Russia's destruction of Ukraine's Mariupol from above - in pictures

Civilian infrastructure is ruined, as aid agencies say more than 400,000 people are trapped in the city with no water or power supply

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Ukraine's port city of Mariupol has suffered at least eight major air strikes in the past 48 hours, with a children’s hospital and the central fire department among the buildings hit.

Satellite imaging company Maxar Technologies has captured the chaos from above since Russia invaded on February 24.

Russian strikes have rained down on the besieged city, and shelling hasn't just destroyed government buildings.

One of the satellite images shows a large residential area levelled, in stark contrast to a photograph taken just before the invasion in February. Many of the buildings in the photo appear to have had their roofs destroyed, revealing the interiors.

Mariupol's residential areas hit

Aid agencies say more than 400,000 people are trapped in the city, which has no water or power supply. Food stocks are also running low as Ukraine and Russian continue to negotiate humanitarian corridors out of Mariupol and other cities.

More than 35,000 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities on Wednesday, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the country is planning seven corridors.

But Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said no one had been able to leave Mariupol on Thursday.

Attempts to send aid and evacuation convoys have failed for six days.

Russian war planes were targeting convoy routes on Thursday, said Petro Andrushenko, an adviser to Mariupol's mayor.

“Air strikes started from the early morning. Air strike after air strike. All the historic centre is under bombardment,” he told Reuters by phone.

“They want to absolutely delete our city, delete our people. They want to stop any evacuation.”

Civilian infrastructure destroyed

Food supplies have been further hit by the destruction of shops. In a photo from June 2021, cars can be seen parked outside this Mariupol shopping mall, surrounded by lush greenery. By March 4, the store and countryside around it had been blackened and destroyed by Russian strikes.

The Mariupol Mall, where 250 shops covered 52,000 square metres, used to welcome almost five million shoppers every year. But in photos released on Wednesday by Maxar, the complex is shown to be destroyed.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he was deeply upset by images showing the use of “lethal weapons … in an indiscriminate manner in the city centre”.

“Nothing justifies” what happened in Mariupol, he added.

Russia says its offensive is aimed at disarming its neighbour and dislodging leaders it calls neo-Nazis. Kyiv and its Western allies say this is a baseless pretext to invade a democratic country of 44 million people.

The images were taken hours before Russian strikes hit a maternity hospital in the centre of the city.

The children's and maternity hospital in Mariupol was attacked on Wednesday in what Mr Zelenskyy described as a Russian “war crime”, and which sparked global outrage.

Local officials said Thursday that at least three people were killed in the attack, including a young girl.

Russia's Defence Ministry later denied having bombed the hospital, accusing Ukraine of a “staged provocation” there.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Thursday condemned Russia's bombing of a maternity hospital in Ukraine's Mariupol and demanded Moscow allow aid into the besieged city.

“Russia's shelling of maternity hospital is a heinous war crime. Strikes of residential areas from the air and blocks of access of aid convoys by the Russian forces must immediately stop. Safe passage is needed, now,” Mr Borrell wrote in a tweet.

Russia-Ukraine war - in pictures

Updated: March 11, 2022, 7:38 AM
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