30,000 people evacuated from Mariupol, unknown toll for theater bombing

This Thursday marks the 22nd day of the war in Ukraine, launched by Russia on February 24. The Russian offensive is intensifying. The bombing of a theater housing at least a thousand refugees in Mariupol has once again sparked international outrage. Here’s what to remember from this new day of conflict.

The necessary

  • Theater with hundreds of bombed civilians in Mariupol, number of victims unknown
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky received a standing ovation from the German parliament
  • The EU, in turn, condemns “war crimes”
  • At least 27 killed in Russian attacks in cities around Kharkiv
  • Listen: Radio France’s daily podcast about the situation in Ukraine

The situation on the military front

A theater with hundreds of bombed civilians

Bombings struck the Mariupol Theater on Tuesday evening, which was home to several hundred civilians, according to Ukrainian authorities. “500 to 700 citizens” were in this theater, according to the special correspondents of franceinfo on the spot and according to the collected testimonies. There is no balance the number of victims currently available, explains the town hall.

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Several media broadcasted satellite images from the American private company Maxar, according to which: the word “children” was written in huge white letters and in Russian, on both sides of the building, so that the message is clearly visible from the air.

The words “children” were written in white letters on each side of the theater. © AFP
EyePress News

The Ukrainian authorities accuse the Russian army of deliberately attacking this theater and denounce a war crime† The Russian Ministry of Defense denies having bombed the theater and blames ultra-nationalist Ukrainian Azov Battalion† The same arguments had been used by the Russians during the bombing of the Mariupol maternity hospital the week before, which shocked the whole world. A total of 30,000 people have been evacuated from the city to Zaporozhye or Berdiansk this week via humanitarian corridors, the town hall said. another 350,000 remain in the city and “stay shelter in shelters and cellars”Mariupol town hall continued.

The besieged city of Mariupol
The besieged city of Mariupol © Visactu
Ukraine: the advance of Russian troops (update Thursday, March 17 at 7:30 PM).
Ukraine: the advance of Russian troops (update Thursday, March 17 at 7:30 PM). © Visactu

At least 27 dead around Karkhiv

At least 21 people have been killed and 25 injured in a Russian attack in Merefa, near the besieged city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine, the regional prosecutor’s office said. Russian soldiers fired artillery into town he specified. A school and a cultural center were destroyed. Ten of the injured are in critical condition. Six other people were killed in cluster bomb attacks in a village about 50 kilometers north of Kharkiv, Kozacha Lopan.

Another strike in Kiev

Debris from a rocket shot down over Kiev has killed at least one person and injured three, Ukrainian emergency services said, as the Russian military has failed to release pressure around the Ukrainian capital. Russian troops still trying to surround the city (see map below) and have carried out multiple attacks against residential areas since the beginning of the week, killing at least six people.

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    The Battle of Kiev (update March 17)
The Battle of Kiev (update March 17) © Visactu

A “thousand” Chechen volunteers on their way to Ukraine

The leader of the Russian Republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, assured that “thousand” Chechen volunteers are on their way to fight in Ukraine, three weeks after the offensive began in Moscow.

The diplomatic situation, international reactions

Conversations continue

Despite the ongoing bombardments, talks between the two camps continue. According to the Kremlin spokesperson, the negotiators are now discussing “a compromise”, who would make? Ukraine a neutral country, on the model of Sweden and Austria. “There are very concrete formulas that, I think, are close to an agreement”underlined the head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov. “My priorities in these negotiations are clear: end of the war, guarantees of security, sovereignty, restoration of our territorial integrity, real guarantees for our country, real protection for our country”detailed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the evening.

WHO denounces military attacks on health infrastructure

The World Health Organization has denounced the numerous military attacks on health infrastructure“The health system has become a target. It is starting to become part of the strategy and tactics of war. It is totally unacceptable, it violates international humanitarian law,” WHO emergency chief Michael Ryan complained.

A meeting of the UN Security Council this Thursday

The United Kingdom, United States, Albania, France, Norway and Ireland have requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Thursday afternoon.

Kremlin rejects International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the highest UN court, ordered Moscow on Wednesday to immediately cease its military operations in Ukraine. “very concerned” because of the scale of the fighting. This Thursday morning, Russia rejected the ICJ’s decision to suspend the offensive. France has on its side “greeted” the decision of the International Court of Justice and expressed its willingness to “intervene” in investigating the merits of “serious violations” of international law attributed to Moscow.

Zelensky receives standing ovation from German parliament

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky received a standing ovation of the Bundestag, the German parliament, for a video intervention urging Germany to adopt the new “Wall” founded in Europe against freedom since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “A people is being destroyed in Europe”launched Volodymyr Zelensky to the parliamentarians.

EU in turn denounces ‘war crimes’

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov called on the European Union to consider Vladimir Putin as a “war criminal”, what the EU did during the day via a statement from the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell: “The EU condemns in the strongest terms the Russian armed forces and their accomplices, which continue to target the civilian population and Ukrainian civilian infrastructure”said Josep Borrell, who “serious violations of humanitarian law” and the “war crimes” committed by Russia in Ukraine. The leaders will be held accountable, the head of European diplomacy promised.

The day before, US President Joe Biden had unleashed the wrath of the Kremlin call the Russian president “war criminal” for the shelling of his troops against Ukrainian cities. This Thursday, the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, reiterated this qualification: “Deliberately targeting civilians is a war crime. After so much destruction in the past three weeks, I find it hard to conclude that the Russians are doing anything other than that.”he said at a press conference, indicating that the legal process for such a formal charges were still pending

The ExoMars Mission Suspended

The European Space Agency (ESA) has suspended the Russian-European ExoMars mission after: the cessation of cooperation with the space agency Russian Roscosmos because of the war in Ukraine, she announced in a press release after her board meeting. The ExoMars mission planned the September launch of an ESA rover bound for the planet Mars, using a Russian launch vehicle and lander.

Solidarity with the Ukrainian people

More than three million Ukrainians have already taken the road to exile, the vast majority to Poland.