War against Ukraine: attacks on cities continue

Status: 20/03/2022 05:42

Russia continues its attacks on Ukrainian cities. Incidentally, Mariupol and Kharkiv are still bitterly disputed. Thousands of people fled through the corridors. In many places the situation is dramatic.

The Russian army continued its attacks on Ukrainian cities. The port city of Mariupol on the Sea of ​​Azov, where Russian troops would have been able to advance further, is still particularly hard-fought. According to the AP news agency, a police officer in the badly damaged city said Mariupol was “wiped off the face of the earth”. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said what was done to this “peaceful city” was a “terror” that would be remembered for centuries.

The Russian army recently attacked one of the largest steel mills in Europe. “Azovstahl” is located on the coast of the Azov Sea. According to Ukrainian sources, the plant was bombed from above.

parties to the conflict as a source

Information on the progress of the war, bombings and casualties provided by the official bodies of the Russian and Ukrainian parties to the conflict cannot be directly checked by an independent body in the current situation.

According to one of Zelenskyy’s advisers, Ukrainian troops cannot hope for support for the moment. The closest militaries are already engaged in battles against the “overwhelming power of the enemy” some 100 kilometers away, Oleksiy Arestovych said.

On Saturday, more than 4,100 people fled the city, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office, wrote on Telegram. According to a city council, several thousand Mariupol residents have been kidnapped in Russia. The city council said women and children in particular were forcibly taken away. The place where the residents are said to have been brought to Russia was not mentioned. This information is currently not verifiable.

According to Ukrainian information, people fled the capital Kiev via escape corridors after 1820. Sirens howled there again on Saturday evening, as announced by residents in online networks.

More than 260 civilians killed in Kharkiv

The northwestern city of Kharkov also continued to be bombed on Saturday, killing a man and a nine-year-old boy, local authorities said. The city, besieged by Russian troops and which was home to 1.5 million people before the war began, continues to be bombarded with artillery, the UN agency reported. Several residential buildings were hit and caught fire on Saturday evening.

According to local authorities, 266 civilians have been killed in fighting around the city since Russian troops invaded Ukraine.

Shaded in white: the advance of the Russian army. Shaded in green: Russian-backed separatist areas. Crimea: annexed to Russia.

Image: ISW / 18/03/2022

High number of victims in the destroyed barracks in Mykolayiv

After a missile attack by Russian troops on a barracks in Mykolaiv, southern Ukraine, aides are said to have recovered at least 50 dead from the rubble on Saturday. A total of about 200 soldiers were sleeping in the building when the rockets hit, Ukrajinska Pravda reported. Nearly 60 injured were taken to nearby hospitals. This information has not been independently confirmed.

Mykolayiv regional governor Vitaly Kim said in a video posted on Facebook that the Russians were “carrying out cowardly missile attacks on sleeping soldiers.” He is waiting for information on the losses of the Ukrainian armed forces. Mykolaiv mayor Oleksiy Senkevich told Ukrainian media that his city had been bombed from the nearby Russian-controlled Kherson region. “The bombing is happening too fast to detect it and activate the alarm system.”

Heavy fighting is currently underway around Mykolaiv. The city is considered strategically important because it faces the large port city of Odessa. Odessa itself has so far been spared from the attacks. If Russian troops take control there too, they could block Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea.

Chernihiv: the mayor reports a catastrophic situation

In a dramatic appeal, the mayor of Chernihiv stressed the precarious situation in the northern Ukrainian city surrounded by Russian troops. “Indiscriminate artillery shelling in residential areas continues, peaceful people are dying,” said Vladislav Atraschenko, according to UNIAN news agency.

The city is experiencing a humanitarian catastrophe. “There is no electricity, water, heating, the infrastructure of the city is completely destroyed”. The hospital in the city of 300,000 is also hit repeatedly, which is why medical care has collapsed. Furthermore, no escape corridors have been set up for the city so far.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, since the beginning of the war on February 24, Russian forces have carried out 291 missile attacks and 1,403 air strikes.

Update the war in Ukraine early Sunday morning

Johannes Hoppe, WDR, 20.3.2022 5:54

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