Russians surround Kiev, mosque with 80 civilians bombed in Mariupol

On Saturday morning, a mosque containing 80 civilians, including Turks, was bombed in Mariupol, Ukraine’s foreign ministry said on Saturday. “The mosque of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his wife Roxolana in Mariupol was bombed by Russian invaders,” the ministry said in a tweet. “More than 80 adults and children are sheltering there, including Turkish civilians,” he added, without specifying when the shelling took place.

“The enemy is still blocking Mariupol,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday evening. “The Russian troops have not allowed our aid into the city,” he added, promising to try again on Saturday to bring food, water and medicine there “tomorrow”. “Sieges are a medieval practice” prohibited by modern war laws, said Stephen Cornish, the head of MSF Switzerland and one of the coordinators of the NGO’s action in Ukraine.

Kiev, “symbol of resistance”

“Besieged Mariupol is now the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world. 1,582 civilians killed in 12 days, buried in mass graves like this,” for his part, the head of Ukrainian diplomacy Dmytro Kouleba accused on Friday in a tweet accompanied by a photo of a trench. Yulia and her husband are among the few people who have been able to flee Mariupol since the beginning of the siege, after crossing Russian checkpoints in fear. “On the road we saw burnt civilian cars, sometimes tilted on their side. We understood that the Russians had fired at them,” she says.

In addition to Mariupol, the Russians are focusing their efforts on the cities of Kryvy Rig, Kremenchug, Nikopol and Zaporizhie, according to the Ukrainian army. But their main target remains Kiev, which they are trying to surround. They are present in the suburbs of the capital and are trying to take out the defenses in several places west and north of the city in order to “block it”, the Ukrainian General Staff said. “Kiev is a symbol of resistance” preparing for a “ruthless defense,” declared in a video Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The humanitarian crisis is spreading: more than 2.5 million people have fled Ukraine, 116,000 of them third-country nationals, since the launch of the Russian invasion on February 24, according to figures released Friday by the United Nations. In addition, there are about two million internally displaced persons, said the head of the UN refugee agency Filippou Grandi. Most of the refugees are on their way to Poland, which border guards estimate that 1.5 million people have crossed since February 24. These refugees “don’t feel like a visitor. You welcomed them into your families with tenderness, brotherly kindness,” thanked Volodymyr Zelensky in a lengthy video message praising the Poles.

Calling Russian Mothers

The Western camp continues to increase economic pressure on Moscow, paving the way for punitive tariffs and drying up trade with the country. The European Union and the G7 have joined Washington in revoking Moscow’s so-called “most favored nation” status, which facilitates free trade in goods and services. Washington also attacked luxury goods, with Joe Biden announcing the import ban on “key sectors of the Russian economy, especially seafood, vodka and diamonds”. “If (Russian President Vladimir) Putin intensifies the bombing, besieges Kiev, if he further escalates the war scenes, we know we will have to take massive sanctions again,” French President Emmanuel Macron told AFP after two days. of meetings.