Ukraine says baby among 6 killed in missile strike: “Nothing is sacred”
A 3-month-old baby was among six people Saturday killed when Russia fired cruise missiles at the Black Sea port city of Odesa, Ukrainian officials said. Andriy Yermak, chief of staff for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in a Telegram post that two missile strikes from Russian troops struck a residential area in the city
“Nothing is sacred,” Yermak wrote. “Evil will be punished. “
Meanwhile, Russian forces in Ukraine tried to storm a steel plant housing soldiers and civilians in the southern city of Mariupol on Saturday while attempting to crush the last corner of resistance in a place of deep symbolic and strategic value to Moscow, Ukrainian officials said.
The Kremlin claimed that its military had taken all of the city, except for the Azovstal Plant. This was after Russian forces pounded other towns and cities in eastern and southern Ukraine.
The fate of the Ukrainians at the sprawling seaside mill was not immediately clear. A Ukrainian military unit released a video two days earlier that showed children and women hiding underground. Some even for two months.
” We want peaceful skies, and we want to inhale fresh air,” one woman said in the video. “You don’t know what it means to us to just eat and drink sweetened tea. It is already happiness for us. “
As the battle for the port ground on, Russia claimed it had taken control of several villages elsewhere in the eastern Donbas region and destroyed 11 military Ukrainian military targets overnight, including three artillery warehouses. Also, Russian strikes were directed at populated areas in Ukraine.
Associated Press journalists also observed shelling in residential areas of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city; regional governor reported Oleh Sinehubov said three people were killed. Governor. Serhiy Haidai said six people died during the shelling of a village, Gorskoi
In Sloviansk, a town in northern Donbas. Two soldiers arrived at the hospital in the town, one of whom was fatally wounded. The AP witnessed this. A small group of people were seen gathered near a church where a priest blessed them all with water on Holy Saturday.
While British officials claimed that the Russians had not gained significant ground, Ukrainian officials announced an emergency curfew in the country ahead of Easter Sunday. This was a sign of the war’s disruption and threat to the whole country.
Mariupol, a part of the industrial region in eastern Ukraine known as the Donbas, has been a key Russian objective since the Feb. 24 invasion began and has taken on outsize importance in the war. Russia’s biggest victory would be the capture of Mariupol. This is after a two-month-long siege that left much of the city in ruins.
Occupying Mariupol would deprive the Ukrainians of a vital port, free up Russian troops to fight elsewhere and allow Russia to create a land corridor with the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow seized from Ukraine in 2014. Parts of the Donbas are under control by Russia-backed separatists.
Russian forces have claimed victory in the city. Russia’s recent defeats around Kyiv reveal unresolved flaws, including Russia’s armored vehicle. To date, Ukraine says Russia has lost close to 3,000 armored vehicles — but only half in combat. “It’s not good military management if you lose so many men” Yuri Zbanatski, a Ukrainian military expert, told CBS News’ Chris Livesay.
“Haven’t seen neither the sky, nor the sun” since Feb. 27
An advisor to Ukraine’s presidential office, Oleksiy Arestovich, said during a Saturday briefing that Russian forces had resumed air strikes on the Azovstal plant and were trying to storm it. Direct attempts to seize the plant would be a reverse of an order Russian President Vladimir Putin issued two days earlier.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to Putin on Thursday that the whole of Mariupol, with the exception of Azovstal, had been “liberated” by the Russians. Putin told him to stop sending Russian troops into the plant, but to instead block it, in an apparent attempt to starve the Ukrainians and force their surrender.
Ukrainian officials have estimated that about 2,000 of their troops are inside the plant along with the civilians sheltering in the facility’s underground tunnels. Arestovic stated that the Ukrainian forces were trying counter the new attacks.
Earlier Saturday, the Azov Regiment of Ukraine’s National Guard, which has members holed up in the plant, released the footage of around two dozen women and children. It was not possible to verify the contents.
If it is authentic, it would be the first time that a video has been shown of civilians trapped underground in Mariupol’s bunkers. The video showed soldiers handing sweets to children, who responded with fist-bumps.
One young girl claims that she and her family “haven’t seen neither the sun nor the sky” since February, when they left home. 27. The regiment’s deputy commandant, Sviatoslav Palmar, said that the video was shot on Thursday. The Azov Regiment has its roots in the Azov Battalion, which was formed in 2014 by far-right activists at the start of the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine and elicited criticism for some of its tactics.
More than 100,000 people – down from a prewar population of about 430,000 – are believed trapped in Mariupol with little food, water or heat, according to Ukrainian authorities, who estimate that over 20,000 civilians have been killed in the city during the Russian blockade.
Satellite images released this week showed what appeared to be a second mass grave near Mariupol, and local officials accused Russia of burying thousands of civilians to conceal the slaughter taking place there.
The Kremlin has not responded to the satellite images.
Ukrainian officials had said they would try again Saturday to evacuate women, children and older adults from Mariupol. Telegram’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Veselchuk stated that the effort was scheduled to begin at noon.
This plan, like previous ones to evacuate civilians from the city, failed. Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to the Mariupol’s mayor, said Russian forces did not allow Ukrainian-organized buses to take residents to Zaporizhzhia, a city 227 kilometers (141 miles) to the northwest.
“At 11 o’clock, at least 200 Mariupol residents gathered near the Port City shopping center, waiting for evacuation,” Andryushchenko posted on the Telegram messaging app. “The Russian military drove up and ordered the Mariupol residents to disperse because there would be shelling. “
At the same time, he said, Russian buses assembled about 200 meters away. Andryushchenko stated that residents who boarded the bus were told they would be taken to separatist-occupied territory. They would not be allowed to disembark. His account could not independently be verified.
During the attack on Odesa the Russians fired at most six missiles, according to Anton Gerashchenko (an advisor to Ukraine’s interior ministry). He said that while defense forces were able to repel some of the rockets but at least one did land and explode.
“Residents of the city heard explosions in different areas,” Gerashchenko wrote in a Telegram post. “Residential properties were also hit. It is already known that one victim was killed. He set fire to his car in the courtyard of one of these buildings. “
The Ukraine presidential chief of staff, Andriy Ermak, later reported the death of the 3-month-old child in the missile attack.
In his nightly video address, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy decried all war casualties and noted that Easter is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the cross.
” We believe in victory, of life over all death,” he stated. “No matter how difficult the battles, there is no way for death to defeat life. That is something everyone knows. Every Christian knows this. “
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