21 people killed in rocket barrage south of Kharkiv as Russia’s bloody invasion enters its 4th week: Live Ukraine updates

Written by on March 17, 2022

Twenty-one individuals had been killed and 25 wounded Thursday after rockets slammed into the western Ukraine city of Merefa as Russia’s bloody, struggling invasion dragged into its fourth week.

Merefa Mayor Veniamin Sitov stated the assault destroyed a college and group middle. Ten survivors had been critically wounded, the native prosecutor’s workplace reported.

Merefa, a city of 20,000 individuals, is about 20 miles south of Kharkiv and has been victimized by its proximity to the sprawling regional jewel that Russia’s navy pounding has did not vanquish.

Kharkiv has turn out to be one of many saddest tales of the battle, a metropolis of museums and universities that 1.four million individuals name residence. Now it’s slowly however intentionally being torn aside as Russia’s apparently stalled navy kilos away at no matter targets its missiles can attain.

Related storylines had been unfolding throughout a lot of the nation. Within the battered southern port metropolis of Mariupol, rescue efforts had been underway Thursday following Russian airstrikes that ripped aside a theater. The constructing, serving as a makeshift shelter for a whole bunch of girls and youngsters, was bombed late Wednesday even though the word “CHILDREN” in Russian was laid out in giant letters in entrance and behind it.

“The constructing withstood the affect of a high-powered air bomb and guarded the lives of individuals hiding within the bomb shelter,” Ukraine’s ombudswoman Ludmyla Denisova stated Thursday. Ukrainian parliament member Sergiy Taruta added on a social media submit that “individuals are popping out alive.”

The Kyiv Unbiased reported at the very least 130 survivors had been pulled from the wreckage. The rescue efforts had been persevering with.

“Our hearts are damaged by what Russia is doing to our individuals, to our Mariupol,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated.

REDUCED TO RUBBLE:Heartbreaking images explore Ukraine’s devastated residential areas

This handout picture published on the Telegram account of the governor of the eastern region Donetsk Pavlo Kirilenko on March 16, 2022, shows the Drama Theatre destroyed by shelling in Mariupol.

Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia’s Overseas Ministry, denied the bombing and stated the navy “doesn’t bomb cities.”

However Vadim Denisenko, an adviser to the Ukraine minister of Inside Affairs, stated 90% of Mariupol has been destroyed or broken and that just about no buildings have been left untouched. Many of the 400,000 residents stay within the metropolis, he stated.

“Evacuation and rescue efforts stay extraordinarily tough as a result of fixed Russian shelling,” Denisenko stated. “That is past a humanitarian catastrophe.”

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Newest developments

►The town of Slavytuch exterior Kyiv has been fully remoted by Russian aggressors, reducing it off from provides. Slavytuch is nearing a humanitarian catastrophe, the Kyiv regional authorities stated.

►Europe received’t be trying to ship its first rover to Mars this yr due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Area Company confirmed Thursday. The mission was a collaboration with Roscosmos, Russia’s state area company.

►The Ukraine navy says it has captured a few thousand Russian servicemen and that an estimated 14,000 extra have been killed in battle. 

►Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko known as for Europe to cease shopping for oil and gasoline from Russia: “You pay Putin $50 million each hour. Each hour. And this cash is used to kill us, Ukrainians.”

►Six Western nations – the United States, United Kingdom, France, Eire, Norway and Albania – have requested an open session on Ukraine earlier than the United Nations is predicted to vote Friday on a Russian humanitarian decision that has been sharply criticized for making no point out of its invasion of Ukraine

Baltic nations warn they may very well be subsequent

The three leaders of legislative overseas affairs committees in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania warned U.S. lawmakers Thursday that Russia would stay a worldwide risk for years and will assault their Baltic area after Ukraine. The overseas lawmakers advised the Helsinki Fee, made up of U.S. lawmakers and government department officers, that the Baltic international locations haven’t been attacked but as a result of they belong to the North Atlantic Treaty Group, which the U.S. and Europe have pledged to defend. However the lawmakers urged the U.S. to offer extra troops, ground-based anti-aircraft weapons and fighter jets to guard them from neighboring Russia.

“We aren’t peripheral, we’re the frontier the place democracy for all the Western world has to face or fall,” Latvian lawmaker Rihards Kols stated. “This will probably be a marathon, not a dash.”

– Bart Jansen

Schwarzenegger posts video urging Putin, Russians to finish violence

Arnold Schwarzenegger urged Russia’s authorities, navy and residents to finish the battle in a nine-minute video shared Thursday to social media. The previous governor of California shared his appreciation of the Russian individuals and aimed to dispel misinformation to Russian residents and navy members by sharing “the reality” of why Russia invaded Ukraine. 

Schwarzenegger shot down claims from the Russian authorities that the aim of their invasion was to “denazify Ukraine” and shared heartbreaking photos and video of buildings that had been bombed.

“To the troopers who’re listening to this, keep in mind that 11 million Russians have household connections to Ukraine,” he stated. “So each bullet you shoot, you shoot a brother or a sister. … And to President Putin, I say: You began this battle. You’re main this battle. You possibly can cease this battle.” 

Hannah Yasharoff

DHS chief Mayorkas says Russian cyberattacks on US have not elevated throughout battle

Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the Division of Homeland Safety, stated Thursday the company hasn’t detected further Russian cyberattacks on important infrastructure within the U.S. after the invasion of Ukraine, however has educated native officers and personal companies about the way to shield in opposition to potential assaults.

“Now we have not seen an assault on the homeland that’s tied to the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Mayorkas advised reporters throughout a web-based information convention, though Russian cyber assaults have been confirmed in opposition to Ukraine and different international locations. “We proceed after all to see cyber exercise in the US, impartial of that.”

The division noticed a 300% enhance in ransomware incidents final yr in contrast with a yr earlier, for a mixed $300 million in losses.

To teach native officers and personal companies, the division created a site known as Shields As much as distribute details about the way to forestall the risk. Among the recommendation contains utilizing easy strategies comparable to backing up recordsdata, altering passwords typically and establishing multi-factor authentication.

Curiosity is excessive. The division has held 80 digital conferences on the topic and one featured 9,000 contributors, Mayorkas stated.

“We offer techniques and strategies that Russian cyber actors have used previously, so that individuals can patch any vulnerabilities, strengthen their defenses and be prepared,” Mayorkas stated.

The secretary additionally stated DHS has reminded Border Patrol brokers that Ukrainian refugees from the battle arriving within the U.S. may obtain an exception to well being restrictions which may in any other case bar their entry into the nation.

— Bart Jansen

WNBA star Brittney Griner to stay in Russian custody till Could 19

WNBA star Brittney Griner, detained at a Moscow airport final month, will be held until at least May 19, the Russian state information company Tass reported. Griner was detained after Russian authorities stated a search of her baggage revealed vape cartridges. They had been recognized as containing oil derived from hashish, which may carry a most penalty of 10 years in jail in Russia. 

“The court docket granted the request of the investigation and prolonged the interval of detention of the U.S. citizen Griner till Could 19,” the court docket stated.

The 2-time Olympic gold medalist, 31, has performed basketball in Russia for the final seven years within the winter, incomes over $1 million per season – greater than 4 occasions her WNBA wage. The WNBA season opens Could 6.

British evaluation: Russian push largely stalled

The Ukraine invasion has largely stalled and Russian troops are sustaining heavy casualties and unable to take management of main cities, a brand new British intelligence evaluation experiences. The evaluation mirrors assessments issued by U.S. protection officers in latest days. The British Protection Ministry says the Ukraine resistance stays “staunch and well-coordinated” and the Ukraine authorities controls a lot of the nation.

“Russian forces have made minimal progress on land, sea or air in latest days they usually proceed to endure heavy losses,” the evaluation stated.

Ukrainian males metal for battle as they are saying goodbye to households

LVIV, Ukraine – As millions of Ukrainian women and children move west to flee Russia’s widening war in their country, a largely unstated frontline – open-ended, filled with searing psychological harm – continues to develop throughout Ukraine: the boys they go away behind.

Lots of the girls USA TODAY spoke to had been too overcome with emotion to handle the topic of leaving their husbands behind, however many Ukrainian males confirmed exceptional stoicism in speaking concerning the ache of household separations that don’t have any foreseeable finish. They really feel it’s their obligation to defend their nation.

“My household understands that if we do not win this combat, future generations – possibly even the entire world – is not going to have a superb life,” stated Igor Kotz, 37, a property developer turned beginner safety chief for a Lviv-based humanitarian assist middle that helps provide Ukraine’s skilled and civilian armed forces. His spouse and youngsters fled to Poland whereas he stayed to combat, and Kotz stated, “I’ve accepted that I could not ever see my spouse and children once more.” Read more here.

– Kim Hjelmgaard and Jessica Koscielniak

Biden calls Putin a ‘battle prison’

For the primary time in public, President Joe Biden on Wednesday known as Russian President Vladimir Putin “a battle prison” for his continued assault on Ukraine, which has killed a whole bunch of civilians.

“I feel he’s a battle prison,” Biden stated in response to a query from a reporter after delivering remarks on the White Home on the reauthorization of the Violence Towards Girls Act.

Earlier Wednesday, Biden authorized an additional $800 million in military aid for Ukraine. He vowed that the American individuals will probably be “steadfast in our help of the individuals of Ukraine within the face of Putin’s immoral, unethical assaults on civilian populations.”

“We’re united in our abhorrence of Putin’s wicked onslaught,” he stated.

White Home press secretary Jen Psaki stated the president was “talking from his coronary heart and talking from what you’ve seen on tv, which is barbaric actions by a brutal dictator by means of his invasion of a overseas nation.”

The State Division has stated it’s reviewing Russia’s actions for potential battle crimes, a authorized course of Psaki stated is ongoing.

– Joey Garrison

Contributing: The Related Press

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