Russia on its way out of Ukraine's Mariupol - US. UN chief calls war 'senseless'
The war has completed nearly 70 days in Ukraine and several major cities have suffered unprecedented damage.
A majority of Russian forces are believed to have left the key port city of Mariupol in Ukraine, Pentagon said on Thursday, after weeks of no-holds barred assault in the area which left once-a-thriving city damaged and devastated. One of the most recent concerns was the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal steel plant as Kyiv kept highlighting concerns. The war is in its tenth week and UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has yet again urged the world to unite and end the conflict. He called the war “senseless”, “ruthless” and "limitless in its potential for global harm” in his latest comments.
Here are top ten updates on the Ukraine war:
1. In over 70 days of the conflict, Moscow has been accused of attacking over 400 healthcare institutions. "If you consider just medical infrastructure, as of today Russian troops have destroyed or damaged nearly 400 healthcare institutions: hospitals, maternity wards, outpatient clinics," Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address, according to a Reuters report. "This amounts to a complete lack of medication for cancer patients. It means extreme difficulties or a complete lack of insulin for diabetes. It is impossible to carry out surgery. It even means, quite simply, a lack of antibiotics."
2. On Mariupol evacuation, he said that the Russian forces were still storming the Azovstal steel plant that was sheltering civilians and Ukraine troops.
3. Even as Russian airstrikes continue to target Mariupol, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby was quoted as saying in reports, Moscow's forces are still making only "plodding" and incremental progress as the main fight presses on in the eastern Donbas region.
4. “In a joint @UN-@ICRC operation, 2 safe passage convoys successfully evacuated nearly 500 people from the Azovstal plant, Mariupol & surrounding areas. I hope that continued coordination with Moscow & Kyiv will lead to more humanitarian pauses to allow civilians safe passage,” the UN chief wrote on Twitter. In another tweet, he acknowledged the “crucial role” being played by the Ukrainian women in the humanitarian response. More evacuation are expected on Friday at 12 pm local time.
5. The world is staring at a food crisis with Russia and Ukraine together producing 30 per cent of the global wheat supply and the UN chief, according to an AFP report, has called for “a meaningful solution to global food insecurity requires reintegrating Ukraine’s agricultural production and the food and fertilizer production of Russia and Belarus into world markets, despite the war.”
6. During a trip to Japan and South Korea, US president Joe Biden will hold Russia “accountable for its actions”, the White House has said.
7. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said he’s accepted an apology from President Vladimir Putin after Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov’s remark that German doctor Adolf Hitler had Jewish origin.
8. An aid of $6.5 billion was pledged by the international donors in Poland’s Warsaw. While Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, announced 200 million euros ($211.44 million). France pledged a further $300 million at the conference.
9. Zelensky launched a fundraising website at the Warsaw event.
10. There’s no concern that “our focus on Ukraine is somehow going to take our focus, our eye, off the Indo-Pacific or specifically our obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.
(With inputs from Reuters, AFP, AP)