Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian President, stated early Sunday that the Russian troops’ war crimes were responsible for the siege and capture of Mariupol.
Zelenskyy stated in a video address to nation that “to do this to peaceful cities, what the occupiers did is a terror that’ll be remembered for many centuries to come.”
Russian forces are pushing deeper into the city, which is besieged and under siege. Heavy fighting has shut down a major steel mill and the local authorities have appealed for more Western assistance.
At least 20 children carried by Ukrainian surrogate mother are trapped in a bomb shelter. They wait for their parents to take them into the war zone. The babies, some just days old are being taken care of by nurses. They are unable to leave the shelter due to constant Russian shelling.
The Russians would be able to take control of their territory by capturing Mariupol, which was the site of some the worst wartime suffering. They are currently in the midst of the largest land invasion in Europe since World War II.
“Children and elderly are dying.” The city has been destroyed and is wiped off the surface of the Earth,” Mariupol officer Michail Vershnin stated from a rubble-strewn Street in a video addressed at Western leaders, which was authenticated by The Associated Press.
According to a Ukrainian military official speaking to The New York Times, details about the rocket attack that claimed the lives of as many as 40 marines south of Mykolaiv on Saturday also started to emerge.
Russian forces have already isolated Mariupol from the Sea of Azov. Their fall would connect Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, with eastern territories under control of Moscow-backed separatists. This would be a rare victory in the face of the fierce Ukrainian resistance, which has thwarted Russia’s hopes of a quick victory but also galvanized the West.
According to Vadym Denysenko (a consultant to Ukraine’s interior minister), the Azovstal steel facility in Mariupol was seized by Russian and Ukrainian forces. Denysenko stated in televised remarks that “one of the largest metallurgical plant in Europe is being actually destroyed.”
Hours later, Mariupol’s city council claimed that Russian soldiers had forced several thousand residents to relocate to Russia, mainly women and children. The claim was not confirmed by AP, as it didn’t specify where.
Oleksiy Arestovych, a Zelenskyy advisor, said that the closest forces capable of supporting Mariupol were already fighting against the “overwhelming force of the enemy” as well as that there is “no military solution currently to Mariupol.”
Many were still amazed by Ukraine’s ability, despite the siege of Mariupol. According to the Defense Ministry of the United Kingdom, Ukraine’s airspace was being effectively defended.
The ministry stated on Twitter that Russia’s main objective in the conflict was to take control of the air. Their failure to do this has severely hampered their operational progress.
The ministry stated that Russia now relies on stand-off weapons to strike targets in Ukraine from Russia’s relative safety.
Rescuers in Mykolaiv searched the rubble of the destroyed marine barracks. According to the governor of the region, the attack occurred while the marines were sleeping.
It was not clear how many Marines were trapped at the time. Rescuers continued to search the rubble for survivors the next day. A senior Ukrainian military official spoke out to The New York Times under anonymity to disclose sensitive information. He estimated that up to 40 marines were killed. This would make it the most deadly attack on Ukrainian forces during World War II.
While estimates of Russian deaths vary , even conservative figures can be estimated to be in the thousands. During its 2008 war against Georgia, Russia lost 64 soldiers in just five days. Over the past 10 years, it lost approximately 15,000 Afghans and more than 11,000 during years of fighting in Chechnya.
Dmitry Gorenburg, a CNA think tank researcher on Russia’s security, stated that Russia’s death toll in Ukraine is close to the 10% threshold for diminished combat effectiveness. Gorenburg stated that the reported deaths of four Russian generals in battle — among an estimated twenty — indicate impaired command.
Russia would require 800,000 troops, almost equivalent to its entire active-duty army, to maintain control of Ukraine in the face of armed resistance, according to Michael Clarke, ex-head of the British-based Royal United Services Institute (a defense think tank).
Clarke stated, “Unless the Russians intend completely genocidal — and they could flatten every major city, and Ukrainians would rise up against Russian occupation — there’ll be constant guerrilla warfare.”
Russian military claimed Saturday that its new hypersonic missile was used in combat for the first-time. Major General Igor Konashenkov stated that Kinzhal missiles destroyed a underground storage facility containing Ukrainian missiles and ammunition in the western part of Ivano-Frankivsk.
Russia claims that the Kinzhal is carried by MiG-31 fighter planes and has a range up to 2,000 km (about 1,250 miles). It also flies at 10x the speed sound.
John Kirby, Pentagon Press Secretary, stated that the U.S. could not confirm the use a hypersonic weapon.
U.N. agencies have confirmed 847 civilian deaths since the conflict began. However, they acknowledge that the true number is much higher. According to the U.N. more then 3.3 million people fled Ukraine as refugees.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Veselchuk, Evacuations from Mariupol were conducted along eight of the 10 humanitarian corridors. A total of 6,623 people have left.
Vereshchuk stated that humanitarian aid planned for Kherson’s southern city was not possible because Russian troops stopped the trucks on their way.
While Russia and Ukraine have had several rounds of talks aimed at ending the conflict, they remain divided on many issues. Moscow is pressing for demilitarization while Kyiv demands security guarantees.
In Ukraine, many hospitals, schools, and other buildings that provide safety were attacked.
The Wednesday bombing at Mariupol’s theater was a success with 130 survivors. However, another 1,300 people were still believed to be inside, Ludmyla Deniisova, the human rights commissioner for the Ukrainian Parliament, stated Friday.
Denisova said that while they pray for their survival, there is not much information.
Maxar Technologies’ satellite image confirmed earlier reports of theater destruction. It also displayed the word “CHILDREN”, written in Russian, in large white letters at the exterior of the building.
According to the Ukrainian national police, Russian forces fired on eight villages and cities in eastern Donetsk in the last 24 hours. This included Mariupol. Numerous civilians were wounded or killed, and at most 37 residential buildings and facilities were destroyed, including a school and a museum.
Military veterans were instructing civilians how to use firearms and grenades in Lviv, Ukraine’s western capital.
“It’s difficult, because I have very weak hands, but it is possible,” stated Katarina Ishchenko, a 22-year-old trainee.