As it happened: Ceasefire falls through, chaos ensues in Ukrainian city of Mariupol

After a brief ceasefire between Russian and Ukrainian troops fell by way of on Saturday, residents of two besieged cities of Mariupol and neighboring Volnovakha have been unable to evacuate amid an ongoing barrage of shelling.

Whereas Ukrainian officers claimed that Russian artillery fireplace and airstrikes prevented residents from escaping town, Moscow maintained that it was Ukraine that was sabotaging their efforts, Related Press reported. If the ceasefire had gone by way of, 1000’s of civilians from the 2 cities may have escaped into neighboring Poland, Romania, Slovakia and elsewhere, in response to AFP.

Russian forces intensified their assault on Mariupol on Saturday evening—blockading the important thing Ukrainian port metropolis and dropping bombs on residential areas—in response to officers. The town of Chernihiv, positioned north of Kyiv, additionally got here underneath heavy fireplace from Russian forces. Officers stated 17 folks within the area have been killed within the shelling, in response to AP.

Earlier, whereas laying siege on Mariupol, Russian forces additionally lower its electrical energy, meals, water, heating and transportation, AFP reported. “For now, we’re searching for options to humanitarian issues and all doable methods to get Mariupol out of the blockade,” stated mayor Vadim Boychenko.

A maintain on Mariupol by the Russians would hinder Ukraine’s maritime entry and join troops coming from annexed Crimea and the Donbas.
In a video deal with, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged residents to withstand the Russian invasion. “It’s a particular form of heroism — to protest when your metropolis is occupied,” he stated. “Ukrainians in all of our cities that the enemy has entered — go on the offensive. It is best to take to the streets. It is best to struggle.”

Hundreds took his recommendation, clashing with troops, climbing Russian navy automobiles and waving the Ukrainian flag.

In the meantime, the variety of Ukrainian refugees is anticipated to achieve round 1.5 million on Sunday, in response to Reuters.

In a video name with US lawmakers, Zelenskyy requested for assist securing plane from its European allies. He additionally known as for a ban on Russian oil, a no-fly zone and an finish to Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc privileges in Russia, Reuters reported.

On Saturday, Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett turned mediator and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to debate the disaster in Ukraine. Whereas Israel, which stays an in depth ally of the US, has condemned the Russian invasion, it has stated it’s going to keep communications with Moscow within the hope of serving to to ease the disaster.

Glass on a hospital window is shattered by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. (AP Photograph)

In the meantime, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was on the Ukraine-Poland border, stated he anticipated new sanctions and weapons for Ukraine within the coming days.

The UN Safety Council is ready to carry a gathering Monday afternoon on the escalating humanitarian disaster that has arisen within the area.

(With inputs from companies)

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