Satellites continue to provide insights into the toll Russia’s ongoing invasion is taking on the people of Ukraine.
For example, on Tuesday (March 29) WorldView-3 from Maxar Technologies satellite captured a photo showing hundreds of people queuing outside a grocery store in Mariupol, a port city in southern Ukraine.
They were waiting to receive food and other supplies, a PR firm representing Virginia’s Maxar said in an emailed description of this and other new satellite imagery.
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Food, water and other basic necessities are hard to come by in Mariupol these days. The city has been under siege for more than a month – pretty much since Russian invasion of Ukraine started on February 24th. Russia considers the capture of the city as a strategic priority and has shelled it with rockets and artillery, destroying apartment blocks, grocery stores, theaters and many other non-military buildings.
Satellites operated by Maxar, Planet, BlackSky and other companies have repeatedly documented this damage and destruction over the past month, and the new set of Maxar images fleshes it out even further.
For example, two WorldView-3 photos taken on Tuesday show a number of apartment buildings and homes that have been reduced to rubble.
The invasion of Ukraine has turned Russia into something of a pariah; The United States and other nations have imposed tough economic sanctions in response, and a number of high-profile companies have done so suspended their Russian operationsAt least for now.
The longstanding space partnership between Russia and the West is also affected. For example, Russia has stopped selling its rocket engines to American companies and stopped using Russian-made Soyuz rockets at Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana.
However, some areas of cooperation remain. For example, Russia is still an active partner in the International Space Station program, as evidenced by the recent return to Earth of NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov. The trio landed in the steppes of Kazakhstan on Wednesday (March 30) in a Russian Soyuz capsule completing a mission to the orbiting laboratory.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out there(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter @michaelwall. Follow us on Twitter @spacedotcom or on Facebook.