Satellite Images Show Avdiivka’s Destruction Before and After

Before and After Satellite Images Reveal Destruction of Avdiivka

Recent imagery captured from space vividly illustrates the profound devastation inflicted upon Avdiivka following its capture by Russian forces after months of intense conflict.

The offensive spearheaded by Vladimir Putin’s troops commenced in October, targeting the city of Donetsk oblast, eventually culminating in its capture on February 17. However, this victory came at a staggering cost in terms of both human lives and infrastructure. While Kyiv reports a toll of 17,000 Russian troops, surpassing casualties from Moscow’s decade-long campaign in Afghanistan, these figures remain unverified.

Satellite imagery provided by Maxar and disseminated by Donbass Realities, a part of the U.S.-funded Radio Liberty network, starkly reveals the aftermath of Russia’s conquest: a landscape marred by debris and charred structures.

A comparison between images taken on October 16, 2021, four months prior to the full-scale invasion, and those captured after Ukraine’s withdrawal paints a harrowing picture. Once verdant surroundings are replaced by a desolate panorama punctuated by plumes of smoke rising from the ruins.

“Completely destroyed: Radio Liberty journalists compared satellite photos of Avdiyivka before the full-scale war and after the occupation by the Russians,” shared Jürgen Nauditt, a vocal supporter of Ukraine, underscoring the stark transformation wrought by conflict.

The retreat of Ukrainian forces from Avdiivka was anticipated as they grappled with dwindling ammunition supplies, a situation exacerbated by delays in U.S. Congressional approval for further military assistance, a move opposed by certain factions within the Republican Party.

Following the city’s fall to Russian forces, Leon Hartwell, a senior associate at the London School of Economics think tank LSE IDEAS, highlighted the overwhelming odds faced by Ukrainian troops. Reports indicate that they were outnumbered by Russian counterparts at a staggering ratio of 15 to one prior to the city’s capitulation.

Hartwell emphasized Putin’s calculated gamble, wherein he recklessly deploys Russian troops, banking on Western divisions and political uncertainties to erode support for Ukraine, potentially leading to its surrender akin to the fate of Avdiivka.

“While Republicans politicize the Russia-Ukraine conflict for domestic gains, Ukrainian soldiers continue to perish on the front lines, including in Avdiivka, as Russia steadily advances,” remarked Hartwell, underscoring the stark reality of the situation.

Despite bipartisan approval in the Senate, a border policy and foreign aid bill offering $61 billion to Ukraine faced obstruction in the U.S. House, with House Speaker Mike Johnson reportedly engaging in discussions with supportive Republicans to draft an alternative aid proposal. The GOP aims to bring this revised bill to a vote by late March or early April.

I'm Richard Rosales, I cover political news and ongoing US elections.