive crater about 40 feet (12 meters) wide in a field in the city’s central area. The burnt wreckage of a school lies on one side of the crater, with a football field on the other. Part of a hospital across the street is also seen destroyed.
The city has been caught in the crossfire as Russia attempts to link advances made in the Kharkiv region of northern Ukraine with its stronghold in the far east of the country.
Council deputy Max Strelnyk told CNN on Thursday the city had been “completely destroyed” by Russian aircraft and artillery, even as fierce battles continued inside Izyum for control of the ground.
North of the school in the satellite images, a large boiler building and every nearby residential building appears destroyed. There does not appear to be any identifiable military targets in this part of central Izyum.
About 3 miles (5 kilometers) northwest of Izyum, a convoy of Russian self-propelled artillery is seen moving toward the city.
Russian troops now control the city sectors on the northern bank of the Seversky Donets River, which splits Izyum in half, Strelnyk said. The Ukrainians control the city sectors on the southern bank of the river.
Three miles northeast of the city, Russian self-propelled artillery are also seen positioned in a field, their turrets pointing toward central Izyum.
Another image shows two vehicle bridges crossing the Seversky Donets River have been partially destroyed, in what appears to be a purposeful strike to stop a Russian advance across the river.
But the Russians have found a way around, and are now advancing on the city from the south.
To bypass the blown bridges, the Russians have erected two pontoon bridges over the Seversky Donets River to encircle the city. A mile from those bridges, on the southern bank of the river, a convoy of tanks are seen moving along a highway toward the Ukrainian-controlled sectors of Izyum.
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