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Zelenskyy says the siege of Mariupol included war crimes

Lviv, Ukraine (AP) —Ukrainian 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.

At least 20 babies in the capital Kyiv Carried by a Ukrainian surrogate mother, trapped in a makeshift bomb shelter, waiting for her parents to move to the war zone and pick them up. In just a few days, the baby is being cared for by a nurse who cannot leave the shelter due to constant bombardment. Russian troops trying to surround the city.

Mariupol’s collapse, the worst suffering scene in the warIt will show a major step forward on the battlefield for Russians, who have been largely stuck outside major cities for more than three weeks on the largest land invasion. In Europe since World War II.

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“Children and the elderly are dead. The city has been destroyed and wiped from the surface,” said Mariupol police officer Mikhail Burshnin from a rubble-studded street. In a video addressed to a Western leader certified by the Associated Press.

Details about a rocket attack that killed as many as 40 Marines in a city in southern 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 It shattered expectations for Russia’s swift victory And the electric current was passed to the west side.

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 there at the time, and the rescue team was still looking for rubble the next day, but a senior Ukrainian military official who spoke to the New York Times on condition of anonymity to reveal sensitive information said 40. It is estimated that as many Marines were killed, which would be one of the most deadly known attacks on the Ukrainian army during the war.

Estimates of deaths in Russia vary widely, but even conservative numbers Russia killed 64 people in five days during the 2008 war with Georgia, about 15,000 in Afghanistan in 10 years, and more than 11,000 in the fighting in Chechnya.

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 (about 1,250 miles) and flies at 10 times the speed of sound.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the United States could not confirm the use of supersonic 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 a refugee.

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.

The western city of Lviv, the cultural center of UkraineArmy veterans attacked by Russian missiles on Friday 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.


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


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