Before and after the devastating Russians attacks on Kherson as the first Ukrainian city falls

New satellite pictures shows the devastation suffered in the Ukraine after it was hit by Russian military strikes which flattened homes and factories and left some bomb sites a smoking mess. 

Images show Rivnopillya, a once neat and green little village near Chernihiv, with giant craters in the ground and smoke billowing from burning homes on February 28. 

Dozen of impact craters can be seen on the images by Maxar Technologies.

In another image, a nearby bridge over the Stryzhen River is destroyed, leaving little more than rubble and charred earth surrounding the area. 

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A nearby factory was also said to have sustained immeasurable damage and a Russian convoy was seen making its way through the village. 

Other images show burned remains of Russian military vehicles in a residential area in Bucha, another town near Kyiv. Ukrainian officials said the remains came after Ukraine thwarted an attack from Putin’s army. 

Another image showed citizens in Kyiv lining up outside a grocery store as Putin’s forces close in on the capital. The line curled all out to the end of the parking lot as people waited patiently to stock up on food.  

Since the attack by Putin’s army, a dense cloud cover has obscured visuals from most satellites, CNN reported. 

Images show Rivnopillyawith giant craters in the ground and smoke billowing from burning homes (right). Before the attack, the houses sat in neat little roads and the grass was green

Other images show a destroyed bridge crossing the Stryzhen River near Chernihiv and the burned remains of Russian military vehicles (middle on center road, right) 

Homes (left) and a factory sat in the middle of Bucha in western Kyiv, which were flattened by the bombs (right)

The images were released shortly after the news broke that the first major city in Ukraine has fallen to the Russians.  Kherson, home to 290,000 people, is 300 miles south of Kyiv. The city is strategically important, sitting on an inlet of the Black Sea 260 miles west of the separatist enclave of Donetsk.

Ihor Kolykhaiev, mayor of Kherson, earlier on Wednesday insisted the city remained under Ukrainian control, but it has now fallen.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, issued a video address to the nation in the early hours of Thursday, giving an upbeat assessment of the war and calling on Ukrainians to keep up the resistance.

‘We are a people who in a week have destroyed the plans of the enemy,’ he said, in the clip posted on social media.

‘They will have no peace here. They will have no food. They will have here not one quiet moment.’

Zelensky did not comment on whether the Russians have seized several cities, including Kherson.

‘If they went somewhere, then only temporarily. We’ll drive them out,’ he said.

He said the fighting is taking a toll on the morale of Russian soldiers, who ‘go into grocery stores and try to find something to eat.’

Video clips shared on social media showed the Russian forces looting towns as they passed.

Some claimed that the Russians who were captured were found with rations on them which had expired in 2015.

Western officials have reportedly said they believe some of the young Russian troops do not want to fight and are sabotaging their vehicles, puncturing the gas tanks.

‘These are not warriors of a superpower,’ said Zelensky. ‘These are confused children who have been used.’

He said the Russian death toll has reached about 9,000.

‘Ukraine doesn’t want to be covered in bodies of soldiers,’ he said. ‘Go home.’

In the early hours of Thursday a huge explosion rocked Kyiv – preceded by the blaring of air raid sirens at around 2am local time in multiple districts across the city.

Kyiv’s buildings were then lit up by a huge blast from a bomb.

The Kyiv Independent reported that air raid alerts were issued in multiple regions included Kyiv Oblast, Lviv, Zhytomyr, Frankivsk, Chernihiv and Odessa.

Footage from the capital, filmed from windows overlooking the city, showed at least one massive explosion that lit up the night sky, and appeared to cause a shock-wave.

In another video, captured by CBS News reporters moments after signing off following a report, two bursts of light could be seen over Kyiv.

While the explosions were not filmed directly, the intensity of them was enough to shock the reporter and his film crew, who were some distance away from the blasts.

Hours earlier, a Russian missile struck near Kyiv’s southern main rail station where thousands of women and children are being evacuated, Ukraine’s state-run railway company Ukrzaliznytsya said in a statement.

The station building suffered minor damage and the number of any casualties was not yet known, it said, adding trains were still operating despite the blast.

Ukraine’s interior ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko said the blast was caused by wreckage from a downed Russian cruise missile, not a direct rocket strike.

Trains continued to run. Herashchenko added the strike may have cut off central heating supply to parts of the Ukrainian capital amid freezing winter temperatures.

Russian tanks and a military truck are seen rolling through the streets of Kherson on Wednesday

Russian tanks and a military truck are seen rolling through the streets of Kherson on Wednesday

Kherson, 300 miles south of Kyiv, is considered an important strategic asset, being on an inlet in the Black Sea

Unverified reports said two missiles were launched towards the headquarters of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense, with one being shot down. The HQ and the railway station sit across a road from one another in Kyiv.

Kherson was, throughout Wednesday, the focus of fierce fighting.

Earlier on Wednesday, a U.S. official told AP: ‘Our view is that Kherson is very much a contested city.’

Kolykhaiev later in the evening said Russian soldiers were in the city and came to the city administration building.

He said he asked them not to shoot civilians and to allow crews to gather up the bodies from the streets.

‘I simply asked them not to shoot at people,’ he said in a statement.

‘We don’t have any Ukrainian forces in the city, only civilians and people here who want to LIVE.’

Kolykhaiev said he never imagined he would end up dealing with a war.

‘Everything that is happening now in our city is politics that I hate,’ he wrote.

‘I came to office to renew infrastructure, invest in Kherson, build houses, roads, parks and a new life for my hometown.

‘Now, I’m looking for special packages for those killed.’

Ukraine war: The latest 

  • Ukraine’s president addresses the nation again in the early hours of Thursday, giving an upbeat assessment of progress
  • ‘These are not warriors of a superpower,’ he says. ‘These are confused children who have been used’
  • Kyiv is coming under renewed attack in the early hours of Thursday morning 
  • Russian paratroopers land on Wednesday in Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv amid heavy fighting
  • ‘There are practically no areas left in Kharkiv where an artillery shell has not yet hit’: Interior Ministry official 
  • Joe Biden brands Vladimir Putin a ‘dictator’ in his annual State of the Union address as he bans Russian aircraft from US airspace
  • Russia steps up its bombing campaign and missile strikes, hitting Kyiv’s main television tower, two residential buildings in a town west of the city and the city of Bila Tserkva to the south of the capital 
  • Russian attacks leave Mariupol, another Black Sea port further to the west, without electricity
  • More than 677,000 people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion, the UN’s refugee agency says
  • The UN’s International Court of Justice says it will hold public hearings on March 7 and 8 over Ukraine’s allegations of ‘genocide’ by Russia
  • Russia blocks an independent television channel and a liberal radio station, tightening a virtual media blackout
  • A string of Western companies announce they are freezing or scaling back business with Russia
  • Russians race to withdraw cash after the introduction of capital controls and as the ruble hits record lows 
  • Russian-owned Nord Stream 2 goes insolvent after Germany halts the pipeline following Moscow’s invasion
  • Oil prices soar past $110 a barrel, despite agreements to release 60 million barrels from stockpiles
  • The World Bank prepares a $3-billion aid package for Ukraine, including $350 million in immediate funds  

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