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Ukraine Crisis

Russia bombs Mariupol theatre with hundreds sheltering inside



Mariupol’s deputy mayor says that Russian bombing hit the city’s drama theatre where people were being sheltering

He estimates that over 1,000 people were inside there.

The number of casualties is still unknown.

Ukraine Parliament made a tweet saying “Russian military attacked Mariupol’s Drama Theatre, where a large number of citizens were hiding! It is unknown how many people died under the rubble. Now there are fierce battles. No one can reach the blockages, we don’t know if there are any survivors”

Mariupol’s city council claimed in a statement, “It is still impossible to estimate the scale of this horrific and inhumane act.”

Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter, “Russians could not have not known this was a civilian shelter. Save Mariupol! Stop Russian war criminals!

A Ukrainian presidential adviser says Russian troops are continuing to fire missiles at Ukrainian targets, and approximately two-thirds of rockets are hitting civilian buildings and infrastructure

Russia’s Ministry of Defense denied it had carried out a strike on the theater, Russian state-run Ria reported.

We know this port city has been destroyed by Russian forces… under constant Russian shelling since the start of the war

It’s estimated 300,000 are trapped with no running water, electricity or gas.

Food and medical supplies are running low, some resorting to snow outside as their main water source, entire neighbourhoods have been turned into wasteland

There’s devastation on every corner following the attack on a hospital last week that left five dead including a new born baby and its mother.

The World Health Organisation has verified 43 attacks on hospitals and medical facilities in Ukraine, even world leaders and officials are shocked that attacks on healthcare are “becoming part of the strategy and tactics of war”.

It’s clear evacuation efforts and emergency care is needed, especially since Russia has not allowed the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Ukraine Crisis

Zelensky’s hometown in Russian crosshairs



Ukraine said on Wednesday that Russia might be building a strike force to target Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy’s hometown

Ukraine has warned that Moscow could be preparing new offensive operations in southern Ukraine.

Russia occupies broad stretches of Ukrainian territory in the south of the country,

Much of which Russia captured early on in the war after it launched its February 24 invasion.

Ukraine has also said that Russia has begun to assemble a military strike force – and may be aiming for Kryvyi Rih – the hometown of the Ukrainian president.

“It’s also quite likely that the enemy is preparing a hostile counter-offensive with the subsequent plan of getting to the administrative boundary of Kherson region”

Ukraine southern military command

However, Ukraine has also said it was to mount a counter-offensive to regions of Ukraine that Russia currently holds.

Kryvyi Rih is a steel-producing town around 50km (30 miles) from the southern frontline of the war.

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Ukraine Crisis

Grain vessel allowed to leave Ukraine waters



A cargo vessel carrying grain for export has been permitted to leave Ukrainian waters via the Black Sea in a rare Russia-Ukraine agreement

The vessel, named “Razoni” under a Sierra-Leone registration left the port of Odesa bound for Lebanon, carrying 26,000 tonnes of grain on board.

It’s the first cargo vessel that’s been permitted to carry cargo on the Black Sea following an export agreement between Ukraine and Russia that was brokered by Turkey and the United Nations.

Russia and Ukraine account for a third of the world’s global wheat supply between them.

But Russian blockades of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast as well as the ongoing war have meant exports have plummeted – leading many nations to worry over interrupted food supplies.

Crew aboard the vessel spoke of their concerns about sea mines.

“To be honest, I am scared from the fact that there are naval mines. This is the only thing that I fear during this trip, as for the other things, we are used to them as sailors.”

Abdullah jendi, junior engineer aboard razoni

But they also spoke of their joy at being allowed to sail through.
Junior engineer Abdullah Jendi said it was a great feeling.

“Everyone on the ship was very happy,” he said. “I can say that it was the best feeling we have had in 2022.”

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Ukraine Crisis

Russia cuts down European gas supply



Russia cuts gas capacity to Europe to a fifth of normal supplies, sending prices soaring and EU nations agreeing to voluntary rationing

Russia has cut down supplies of gas via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany to a fifth of its usual capacity.

Gazprom, Russia’s state run energy and gas firm, has blamed the current reduction on a turbine that was undergoing repairs in Canada.

But the German government has said there’s no technical reason for the current supplies to be limited.

It comes as the European Union member states agreed to voluntary rationing of gas supplies – aiming for a 15 per cent reduction in gas usage between August and March next year.

But the agreements have been messy, with many exemptions being granted for several EU nations where a 15 per cent reduction is not feasible.

Moscow says that the recent spike in gas prices is down to Western sanctions, and that it’s not responsible for the price hike – insisting it is a reliable business partner when it comes to gas.

But critics of Moscow say that it’s using blackmail, holding supplies of gas hostage as a weapon of war.

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