The war in Ukraine is "clearly visible to the naked eye from space"

08:49 25 June Kyiv, Ukraine

Modern space technologies make it possible to conduct detailed observation of events on earth from satellites.. But sometimes you don't need any special equipment.. European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer, who returned to Earth from the International Space Station last month, said he could watch the war unfolding in Ukraine from an orbital laboratory about 250 miles (400 kilometers) high.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, around the middle of its six-month mission.

When you are in space, you feel so far away at first,” said the German astronaut on the ARD television program “Morgenmagazin,” according to a translation made on Wednesday (May 25) in Newsweek, “At the beginning of the war, the entire country was plunged into darkness over at night.

Maurer said it's hard to recognize Ukraine's main landmarks other than Kyiv, the country's capital.. But the war "was clearly visible to the naked eye from space" and sometimes "events were clearly recognizable," Maurer added.. For example, he noted that he could see "huge puffs of smoke over cities like Mariupol."

Горящие здания на восточной окраине украинского города Мариуполя, сфотографированные спутником Maxar Technologies / Фото: www.space.com

Russian troops hit Mariupol, a strategically important port city on Ukraine's southern coast, hard from the start of the invasion.. The astronaut said the city was "in ruins" and pointed to signs of increased Russian control in the region, such as the evacuation of Ukrainian soldiers from a steel plant that served as the last redoubt.

NASA itself continues to cooperate with Russia, but many other Russian space partnerships have collapsed due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.