Images from space show how Ukraine has been plunged into darkness

Ukraine war: Annamaria one of a million children to have fled since ...
The Independent

Satellite images from NASA show how Ukraine has been plunged into darkness.

Images comparing the skies above Ukraine a month before the invasion, on the day of the invasion, and last night show how the lights have dimmed in the eastern European country.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th there has been an estimated 1,207 civilian casualties, including 406 deaths. However, the UN Human Rights Office has warned that this figure is likely much higher.

More than 1.5 million Ukrainians have fled since the conflict began - marking the swiftest exodus of refugees this century.

On January 24th, more than 100,000 Russian troops were stationed on the border of Ukraine. A few weeks later, tensions were stoked when Putin recognised the rebel-held regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbas as independent states.

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Just two days later Russia invaded Ukraine.

The city of Lviv in the west of the country switched off all street lights and building lights at 11pm local time after Russia attacked three locations in the region, CNN reports.

On the 24th of February, air raid sirens rang in the city for the first time since World War II.

Beyond showing the country in darkness, satellite imagery previously revealed a Russian convoy approaching Kyiv.

From above the clouds, it’s clear that something is wrong on the ground.

To see the difference for yourself, compare the below maps:

January 24th, midnight

NASA Earthdata

February 24th, midnight

NASA Earthdata

March 8th, midnight

NASA Earthdata

Scientist Julien Chimot shared screengrabs from the NASA map to Twitter and commented: “I am usually a big fan of @NASAEarth #VIIRS night light images. But these days, I am terrified.

“From early February (left pic) to early March (right pic), a big dark hole has appeared in #Europe #Ukraine. Let [us] remember how lucky we are tonight to be able to turn on our lights.”

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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