Ukraine war: Mariupol reels as Russian forces close in on capital Kyiv, 'kill' fleeing civilians
Ukraine-Russia war: Seven civilians, including a child, died when Russia shelled a convoy of refugees and forced them to return to the village of Peremoha, 20km (12 miles) northeast of Kyiv.
Mariupol, the Ukrainian port city, continued to endure one of the Russian war’s worst strikes with the latter’s forces shelling its downtown as residents hid in an iconic mosque and elsewhere to avoid the explosions.
More than 1,500 people have died in Mariupol during the siege, according to the mayor's office, and the shelling has even interrupted efforts to bury the dead in mass graves.
Relentless barrages have thwarted repeated attempts to bring food, water and medicine into the city of 4,30,000 and to evacuate its stranded civilians.
Russian forces attacked a humanitarian convoy that was trying to reach Mariupol and blocked another, a Ukrainian official said. Ukraine's military said Russian forces captured Mariupol's eastern outskirts, tightening their siege of the strategic port.
“They are bombing it (Mariupol) 24 hours a day, launching missiles. It is hatred. They kill children,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during a video address.
Fighting also raged on the outskirts of the capital, Kyiv, as Russia kept up its bombardment of other cities throughout the country. Seven civilians, including a child, died when Russia shelled a convoy of refugees and forced them to return, Ukraine’s defence ministry said.
The seven were among hundreds of people who tried to flee the village of Peremoha, 20km (12 miles) northeast of Kyiv. Many were wounded too in the shelling, the report added.
While Moscow has said it would establish humanitarian corridors out of conflict zones, Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of disrupting those paths and firing on civilians.
Convoys of military aid from the West are “legitimate targets” as the U.S. and Europe step up the movement of supplies into Ukraine, Russia said.
On Saturday, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said just nine of 14 agreed-upon corridors were open on Saturday, and that about 13,000 people were
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Ukraine had all basic food products for coming months and banned or restricted exports of essential foods while Russian bombing of major cities intensified.
(With agency inputs)