War in Ukraine: Russian bombardment continues, worsening humanitarian situation

War in Ukraine-On the 25th day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the humanitarian situation was “catastrophic” on Sunday, March 20, under the influence of Russia’s strike while Kyiv called China strategic. Moscow’s ally, which is deteriorating in major Ukrainian cities, “condemns Russia’s barbarism.”

Russia re-used hypersonic missiles on Sunday and announced that it had damaged one of Europe’s largest steelworks in Mariupol.

Find out below what’s happening at the scene of the war in Ukraine on the 25th day of the battle.

Evolution in the field

Russian troops bombed an art school in Mariupol, southeastern Ukraine, which acts as a shelter for hundreds of people, local authorities charged on Sunday, adding that civilians were trapped under rubble.

“Yesterday (Saturday), Russian occupiers dropped a bomb at the G12 Art School on the left bank of Mariupol, where 400 Mariupol residents (women, children and the elderly) were evacuated.” And the municipality of this port city is an army from Moscow.

“We know that the building has been destroyed and peaceful people are still under the rubble. The number of victims has been revealed,” she said in a statement posted on Telegram. Added in.

These statements could not be immediately independently validated.

Mariupol, a strategic port in a city in southeastern Ukraine, has been bombed for several weeks and suffers from water, gas and electricity shortages. The family spent several days on the street with corpses, hunger, thirst, and a night in a sub-zero basement.

A group of 19 children, mainly orphans, are “extremely at risk” and are stuck in a sanatorium, and their guardians cannot get them back for combat, they said. Relatives and witnesses told AFP on Saturday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a speech on Sunday that “imposing such a thing on a peaceful city (…) is an act of horror that will be remembered in the next century.” The siege of Mariupol “will go down in history to answer war crimes,” he said.

In the northern part of the country, the mayor of Chernihiv, Vladislav Atroschenko, described the “absolute humanitarian disaster” in his city. “Indiscriminate bombardment in residential areas continues, killing dozens of civilians, children and women,” he told television.

“There is no electricity, heating or water, and the city’s infrastructure is completely destroyed.” At the bombed hospital, “patients who have had surgery lie in the corridor at a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius,” he said.

According to official statistics, strikes have not stopped in the capital Kyiv, Mykolaiv (south), and the northwestern Russian-speaking metropolis of Kharkov, killing at least 500 people since the beginning of the war. .. Ukrainian.

According to Moscow, Russia was the first in the conflict to use hypersonic missiles in Ukraine. It is a type of weapon that counters all anti-aircraft defense systems. The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that it used a new “Kinjar” hypersonic missile the day before to destroy an underground weapons warehouse in the western part of the country.

“Unfortunately, Ukraine has become a test site for all Russian missile weapons,” Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuri Ignat told the Ukrayinska Pravda website.

This Sunday, Russia announced that it had used this type of missile again. This time, it destroyed the Ukrainian army’s fuel stockpile in the southern part of the country.

“A large amount of fuel was destroyed by’Caribbean’cruise missiles launched from the Caspian Sea and hypersonic ballistic missiles launched by the’Kinjar’air system from Crimea’s airspace,” the Pentagon said in a press. rice field. Release without specifying the date of this strike.

According to Ukrainian officials, the Azofustal steel and metallurgical plant in Mariupol, Europe’s largest, was severely damaged by the bombardment.

“One of Europe’s largest metallurgical plants has been destroyed. Ukraine’s economic loss is enormous,” said MP Resia Bashrenko, who posted a video on her Twitter account showing a thick pillar of smoke rising from an industrial zone. Told. Another MP, Serhiy Taruta, wrote on his Facebook page that the Russian army surrounding Mariupol “virtually destroyed the factory.”

Enver Tskitishvili, managing director of Azovstal, said in a video message posted on Telegram that his company has taken precautions at the plant to prevent damage to the plant since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24. I did.

“Batteries in coke ovens are no longer life-threatening for the inhabitants, and we have properly shut down the blast furnace,” he said. “We will return to the city, rebuild and revive the business,” he promised without specifying the extent of the damage.

Mariupol’s Azofustal factory belongs to the Metinvest Group, which is managed by the wealthiest man in Ukraine, Rinat Akhmetov.

For the British Ministry of Defense, Russia “has failed to gain control of the airspace and is relying heavily on ranged weapons launched from relatively safe areas of Russian airspace to attack its targets. In Ukraine,” he presses. Analyzed in release.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, the Russian army, which was more difficult than expected to advance on the ground in the face of fierce resistance from Ukraine, has carried out 291 missile attacks and 1,403 air raids since the invasion began. February 24th.

Diplomacy and sanctions

Faced with the continuation of deadly bombardment and the drag of negotiations-the fourth round between Kyiv and Moscow was held on Monday-the Ukrainian president urged him to stand up in Beijing.

China, a strategic ally of Moscow and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, is one of the major absentees alongside India from the condemnation and sanctions concerts that have fallen on Russia.

“If China supports the coalition of civilized nations and makes the right decision to condemn Russia’s barbarism, China can become an important part of the world’s security system,” said Zelensky’s adviser. Russia.

According to the White House, US President Joe Biden met with China’s Xi Jinping on Friday to explain “the consequences of China’s provision of material support to Russia.” However, Xi Jinping remained ambiguous and, according to Chinese television, only emphasized that the military conflict “does not benefit anyone.”

In New Delhi, it was Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida who urged India, a major buyer of Russian weapons and oil, to avoid and blame the invasion. His Indian counterpart Narendra Modi refrained from mentioning Ukraine, and the joint statement was limited to a call for “immediate stop of violence.”

On Saturday, in a video link with Bern, Volodymyr Zelensky blew up a company like the Nestle Group, which continues to operate in Russia. He called on Switzerland to freeze the wealth of Russian billionaires and those close to the Kremlin.

Australia announced a ban on the export of alumina and aluminum ore to Russia in a government statement on Sunday. This “limits aluminum production capacity.” It is a strategic material, especially for the weapons industry.

According to Canberra, Russia is 20% dependent on Australia for the need for aluminum ore.

Human damage

The Ukrainian president said that 180,000 people have been able to escape the battle zone through the humanitarian corridor so far. According to the United Nations, more than 3.3 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the invasion of Russia, and nearly 6.5 million are internally displaced.

About 90% of those who escape are women and children. Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 can certainly be called and must stay in their own country.

The wife of the President of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, has called on the World Council of Churches, an organization representing 580 million Christians around the world, to help organize the “True Humanitarian Corridor.”

“But the occupiers continue to block humanitarian aid, especially around sensitive areas. It’s a well-known tactic. (…) It’s a war crime,” Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday. ..

According to Ukrainian officials, 6,623 people fled through the humanitarian corridor on Saturday, of which 4,128 fled Mariupol and 1,820 fled Kyiv.

Since February 24, more than 3.2 million Ukrainians have been on the road to asylum, nearly two-thirds of them heading to Poland. Sometimes it’s just the stage before you continue to escape.

See also HuffPost: In Ukraine, a homage to “109 dead children” since the beginning of the war