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Zelenskyy says the siege of Mariupol included war crimes

From Lviv, Ukraine-Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said earlier Sunday that the siege of the port city of Mariupol would be historic because it was a war crime by Russian troops.

“What the occupiers have done to do this in a peaceful city is a horror that will be remembered for centuries,” Zelensky said in a video speech to the country.

Russian troops squeezed deep into the besieged and abused city. Fierce fighting closed major steel mills there, and local governments sought more western help.

In the capital, Kyiv, at least 20 babies carried by Ukrainian surrogate mothers are trapped in temporary bomb shelters, waiting for their parents to move to the war zone to pick them up. Only a few days after birth, the baby is cared for by a nurse. Those who cannot leave the shelter due to constant bombardment by Russian troops trying to surround the city.

The collapse of Mariupol, some of the worst sufferings of the war, is a major battlefield for Russians, who have been largely stuck outside the big cities for more than three weeks on Europe’s largest land invasion since World War II. Will show progress.

“Children and seniors are dead. The city has been destroyed and wiped from the surface,” Mariupol police officer Mikhail Burshnin said in a video addressed to Western leaders certified by the Associated Press. Said from the street covered with.

Details about a rocket attack that killed as many as 40 Marines in a city south of Mykolaiv the day before began to be revealed on Saturday, according to Ukrainian military officials who told The New York Times.

Russian troops have already separated Mariupol from the Sea of ​​Azov, and its collapse will link the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, to the eastern territory dominated by Moscow-backed separatists. Resistance that shattered Russia’s hopes for a swift victory and enlivened the West.

Ukrainian and Russian troops have fought over the Azovstal ironworks in Mariupol, and Vadim Denisenko, an adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Minister, said “one of Europe’s largest metallurgical plants has actually been destroyed.”

The Mariupol City Council claimed hours later that Russian soldiers had forced thousands of city dwellers, mainly women and children, to relocate to Russia.

Zelenskyy’s adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych, said that the closest forces capable of supporting Mariupol were already fighting “the overwhelming power of the enemy” and “there is currently no military solution to Mariupol.”

Despite the siege in Mariupol, many continued to be struck by Ukraine’s ability to control much larger and more armed enemies. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said Ukraine’s airspace continues to be effectively protected.

“Obtaining air superiority was one of Russia’s main objectives on the first day of the conflict, and continued neglect of it has significantly slowed the progress of Russia’s operations,” the ministry said on Twitter. ..

According to the ministry, Russia is currently using stand-off weapons launched from relatively safe locations in Russian airspace to attack targets within Ukraine.

In Mykolaiv, rescue teams searched for rubble in the Marine Corps barracks destroyed by a missile attack on Friday. The governor of the area said the Marines were asleep when the attack took place.

It was unknown how many Marines were at the time, and the rescue team was looking for survivors in the rubble the next day, but the Ukrainian army spoke to the New York Times on condition of anonymity to reveal confidential information. Officials estimated that as many as 40 Marines were killed, which would be one of the most deadly known attacks on Ukrainian troops during the war.

Russia’s death toll estimates vary widely, but even modest numbers are less than a few thousand, and Russia killed 64 people in a five-day battle during the 2008 war with Georgia. In Afghanistan, about 15,000 people will fight in Chechnya in 10 years.

Dmitry Gollenberg, a Russian security researcher at a Virginia-based CNA think tank, said Russia’s death toll and injuries in Ukraine are close to 10% of the benchmark for reduced combat effectiveness. Said. 20 in combat — a command with signal impairment, Gollenberg said.

Michael Clarke, a former director of the British-based Royal United Services Institute, a defense think tank, said Russia had 800,000 troops (active military) to take long-term control of Ukraine in the face of armed opposition. It will require (almost equal to the entire opposition). ..

“Unless the Russians intend to genocide completely, they can flatten all major cities and the Ukrainians will stand up against the Russian occupation. There is just a constant guerrilla war. Would, “Clark said.

Russian troops said Saturday that they used the latest hypersonic missiles for the first time in combat. Major Igor Konashenkov said the Kinzal missile had destroyed an underground warehouse containing Ukrainian missiles and air ammunition in the western region of Ivano Frankifsk.

Russia states that the Kinzar, carried by the MiG-31 fighter, has a range of up to 2,000 kilometers and flies at 10 times the speed of sound.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the United States could not confirm the use of hypersonic missiles.

UN agencies have confirmed the deaths of more than 847 civilians since the beginning of the war, but admit that the actual casualties are likely to be much higher. According to the United Nations, more than 3.3 million people have fled Ukraine as refugees.

Evacuation from Mariupol and other besieged cities proceeded along eight of the ten humanitarian corridors, with Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk saying a total of 6,623 people had left.

Mr Bereshchuk said planned humanitarian aid to the southern city of Kherson, which Russia seized early in the war, could not be provided because the truck was stopped by Russian troops along the way.

Ukraine and Russia have negotiated several times with the aim of ending the conflict, but commented on some issues, including Moscow demanding demilitarization of neighboring countries and Kyiv demanding security. Is divided.

Around Ukraine, hospitals, schools and buildings where people want safety are being attacked.

Ludmyla Denisova, a human rights commissioner in the Ukrainian parliament, said at least 130 people survived the bombing of the Mariupol Theater, which was used as a shelter on Wednesday, but an additional 1,300 were believed to be still inside.

“We hope they are all alive, but we don’t have any information about them so far,” Denisovan told Ukrainian television.

A satellite image of Maxar Technologies, released on Saturday, confirmed previous reports that many of the theaters were destroyed. Also, the word “CHILDREN” written in large white letters in Russian was shown outside the building.

According to Ukrainian national police, Russian troops have fired at eight cities and villages in the East Donetsk region, including Mariupol, in the last 24 hours. Dozens of civilians were killed or injured, and at least 37 homes and facilities, including schools, were damaged. , Museums, shopping centers.

In the western city of Lviv, the cultural center of Ukraine, which was hit by Russian missiles on Friday, military veterans trained dozens of civilians on how to handle firearms and grenades.

“It’s hard because my hands are very weak, but I can do something about it,” said 22-year-old Natalia Ishchenko, a trainee.

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The Associated Press writer Yuras Karmanau in Lviv, Ukraine, and other AP journalists around the world contributed to this report.

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Follow the Associated Press war reports at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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