Russian artillery pounded the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol today, shelling its downtown as inhabitants hid in its famous mosque and in underground bunkers to try to avoid exploding shells. Mariupol, which has over 400,000 people, endured miserable suffering after Russia invaded. Endless artillery barrages have blocked repeated attempts to bring food, water and medicine into the city and evacuate its trapped civilians.
Russians laid a minefield that prevented citizens from escaping. “The International Red Cross has confirmed” that a “promised ‘humanitarian corridor’ offered to Ukrainian civilians trapped in city of Mariupol, had been mined by Russia. Landmines” were laid by Russia “to maim civilians,” says Tomi Ahonen. “Russia uses the PFM-1 ‘buttefly mine’ as anti-personnel mine,” which will “remove your shoe, with your foot still in it. Instant amputation below the knee.”
The artillery barrage has prevented residents from burying their dead in mass graves, resulting in a putrid stench. Russia has also cut off electricity to residents in the city, which is as cold as Canada in the winter.
Ukraine’s government claimed today that the Sultan Suleiman Mosque was hit, but an Instagram post by the mosque association’s president said the building was spared when a bomb fell about 2000 feet away. About seven dozen residents, including kids, were apparently hiding inside.
“They are bombing it (Mariupol) 24 hours a day, launching missiles. It is hatred. They kill children,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during a video address.
A reporter in Mariupol saw tanks fire on a nine-story apartment building, while among a group of hospital employees who came under sniper fire yesterday. A worker shot in the hip survived, but conditions in the hospital were rapidly growing worse: electricity was reserved for operating tables, and people unable to leave the hospital because of artillery fire lined the hallways.
Fighting also raged just outside Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, as Russia continued its bombardment of several resisting cities.