Drone footage shows devastation in strategic eastern Ukrainian city of Chasiv Yar as Russians advance

May 2, 2024 by No Comments

Months of relentless bombardment have devastated the strategic eastern Ukrainian city of Chasiv Yar, new drone footage obtained by The Associated Press shows, with barely a building left intact, homes and municipal offices charred and a town that once had a population of 12,000 now all but deserted. The footage shows Chasiv Yar — set amid green fields and woodland — pounded into an apocalyptic vista. The destruction is reminiscent of the cities of Bakhmut and Avdiivka, which Ukraine yielded after months of bombardment and huge losses for both sides. The strategically important city has been under attack by Russian forces for months. Capturing it would give Russia control of a hilltop from which it can attack other cities that form the backbone of Ukraine’s eastern defenses. That would set the stage for a potentially broader Russian offensive that Ukrainian officials say could come as early as this month. Russia launched waves of assaults on foot and in armored vehicles at Chasiv Yar’s outnumbered Ukrainian troops, who have run desperately short of ammunition while waiting for the U.S. and other allies to send fresh supplies. Rows of mid-rise apartment blocks in Chasiv Yar have been blackened by blasts, punched through with holes or reduced to piles of timber and masonry. Houses and civic buildings are heavily damaged. The golden dome of a church remains intact but the building appears badly damaged. No soldiers or civilians were seen in the footage shot Monday and exclusively obtained by the AP, apart from a lone man walking down the middle of a road between wrecked structures. Regional Gov. Vadym Filashkin said Wednesday on Ukrainian TV that 682 residents have held on in Chasiv Yar, living in “very difficult conditions.” The city had a pre-war population of over 12,500. Filashkin said that those remaining have lacked running water and power for over a year, and that it is “ever more difficult” for humanitarian aid to reach them.