Mariupol under siege as Russia grows isolated

Mariupol under siege as Russia grows isolated
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Islam News – An apparent Russian strike on a hospital in Mariupol destroyed buildings including a hospital maternity ward, videos verified by The New York Times show. Here are the latest updates.

Seven days since Russian forces encircled the city, an important port on Ukraine’s southern coast, most communications with the outside world are severed and residents don’t have electricity or heat.

Russian forces appear to be laying siege to the roughly half a million people living there with overwhelming and indiscriminate firepower, forcing many to live in dire conditions. “There are just bodies lying in the streets,” one resident told The Times.

Efforts to negotiate a cease-fire to give civilians a chance to escape have failed repeatedly. For three days, the prospect of relief reaching the city though a “humanitarian corridor” fell apart in a hail of mortar and artillery fire.

Russian economy: The ruble continued its slide on Wednesday amid expanded E.U. sanctions. Russia’s central bank is trying to support the ruble with expanded rules preventing exchanges into dollars. Moscow is finding itself in a contest of economic and political endurance against the West, our columnist writes.

World economy: The loss of Russian oil will cause upheaval on the markets not seen in decades.

Chernobyl: Ukrainian officials said Wednesday that damage by Russian forces had left the site of the nuclear disaster dependent on generators. Experts said it was serious, but not a critical situation.

Backlash: More than 13,000 antiwar protesters in Russia have been arrested.

U.S. aid: Lawmakers finalized a $13.6 billion aid package to Ukraine, doubling the White House’s initial request.

Source: The New York Times

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