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Satellite images spot Russian artillery firing on Kyiv, Ukraine

A multispectral satellite image of Russian artillery battalion actively firing in a southeasterly direction in Ozera, Ukraine on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies.
A multispectral satellite image of Russian artillery battalion actively firing in a southeasterly direction in Ozera, Ukraine on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

New satellite views from space show the Russian military moving towards Kyiv, Ukraine on Friday (March 11), including images of a battalion firing upon the besieged capital.

Muzzle flashes and smoke are visible in some of the satellite images obtained by Maxar's WorldView-2 satellite, which has been watching the invasion of Ukraine by Russia since Feb. 24 and producing high-above views of the conflict. 

Russia has faced international condemnation and sanctions for its actions, especially in the space sector, where many partnerships have dissolved or frayed.

Related: Russia's invasion of Ukraine as seen in satellite photos
Live Updates: Russia's Ukraine invasion and space impacts

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A multispectral satellite images of an artillery battalion actively firing in a southeasterly direction on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies.

A multispectral satellite image of Russian artillery battalion actively firing in a southeasterly direction in Ozera, Ukraine on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
Image 2 of 8

A multispectral satellite images of an artillery battalion actively firing in a southeasterly direction on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies.

A close-up of Russian artillery battalion actively firing in a southeasterly direction in Ozera, Ukraine on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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The military deployment of armored vehicles in residential area of Ozera, Ukraine on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies.

The military deployment of armored vehicles in residential area of Ozera, Ukraine on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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Multispectral and natural color images showing destroyed homes, impact craters and fires in town of Moschun on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies.

Multispectral and natural color images showing destroyed homes, impact craters and fires in town of Moschun on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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Multispectral and natural color images showing destroyed homes, impact craters and fires in town of Moschun on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies.

Multispectral and natural color images showing destroyed homes, impact craters and fires in town of Moschun on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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Multispectral and natural color images showing destroyed homes, impact craters and fires in town of Moschun on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies.

Multispectral and natural color images showing destroyed homes, impact craters and fires in town of Moschun on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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Multispectral satellite image showing damage to buildings and fuel storage tanks on fire at Antonov Airport in Ukraine on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies.

Multispectral satellite image showing damage to buildings and fuel storage tanks on fire at Antonov Airport in Ukraine on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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People and long line of cars trying to leave Kyiv, Ukraine on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies.

People and long line of cars trying to leave Kyiv, Ukraine on March 11, 2022 as seen by the WorldView-2 satellite for Maxar Technologies. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

The heavy bombardment from Russia is "a war of annihilation" upon Ukraine, the besieged country's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in a New York Times report (opens in new tab) Saturday (March 12). 

Firing is particularly heavy in the suburbs of the capital, Kyiv, which has been fighting off troops for three weeks; shelling was particularly intense in Irpin and Bucha on the northwest rim of the capital, the Times said.

However, Ukraine's military reported that is has been able to stop the Russian advance, inducing "heavy losses in manpower and equipment." While the Times could not directly verify Ukraine's claim, military experts and the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for the Study of War think tank have produced similar analyses, the Times said.

WorldView-2, in line with local reports from the Times, shows evidence of homes and other buildings set on fire by the military activity. Impact craters and other damage are visible in satellite images from Moschun and Chernihiv, which are northwest and northeast of Kyiv respectively.

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This Maxar satellite image shows uel storage tanks on fire and military equipment deployed around Antonov Airport near Kyiv, Ukraine on March 10, 2022.

This Maxar satellite image shows uel storage tanks on fire and military equipment deployed around Antonov Airport near Kyiv, Ukraine on March 10, 2022. (Image credit: “Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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Heavily damaged residential high-rise buildings in Borodyanka, northwest of Kyiv, Ukraine, are visible in this Maxar satellite image taken on March 10, 2022.

Heavily damaged residential high-rise buildings in Borodyanka, northwest of Kyiv, Ukraine, are visible in this Maxar satellite image taken on March 10, 2022. (Image credit: “Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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Destroyed warehouse buildings in Stoyanka, western Kyiv region are visible in this Maxar satellite image taken on March 10, 2022.

Destroyed warehouse buildings in Stoyanka, western Kyiv region are visible in this Maxar satellite image taken on March 10, 2022. (Image credit: “Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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A long line of cars and people leaving Irpin and damaged bridge is visible in this Maxar satellite image taken on March 10, 2022.

A long line of cars and people leaving Irpin and damaged bridge is visible in this Maxar satellite image taken on March 10, 2022. (Image credit: “Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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Troops and military vehicles deployed in Ozera, northeast of Antonov Airport near Kyiv, Ukraine are visible in this Maxar satellite image taken on March 10, 2022.

Troops and military vehicles deployed in Ozera, northeast of Antonov Airport near Kyiv, Ukraine are visible in this Maxar satellite image taken on March 10, 2022. (Image credit: “Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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Troops and military vehicles deployed in Ozera, northeast of Antonov Airport near Kyiv, Ukraine are visible in this Maxar satellite image taken on March 10, 2022.

Troops and military vehicles deployed in Ozera, northeast of Antonov Airport near Kyiv, Ukraine are visible in this Maxar satellite image taken on March 10, 2022. (Image credit: “Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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Resupply trucks and probable multiple rocket launchers in firing position near Berestyanka in the Kyiv region of Ukraine are visible in this Maxar satellite image taken on March 10, 2022.

Resupply trucks and probable multiple rocket launchers in firing position near Berestyanka in the Kyiv region of Ukraine are visible in this Maxar satellite image taken on March 10, 2022. (Image credit: “Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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Resupply trucks and probable multiple rocket launchers in firing position near Berestyanka in the Kyiv region of Ukraine are visible in this Maxar satellite image taken on March 10, 2022.

Resupply trucks and probable multiple rocket launchers in firing position near Berestyanka in the Kyiv region of Ukraine are visible in this Maxar satellite image taken on March 10, 2022. (Image credit: “Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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This Maxar satellite image shows equipment deployed in trees and towed artillery in firing position in Lubyanka, Ukraine on March 10, 2022.

This Maxar satellite image shows equipment deployed in trees and towed artillery in firing position in Lubyanka, Ukraine on March 10, 2022. (Image credit: “Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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This Maxar satellite image shows the Epicenter K shopping center in Chenihiv, Ukraine on Feb. 28, 2022 before it was damaged by the conflict with Russia.

This Maxar satellite image shows the Epicenter K shopping center in Chenihiv, Ukraine on Feb. 28, 2022 before it was damaged by the conflict with Russia. (Image credit: “Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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The Epicenter K shopping center in Chernihiv, Ukraine was completely destroyed in fighting with Russian forces by March 10, 2022 as seen in this Maxar satellite image from the day.

The Epicenter K shopping center in Chernihiv, Ukraine was completely destroyed in fighting with Russian forces by March 10, 2022 as seen in this Maxar satellite image from the day. (Image credit: “Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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An overview of fires in an industrial area of southern Chernihiv, Ukraine amid fighting with Russian forces on March 10, 2022.

An overview of fires in an industrial area of southern Chernihiv, Ukraine amid fighting with Russian forces on March 10, 2022. (Image credit: “Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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A close-up of fires in an industrial area of southern Chernihiv, Ukraine amid fighting with Russian forces on March 10, 2022.

A close-up of fires in an industrial area of southern Chernihiv, Ukraine amid fighting with Russian forces on March 10, 2022. (Image credit: “Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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An overview of the sarcophagus covering the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine and its surrounding area as seen by Maxar satellites on March 10, 2022.

An overview of the sarcophagus covering the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine and its surrounding area as seen by Maxar satellites on March 10, 2022. (Image credit: “Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)
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A close-up of the sarcophagus covering the Chernobyl nuclear power plant as seen by Maxar satellites on March 10, 2022.

A close-up of the sarcophagus covering the Chernobyl nuclear power plant as seen by Maxar satellites on March 10, 2022. (Image credit: “Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

A notorious 40-mile (64-km) convoy seen northwest of Kyiv in recent days appears to be dispersing and moving to other areas, the fresh photos show, as the Times reported ground forces in Ukraine sending anti-tank missiles (opens in new tab) towards the group. The photos also show the effects of recent attacks on the Chernobyl nuclear power facility and Antonov Airport, and cars filled with people fleeing Kyiv. 

The United Nations estimates more than 2.5 million refugees (opens in new tab) are in neighboring countries, with 1.85 million "internally displaced" within Ukraine and 12.65 million "directly affected by the conflict." Ukraine's estimated 2021 population is 43.7 million, according to the CIA Factbook (opens in new tab).

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Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she tackles topics like spaceflight, diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth's on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc (opens in new tab). in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University. Her latest book, NASA Leadership Moments, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.