Russian forces continue to bomb the Azovstal factory in Mariupol, southern Ukraine, at the same time increasing the siege of the port city, the Ukrainian Armed Forces said today.
The aerial bombardment comes at a time when Ukraine has proposed to Moscow to exchange Russian prisoners for the removal of wounded fighters who remain underground at the metallurgical facility, the last bastion of the Ukrainian armed presence in Mariupol.
Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, said that negotiations were underway to withdraw the fighters, but that despite the various options “none is ideal”.
An adviser to the mayor of Mariupol said on Thursday that Russian forces had blocked all avenues of retreat from the city.
Petro Andriushchenko said that there are very few habitable apartments left and that the shortage of food and drinking water is dramatic.
The councilor to the mayor mentioned that some residents are obliged to cooperate with the occupying forces in exchange for food.
In the daily report (regarding the 78th day of the war) the Ukrainian military claims that Russian forces are firing field artillery fire against Ukrainian troops heading towards Zaporijia, a city of refuge for displaced persons from Mariupol.
According to Ukrainian military sources, Russian forces are also attacking areas of Kharkiv, in the northeast of the country, and Chernihiv and Sumi in the north, with artillery.
According to the Ukrainian army, “nine Russian attacks” in the areas of Donetsk and Lugansk were repulsed and several of Moscow’s armored vehicles were destroyed, but this information cannot be confirmed by independent sources.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office has started the prosecution process against Russian Sergeant Vadin Shyshimarrin, 21, for the death of a 62-year-old civilian who was riding a bicycle when he was shot down by the Russian military in February.
This is Russia’s first war crimes case in Ukraine.
At the moment, according to the Kiev Prosecutor’s Office, more than 10,000 allegations of war crimes committed by Russia are being investigated and more than 600 suspects have been identified.
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