Russian Forces Push to Take Port City of Mariupol
The Wall Street Journal reports Ukrainians Flee Mariupol as Russian Forces Push to Take Port City
That is a not paywalled link courtesy of the WSJ. Here are a few snips.
The bombardment of the city of between 350,000 to 400,000 residents was growing heavier and closer by the day. Local officials say Russia has rained 50 to 100 bombs a day on Mariupol, destroying between 80% and 90% of the city. Ukraine rejected a Russian ultimatum to surrender the city this week.
Russian attacks flattened a maternity hospital in the city earlier this month. Attacks on a theater and an art school trapped hundreds of people sheltering there from the fighting, local officials have said. The total number of fatalities at the site remains uncertain.
As residents realized they were being encircled, panic set in. Store shelves emptied. Bread grew scarce. Desperate residents broke into supermarkets to get food and take anything else they could carry home. At first, security forces tried to stop them, but soon gave up trying to maintain law and order, and even helped distribute food from looted shops.
“The reality is that right now the humanitarian system is entirely broken down,” said Steve Gordon, response adviser for the global humanitarian aid group Mercy Corps. “We are not seeing a high-functioning, coordinated international aid effort covering the whole of Ukraine like we often see in other conflict zones.”
Nikolay Osychenko, head of the local Mariupol television station, said the fight for the city would likely last for months longer now that it has reached the streets. Ukrainian fighters, he said, will be difficult to dislodge after digging in around the nearby Azovstal metal plant, which has already been struck by Russia.
“The people defending Mariupol know every last street and building of that city, and it will fight to the last,” he said. “Unfortunately, many, many civilians will die while this fighting happens.”
This post originated at MishTalk.Com.
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