Bombs reduce a shopping center in kyiv to rubble and the invading Army attacks Odessa for the first time
The six-hour deadline that the Russian Defense Ministry gave the defenders of Mariupol to hand over this port city on the Sea of Azov expired this Monday at five in the morning. “Ukraine can never fulfill an ultimatum from the Russian Federation. We should all be dead; only then would Mariupol, Kharkiv or kyiv fall,” President Volodymyr Zelensky challenged later, in a meeting with European journalists. And he added that any eventual agreement with Moscow to stop the war “will be put to a referendum.”
The day in which the negotiations between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations were resumed, the port city of Odessa was bombed for the first time, carried out with missiles fired from ships in the Black Sea. But the hardest hit enclave continues to be Mariúpol, where some 350,000 people remain trapped in the basements of homes without water, food, electricity or heating. It began to be attacked on February 25, the day after the invasion began, and since March 18 it has been completely besieged.
The situation there is dramatic; the scene of a colossal confrontation between Russian troops, aided by Chechen units, with a well-earned reputation for brutality, and Ukrainian forces, joined by members of the international brigades and the far-right Azov Battalion, which the Kremlin has as its primary objective. The bombs have left a barren ground. Nine out of ten buildings have been damaged and the neighbors have managed to have a few wells dug in the ground – the water emerges from the crushed underground pipes – to obtain a little water. Many only feed once a day. And few. There are no more groceries. They compare it to Leningrad. with Guernica. A young woman tells a local newspaper that she and her relatives barely eat to minimize the times they have to leave her shelter to relieve themselves and expose themselves to gunshots.
According to Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, the forces resisting in Mariupol “are playing a huge role in dismantling the enemy’s plans and improving our defense.” In his opinion, “thanks to Mariupol, kyiv, Dnipro and Odessa are being saved.” Once the city falls, the invading army will have more troops to continue the fight in other areas and close the link between separatist Donbas and the Crimean peninsula.
Mijaíl Mizíntsev, head of the National Control Center of the Russian Defense Ministry, said on Monday that they urged kyiv to withdraw from Mariupol “all armed formations (…) in order to save civilians and infrastructure.” He explained that, once the weapons were laid down, the humanitarian convoys would arrive to evacuate the population “with sapper units ahead of them to clear the route.” To verify this, he added, “delegates from the UN, the OSCE, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international organizations have been invited to be present.” But this operation will have to wait. Donetsk rebel leader Denis Pushilin acknowledged that his forces will not be able to take Mariupol “even in a week.” In his words, they face “several thousand fighters from Ukrainian nationalist battalions” and, “unfortunately, the city is big.”
One of the units fighting there is the Azov Battalion, described as neo-Nazi by the Kremlin and whose financing was vetoed by the Pentagon in 2017. In this regard, the president of the Duma (Lower House of the Russian Parliament), Viacheslav Volodin, accused this Monday Joe Biden of “war crimes” for sending weapons to Ukraine that, according to his information, “went into the hands of far-rightists.” The US Congress, he added, “must put an end to double standards and hold Biden accountable (…) because of the blood shed by thousands of civilian victims” of these armed groups. “It’s all a lie”, in the words of the adviser to the Ukrainian Presidency, Mijailo Podoliak, who accused Russia of “persistently trying to justify its aggression with stories about bio-laboratories, Nazi battalions or heavy artillery shelling of Donetsk”.
from the caspian sea
Meanwhile, Odessa was attacked for the first time by missiles on Monday, fired by a warship in Black Sea waters. “They bombed civilian homes in front of the coast,” said the mayor, Guennadi Trujánov. One person was injured and several houses were destroyed.” The Russian Navy already launched a cruise missile against the city last Friday, but, according to the Ukrainian General Staff, “it was shot down by our anti-aircraft artillery.”
On Sunday, according to the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, his Army “fired Kalibr cruise missiles for the first time from ships located in the Caspian Sea”, as it did in Syria in its offensive against Daesh in 2015. On this occasion, the weapons “impacted a fuel depot in the village of Konstantinovka”, in the Mykolaiv region. He added that aviation also launched “hypersonic missiles against various targets on Ukrainian soil” from Crimea.
Another bombardment on Monday caused an ammonia leak in Novoselytsya, to the north, in the Sumy region, in a chemical fertilizer plant. The regional governor, Dmytro Jyvytsky, called on the population to take refuge in basements, while the Russian Defense Ministry described the incident as “provocation”, for which it blamed local “ultranationalists”. But the bloodiest blow of the day occurred in the center of kyiv, where a missile attack reduced a shopping center to ashes. At least eight people were killed and an unknown number injured, who were rescued by rescue teams from a swarm of rubble.
Russian soldiers shoot down a protest in Kherson
At least one person was injured yesterday at a demonstration in Kherson when the Russian military, who recently occupied the city, decided to disperse the protesters with gunshots and stun grenades. The events occurred in Liberty Square during one of the protests that Ukrainian citizens regularly hold in this and other cities against the invasion.
According to the images posted on the networks by two local newspapers, a large group of protesters who were heading to the center of the square confronted the soldiers, who suddenly opened fire with their automatic weapons, while launching tear gas. . The congregants fled at a run in different directions.
According to the authorities in the region, the ‘orcs’, as the Russian forces are called in some media, were used with violence to suppress a “peaceful demonstration”. One of the participants was apparently injured by a shot to the leg.
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