Volodymyr Zelensky accuses Russia of bombing Mariupol . evacuation corridors

Update on the situation in Ukraine

The Russian army invaded Ukrainian territory exactly three weeks ago and after advancing on several fronts, the lines stabilized. “Russian troops have not carried out large-scale attacks since March 4”summarizes Michel Goya, former soldier and historian on his Twitter account. The American intelligence and defense services make the same observation: a halted progress, and therefore the massive use of missiles. According to sources quoted by the New York TimesRussia is said to have fired more than 980 rockets since the start of the war.

Mariupol besieged, bombed and deprived of humanitarian corridors
Ukraine has accused the Russian Air Force of attacking the Dramatic Theater in the city center, which: “more than a thousand” citizens had sought refuge, according to the town hall. “People were hiding there. Some were lucky enough to survive, but unfortunately not all of them were lucky.”, said the city’s mayor, Vadym Boitchenko. No report has been released yet.

Footage released by Ukrainian officials shows the three-storey building being pulverized. Maxar Technologies, which specializes in satellite imagery, released another photo on Monday that showed the word “children” written on the floor, in huge white letters and in Russian.

Human Rights Watch said it couldn’t “Rules the possibility of a Ukrainian military target in the theater area, but we know the theater housed at least 500 civilians”† Russia denies bombing the site and accuses the far-right Ukrainian battalion Azov, which it had already denied responsibility for attacking a maternity hospital.

Besieged, deprived of enduring humanitarian corridors and bombarded incessantly for sixteen days, the great port of southern Ukraine has suffered unimaginable destruction for its inhabitants. The world was able to reach two residents who had just been evacuated by telephone on Wednesday. They would still be with 300,000 to survive in appalling conditions:

“Today Mariupol is an open hell. Entire neighborhoods were razed to the ground. It is difficult to realize what is happening. Hospitals have been destroyed, schools… The bombs also smashed shelters where thousands of people took refuge. The city center is spared no more than the rest. †

A satellite image of burning buildings in a residential area northeast of Chernihiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 16, 2022.

Airstrikes in Kharkiv, end of curfew in Kiev. The Russian military has been using the same tactics for several weeks — a gradual encirclement and a continuous artillery barrage — in an attempt to capture Ukraine’s second-largest city, where at least 500 people have died since Feb. 24, local officials. The capital should see the end of a curfew in effect since Tuesday evening, after suffering numerous artillery fire at the beginning of the week. On Thursday, fragments of a rocket fell on a residential building and one person was killed.

“The health system has become a military target.” The World Health Organization (WHO) says it has never seen as many military attacks on the health system as it currently has in Ukraine. She confirmed 43 attacks on medical facilities or health workers. “It’s starting to become part of the strategy and tactics of war. This is totally unacceptable, it violates international humanitarian law.”Michael Ryan, the WHO’s head of emergency, recalled.

The human toll. According to the UN, nearly 700 civilians have been killed and more than 1,110 others injured since the start of the war. But these numbers are very difficult to verify, especially when there is still fighting or bombing on the ground, the UN emphasizes that its daily ratings are likely to be much lower than reality. 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.