The Russian army intensifies its offensive to counter the fierce resistance in Ukraine. Civilian casualties are accumulating in the south and east of the country.
Fighting intensifies in Mykolaiv, southern Ukraine. The public broadcaster reported on Friday that a military installation in the city was attacked with a missile, killing at least 40 people. A man trapped under rubble was rescued.
Russian forces are also launching missile attacks on the city of Mariupol. Heavy street fighting is believed to be continuing. The city remains isolated by Russian attacks.
An evacuee said: “I never imagined that the city could be bombed. It has been destroyed and there is no safe place here. I don’t think we can live in Mariupol for the next 50 years or forever.”
The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said on Sunday that air-launched missiles hit a Ukrainian facility in Ovruch, in the northern region of Zhytomyr, and killed more than 100 foreign fighters and Ukrainian special forces.
The Mariupol city council accused Russian forces of taking civilians to Russia against their will. He said in a social media post that more than a thousand residents had been sent across the border in the past week.
City authorities also say Russian forces shelled an art school where around 400 people were taking refuge.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has denounced Russia’s siege tactics against the city. He said: “The Mariupol blockade will go down in history as a war crime. To inflict this on a peaceful city is an act of terror that will be remembered for centuries.
The UN said nearly 850 civilians were killed in the invasion on Friday. This figure would include more than 60 children. But the UN says the true total is likely to be much higher because officials have been unable to verify the death toll in Mariupol.