Airfield, fuel storage damaged in Russian attack on Ukraine, satellite images show

Satellite images taken after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine show damage to a fuel storage facility and other airport infrastructure at an airfield in Chuhuiv, Ukraine, according to Maxar Technologies.

The satellite imagery company has been collecting images of Russian military movements since late 2021, tracking troops as they inched closer to Ukraine. The images released Thursday reveal damage to the Chuhuiv airfield in eastern Ukraine, as well as military convoys in Russia.

According to Maxar, the images reveal the following activity:

  • Damage to fuel storage areas and other airport infrastructure at the Chuhuiv airfield
  • Military forces and more than 50 heavy equipment transporters at the Brestsky training area near Brest, Belarus
  • Additional equipment positioned at a railyard near Brest, Belarus
  • A new ground attack helicopter deployment near Tomarovka, Russia
  • Helicopters seen flying in the area of Tomarovka, Russia
  • A new field hospital assembled within the past 24 hours near Krasnaya Yaruga, Russia
  • Russian forces with artillery and multiple rocket launchers deployed in and around Belgorod, Russia

An additional satellite image shared Thursday by Planet shows black smoke billowing over Chuhuiv airfield.

Russian troops launched the attack on Ukraine Thursday.

President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” as the United Nations Security Council met to discuss how to de-escalate the crisis. For months, Moscow denied it had intentions to invade.

Explosions and sirens rocked the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv as the sun rose. A Ukrainian presidential adviser told The Associated Press that Russian forces launched the attack from the north, east and south.

President Joe Biden condemned the military assault, announcing new sanctions and promising further punishment for Russia in the coming weeks.

“America stands up to bullies. We stand up for freedom. This is who we are,” Biden said.

He directed Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to order the deployment of 7,000 additional troops to Europe, according to the Pentagon. The troops will be sent to Germany to support NATO allies. Thousands of American troops have already been moved to Poland, Romania and Germany in support of NATO allies.

NATO called on Russia to stop military action immediately and withdraw forces from in and around Ukraine, calling the attack “an act of aggression against an independent peaceful country.”

“We urge Russia in the strongest terms to turn back from the path of violence and aggression it has chosen,” NATO said in a statement. “Russia’s leaders must bear full responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Russia will pay a very heavy economic and political price.”

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