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War in Ukraine | The Russian offensive continues, the absence of “serious diplomacy” denounced

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(Dnipro) Russian forces were increasing pressure Friday on Kyiv and eastern Ukraine, where the major city of Dnipro was in turn targeted, with the United States lamenting that Vladimir Putin is not engaging in “serious diplomacy”.

The Ukrainian capital along with Mariupol on the Sea of ​​Azov, Kryvy Rig, Kremenchug, Nikopol and Zaporizhia are the main areas where the Russians are still focusing their efforts, the Ukrainian military said in a statement.

“Unable to achieve success, the enemy continues its attacks with missiles and bombs on the cities deep in the territory of Ukraine, Dnipro, Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk,” she said. added.

Mariupol, a strategic port besieged for a dozen days and constantly bombarded by the Russians, is in an “almost desperate” situation, alerted the NGO Médecins sans frontières (MSF): “Hundreds of thousands of people” live there without water, without heating and, according to an official report, there have already been 1,582 deaths.

Bodies are abandoned there in the streets, a huge mass grave has been dug for the others. In recent days, we saw people fighting for food.

In response to the continuation of the invasion launched on February 24 by Russia, Joe Biden announced that the United States and its European allies had decided to exclude Russia from the normal regime governing world trade, thus paving the way for the implementation of punitive customs duties against it.


PHOTO ANDREW HARNIK, ASSOCIATED PRESS

US President Joe Biden

Visiting Romania, its vice-president Kamala Harris, regretted that the Russian head of state “shows no sign of commitment to serious diplomacy”, his “atrocious and scandalous behavior” requiring “other measures” .


PHOTO OCTAV GANEA, INQUAM PHOTOS VIA REUTERS

US Vice President Kamala Harris

“If (Russian President Vladimir) Putin steps up bombing, lays siege to Kyiv […]we know that we will have to take further massive sanctions, ”said French President Emmanuel Macron after a meeting near Paris with other European leaders.

Dima, eight years old, injured in the head

On the ground, the war has already pushed more than 2.5 million people to seek refuge abroad, the majority in Poland, and around two million have been displaced within Ukraine itself, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).


PHOTO EVGENIY MALOLETKA, ASSOCIATED PRESS

An explosion occurred in an apartment building in Mariupol on March 11.

So far spared by the advance of Russian soldiers, Dnipro, an industrial city of one million inhabitants watered by the Dnieper, the river that marks the separation between the partly pro-Russian east of Ukraine and the rest of its territory, was targeted by raids which left at least one person dead.

“There were three airstrikes on the city, on a kindergarten, an apartment building and a shoe factory […] where a fire then broke out,” Ukrainian emergency services said.


PHOTO GLEB GARANICH, REUTERS

Volodymyr and his son Yaroslav shed tears as their loved ones left Kyiv for Lviv on March 11.

Firefighters could be seen in video footage extinguishing flames in smoldering ruins. Some buildings were nothing more than a pile of beams and twisted metal structures.

After a pediatric hospital on Wednesday in Mariupol, a facility for the disabled near Kharkiv was hit on Friday, but no casualties were reported this time.

Dima Kassianov, an eight-year-old boy, was less fortunate: hospitalized after being injured in the head by shrapnel from the Russian missile which destroyed the apartment where he lived in this north-eastern agglomeration, he is lying, unconscious, on a bed, one eye covered with a bandage.

“Targeting civilians, hospitals, schools is inexcusable” and the perpetrators of these acts “will have to be held accountable”, warned the UN on Friday during a meeting of its Security Council.


PHOTO EMRE CAYLAK, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Dnipro’s Destroyed Shoe Production Factory

Air raids

Four Ukrainian soldiers were also killed and six injured in the bombardment of the Lutsk military airport in northwestern Ukraine. That of Ivano-Frankivsk, in the far west, was also targeted.

These bases have been “decommissioned”, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Night air raids also took place over the cities of Chernihiv (north) and Sumy (north-east).

At the morgue of Mykolaiv, a city on the shores of the Black Sea subjected to Russian fire for days, the corpses pile up on the ground and in the courtyard, noted AFP.

“We pushed the enemy out of the limits of our city,” assured the governor of the region Vitaly Kim.

At the same time, the Russians continue their maneuver to encircle Kyiv. After reaching its suburbs, they seek to eliminate the defenses in several localities to the west and north of the capital to “block” it, the Ukrainian general staff said.

“Kyiv is a symbol of the resistance” which is preparing for a “relentless defense”, Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, proclaimed in a video.

Nearly 20,000 people have already been evacuated on Wednesday and Thursday from the capital and its surroundings, some 100,000 in total over the two days from all areas plagued by fighting in Ukraine.


PHOTO EVGENIY MALOLETKA, ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Ukrainian soldier takes a photo of a damaged church in Mariupol on March 10.

The Russian army slowed down?

“The enemy has not achieved any significant success in the past 24 hours, it has been stopped in almost all directions by our missiles, air and ground strikes,” said Oleksiy Arestovych, another adviser to Mr. Zelensky.

A slowdown in the progression of Russian soldiers that Western military sources also note, while President Vladimir Putin has given the green light to the dispatch of “volunteer” fighters, particularly from Syria.


PHOTO SERGEI SUPINSKY, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Iryna Sergeyeva, the first Ukrainian female volunteer to earn a full military contract with the Territorial Defense Forces, holds a Kalashnikov during training in an underground garage in Kyiv on March 11.

“This is a war with a very stubborn enemy […] who decided to hire mercenaries against our citizens. Assassins from Syria, from a country where everything has been destroyed by the occupiers, as they are doing to us,” reacted the Ukrainian head of state.

The master of the Kremlin has also asked his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to offer him military redeployments on the western border of Russia, in response to those of NATO in Eastern Europe.

Meanwhile, Russia to sue Meta for ‘calling for the murders’ of Russians after Facebook and Instagram parent company loosens rules on violent posts to Russian military and leaders . Access to Instagram has also been restricted there.


PHOTO EFREM LUKATSKY, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ukrainian soldiers evacuate an elderly person on a stretcher across a wooden bridge in Irpin, about 25 km northwest of Kyiv, on March 11.

On the American side, YouTube has opted to extend to the whole world – and not only in Europe – the blocking of media financed by Russia.

And, against all odds, the Ukrainians seem to keep their spirits up. From “the first days, a lot of young women arrived, who wanted to get their hands on a gun to be able to go and fight”, explained to Kyiv Iryna Sergeïeva, reservist since 2017.

Targeted Russian vodka


PHOTO MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV, SPUTNIK VIA AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin received his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko at the Kremlin on March 11.

While saying he was anxious to avoid a “direct confrontation” between the Atlantic Alliance and Russia, because it would provoke “World War III, Joe Biden, in concert with the European Union, showed himself on Friday eager to put Russia banned from international trade.

In particular, he decreed a ban on imports of “key sectors of the Russian economy” such as “seafood, vodka and diamonds”.

In the aftermath, the United States and the EU have banned exports to Russia of luxury items.

The G7, however, urged the international community to avoid any measure limiting food exports.

The risk being, warned the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), that eight to 13 million additional people suffer from undernutrition in the world.

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