Satellite images show food lines in Mariupol, as Russian forces push deeper into the city.

New satellite imagery released by U.S.-based space technology company Maxar Technologies shows hundreds of people lining up outside a supermarket in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol on Tuesday.

The city has been under siege for weeks and is suffering from severe food and water shortages. Experts on siege warfare told the Times that starving a population is a tactic that can break the will of a besieged city.

The supermarket seen in the satellite image sits on the western edge of the city. Recent videos published by Russian state media, and verified by The New York Times, show that Russian forces have already pushed their way into the city center, to the area around Mariupol’s Drama Theater, which was destroyed on March 16.

Satellite images comparing residential and commercial buildings in Mariupol before the war, in June 2021, and now reveal widespread destruction.Credit…Maxar Technologies

Since surrounding Mariupol last month, Russian forces have destroyed the city’s power plants, cutting off electricity for residents as temperatures froze, and then the water and gas, essential for cooking and heating, according to the mayor, Vadym Boichenko.

The new satellite images further reveal the extent of the destruction in residential areas around the city. In Mariupol’s Zhovtnevyi district, near the drama theater, a comparison of imagery from before the war to the situation on Tuesday shows buildings and homes have been almost entirely razed.

While much of its prewar population of more than 500,000 have escaped, unconfirmed reports say that more than 2,000 people have died, and Mr. Boichenko said that about 160,000 are believed still to be trapped in the city. They are increasingly isolated. On Monday, the International Committee of the Red Cross said it was ceasing relief operations in Mariupol out of concern for the safety of its aid workers.

Mr. Boichenko said over the weekend that Ukrainian forces still control the center of Mariupol. But Russian forces continue to gain ground. The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, said on Tuesday that despite pockets of Ukrainian resistance, Mariupol “will likely fall to the Russians in days.”

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