Forty days of attacks seen by satellite: bombing around Mariupol

Mariupol is an important point on the offensive map of Russia. It lies between the Crimean peninsula, which has been controlled by Russia since 2014, and the breakaway region of Donbass, where Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will focus his attacks from now on. Mariupol is a “land bridge” between the two zones, ie the connection between these separate areas. In addition, it has a port on the Sea of ​​Azov.

Six satellite images show the impact of the invasion on this city, where 5,000 people were killed in attacks in a month, according to local officials.

January 8 | Hotspots in the Steel Capital

A month and a half before the invasion, the European Space Agency Sentinel-2 and NASA’s Landsat satellites showed Mariupol what it was like in peacetime: a port city with a metallurgical industry that earned it the nickname Ukraine Steel. The sensors of these devices make it possible to capture heat sources in the city that are often associated with fires or industries whose activities give off visible heat, such as fireplaces.

from heat sources

industrial activities

Metallurgical Plant

By Azovstal

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access points

starting

industrial activities

Metallurgical Plant

By Azovstal

In the photo, these spots can be seen daily in the northern blast furnaces and at the Azovstal power station on the shores of the Sea of ​​Azov, while nothing is found in the habitats. Since the beginning of the war, hotspots have become the daily routine of bombings, explosions and fires that surround the conflict.

March 9 | siege and bombardment

The first steps of Russian troops confirm their advance towards Mariupol in different directions. By February 26, according to the Institute for War Studies (ISW), they had already captured the nearby town of Berdyansk in the west and the towns of Pishvik and Pavlopol in the east on Donbas Road. Over the course of this month, heavy cloud cover over the region has made it difficult for satellites to measure.

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The fruits of the first hotspots

from war

Russia approaches from the east,

Livoberezhny get started

receive attacks

hospital attack

mother son

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9th of March

The fruits of the first hotspots

from war

Russian troops approaching

To the east and district

Livoberezhny get started

receive attacks

hospital attack

mother son

In early March, the first clearing revealed that the city was under siege and that bombing of critical infrastructure and residential areas was intensifying. The ISW interpreted this strategy as an attempt to destroy the city or force its inhabitants to surrender. On the 9th, during a ceasefire to facilitate evacuation in agreed humanitarian corridors between Kiev and Moscow, bombs hit a mother-daughter hospital. Three people, including a child, were killed in the attack.

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Woman among the ruins of a hospital. Eugene Maloletka.

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Bathroom in the building. Eugene Maloletka.

March 14 | Cruelty without progress

As the city came under siege, Russia’s rapid advances in recent weeks gave way to a tense pause imposed by tense efforts on both sides to attack and defend the port city. Russian troops made small gains in the area. One of these was the capture of the Azovstal factory, which was bombed four days later. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said on March 14 that his 5,000 troops were fighting near Mariupol.

An analysis of satellite images of the same date, published by UNOSAT, found that 773 buildings had been damaged during the conflict in the Livoberezhny and Zhovtnev districts. Among them are eight faculties and four hospitals.

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Landsat 8 captures control of the plane and its shadow. It was interpreted as a trace of a possible bombardment

Russian attacks also reach west of the city

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On March 14, Landsat 8 took control of the aircraft and its shadow. Some experts interpreted this as a possible trace of the bombing.

Russian attacks also reach west of the city

Missiles were fired at Azovstal facilities on March 18 (marked in yellow).
azov.org.ua

March 19 | Destruction of the Mariupol Theater

The complete disappearance of industrial activity in the city can be clearly seen in the picture of March 19. The greatest concentration of heat sources was then in the center, where the Mariupol Theater had stood three days earlier. According to local authorities, the bombing of this building killed about 300 people who were inside the bomb shelter.

On March 18, according to the ISW, Russian troops were present ten kilometers from the center, and warships crossing the Bosphorus in the Black Sea indicated the proximity of an amphibious operation designed to completely surround the city.

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No activity is observed in industrial complexes

Russian attacks also reach west of the city

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No activity is observed in industrial complexes

Russian attacks also reach west of the city


View of the Mariupol Theater (Ukraine).  March 19 (left) and March 14.

View of the theater in Mariupol (Ukraine) on March 19 (left) and March 14. AFP

March 21 and 22 | Slow progress, constant bombardment

Photos taken on March 20 and 21 show the intensity of the hostilities, which, however, do not translate into noticeable advances on the ground by Russian forces. Traces of deflagration are noticeable: the places where the satellites hang over the heat sources look dark the next day due to the fire.

Photos on social media posted Chechen soldiers near the Azovstal industrial complex, and ISW noted that Putin’s army was strengthening its artillery positions northeast of Mariupol.

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Russian troops reinforce their artillery positions

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Russian troops reinforce their artillery positions

Aerial view of Mariupol on March 23

March 29 | The inevitable fall

The change in strategy announced by Russia on March 25, the day after troops invaded central Mariupol, did not lessen the intensity of the attacks on the city. Last week, Russian troops continued to advance in what the ISW called “slow and perhaps painful”.

According to the latest estimates by local authorities, 140,000 residents left the city before the siege and another 150,000 afterward, leaving about 170,000 without food, water, electricity, heating and medical care. On March 24, the Ukrainian attack hampered the arrival of enemy reinforcements by sinking two Russian ships in the nearby city of Berdyansk. Despite local resistance, Mariupol’s fall was considered imminent for days, and 90% of the buildings were damaged, the city said.

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On March 24, Russian troops entered the city center

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On March 24, Russian troops entered the city center

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Teacher and metalworker prepare for March 30 at the cellar door. Alexander Ermochenko (Reuters).

1648876662 21 40-day attack bombardment seen by a satellite flying

A pro-Russian soldier marches through the rubble of a residential building on March 30. Alexander Ermochenko (Reuters).

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A woman carries the remains of a bus burned on March 29 on her bicycle.Alexei Alexandrov (AP).

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A pro-Russian convoy headed for Mariupol on March 28. Alexander Ermochenko (Reuters).

Source: La Neta Neta

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