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Photos show aftermath of Ukraine invasion, troop buildups in Russia and Belarus

Click to play video: 'World reacts as Russia launches invasion of Ukraine'
World reacts as Russia launches invasion of Ukraine
WATCH: World reacts as Russia launches invasion of Ukraine – Feb 24, 2022

New satellite images are providing a clear view of the damage Ukrainian military infrastructure has already suffered after Russia’s military invaded the country on Thursday.

The photos, provided to Global News by American space technology company Maxar, also show large military convoys heading west by land and air towards Ukraine from Russia and neighbouring Belarus.

A large convoy of military vehicles is seen near Sergievka, Russia, approximately 10 kilometres east of the Ukraine border, and heading in a westerly direction toward Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies.

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The first wave of attacks on Ukraine saw several military bases, including airfields, get damaged. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 137 “heroes,” including 10 military officers, had been killed and 316 people were wounded.

The dead included all border guards on Zmiinyi Island, also known as Snake Island or Serpent Island, in the Odesa region, which was taken over by Russians.

Maxar’s photos, taken Thursday, show black smoke rising from fuel storage areas and other airport infrastructure at the Chuhuiv airfield in the eastern Ukrainian city of Chuhuiv. The airfield has been used by the Ukrainian Air Force, having once been a post for the Soviet Union.

New imagery reveals damage to fuel storage areas and other airport infrastructure at the Chuhuiv airfield in the eastern Ukrainian city of Chuhuiv on Feb. 24, 2022. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies.

Zelenskyy has ordered a full military mobilization to counter Russia’s invasion, which has included a barrage of land- and sea-based missiles across the country.

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U.S. and Ukrainian officials say Russia aims to capture Kyiv and topple the government. Russia on Thursday seized the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant north of Kyiv, along the shortest route to the capital from Belarus, where Moscow has staged troops.

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In an early-morning televised address announcing what he called a “special military operation,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said his aim was the demilitarization and “deNazification” of democratic Ukraine.

The Russian leader warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences they have never seen.”

Russian forces remain deployed in and around the western outskirts of Belgorod, Russia, with artillery and multiple rocket launchers (MRLs) deployed in the area approximately 20 kilometres north of the border with Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies.

The satellite photos show long columns of Russian troops moving toward Ukraine from western Russia and Belarus, an ally of Moscow. Heavy armoury and equipment was also seen stationed on the Belarusian side of the border.

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President Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday publicly denied Belarus was providing military support, but said troops could take part in Russia’s operation if needed.

Ukraine’s border guard agency alleged Belarus was supporting Russian troops’ attacks on border units and checkpoints, with troops entering Ukraine from Belarus. Multiple border guards have died in the attacks.

In western Belarus, military forces and more than 50 heavy equipment transporters (HETs) have assembled at the Brestsky training area near Brest on Feb. 24, 2022. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies.

Ukrainian and U.S. officials said Russian forces were attacking from the east toward Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city; from the southern region of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014; and from Belarus to the north.

Ground attack helicopters were also seen flying toward Ukraine from a base near Tomarovka, Russia, approximately 30 kilometres north of the border with Ukraine.

European authorities have declared the country’s airspace an active conflict zone. Russia and Ukraine halted flights due to safety and security concerns.

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A new ground attack helicopter deployment is observed near Tomarovka, Russia, located approximately 30 kilometres north of the border with Ukraine, on Feb. 24, 2022. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies.

Russia has also set up a new field hospital within the past 24 hours near Krasnaya Yaruga, Russia, approximately 15 kilometres east of the Ukraine border, according to Maxar.

Ground force deployments were also seen nearby the field hospital in the satellite images taken Thursday.

A new field hospital has been established within the past 24 hours near Krasnaya Yaruga, Russia, approximately 15 kilometres east of the Ukraine border, on Feb. 24, 2022. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies.

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Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan responded to Russia’s invasion with harsh sanctions that targeted major banks and members of the Russian elite.

Earlier sanctions imposed Monday, after Putin recognized two separatist regions of eastern Ukraine as independent and mobilized troops there, included the shutdown of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.

NATO has increased its defense forces in its eastern flank near Ukraine and Russia in response, with Canada promising to send more troops to assist the military alliance.

New imagery reveals damage to fuel storage areas and other airport infrastructure at the Chuhuiv airfield in the eastern Ukrainian city of Chuhuiv on Feb. 24, 2022. Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies.

— with files from Reuters and the Associated Press

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