In the city of Mariupol, surrounded by Russian troops, the situation is becoming increasingly unbearable. Aid organizations report the first fights over food. Attacks are reported from other cities.
Destroyed houses. Streets and squares littered with debris. Burnt out cars. This is shown by videos from Mariupol. The city has been under heavy fire for days, says Mayor Boychenko: “Air forces fired on residential areas, killing elderly people, women and children. That’s the size of today’s Russian army. That’s cynicism. That’s the genocide that the Russian army, led by their terrorist Putin, against which peaceful Mariupol staged.”
“We try to do our best”
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) shared an audio clip from its staffer Sasha Volkov, who is in Mariupol, describing the situation: “We provide shelter in the basement only for children and their mothers. All other adults and children sleep in the Office space. It’s really cold. We still have some gas for the generators. That gives us electricity for three to four hours a day. (…) We have food for a few days. Many of us are sick now because of the humidity and the cold.” There is still a supply of drinking water, says Volkov: “If that runs out, we will boil water from the river.” (…) We try to give electricity to people on the street so that they can charge their mobile phones and have light at night. We’re trying to do our best.”
First fights for food
Apparently only a few managed to get out of the port city in south-eastern Ukraine in the past few days. According to Ukrainian information, around 300,000 people are said to be staying there – their situation is apparently worsening dramatically. Aid organizations report the first fights over food. looting had taken place. There should be no electricity, no water and no heating – and at temperatures below zero degrees. Many people became ill because of the cold. In a video message, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Iryna Vereshchuk, sent a dramatic appeal to the world: “Help Mariupol! There is a humanitarian catastrophe there. We could not get any aid supplies there. Neither water, neither medicines nor food have been brought to the people who have been under full fire for days.”
Russia wants to keep escape corridors open
Perhaps a hope: The Russian Defense Ministry announced in the evening that it would hold a ceasefire today so that people could leave the embattled cities. Colonel General Mitsintsev said. “We officially declare that the escape corridors towards the Russian Federation will be opened unilaterally every day.”
Russia wants to open the escape corridors for Mariupol, Sumy, Kharkiv, Chernihiv and the capital Kyiv. People should be able to be brought from there to Russia. But there are said to be other escape corridors that lead to Ukraine. They are to be opened in consultation with the Ukrainian side.
More Russian attacks
During the night and in the morning there were isolated attacks by the Russian army on Ukraine. The nuclear research facility in Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine was apparently shelled again yesterday evening. The plant is without electricity and the building was damaged. In Dnipro, in eastern Ukraine, and in Lutsk, in western Ukraine, explosions are said to have occurred in the morning. According to the rescue service in Dnipro, at least one person was killed. The air strikes hit a kindergarten, an apartment building and a two-story factory. Dnipro, with a population of around one million, has so far been spared major Russian attacks.