WorldWar in Ukraine: the martyrdom of Mariupol never ends

War in Ukraine: the martyrdom of Mariupol never ends

Russian forces bombarded an art school where 400 women, children and the elderly had taken refuge.

The Russian army bombed an art school serving as a refuge for several hundred residents of Mariupol, a major port in southeastern Ukraine besieged for weeks, and whose streets are strewn with corpses.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced a new “act of terror” against a school that housed 400 women, children and the elderly. “We know that people are still under the rubble”, he said. On Wednesday, the Mariupol Theater where hundreds of people had taken refuge had already been bombarded by Russian forces. For their part, nineteen children, mostly orphans, were evacuated from a sanatorium where they had been stuck for two weeks.

As 10 million people have fled their homes in nearly four weeks of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the front lines are “virtually frozen”Russian troops lacking men to progress, welcomed Oleksy Arestovych, an adviser to President Zelensky.

But the humanitarian situation is worsening in many besieged towns. In his city of Chernihiv in the northeast of the country, Mayor Vladislav Atroshenko depicted “an absolute humanitarian catastrophe”. “Indiscriminate artillery fire in residential areas continues, dozens of civilians are killed, children and women”he said on television. “There is no electricity, heating and water, the city’s infrastructure is completely destroyed. In a bombed-out hospital, operated patients lie in the corridors in a temperature of 10°C.”

We see that the parties are close to an agreement

Mevlut Cavusoglu, head of Turkish diplomacy

Faced with fierce resistance from Ukrainian forces, Moscow fired on Sunday, for the second consecutive day, hypersonic missiles to destroy, this time, a fuel reserve of the Ukrainian army in the south of the country. The day before, Russia had used such weapons for the first time, which defy air defense systems. Ukraine is due to receive a new shipment of US weapons, including Javelin anti-tank and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, in the coming days, Ukrainian Defense Council Secretary Oleksy Danilov said.

Russia continues to denounce such arms deliveries to Ukraine where its men continue to suffer very heavy losses. In an intervention in Russian posted on the internet in the night from Saturday to Sunday, Volodymyr Zelensky affirmed, for the benefit of the Russian public opinion, that the corpses of Russian soldiers were strewn on the battlefields and were not picked up. “In places where the fighting is particularly violent, (….) nobody removes these bodies”, he said. According to him, more than 14,000 Russian soldiers have died since the start of the invasion.

Ready to negotiate

In an interview with CNN on Sunday, the Ukrainian president said that “without negotiations, we will not stop the war”. He repeated that he was “ready for negotiations with Vladimir Putin. I’ve been ready for the past two years and I think that without negotiations, we won’t stop the war.”, he said. Saturday, in a video on Facebook, Volodymyr Zelensky had judged that it was time for Moscow to agree to “reunite” for “to discuss” seriously peace.

Turkey, which is stepping up mediation efforts, assures that Moscow and kyiv have made progress in the negotiations. “We see that the parties are close to an agreement”, said the head of Turkish diplomacy, Mevlut Cavusoglu, who visited Russia and Ukraine last week. According to Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, the delegations are negotiating on six points: Ukraine’s neutrality, disarmament and security guarantees the so-called “denazification”the removal of obstacles to the use of the Russian language in Ukraine, the status of the separatist region of Donbass and the status of Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014.