Day 15 of war in Ukraine: New bombings in Kharkiv, Ohtarka, reportedly targeting the power plant. Dramatic situation in Mariupol, large numbers of civilians killed
Latest news: Russia-Ukraine meeting ends, Lavrov denies bombing of civilians at Mariupol maternity hospital
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied at a news conference after talks that the bombing of civilians at the Mariupol maternity hospital. He claimed, in line with previous statements by Russian officials, that the maternity ward had been turned into a military base, from where it was firing on Russian soldiers.
Ukrainian FM Dmitro Kuleba told a post-meeting conference that no progress had been made on a ceasefire, and Sergei Lavrov had not made any commitments regarding a humanitarian corridor in Mariupol, where the situation is very difficult. He also said that the discussion was not easy, but he is ready to have a new meeting in the same format.
The war in Ukraine continues, entering its 15th day. Russian troops went on with bombings in, Kharkiv, Ohtarka on the night from Wednesday to Thursday, hitting houses and official buildings. A 13-year-old boy and two women died, and 5 other people were taken out from under the rubble. Russian airstrikes reportedly targeted the city’s power plant in Ohtarka.
On the other hand, a new round of negotiations, dubbed as the most important one so far, is scheduled in Antalya, Turkey on Thursday, with Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers due to meet for the first time since the war broke out.
According to the latest report by the Ukrainian army, released on Thursday morning, the pace at which Russian troops are advancing has slowed down. The advance of Russian troops into the Kyiv area and the eastern regions, including Donetsk, Slobozhansky and parts of Tavrij, has been halted.
Yesterday, Russia bombed the Mariupol Children’s Hospital. 17 people, including pregnant women, were wounded. The mayor of Mariupol, a port of the Sea of Azov, revealed that over 1,300 people have been killed in attacks, since the beginning of the war.
The Ukrainian president Zelensky accused in his most recent speech that the bombing of the Mariupol maternity hospital is an atrocity and an evidence that Russian forces have committed genocide.
In retort, Russia has described allegations of bombing a Mariupol children’s hospital as “fake news”.
According to the Mariupol mayor’s office, 1,207 civilians were killed. The local administration said that on Wednesday 47 people were buried in a mass grave. Disturbing images of bodies buried in a mass grave in the besieged city of southern Ukraine have appeared on social media.
In the pictures, men can be seen, some dressed in overalls or blue protective suits, putting corpses in a ditch. In some photos, the bodies are in bags, but others are wrapped only in what appear to be blankets.
Yesterday, civilians in #Mariupol were buried in mass graves, because the incessant shelling made it impossible to bury them any other way. pic.twitter.com/5W1Tvmi5TE
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 10, 2022
A Ukrainian man said he realized that his wife and two children had been killed by Russian bombings after he saw a twitter post showing the bodies of the three dead.
“I recognized the baggage and that’s how I realized it,” Serhiy Perebyinis told the New York Times, taken over by the BBC. Tetiana Perebyinis and her two children – Mykyta, 18, and Alisa, 9 – died in the bombing of Irpin while trying to escape.
In 2014, when Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea, their family took refuge in eastern Ukraine to settle in Kyiv, trying to escape the fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists.
A photo of the three killed in the bombing, lying next to the monument dedicated to the victims of the Second World War, appeared on the front page of the New York Times.
Tetiana Perebyinis and her two children were killed near a bridge in Ukraine, a moment captured by Lynsey Addario, a New York Times photographer. This is their story.https://t.co/hnvrvLQ2pU
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 10, 2022
35,000 Ukrainian civilians evacuated
At least 35,000 civilians were evacuated on Wednesday from several besieged Ukrainian cities, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said. The Ukrainian leader announced in a video message on Wednesday night that the inhabitants of Sumi, Enerhodar and areas near the capital Kyiv were evacuated through three humanitarian corridors. He voiced hope that the evacuations would continue on Thursday, with the opening of three more humanitarian corridors in the nine-day besieged cities of Mariupol, Volnovaha (southeast) and Izium (east).
U.S accused Russia and China of “intentionally” spreading “lies” about biological and chemical weapons in Ukraine
The United States on Wednesday accused Russia and China of “intentionally” spreading “lies” about alleged US biological and chemical weapons laboratories in Ukraine, saying they feared Russia would use such banned weapons.
“The Kremlin is intentionally spreading outright lies that the United States and Ukraine are conducting chemical and biological weapons activities in Ukraine. We have also seen PRC officials echo these conspiracy theories. This Russian disinformation is total nonsense and not the first time Russia has invented such false claims against another country. Also, these claims have been debunked conclusively and repeatedly over many years.
As we have said all along, Russia is inventing false pretexts in an attempt to justify its own horrific actions in Ukraine. The United States does not own or operate any chemical or biological laboratories in Ukraine, it is in full compliance with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention, and it does not develop or possess such weapons anywhere. It is Russia that has active chemical and biological weapons programs and is in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention. Finally, Russia has a track record of accusing the West of the very crimes that Russia itself is perpetrating. These tactics are an obvious ploy by Russia to try to justify further premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attacks on Ukraine. We fully expect Russia to continue to double down on these sorts of claims with further unfounded allegations,” the U.S. Department of State.
European Union leaders are meeting in Versailles on Thursday to discuss the latest developments in Russia’s war in Ukraine. Klaus Iohannis also attends the meeting.