Russian convoy near Kyiv has dispersed and artillery is in firing position, new satellite images show

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Satellite images taken by a US firm of a large Russian military convoy near Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, show it has “largely dispersed and redeployed”.

The convoy was last seen near Antonov Airport, north-west of Kyiv, and its movement could signal a renewed push towards the city.

The firm that took the photos, Maxar Technologies, said parts of the convoy were in positions in surrounding towns.

Other parts are further north, with artillery now in firing positions.

The apparent redeployment came as Russian forces in Ukraine began attacking new targets in different areas of the country:

  • An airfield and jet engine factory were targeted in Lutsk, in the north-west
  • Explosions also hit airfields at Ivano-Frankivsk, in the south-west, according to Russian defence officials
  • In Dnipro, a major stronghold in central eastern Ukraine, one person was reported dead in air strikes

The air raid sirens went off at 04:30 and wailed for more than three hours. We now know the danger was real.

Officials here say there were three air strikes, hitting a small shoe factory, an apartment block and a kindergarten.

This city is full of heavy industry, including a rocket factory. There is a metalworks nearby the site that was hit, but no obvious military target.

Dnipro has been bracing for this since the war began. All the bridges and main roads here are heavily guarded. Residents have got used to scrambling to underground shelters when the sirens sound.

Even so, the city has been something of a safe haven, for people fleeing cities under sustained Russian attack. In the past few days, residents here had begun leaving: we saw giant queues for evacuation trains and the roads west out of town have been heavily congested. Now the city has been directly hit, I suspect more will be thinking of getting out.

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“Ukrainian big cities are again subjected to devastating blows,” said Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak.

He added that the shelling in Lutsk had shut down two central heating compounds.

“Russia’s destructive war against civilians and major cities continues,” he said.

Russian state media reported that the Ukrainian city of Volnovakha had been captured by Russian-backed separatist forces.

There is no independent confirmation of the capture of the city, which is a northern gateway to the besieged port city of Mariupol.

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