Russian forces continue to destroy apartment buildings and other civilian infrastructure throughout the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, new satellite imagery shows.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, has hit Mariupol particularly hard. Russia views the capture of the southeastern port city as a key priority and has hammered it hard with missiles and artillery, destroying houses, shopping malls and many other buildings in the process.
Newly released satellite imagery provides a glimpse of some of the damage. Two photos captured on Tuesday (March 22) by Maxar Technologies' Worldview-3 satellite, for example, show smoke rising from bomb-shattered apartment blocks in Mariupol, some of the houses around them reduced to rubble as well.
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And a satellite operated by San Francisco-based company Planet captured a shot of fires blazing in eastern Mariupol on Sunday (March 20).
A Planet spacecraft also snapped a photo on Monday (March 21) of a destroyed Mariupol theater in which civilians had been sheltering, seeking safety from the shelling. The Russian word for "children" is visible in the photo, written in large white letters near the theater to indicate that it was not a military target.
Ukrainian officials have said that about 1,300 people were hunkered down in the theater when it was bombed on March 16. Perhaps 200 survived the attack, according to CNN, though it's tough to get an accurate count because Mariupol remains a war zone.
Mike Wall is the author of "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook.