Residential, rural and industrial areas have been shelled heavily since Russia invaded Ukraine.
New pictures from the front lines have revealed the lingering danger left behind by unexploded bombs and other failed weapons — some of which could still detonate.
It has been four months since Russian President Vladimir Putin sent forces across the border, sparking the biggest conflict in Europe since World War II.
The death toll is in the thousands, millions of Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes and the fighting has sparked a global energy and food crisis.
After failing to gain a quick victory by capturing the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, Vladimir Putin’s army has shifted its focus to taking control of eastern Ukraine in what has become a war of attrition.
Russian forces have recently renewed their efforts to target the north-eastern city of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, killing dozens in shelling attacks.
Meanwhile, US officials say an additional $450 million in security assistance will be provided to Ukraine, including more long-range rocket systems.
The package is set to include:
- Four additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS)
- Eighteen coastal and riverine patrol boats
- Thousands of rounds of ammunition
Ukrainian authorities said on Thursday that the first tranche of HIMARS had already arrived.
HIMARS is a powerful long-range weapon system that Kyiv hopes can help turn the tide in the battle with Russia.
Ukraine says it needs the HIMARS systems to better match the range of Russian rocket systems being extensively used to pummel Ukrainian positions in Donbas.
US officials have said that while HIMARS are important for Ukrainian forces, no single weapon system alone can change the war.
The National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, John Kirby, said Washington was closely working with Kyiv to identify which types of weapons could best fulfil their needs in each package.
“The reason we do it like this is so we can keep it relevant to what’s happening on the battlefield,” he said at a White House briefing.
Washington said it has received assurances from Kyiv that those longer-range weapons would not be used to attack Russian territory, fearing an escalation of the conflict.
Moscow has previously warned it will strike targets in Ukraine they “have not yet been hitting” if the West supplies longer-range missiles to Ukraine for use in high-precision mobile rocket systems.
The latest package comes after US President Joe Biden last week announced an infusion of $1 billion in weapons for Ukraine that includes anti-ship rocket systems, artillery rockets, howitzers and ammunition.