About 300 people were killed in the Mariupol Drama Theater bombing, according to local officials, which will attack the building, which was used by hundreds of people as refuge in the port city besieged by Russian forces for weeks. The deadliest ever known from Russia’s war against Ukraine. Kyiv has condemned that a building in which it had been warned with large white letters on the floor to keep “children” was attacked by a Russian missile.
The United Nations calculates that 1,081 civilians have been killed since the start of the invasion, although it believes this figure to be an underestimate. In Mariupol, on the Azov Sea, where Ukrainian and Russian troops are fighting fiercely, the population remains in a dire situation. The city council assured that some 150 people survived the attack on the theater on 16th, and cited eyewitnesses to count the dead, although it did not specify how this estimate was reached or if emergency services had found the ruins. The excavation is over. Construction in a city that has become a symbol of attacks against the civilian population.
The United Nations announced this Friday that it has more and more evidence of mass graves in Mariupol, including evidence from satellite images. Sieges and relentless indiscriminate attacks on civilian property in a city have now almost been reduced to rubble, making it impossible to bury the dead.
The UN Human Rights Office is investigating reports that Russian forces shot civilians in their cars while fleeing Mariupol, dozens of missing Ukrainian officials and journalists from different parts of the country, and forced movement of civilians. . controlled by Russia. The Kremlin denies that it attacked civilians and has accused Ukraine of fabricating charges, including an attack on the city’s maternity hospital.
While hundreds of civilians desperately try to leave Mariupol surrounded by Russian forces, many others seek to enter the city to bring aid and evacuate their loved ones. The situation is becoming increasingly dramatic in the city, where Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces already control the port and three neighbourhoods. The Russian army made slow but steady progress in Mariupol and entered the city center on 24 March. Local authorities had withdrawn to coordinate the evacuation.
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The Ukrainian government estimates that there are about 100,000 civilians left in the city. “More and more deaths from hunger,” warned Mariupol City Council in a publication on Telegram. “More and more people are running out of food. And all efforts to launch a large-scale humanitarian operation to rescue the people of Mariupol are blocked by the Russian side.”
This Friday, a senior Ukrainian police officer who was in the port city during the war in the Donbass region in 2014 when Kyiv troops defeated pro-Russian separatists supported and promoted by the Kremlin there, offered to surrender to Russian forces in return . Abandoned in the still besieged city for safe passage for the children. “Today, many children remain in a completely destroyed city, and if they are not rescued now, they will die in the next few days,” police commander Vyacheslav Ebroshkin wrote on Facebook.
“Time is Running Out. I appeal to the Russian occupiers: give the children the opportunity to get out of Mariupol. Instead of the surviving children, I present myself”, said Ebroskin, who has called for three days inside the city to find as many minors as possible and organize their evacuation. “At the last checkpoint on the way with the kids, I will give up. This is my personal initiative. My life is mine only and I give it in exchange for the lives of the children who still live in Mariupol, ”he said.
It is in southern Ukraine that Russia – whose military has been stalled in several places and is now rethinking and downgrading its military objectives by claiming that it only intended to control the Donbass region in the east – made its greatest gains. have earned. The Kremlin has secured a partial land corridor between Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, which Moscow controls through pro-Russian separatists, annexed illegally in the Donbas regions in 2014. And I will do it in Mariupol’s absence.
Ukraine’s defense ministry on Friday acknowledged that Kremlin forces have been “partially successful” in securing enough territory around the besieged port city of Mariupol to move troops and supplies between Crimea and Russia.
If he takes over the city, Putin may reconsider the offensive. This is an achievement that can to sell At home, not only because of the corridor and because Mariupol is in the Donbass (and at home with its rhetoric of “special operations in the Donbass”), but also because of its symbolism: the city is the headquarters of the Azov battalion of ultra-nationalist origins and A battalion of volunteers that joined the fight to counter the shortcomings of the Ukrainian Army in 2014. It has since been reformed, has new members and is now another branch of the military, part of the National Guard. However, his defeat on his own territory could also mar Putin’s rhetoric of “denial” and present him as a victory at home despite heavy losses for Russia, which reported its casualties this Friday for the first time in weeks. Reportedly: 1,351 soldiers were killed and 3,825 wounded. Ukraine, which has not published its figures, estimates the number of dead Russian soldiers at 15,000.
While the Kremlin talks about its objectives in Ukraine and maintains that everything is going “as planned”, fierce attacks continue. This Friday the missile strike has reached a military installation for logistics and transportation in the strategic city of Dnipro in the center of the country. In addition, Russian forces are tightening their attacks on Kharkiv, the second-largest city in the Russian-majority country, where they attacked a building where food aid was being distributed. Six people were killed and 15 were injured in a town already hit by bombs.