Ukraine claimed on Tuesday it had retaken a strate-gically important suburb of Kyiv on Wednesday, while its forces battled Russian attempts to occupy the encircled southern port city of Mariupol.
Civilians fleeing Mariupol said the city was un-der relentless bombardment, with block after block of destroyed buildings and corpses in the streets.
Perched on the Sea of Azov, Mariupol is a cru-cial port for Ukraine and lies along a stretch of terri-tory between Russia and Crimea. The siege has cut the city off from the sea and allowed Russia to es-tablish a land corridor to Crimea.
In their last update, Mariupol officials said on March 15 that at least 2,300 people, among them 117 children, had died in the siege.
Thousands have managed to flee Mariupol, where the bombardment has cut off electricity, water and food supplies and severed communication with the outside world.
The city council said on Tuesday that more than 1,100 people who had escaped the siege were in a convoy of buses heading to a city northwest of Mariupol.
But the Red Cross said a humanitarian aid con-voy trying to reach the city with desperately needed supplies still had not been able to enter.
Ukraine’s defence ministry said its forces were still defending the city and had destroyed a Russian patrol boat and electronic warfare complex.—Reuters