WAR IN UKRANE – The city of Mariupol has been besieged by Russian troops for several days. On Wednesday, March 16, a theater with “hundreds of civilians” was badly damaged by a Russian airstrike in this city in southeastern Ukraine, the town hall said.
“The plane dropped a bomb on the building where hundreds of civilians were sheltering. It is impossible to take stock right away, because the bombing of the residential areas continues,” the town hall wrote on Telegram when publishing a photo of the theater, the central part of which has been destroyed. On Twitter, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba denounced “a terrible war crime”.
The town hall also clarified on Telegram that “the entrance to the shelter is blocked by rubble” and announced that “information about the victims is being verified”.
The Russian Defense Ministry, for its part, denied having bombed the theater, blaming the explosion on the Ukrainian nationalist Azov battalion.
Earlier, according to the Ukrainian army on Wednesday, a convoy of civilians fleeing the city towards Zaporozhye became the target of fire from the Grad multiple rocket launcher. It reports “deaths” and injuries, including a seriously injured child. On Telegram, the army posted a photo of a wounded and bloodied child.
Last week, a maternity hospital in Mariupol was bombed, sparking international protests. Moscow also had the Azov battalion involved.
Conditions are catastrophic in Mariupol, where more than 2,000 civilians have been killed, according to local authorities. As early as March 13, the International Committee of the Red Cross had warned of “a worst-case scenario” if the warring parties “do not reach an urgent humanitarian agreement”. “Time is running out for the hundreds of thousands of people trapped in the fighting, the NGO wrote. History will horrify what will happen in Mariupol if an agreement is not reached between the parties as soon as possible.”
More than 2,000 residents killed in Mariupol
In the besieged city, residents continue to lack water and food, while the harbor is blocked. Several attempts to provide humanitarian aid to the city have notably failed. According to the agency FATHER, Faced with the shortage of drinking water, some residents are melting snow in order to drink.
On Tuesday, 20,000 people were evacuated from the port city. The humanitarian corridor used by the rows of vehicles connects Mariupol via Berdiansk to Zaporozhye in the northwest, i.e. about 270 km away.
According to the Ukrainian Red Cross, the civilians who have been able to leave Mariupol have had “very little food, water and medicine, including our team”. The NGO on Wednesday urged the two sides to reach an agreement in order to be able to come to the aid of civilians.
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