It is 12:30 p.m. in Kyiv. Here’s what you need to know
Mariupol came under renewed heavy shelling overnight, according to a Ukrainian officer inside the city.
“Bombs are falling every 10 minutes; Russian Navy warships bombard. Yesterday the soldiers defused four tanks, [as well as] armored vehicles and troops. We still need ammunition, anti-tank weapons and air defense,” Captain Sviatoslav Palamar of the National Guard Azov Regiment in Mariupol told CNN.
Palamar said he and his fellow fighters would not travel to Mariupol.
A bit of context: Russia’s deadline for authorities in Mariupol to return the city has moved to 5 a.m. Moscow (10 p.m. ET Sunday) as the Ukrainians rejected the ultimatum.
The port city of Mariupol, which was home to around 450,000 people before the war, has been the target of near-constant attacks by Russian forces since early March, with satellite images showing extensive destruction in residential areas.
While the Russian ultimatum seemed to offer those who chose to surrender safe passage out of town, it offered no such guarantee to those who remained.
Russia has been repeatedly accused of targeting civilians, with trapped locals describing the assault as “hell”.
The Russian attacks led to a total collapse of basic services, with residents having no access to gas, electricity or water. Bodies are left on the streets because there’s no one to pick them up, or it’s just too dangerous to try.
A city official said people were afraid to leave their underground shelters even to get basic necessities, meaning they were trying to drink less water and eat less food, only going out. to prepare hot meals.
Taken against their will: On Sunday, the Mariupol City Council said residents were being taken to Russia against their will by Russian forces. Captured residents of Mariupol were taken to camps where Russian forces checked their phones and documents, then redirected some of the residents to remote towns in Russia, the council said. Russia denied the charges on Saturday.
Why Russia wants to control Mariupol: The city is a strategic port that lies on a stretch of coast connecting the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass with the Crimean Peninsula. Russian-backed separatists have formed breakaway states in parts of Donbass, and Crimea has been under Russian control since 2014. Russian forces appear to be trying to take full control of the area to create a land corridor between the two regions, squeezing Mariupol with brutality. military strength.