As the dense clouds that have covered the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol for days break, the destruction of Russia’s invasion has waged in the city is beginning to be captured on new satellite images from Maxar Technologies.
In the images, which were taken Wednesday at 10:16 a.m. local time, a number of homes, buildings, grocery stores and shopping malls have been damaged in the fighting.
In a residential area in central Mariupol, a number of homes have sustained damage and at least two have been completely destroyed.
In western Mariupol, a fire appears to have damaged the Silpo and Epicenter K supermarkets.
A mile north, the Portcity Shopping Mall, also appears to have sustained significant damage from fire.
It’s unclear from the satellite images how the fire began, but the buildings have clearly been gutted by fire.
A number of homes in the left bank neighborhood, located in Mariupol’s east, also appear to have damaged. Entire roofs are missing on some of them.
The United Kingdom is planning to send anti-air missiles to Ukraine to help Kyiv combat Russia’s “indiscriminate and murderous” airstrikes, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told the House of Commons on Wednesday.
“The Russians are changing their tactics, so the Ukrainians need to, too,” he said, adding that “it is therefore vital that Ukraine maintains its ability to fly and to suppress Russian air attack.”
Wallace told lawmakers that Ukraine’s defense “capability needs strengthening” and in response to Ukrainian requests, the UK government has “taken the decision to explore the donation of Starstreak high-velocity, man-portable anti-air missiles.”
“We believe that this system will remain within the definition of defensive weapons, but will allow the Ukrainian forces to better defend their skies. We shall also be increasing supplies of rations, medical equipment, and other non-lethal military aid,” Wallace said.
The defense secretary also said that the UK has increased the supply of anti-tank weapons (NLAWs), small arms and ammunition to Ukraine.
“As of today, we have delivered 3,615 NLAWs and continue to deliver more. We will shortly be starting the delivery of a small consignment of anti-tank Javelin missiles as well. I want to assure the House that everything we do is bound by the decision to supply defensive systems and is calibrated not to escalate to a strategic level,” Wallace said.
The United Nations is following up “urgently” on “shocking reports” of the bombing of a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, saying health care facilities hospitals and health care workers should not “ever, ever be a target”
“It bears reminding that we have called, WHO has called for an immediate halt to attacks on healthcare, hospitals, health care workers, ambulances — none of these should ever, ever be a target,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday.
Dujarric said the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine “continues to deteriorate rapidly” – even as he described a productive meeting Wednesday between UN and Russian ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense.
At the high level meeting in Moscow partners agreed to strengthen their cooperation to continue to facilitate “timely humanitarian assistance.”
More than 2.2 million people have crossed international borders escaping Ukraine, Dujarric said.
The secretary-general also spoke with the President of Poland to thank him for welcoming refugees, Dujarric said.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told President Andrzej Duda that he will do everything possible to mobilize the UN system to support Poland’s generosity.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Moscow “to immediately allow Ukrainian civilians to safely depart the cities and towns of Ukraine that are besieged by Russian forces,” calling its proposal to create evacuation corridors to Russia and Belarus “absurd.”
“Every country has a responsibility to join us in pressing Moscow to do this. This is not the time to equivocate by calling on both sides to allow civilians in Ukraine cities to leave safely. Doing so obfuscates the basic facts around why these corridors are necessary and who is blocking,” Blinken said at a news conference at the State Department Wednesday alongside his British counterpart, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
On the Kremlin’s proposal to allow Ukrainians to flee to Belarus and Russia, Blinken said, “It’s offensive to suggest the Ukrainian people should seek refuge from the very government that has demonstrated such disregard for their lives.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that he is “absolutely convinced that Putin will fail and Russia will suffer a strategic defeat.”
“As we’ve said before, you can win a battle, but that doesn’t mean you win the war – on the contrary. You can take a city but you can’t take the hearts and minds of its people and Ukrainians are demonstrating that every single day,” Blinken said at a news conference at the State Department alongside his British counterpart, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
The top US diplomat said that if Putin’s “goal is to impose some kind of puppet regime by displacing the existing government and putting in place one to his liking, I think it’s pretty evident by the response of the Ukrainian people that they will never accept that.”
“And if he tries to enforce such a puppet regime by keeping Russian forces in Ukraine, it will be a long, bloody, drawn-out mess in which Russia will continue to suffer grievously,” Blinken said.
Blinken said the US had sought to provide off-ramps to the Russian leader, but “every time there’s been an opportunity to” take them, “he’s pressed the accelerator and continued down this horrific road that he’s been pursuing.”
Blinken said Russia had already “failed in its chief objectives.”
“It’s not been able to hold Ukraine. It’s not going to be able to hold Ukraine in the long term, again, no matter what the tactical victories it may achieve are,” he said.
The secretary of state went on to say the economic measures taken by the global community have “erased 30 years of progress integrating Russia into the world” and the “dramatic exodus” of global companies from Russia is having “a profound impact” in the short and long term.
At least 2,500 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Ireland so far with more set to arrive later Wednesday, Irish Justice Minister Helen McEntee said.
Speaking to reporters at the Dublin Airport on Wednesday, McEntee said the Irish government is trying to process the arrivals “as quickly as possible” and “provide what they need to them.”
Ireland has opted into the EU initiative to offer refugee’s temporary protection, waiving visa requirements for up to three years.
At least two thirds of the Ukrainian arrivals are female, the justice minister said, adding that one third of all arrivals have sought out temporary accommodation.
“There’s a lot of children coming in, so we have rooms, with toys with cots with cartoons on. You know, people have traveled for days, they’re exhausted, they have gone through a very traumatic experience,” McEntee told Irish radio station Newstalk in an interview Wednesday.
Irish Department of Justice officials are present in the airport greeting refugees and working with them to secure national identity numbers and accommodation, according to Roderic O’Gorman, Irish Minister for Equality.
O’Gorman told Irish radio station RTÉ Radio 1 Tuesday that the Irish government is setting up a dedicated unit under his department to deal with Ukrainian refugees.
Ireland has “significantly expanded” its short-term hotel capacity, O’Gorman said, stressing that hotel accommodation remains the “short term response” to the issue.
The Irish government recognizes the need for “a long-term response as well,” adding that there is more work to be done before bringing proposals to the government.
Amazon has suspended access to Prime Video in Russia, and the e-commerce giant is no longer shipping retail orders to customers in both Russia and Belarus, the company said Tuesday.
In addition, Amazon added, it is no longer selling New World, the company’s recently released online multiplayer video game, in Russia.
The decisions mark the latest steps by Amazon to back away from Russia, and coincide with a move CNN previously reported to halt new signups for Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s massively lucrative cloud computing platform.
“Given the ongoing situation in Russia and Ukraine, we’ve taken additional actions in the region,” Amazon said in a blog post. “We’ve suspended shipment of retail products to customers based in Russia and Belarus, and we will no longer be accepting new Russia and Belarus-based AWS customers and Amazon third-party sellers. We are also suspending access to Prime Video for customers based in Russia, and we will no longer be taking orders for New World, which is the only video game we sell directly in Russia.”
The announcement follows an earlier Amazon statement that it has been providing cybersecurity assistance to Ukraine and had observed malicious state and non-state actors attempting to hack “charities, NGOs, and other aid organizations in order to spread confusion and cause disruption.”
A city administration building and a university in Mariupol, less than a kilometer from the children’s and maternity hospital that Ukrainian officials say was bombed by Russian forces, has been identified by CNN as a second location in the city hit by an apparent Russian military strike.
CNN was able to identify Pryazov State Technical University and the Mariupol City Council Administration building as the second military strike location in Mariupol through videos posted to social media, which were geolocated and verified as authentic.
The videos show significant destruction at the university and city council building.
In one video, an alarm is heard echoing out as the remains of a minivan are seen. The video pans to show the destroyed buildings and debris-covered street. Explosions are heard in the video, but it’s unclear what is causing them.
“This is [PSTU],”a man is heard saying, referring to the university.
Another video showed the remains of a restaurant on the ground floor of one of the bombed-out buildings.
“Behind the fighting remains, as you can hear,” the man said.
A third video shows that a portion of a building has collapsed.
The explosion at the university and city council building took place around the same time as the explosion at the children’s and maternity hospital.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has verified 18 attacks on health care facilities in Ukraine so far, Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday.
So far, WHO has verified 18 attacks on health facilities, health workers and ambulances, including ten deaths and 16 injuries,” Tedros said in a media briefing.
“More than 2 million people have left Ukraine and WHO is supporting neighboring countries to provide health care for refugees, most of whom are women and children. Some of the main health challenges we see are hypothermia, and frostbite, respiratory diseases, lack of treatment for cardiovascular disease and cancer, and mental health issues. WHO personnel and have been deployed to neighboring countries to provide mental health and psychosocial support.”
Tedros said the organization has delivered 81 metric tons of supplies to the region and is working on establishing a pipeline to get supplies to health facilities.
“Yesterday, we delivered 5 metric tons of medical supplies to Kyiv to support surgical care for 150 trauma patients and other supplies to manage a range of health conditions for 45,000 people for a month. More supplies will be distributed today,” he said.
Dr. Adelheid Marschang, senior emergency officer, said “remarkably” Covid-19 surveillance in the country remains in place and cases appear to be decreasing.
“We have to say remarkably, Ukraine has maintained its Covid-19 surveillance and response system. And we have noted in the last week 731 Covid-19 deaths, the numbers of cases seem to decrease,” she said, noting that the organization is also monitoring the risk of spread of measles and polio in the crisis.
“The reality is that the conditions we see in Ukraine are the worst possible ingredients for the amplification and spread of infectious disease,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s Covid, doesn’t matter if it’s polio, doesn’t matter if it’s measles, doesn’t matter if it’s cholera. You put that many people in desperation on the move, women and children packed together, people in basements. People stressed, people not eating, not sleeping. These are the conditions which immune systems are weak. People’s defenses are low, and infectious diseases can rip through populations like this,” Ryan said.
The only real solution to this situation is peace,” Tedros said.
“WHO continues to call on the Russian Federation to commit to a peaceful resolution to this crisis and to allow safe, unimpeded access to humanitarian assistance for those in need. A peaceful resolution is possible, and that’s true in every war and humanitarian crisis to which WHO is responding around the world,” the director general said.