Horrific photos show how a Ukrainian city has been reduced to rubble by Vladimir Putin’s Russian army.
Aerial footage reveals the ruins left of Marinka, in Donetsk, where remains of buildings are surrounded by mountains of debris.
An onslaught of bombing from Russian forces has created the illusion of a dystopian landscape where all life has been wiped out.
Maryinka has been a battleground long before the war started last year, and was first hit when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014.
But particularly intense fighting since February last year has left no building in the town, which once housed 10,000 people, still standing.
Many are barely recognisable as buildings at all, and Russian shells have burnt down and ripped apart all the tress in the area.
Marinka’s police chief, Artem Schus, described his town as ‘completely destroyed’ and he said apart from soldiers, the town has been entirely evacuated ‘because there is no way for the civilian population to live there.’
Still, according to the police chief, dozens of people have been killed and many wounded.
Schus believes that Russian forces are deliberately blasting walls that still stand, to ‘destroy all cover, regardless of whether it is a civilian shelter or a military facility’.
He added: ‘They destroy everything because, with their tactics, they cannot defeat our troops, and resort to the destruction of all living things.’
The war has moved on and is currently raging in Bakhmut, 70 miles north.
Oleksandr Marchenko, the deputy mayor of Bakhmut, told the BBC that the remaining 4000 residents are holding out in shelters without gas, electricity or water, as Russian are trying to encircle the ‘almost destroyed’ city now laying in ruins like Maryinka and Mariupol.
The town, around 400 miles south east of Kyiv, has for months been a prime target of Moscow’s grinding eastern offensive in the war, with Russian forces and private Wagner Group surrounding Ukrainian units.
The city is almost surrounded, with Russian forces now occupying the east, north and south of the city and only one road out, a situation top Ukrainian commander Volodymyr Nazarenko described as ‘hell’.
It has now become too dangerous for the last remaining residents to make it out the area by vehicle, with a woman killed and two men badly wounded by shelling as they tried to cross a makeshift bridge yesterday.
Putin’s forces have been relentlessly attacking the small mining town as part of efforts that would give them the first major victory in more than half a year.
Much of the town has now been reduced to rubble following repeated shelling, with around 4,000 residents said to still be living in the area.
Bakhmut’s deputy mayor Oleksandr Marchenko has accused Russian troops of turning the town into a new Mariupol.
He told the BBC: ‘Not a single building remains untouched. They want to destroy Bakhmut like they did with Mariupol.’
Mariupol is now fully in the hands of Russian forces, having been cut off from the rest of Ukraine early in the war and subjected to horrifying barrages and a siege.
Civilians were left without heat, food or water for weeks and described melting snow for something to drink before drinking from radiators when the snow ran out.
It was the scene of perhaps the deadliest single attack of the war when a Russian jet bombed a theatre with the word ‘children’ scrawled on the pavement outside, killing up to 600 people sheltering inside.
Thousands are known to have died in the siege, with their bodies often piled into mass graves hastily dug alongside roads.
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