News

Live news updates from April 20: Netflix plunges 35% on subscriber growth warning, Ukraine blames Russia for failed Mariupol evacuation

Ukraine plans to open a humanitarian corridor for civilians to leave Mariupol, the besieged south-eastern city where Russia this week began a bombing campaign targeting the city’s Azovstal steelworks.

The government secured agreement on a corridor to bring civilians out of the city from 2pm, Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, said on Wednesday.

Buildings in Mariupol damaged during the Russian siege of the south-eastern Ukrainian city: a humanitarian corridor is due to let civilians flee the city on Wednesday © REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

“Given the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Mariupol, it is in this direction that we will focus our efforts today,” Vereshchuk wrote on the Telegram social media platform. “We managed to agree in advance on a humanitarian corridor for women, children and the elderly.”

She said that changes might occur to the path of the corridor “due to the very difficult security situation”.

Several attempts to evacuate civilians from the city have collapsed because of mistrust between the warring sides since Russian troops encircled and bombarded the city and cut off power, water, heat and other basic services in early March. It was not immediately clear whether the corridor announced by Vereshchuk had Russian support.

According to Ukrainian officials, Russia has begun using bunker-busting bombs on and near the grounds of the Azovstal steelworks, the last area of the city under Ukrainian military control. They said civilians, including children, were hiding from the bombing alongside the fighters in shelters beneath the sprawling complex, one of Europe’s largest steelworks.

Ukraine’s military said in an update on combat operations on Wednesday that the Russians’ main efforts were “focused on capturing the city of Mariupol, continuing the assault in the area of the Azovstal plant”.

Serhiy Volyna, commander of Ukraine’s 36th marine brigade in Mariupol, among the last Ukrainian troops in the city, released a video on Tuesday in which he pleaded for international action to “save Mariupol”. He included the hashtags #PopeActNow and #KidsOfCatacombs.

Ukrainian military claims have not been independently verified.

Articles You May Like

Utah city puts formation of its own school district on November ballot
‘One actionable thing’ that can save prospective homebuyers up to $104,000 over the life of their mortgage
SEC charges 11 in ‘massive’ crypto Ponzi scheme
Bitcoin price reaches $23.4K on 4.6% gains amid ‘very mixed’ outlook
Alleged BTC-e Operator Alexander Vinnik in US Custody After Immediate Extradition From Greece