(CNN Spanish) — For the inhabitants of those 10 Ukrainian cities, life modified radically after the Russian invasion on February 24: a lot of their buildings have been destroyed or broken in the course of the preventing, entry to items and companies has turn into an odyssey and the place used to wave the flag of Ukraine now flies the white, blue and pink of Russia.
Of their advance into southeastern and japanese Ukraine, Russian troops have captured giant swaths of territory together with dozens of cities, from giant cities to small villages, which at the moment are beneath occupation.
The ten essential Ukrainian cities managed by Russia on the time had between 45,000 and 400,000 inhabitants earlier than the battle (many fled earlier than and after the preventing) and are of nice strategic and financial significance of their areas.
They be a part of cities in Donetsk and Luhansk, within the far east of the nation often called Donbas, which have been beneath the management of Russian-backed insurgent forces since 2014.
The checklist might be longer: firstly of the invasion, Russia additionally launched offensives in northern Ukraine, in direction of Kyiv, the capital, and Kharkiv, amongst others. It occupied quite a few villages and cities, reminiscent of Bucha, Chuhuiv, and Chernobyl, which have been later recaptured in Ukrainian counter-offensives.
The checklist might be even longer: preventing in southeastern and japanese Ukraine continues in the meanwhile, greater than 5 months after the beginning of the battle, and Ukrainian cities reminiscent of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk are being threatened by the Russian advance.
High 10 Ukrainian cities beneath Russian occupation
1 – Mariupol
This port metropolis of greater than 400,000 inhabitants and positioned on the shores of the Sea of Azov was besieged by Russia on March 1, shortly after the invasion. It lastly fell on Might 17 after an extended and laborious resistance by the Ukrainian troops entrenched within the Azovstal plant and different factors.
It’s the largest Ukrainian metropolis held by Russia on the time, and on account of its location on the Sea of Azov and on the freeway between Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014, and the Donetsk areas raised that very same yr, some of the strategically necessary.
Additionally, and as a result of lengthy siege earlier than its seize, it is without doubt one of the cities hardest hit by the battle: the pictures of the destruction of Mariúpol went world wide.
2 – Kherson
Kherson, with a inhabitants of about 280,000, was captured by Russia on March 1, at first of the invasion. Town is positioned within the south of Ukraine, about 90 kilometers from Crimea and on the mouth of the Dnieper River, which is why it homes an necessary port with entry to the Black Sea.
Because the starting of the occupation, Ukraine has denounced that Russia plans to carry a referendum in assist of the creation of a Kherson Individuals’s Republic, as occurred with the Donetsk and Luhansk Individuals’s Republics erected in 2014 beneath the wing of Moscow. The thought of this attainable referendum triggered an exodus within the metropolis, however ultimately it didn’t happen.
Then, in late June, the Russian-imposed authorities in Kherson once more introduced plans to carry a well-liked session on the area’s attainable entry into the Russian Federation, with out giving a date.
In the meantime, US and different Western officers stated final week that Ukraine was getting ready to launch a counteroffensive to retake Kherson, and that Russian troops have been digging in to withstand. On this regard, Ukrainian forces final week attacked the Antonivskyi Bridge, utilized by Russia to produce its troops in Kherson.
3 – Melitopol
This metropolis is positioned within the Zaporizhia area, additionally in southern Ukraine, about 200 kilometers east of Kherson and 160 kilometers west of Mariupol. It had about 160,000 inhabitants earlier than the beginning of the battle.
Melitopol additionally fell early within the invasion: it was captured by Russia on March 1.
4 – Berdyansk
Situated about 70 kilometers from Mariupol and on the Sea of Azov, Berdyansk was captured by Russia on February 27, three days after the invasion. It served as a place to begin for the next siege of Mariupol.
Town had about 120,000 inhabitants earlier than the beginning of the battle, and is a vital port and industrial hub.
In March, after the preventing had ended, a crowd sang the Ukrainian nationwide anthem outdoors the lately captured Berdyansk city corridor, and a few civilians challenged a gaggle of Russian troopers in a truck. It was within the midst of a wave of challenges to the occupation firstly of the battle.
5 – Severodonetsk
Severodonetsk was captured by Russia on June 25, after months of heavy preventing as Moscow turned its focus to the east and Donbas. In reality, it was one of many final Ukrainian strongholds within the Luhansk area, which had been largely managed by pro-Russian rebels since 2014.
Town of about 69,000 inhabitants is positioned in japanese Ukraine and within the valley of the Donets River, simply in entrance of Lysychansk. It is a vital industrial and chemical heart.
6 – Lysychansk
On the opposite facet of the Donets River, and some kilometers from Severodonetsk, is Lysychansk, town that was captured by Russia on July 3.
It had a inhabitants of about 111,000 inhabitants firstly of the battle, and is, like its neighbor, an industrial and chemical hub.
7 – Rubizhne
Rubizhne can be positioned in japanese Ukraine, 13 kilometers from Severdonetsk and about 20 kilometers from Lysychansk. The three cities make up a pole of chemical manufacturing within the nation.
It was occupied by Russia on Might 12, earlier than Severodonetsk and Lyschansk, and had a inhabitants of about 63,000 earlier than the battle.
8 – Energy
Enerhodar and the Zaporizhia nuclear plant – the biggest in Europe – each on the Dnieper River and in southern Ukraine, have been captured by Russian troops on March 4
This metropolis of about 52,000 inhabitants was based in 1970 exactly to supply companies to the Zaporizhia plant.
In the course of the preventing, Zaporizhia was broken and there was concern a couple of attainable nuclear catastrophe. However the hearth was later put out and there was reportedly no crucial harm to any of the reactors.
9 – Izium
Situated within the Kharkiv area of northeastern Ukraine, and about 110 kilometers from town of the identical identify, Izium was captured by Russia in early April.
Its inhabitants earlier than the battle was about 54,000 inhabitants, and like different cities in japanese Ukraine it has an necessary trade.
Izium can be near the entrance and about 40 kilometers from Sloviansk, a Ukrainian metropolis that’s threatened by the Russian advance.
10 – Nova Kakhovka
Nova Kakhokva was captured by Russia throughout its advance in late February and early March in direction of Kherson, which is about 60 kilometers away.
It’s positioned on the Dnieper River and has a inhabitants of about 48,000 individuals.