Russian invasion of Ukraine: Ukrainian Prime Minister Dennis Shmihel tonight (Friday-Saturday) called the situation in Mariupol “the biggest humanitarian disaster” since the beginning of the Russian invasion, and perhaps the most severe of the current century, as the port city in the southeast faces constant bombing by Russian forces.
“We will see the terrible horrors when the besieged city is liberated from the Russians.” He said the invading forces “are completely destroying everything, including shelters where civilians are staying. It is estimated that 100,000 people have remained trapped in the city and more than 20,000 civilians have been killed in the city since Russia’s attacks on the place began on March 1.”
In his speech in Washington, Shmehal also referred to the situation of the remaining opposing forces in the city, which are fortified in the Azobstal steel plant. “The Russian military is still encircling the region, and Ukraine is in talks with partners to negotiate an evacuation corridor.” He also called on ambassadors from all countries, including the United States, to return to their embassies in Kiev.
At the same time, British intelligence estimated this morning that Russian forces had not achieved much in the last 24 hours despite their increased activity. In addition, despite the declarations of occupation of Mariupol, it is clear that the continued fighting in the city is causing great frustration among the Russian forces.
We further noted in the UK that the situation in Mariupol makes it difficult for the Russians to advance in the Donbas region, and that Russia’s air and naval forces have not established control over any of the areas because of the effectiveness of Ukraine’s air and naval defense.
While the battles over Mariupol continue, Ukrainian officials have indicated that a mass grave has been located in a village outside the southern city, which could hold up to 9,000 bodies. The site was identified by satellite images taken by Maxar. The images come as investigators in Ukraine and abroad are working to gather evidence backing up allegations that Russia committed war crimes during its invasion of the country.
Source: Maariv.co.il – חדשות מהארץ והעולם by www.maariv.co.il.
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