Russia Ukraine War Crisis Live: Evacuations from Ukraine’s besieged cities proceeded on Saturday along eight of 10 humanitarian corridors, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said, with a total of 6,623 people were evacuated, including 4,128 from Mariupol who were taken northwest to Zaporizhzhia. Russian forces intensified their attack in the battered port city of Mariupol, with heavy fighting on Saturday leading to the closure of a major steel plant, AP reported. Local authorities pleaded for more Western help. Meanwhile, the city council of Ukraine’s Mariupol said Russian forces forcefully deported several thousand people from the besieged city last week, after Russia had spoken of “refugees” arriving from the strategic port.
A Russian mortar attack on the Ukrainian town of Makarov in the Kyiv region killed seven people and hospitalized five on Friday, local police said in a statement on Saturday. “As a result of enemy shelling of Makarov, seven civilians were killed,” the statement said. Meanwhile, Russia’s defense ministry reported the use of hypersonic Kinzhal missiles in Ukraine, according to an IFX report. Additionally, it said that the radio reconnaissance centers of Ukraine’s military has been destroyed near Ukraine’s Odesa.
A bipartisan delegation of US lawmakers visiting Poland said Saturday that the most urgent need in Ukraine’s fight against a Russian invasion is to equip and support the country in every way that will help it defend its independence, AP reported.
Here are the important updates we know now about the Russia-Ukraine conflict:
*Russia said it had used hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) missiles to destroy a large weapons depot in Ukraine’s western Ivano-Frankivsk region.
*A Russian mortar attack on Ukrainian town of Makariv in the Kyiv region killed seven people and hospitalised five on Friday, local police said in a statement. Russia denies targeting civilians.
*Ukrainian authorities have not noticed any significant shifts over the past 24 hours in frontline areas, presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said. He said fighting was ongoing and named the southeastern city of Mariupol, the southern cities of Mykolaiv and Kherson, and the eastern town of Izyum as particular hotspots.
*Ukraine hopes to evacuate civilians on Saturday via 10 humanitarian corridors from cities and towns on the front line of fighting with Russian forces, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.
*The Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office said that 112 children have been killed so far in the war. The U.N. rights office said on Friday that at least 816 civilians had been killed and 1,333 wounded in Ukraine through to March 17.
*Border crossings from Ukraine have slowed but could rise again if conditions in the west of the country worsen, the U.N refugee agency said on Friday. The U.N. says 3.27 million have fled, with 2 million displaced inside the country.
*Russian President Vladimir Putin is healthy, sane and “in better shape than ever”, his close ally Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has said in an interview with the Japanese television channel TBS. In a speech on Friday in Moscow, the Russian leader said all of the Kremlin’s aims in Ukraine would be achieved.
*U.S. oilfield services companies Halliburton Co and Schlumberger said on Friday they have suspended or halted Russia operations. (Reuters)
Russia said on Saturday it had used hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) missiles to destroy a large weapons depot in Ukraine’s western Ivano-Frankivsk region.
Russia’s Interfax news agency said it was the first time Russia had deployed the hypersonic Kinzhal system since it sent its troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a briefing that the underground depot hit by the Kinzhal system on Friday housed Ukrainian missiles and aircraft ammunition, according to a recording of the briefing shared by Russian news agencies. (Reuters)