Chernihiv mayor says cemetery can not handle the dead as video shows destruction

Izyum, an eastern Ukrainian city about 72 miles (116 kilometers) southeast of Kharkiv, has been cut off from nearly all communications since intense battles between Russian and Ukrainian forces broke out there last week.

Now, the first videos and images have emerged from the city.

They show widespread destruction, charred and bombed-out buildings, and bodies left lying in the streets.

CNN has geolocated and verified the authenticity of the videos, which were uploaded to social media on Tuesday. The population of Izyum was around 54,000 people.

Some context: A senior US defense official told CNN earlier Tuesday that Ukrainian armed forces were fighting to knock the Russian military out of the town after the Russians moved in from Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.

The first set of videos was uploaded to Instagram by a man walking around the town’s central park. CNN is not naming or showing the individual out of concern for the person’s safety.

The park: Many of the trees that once lined the park’s paths are splintered, their branches lying on the ground.

“Take a look,” the man said. “This is our park.”

The camera pans over to a charred building that once housed businesses and a restaurant.

Then, an explosion is heard in the video. The war may have moved out of central Izyum, but its brutality is evident in the destruction it has left behind.

“I’m just in shock; they are just killing everywhere,” the man said. “There are corpses in the streets.”

As he walks deeper into the park, a dead body is seen in the street.

“Look, over there is another corpse,” he said, pointing off the path. “And another one, and another one.”

The medical college: A second video clip from the man shows him near the Izyum Medical College dormitory. He walks by the burnt remains of a cafe.

“This is shrapnel from the exploded shells,” he said, holding up the crude shards of metal. “They are very sharp and heavy. F ***. Can you imagine how fast they fly at you?”

Back near the park, another burnt building – which used to house a number of shops – has been seen. Just across the street from it is a large crater.

“There is a three-meter crater here,” the man said, as he pans the camera back toward the park where more splintered trees are seen.

The playground: In northern Izyum, another video shows the effect military strikes have had on more residential areas. It is filmed from a playground, and begins with a view northeast toward an apartment building that has been destroyed in the middle – it has been reduced to rubble.

As the camera pans to the east, the center section of another apartment complex is seen completely destroyed.

“Well look, here is the entrance to my building,” someone is heard saying in the video.

The camera pans toward the southwest, to a church and another building.

“There is the school,” the voice said, noting the building to the right of the church. “Nothing left.”

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