WAR IN UKRAINE
Issued on: 05/03/2022 – 00:09Modified: 05/03/2022 – 13:24
Smoke rises after shelling by Russian forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 4, 2022. © Evgeniy Maloletka, AP
Russia’s defence ministry said Saturday it had resumed “offensive actions” in Ukraine after announcing a ceasefire earlier in the day to allow residents of two besieged cities of Mariupol and neighbouring Volnovakha to evacuate. The Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that “not a single civilian” was able to exit via the humanitarian corridors. “The population of these cities is held by nationalist formations as a human shield,” he added.
The Ukrainian port city of Mariupol had delayed a planned evacuation of residents Saturday, blaming Russian forces for breaking their temporary ceasefire to allow civilians to flee one of the war’s fiercest battles. Israel prime minister Naftali Bennett stepped into the role of mediator on Saturday, holding a three-hour meeting at the Kremlin with Vladimir Putin before calling Ukraine’s president and flying to Berlin. The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Monday on the humanitarian crisis triggered in Ukraine by the Russian invasion and discuss a possible draft resolution. Invading Russian troops have blockaded the strategic Ukrainian port city Mariupol, its mayor announced Saturday. Russia and Ukraine are set to hold a third round of talks over the weekend as an attack on a nuclear plant in Ukraine triggered widespread condemnations. The mayor of Mariupol issued a plea for help as water, heating and electricity remained cut in the southern Ukrainian port city. “We are simply being destroyed,” he said. More than 1 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion, the United Nations said, amounting to the swiftest refugee exodus this century. Thousands of people participated in rallies across the world including Paris, London and Cape Town in support of UkraineFollow our live updates below. If updates do not appear, please refresh the page.
© Studio graphique France Médias Monde
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP and AP)
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