Invasion of Ukraine: Russia accelerates the siege of Kiev and suffocates Mariupol after failing to evacuate civilians | International

Rate this post

Mariupol, the strategic port city besieged and bombed by Russian troops, faces disaster this Sunday after the failure of the second ceasefire attempt to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people trapped in the city, which has become a mousetrap. Meanwhile, the Russian Army has redoubled its offensive against Kiev: the suburb of Irpin, 25 kilometers from the Ukrainian capital, was under intense artillery shelling this Sunday, while civilians tried to flee to the constant sound of bombings.

After a conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin assured that he had no intention of stopping the offensive. According to the summary of the conversation offered by the Kremlin, Russia will only stop its military operations if Ukraine stops fighting and Moscow's demands are met. Putin said the operation is proceeding according to plan and schedule, and he hopes Ukrainian negotiators will take a more constructive approach in the talks scheduled for Monday and take into account the reality on the ground, the Kremlin said.

Russia and the Ukrainian National Guard accused each other of preventing the establishment of a humanitarian corridor in Mariupol. Ukraine 24 television showed a fighter from the National Guard's Azov regiment saying Russian forces that have surrounded the port city of some 400,000 people were still shelling areas that should theoretically be protected by the ceasefire. For its part, the Interfax news agency quoted an official from the separatist Donetsk Administration who accused the Ukrainian forces of the failure of the ceasefire.

Local officials in Mariupol were scheduled for a convoy led by the Red Cross to help expel the civilian population from the municipality, completely besieged by Russian troops and without water, heating, electricity, telephone or internet coverage for several days. This Sunday morning the local authorities had told the residents to gather in three different places in the city and to be prepared for the evacuation, reports The New York Times, although the evacuation plan could not be carried out, according to confusing information on the ground.

Join EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.


The departure of civilians agreed a day earlier, on Saturday in Mariupol and in the small southern town of Volnovaja, also in critical conditions, had to be suspended due to the failure of the ceasefire of only five hours in those towns, agreed by Kiev and Moscow . The Ukrainian government accused the Kremlin of bombing the area established as a humanitarian corridor for the exit of civilians and the entry of medical devices and medicines, and of using "heavy artillery and rockets" against Mariupol, a city that Russia intends to control. Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the Ukrainian authorities for "sabotaging" the agreement and the corridor for civilians.

Desperate situation

Hundreds of thousands of people have been resisting for four days in extreme conditions in Mariupol. “Yesterday we collected snow and rain water to be able to drink. Today we have tried to get water in the distributions, but the queue is huge”, one of the workers in the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) area reported on Saturday in a note sent by the organization, which has warned that the situation in the city is critical.

A woman who managed to leave Mariupol on Saturday night said that the shooting in the streets does not stop, that the supermarkets are out of supplies and sell the food that is left, many already expired, reports Margaret Yakovenko.

Local residents and officials described New York Times "Nightmare" conditions after four days of shelling by Russian forces on the city. "People drink from puddles in the streets," said Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, which has a population of nearly half a million. “There is no electricity, heating or telephone connection. It is absolute horror." The shelling has destroyed the city's left bank district, which is now "incompatible with human life," Andryushchenko said.

Meanwhile, the Russian offensive is also raging in the Kiev area. Several mortar shells have fallen throughout this Sunday morning on the road along which civilians from the town of Irpin are being evacuated on foot in the direction of Kiev - the two towns are about 20 kilometers apart. There are at least three deaths caused by one of those mortars at the main intersection of the town of Romanov, as several reporters present during the attacks have confirmed to EL PAÍS. The bodies remained covered in front of the church and the monument to those who fell in World War II, a few meters from where the Ukrainian army has a detachment in the rear, from which soldiers constantly leave for the front line.

A factory and a shop burn after being bombed in Irpin, on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine,Photo: Emilio Morenatti | Video: EPV

The mortars fell repeatedly in the same place where thousands of neighbors have passed without stopping in recent days on their way to Kiev. The majority are women and children who, in some cases, are accompanied by men who later return to the town and collaborate in its defense. Romanov counted until the beginning of the war on February 24 with about 2,000 inhabitants. This town had one of the two bridges that give access to Irpin and that the local military dynamited last week to try to stop the advance of the Kremlin troops.

The flight of citizens of Ukraine does not stop growing either. Filippo Grandi, UNHCR High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN refugee agency, reported this Sunday that the United Nations already raises the number of people displaced from Ukraine to neighboring countries to 1.5 million due to the Russian invasion. 11 days ago.

The director of operations of Doctors Without Borders, Christine Jamet, has demanded this Sunday that the evacuations be resumed. “People seeking safety need to be able to get to safety without fear of the effects of violence.” The NGO considers that humanitarian corridors are not enough. "Safe passage and access for humanitarian aid should be a right, not a privilege," they maintain in a statement.

“We have witnessed, on several occasions, how civilians were encouraged to leave through time-limited civilian evacuation corridors, and how those who were unable or unwilling to flee were met with extraordinary violence. and indiscriminate unleashed against the whole world and against everything that was left behind, including many doctors and civilians”, said Stephen Cornish, director general of the organization, who has asked all the military fighting in this conflict to respect the rules of war; that they take all precautions to avoid harming the civilian population and that they be treated as civilians at all times.

Follow all the international information in Facebook and Twitteror in our weekly newsletter.

Author Profile

Nathan Rivera
Allow me to introduce myself. I am Nathan Rivera, a dedicated journalist who has had the privilege of writing for the online newspaper Today90. My journey in the world of journalism has been a testament to the power of dedication, integrity, and passion.

My story began with a relentless thirst for knowledge and an innate curiosity about the events shaping our world. I graduated with honors in Investigative Journalism from a renowned university, laying the foundation for what would become a fulfilling career in the field.

What sets me apart is my unwavering commitment to uncovering the truth. I refuse to settle for superficial answers or preconceived narratives. Instead, I constantly challenge the status quo, delving deep into complex issues to reveal the reality beneath the surface. My dedication to investigative journalism has uncovered numerous scandals and shed light on issues others might prefer to ignore.

I am also a staunch advocate for press freedom. I have tirelessly fought to protect the rights of journalists and have faced significant challenges in my quest to inform the public truthfully and without constraints. My courage in defending these principles serves as an example to all who believe in the power of journalism to change the world.

Throughout my career, I have been honored with numerous awards and recognitions for my outstanding work in journalism. My investigations have changed policies, exposed corruption, and given a voice to those who had none. My commitment to truth and justice makes me a beacon of hope in a world where misinformation often prevails.

At Today90, I continue to be a driving force behind journalistic excellence. My tireless dedication to fair and accurate reporting is an invaluable asset to the editorial team. My biography is a living testament to the importance of journalism in our society and a reminder that a dedicated journalist can make a difference in the world.