The scale of the destruction in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol at the hands of Russian forces has emerged in new satellite images that show devastated residential building, blasted parklands and smouldering grocery stores.
Shown alongside images from before the invasion, the pictures paint a bleak picture of the damage done so far to the besieged city, which Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy described as “ultimate evidence that genocide of Ukrainians is happening” in the wake of the shelling of a maternity hospital.
The city’s deputy mayor, Sergiy Orlov, told reporters of several civilian targets hit so far, including numerous residential houses, a children’s and maternity hospital, the main administration service building, and the city’s giant Avostal metallurgical factory.
Orlov said 1,160 people had been killed already, with 47 buried on Wednesday alone. About 200,000 people want to get out of the city, but with humanitarian corridors shelled, only around 2,000 to 3,000 are able to leave a day.
The first image, taken by private company Maxar, shows the extensive damage done to grocery stores and a shopping mall in the city, with both buildings smouldering under the intense shelling
Another photo reveals the damage done to residential areas, where many residents are without power, heat, water or communications for over a week. Some of the buildings have been entirely destroyed.
Another image shows swathes of residential houses destroyed, with neighboring parkland appearing to be scorched. What appears to be an apartment block on the left edge is heavily damaged.
Another comparative image shows the damage done to malls and shopping centers, with the roof of the central building partially collapsed and the interior exposed.
The worst of the shelling has been coming in the city’s west, with the Red Cross describing conditions in the city as “apocalyptic”, while deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the situation was “catastrophic”.
In the call with journalists, Orlov called the siege “pure genocide”.
“They have used aviation, artillery, multiple rocket launchers, grads and other types of weapons we do not even know about. This is not simply treacherous. It’s a war crime and pure genocide, ”he said.