Ukraine-Russia new: Mariupol will try again to evacuate citizens today

It’s the eleventh day of war in Ukraine and the number of refugees is expected to reach 1.5 million today.

The UN refugee agency estimates that the number of refugees could reach 4 million by July,

A series of explosions were heard in Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city, last night.

The mayor of Mariupol said it was impossible to count the number of civilian deaths in the city.

It is currently encircled by Russian forces and has been under intense shelling.

The Ukrainian military said it had shot down 88 Russian planes and helicopters so far.

Its armed forces said they plan to conduct a series of defensive operations in Donetsk district, Slobozhansky district and the city of Chernihiv today.

Two ceasefires that would have allowed civilians to flee in Mariupol and Volnovakha collapsed yesterday.

Mariupol will try again today to evacuate citizens.

“From 12pm (10am Irish time) the evacuation of civilians will begin,” city officials said in a statement after another ceasefire was agreed with Russian-led forces around the city.

People who managed to flee Ukraine have defected to neighboring Poland, Romania, Slovakia and elsewhere.

In a televised speech last night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on people in the areas occupied by Russian troops to fight.

“We must go outside and drive this evil out of our cities,” he said.

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko told Retuers: “They are destroying us”.

After working his way up from locomotive engineer at the local steel mill to senior management, he became mayor in 2015, hoping to help modernize the city even as Ukraine’s conflict with Russian-backed separatists simmered on its doorstep.

“We created the conditions for people to live comfortably and dream about the future. And now they’re taking that future away from us,” he said.

“Right now I feel like they’re tearing my heart and soul away.”

Visa and Mastercard announced yesterday that they were suspending operations in Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine and are working with customers and partners to halt all transactions there.

Within days, all transactions initiated using Visa cards issued in Russia will stop working outside the country, and all Visa cards issued outside Russia will stop working inside the country, the company said.

“We are compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the unacceptable events we have witnessed,” Visa chief executive officer Al Kelly said in a statement.

British military intelligence said today Russian forces are attacking populated areas in Ukraine but the strength of the resistance is slowing their advance.

“The scale and strength of the Ukrainian resistance continues to surprise Russia,” British military intelligence said in an update.

Russia has repeatedly denied attacking civilian areas.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who launched what he called a “military special operation” on February 24, reiterated that he wants a neutral Ukraine that has been “demilitarized” and “denazified,” comparing Western sanctions “with a declaration of war”. adding, “Thank God it didn’t come to that.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will today present a six-point plan that he hopes will be accepted by global peers, while Russian leader Vladimir Putin is moving the goalposts over Western involvement in the conflict in Ukraine.

Mr Johnson said that “it will be the people of Ukraine, not future historians, who will make our judgement” on how the world reacts to Mr Putin’s “vile, barbaric attack”.

Speaking ahead of a series of meetings over the coming days, Mr Johnson said: “Putin must fail in this act of aggression and it must be shown that he is failing.

“It is not enough to express our support for the rules-based international order – we must defend it against a sustained attempt to rewrite the rules with military force.”

More than 64 people have been arrested at anti-war protests in Russia’s Far East and eastern Siberia, protest observer OVD-Info said.

The monitoring group said people were arrested during protests in the Russian port city of Vladivostok and the Siberian city of Irkutsk.

With reports from Reuters. Ukraine-Russia new: Mariupol will try again to evacuate citizens today

Fry Electronics Team

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