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Ukraine-Russia War: Latest News – The New York Times

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Ukraine-Russia War: Latest News – The New York Times

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March 19, 2022, 7:30am ET

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A desperate race to rescue any survivors trapped in the ruins of a theater in Ukraine’s Mariupol city on Saturday was complicated by street fighting, barrage of Russian artillery and the destruction of the city’s basic services.

Russia’s defense ministry said on Friday it was “tightening the noose” around the city. The Ukrainian government said its forces had been pulled out, efforts to provide air support had failed and it had “temporarily” lost contact with authorities in Mariupol.

Yet the Ukrainian forces defending the city refused to surrender, even tank battles and street fighting were reported in what remains of the city centre.

Videos shared by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov purportedly show soldiers from Russian field in the Caucasus in Mariupol. “Chechen security forces are delighted with the new cadre of Ukronazis we have captured,” Mr. Kadyrov said in a caption to the video, which uses a derogatory term for those supporting the Ukrainian military, whom Russian President Vladimir V. . Putin has tried to portray. As in “Nazis”. The New York Times has not independently confirmed the content of the video.

Russia’s War in Chechnya – where Moscow’s artillery and air force turned city blocks into rubble and its ground troops massacre civilians, a deliberate campaign to terrorize the population to render many Seen as – has been widely seen as the prelude to a campaign of destruction. in Ukraine.

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“One by one, the areas have been cleared, and soon it will reach you,” Mr. Kadyrov continued, addressing his remarks to Ukrainians inside the city. “Either you voluntarily lay down your arms and accept the punishment you deserve, or we will take it out of your hands and take punitive measures ourselves.”

Local authorities have counted over 2,500 casualties in the Siege of Mariupol, although the exact number cannot be calculated due to the relentless shelling.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in an overnight address to the nation, said about 9,000 people had fled the city in recent days. But hundreds of thousands are trapped without heat or water, in a barren land of bombed-out buildings with corpses strewn across the streets. The surrounding roads are mined, and the port is blocked.

It is one of dozens of Ukrainian towns and cities that are now in ruins, setting off the worst humanitarian disaster in Europe since the end of World War II.

The attack on the theater in Mariupol has become a symbol of a war with heavy attacks on civilians, with many schools, hospitals and residential buildings destroyed by Russian bombing. The theater that struck Wednesday was clearly labeled as a shelter for families, with satellite imagery showing the words of the children on the ground outside in a way that would appear to see any plane flying overhead Had been.

At least 1,300 people are believed to have taken refuge in the theater from the fighting. Ukrainian officials said on Friday that 130 people had been rescued.

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If there are more left, time is running out after being trapped in the rubble of three nights.

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