Update on the situation in Ukraine
The invasion of Ukraine will be entering its third week, and even as the Russian army progresses with difficulty in some places, bombing continues unabated on several cities, as well as ground fighting in the outskirts of Kiev or Mariupol, a southern city under siege for more than ten days.
Explosions in Kiev, the capital under curfew. At dawn, several loud explosions were heard in western Kiev. A 12-storey building in Shevchenkivskyi district has been damaged, but there is no word yet, while the curfew has banned the press from circulating in the city, the second since the start of the war. Heavy fighting continues in the northwestern suburbs, in and around the towns of Irpin, Hostomel and Boutcha.
The mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, said in an interview with World †
“The city is ready to defend itself. People are ready. There will be anger, anger and there will be no panic (…). If we see what’s going on elsewhere, such as in Mariupol, the scenario of a Russian desire for the total destruction of Kiev is not excluded. †
A US Department of Defense official, quoted by the Associated Press, said Russian troops fired heavy artillery into the city center because they were unable to advance. They would have been about ten miles from the latter for several days.
Nearly 20,000 civilians were able to flee Mariupol. The large southern city is still surrounded by Russian troops, who are fighting against the Ukrainian army throughout the region north of the metropolitan area. Nearly 20,000 people in 4,000 cars were able to leave on Tuesday, according to the Ukrainian presidency, but humanitarian convoys carrying food and water are still being prevented from entering. Another attempt will take place on Wednesday, the day Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu is in Moscow to try and facilitate the evacuation of civilians.
There are still between 200,000 and 400,000 people in the metropolis, where there is no electricity, water, gas and soon no food. The town hall has been talking about a death toll of almost 2,400 for days. As acknowledged by Pyotr Andryushchenko, an official at the town hall interviewed by the New York Timesthe actual number could be much higher, about 20,000 dead.
Artillery fire and shelling of Odessa. According to Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Russian ships fired “A large quantity” missiles south of the major Ukrainian port, without casualties. According to him, it would be to test the Ukrainian defense systems. Strategic place of Ukraine with its terminals from which Ukrainian grains are exported, the big city on the Black Sea, which has so far been spared from the fighting, has been expecting the worst for days, as our special envoy told on March 5.
The human toll of this war. According to the UN, reminding that this toll is lower than reality, nearly 700 civilians have been killed since the start of the war. Nearly 3 million people have fled fighting and shelling outside Ukraine, including 1.6 million children, and about 2 million people have been displaced within Ukraine’s borders. According to the Ukrainian president, nearly 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers were killed, while Russia released only one and only assessment on March 2: 498 soldiers killed.