Images reveal scale of devastation on day Russia invaded Ukraine
Fighter jets and airfields smoulder as before-and-after satellite images reveal scale of devastation on the day Russia launched an attack on neighbouring Ukraine
- Earth observation company called Planet shared photos on Twitter capturing damage to airfield in Chuhuiv
- First image shows the site on Monday, while a second image showing charred ground was taken on Thursday
- Satellite pictures also show burning fuel storage, while another captures smoke rising from Mikolaiv air base
- Russian troops swept into Ukraine on Thursday as Putin gave the green light for a ‘special military operation’
These before-and-after satellite images showing smouldering fighter jets and airfields reveal the scale of devastation in Ukraine on the day Russia launched an attack on its neighbour.
An Earth observation company called Planet, which says it ‘processes and distributes a global, near-daily stream of satellite data’, shared one photo on Twitter capturing the damage to an airfield in Chuhuiv.
The American company said the first image shows the site in eastern Ukraine on Monday, while a second image showing charred ground was taken on Thursday.
Planet tweeted: ‘Latest from Chuhuiv Airbase in Ukraine. Imagery captured on February 21 and today, February 24, 2022.’
Satellite images also show burning fuel storage at the site, while another captures smoke rising from the Mikolaiv air base in southern Ukraine.
Russian troops swept into Ukraine in early morning raids on Thursday as President Vladimir Putin gave the green light for his forces to launch a ‘special military operation’.
He warned other countries any attempt to interfere would lead to ‘consequences you have never seen’ but was met with international condemnation, sanctions and was compared to Adolf Hitler by some.
An Earth observation company called Planet, which says it ‘processes and distributes a global, near-daily stream of satellite data’, said the first image (left) shows the site in eastern Ukraine on Monday, while a second image (right) showing charred ground was taken on Thursday
Before-and-after satellite images also capture smoke rising from the Mikolaiv air base in southern Ukraine (right and before, left). Russian troops swept into Ukraine in early morning raids on Thursday as President Vladimir Putin gave the green light for his forces to launch a ‘special military operation’
Planet said the images of an airfield in Chuhuiv were captured by their fleet of SkySat high-resolution satellites. It added: ‘Sad to see the tragic and deteriorating events in Ukraine.
‘We have and will continue to provide imagery from the region to our partners, aid, relief and human rights organizations, and the media to expose the situation as events unfold.
‘Our thoughts are with the people of (Ukraine).’
Terrified Ukrainians were left scrambling for fuel, queuing for hours outside cash machines and piling into trains and cars in an attempt to flee on Thursday.
Petrol stations started rationing the amount each driver could buy while huge lines formed outside ATMs across the country despite bombs dropping.
Meanwhile Uber’s service was down across the nine cities it operated in but Bolt and Uklon services remained live to taxi people away from the war.
Citizens started panic buying earlier on Thursday as banks, shops and gas stations started to empty when locals learned of the overnight invasion.
Traffic was gridlocked on the main roads out of the capital despite calls for people to stay at home – with some bursting into tears as they made it to safety over the border with Poland.
A damaged hangar building and a crater on the tarmac of the Chuhuyiv airfield, seen in a satellite image taken on February 23. Mr Putin warned other countries that any attempt to interfere would lead to ‘consequences you have never seen’
A damaged airfield navigation infrastructure at the Chuhuyiv airfield.
A satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows part of a long military convoy heading west, near Sergievka, Russia, approximately 6 miles east of the Ukraine border on Thursday
But the city centres were ghost towns as martial law was imposed, apart from some cars whizzing past on their way out and tanks, military figures and some citizens who have taken up arms.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson condemned Putin for launching ‘a cynical and brutal invasion for his own vainglorious ends’, as he approached the end of what he called a ‘dark day in the history of our continent’.
The Prime Minister addressed his Cabinet on Thursday evening, having earlier announced the ‘largest and most severe’ package of sanctions Russia has ever faced to punish ‘blood-stained aggressor’ Mr Putin for invading Ukraine in the early hours.
Mr Johnson said the UK could be proud of its role in the fightback, including for providing lethal defensive weaponry to the Ukrainian government.
He told ministers that ‘Putin must fail’. Earlier, Mr Johnson set out his second barrage of sanctions to ‘hobble the Russian economy’.
Mr Johnson said he was sanctioning ‘all the major manufacturers that support Putin’s war machine’, will ban Aeroflot from touching down planes in the UK and will freeze the assets of all major Russian banks, including immediately against VTB.
But he resisted calls from some MPs and Ukraine’s ambassador to London to support Nato introducing a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
Vlad, a 28-year-old father hands his son Danya, two, to his mother Tatiana, 26, as they say goodbye before she leaves Kiev, at a bus station, Ukraine, on Thursday
A couple kiss goodbye before the woman boards a bus out of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Thursday. The images come as terrified Ukrainians are left scrambling for fuel, queuing for hours outside cash machines and piling into trains and cars to flee
A woman holds her baby inside a bus as they leave Kyiv, Ukraine, on Thursday amid the chaos caused by Russia’s invasion
Mr Johnson is understood to have pushed G7 leaders to cut Russia out of the Swift system, a type of international bank sort code.
In a White House briefing, US President Joe Biden said the move was ‘always an option but right now that’s not the position that the rest of Europe wishes to take’.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was reported to have said that certain measures should be ‘for a situation where it is necessary to do other things as well’ when asked about Swift, while Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said it was a ‘sensitive’ issue ‘because it would also have an enormous impact on ourselves’.
But Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted those who opposed Russia being blocked from the Swift payment system would have ‘the blood of innocent Ukrainian men, women and children… on their hands’.
Among the new UK sanctions introduced were measures to hit five further oligarchs, including the Russian president’s former son-in-law, and to target more than 100 businesses and individuals.
Mr Johnson said the measures are ‘the largest and most severe package of economic sanctions that Russia has ever seen’, but vowed to go further.
‘We will continue on a remorseless mission to squeeze Russia from the global economy piece by piece, day by day and week by week,’ he told MPs.
The five new oligarchs being hit include Kirill Shamalov, Russia’s youngest billionaire who was formerly married to Mr Putin’s daughter Katerina Tikhonova.
Locals queue at an ATM in Lviv, Ukraine, as they desperately empty their accounts as the Rusisan invasion kicked off this morning
Desperate Ukrainians stand outside a local shop as they try to buy groceries as the crisis bites the country. Pictured: Kiev
In the US, Mr Biden also announced extra sanctions to target Russian banks, oligarchs and high-tech sectors, with more troops deployed to Germany to bolster Nato.
‘Putin is the aggressor,’ Mr Biden said. ‘Putin chose this war, and now he and his country will bear the consequences.’
In a sombre address to the nation at midday, Mr Johnson said the world cannot stand by and allow the freedom of Ukraine to be ‘snuffed out’ amid the Kremlin’s attack on ‘democracy and freedom in eastern Europe and around the world’.
He said a ‘vast invasion’ has been launched by land, sea and air and ‘innumerable missiles and bombs have been raining down on an entirely innocent population’.
Mr Johnson was woken with news of the invasion in the night and spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shortly after 4am.
By just before 9pm, Ukraine’s health minister said 57 people had been killed as a result of the invasion, with 169 more wounded.
Ukrainian cities and air bases have been hit with airstrikes and shelling, and the country lost control of the Chernobyl nuclear site.
But Mr Johnson told ministers ‘the Ukrainian military was fighting back in defiance of Putin’s attempts to subjugate Ukraine’.
In Russia, there were reportedly protests in the streets against the action, and Mr Johnson said these ‘demonstrated that Putin’s actions would also face resistance from within his own country’.
Tom Keatinge, director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) defence and security think tank, said the latest sanctions did ‘begin to deliver on the threatened massive consequences’.
But he added: ‘Of course, no one should ever expect sanctions to achieve their objectives alone, they need to be part of a package of responses and must be deployed with intent and clear objectives.
‘The questions therefore are what other responses does the West have to offer; how much further are the allies willing to go; and at what cost to their own economies as Russia inevitably hits back?’
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