War in Ukraine: Russians turn Mariupol into ashes – New sanctions against Moscow are planned by the West
The Russian air strikes turn the besieged Mariupol in “burned land”, stressed yesterday Tuesday (22/3) the municipal authority, as the USA and the Europe plan to impose new sanctions in order to punish Moscow for invasion of Ukraine.
Street battles and bombings are raging in Mariupol, according to Ukrainian officials, a day after it refused to hand over Russia’s ultimatum.
Hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to be trapped inside buildings without food, water, electricity or heating.
Russian forces and pro-Russian separatists have occupied about half of the port, which is usually home to nearly 400,000 people, according to Reuters, citing Ria Novosti.
Street battles are taking place in the city, while civilians and Ukrainian soldiers are receiving a storm of Russian fire, said the regional governor Pavlo Kirilenko.
“Nothing is left there,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a videotaped message to the Italian parliament.
Mariupol Deputy Mayor Sergei Orloff told CNN that the city was under complete blockade and that no humanitarian aid had arrived. “The city is under constant bombardment. “50-100 bombs fall from Russian planes every day. So many deaths, so many tears, so many horrible war crimes,” Orloff said.
Mariupol is at the center of the war that erupted on February 24, when Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to the border for a “special military operation” aimed at “demilitarizing” Ukraine and overthrowing the pro-Western government.
It is located in the Sea of Azov and its occupation would allow Russia to connect the pro-Russian separatist regions to the east with the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014.
Putin’s attack on Ukraine has forced more than 3.5 million people to flee their homes, brought about an unprecedented isolation of the Russian economy and sparked fears of a generalized conflict with the West that had been unthinkable for decades.
Greater financial pressure on the Kremlin
Western countries plan to put more economic pressure on the Kremlin. President Joe Biden and US allies will impose new sanctions and tighten existing ones against Moscow, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has said ahead of the US president’s trip to Europe. At the same time, announcements are expected for actions aimed at strengthening energy security in Europe, which is heavily dependent on Russian gas. Finally, Biden will express his solidarity with Poland, a country bordering Ukraine, during his visit to Warsaw.
Having failed to occupy the capital Kyiv or any other Ukrainian metropolis, Russia has resorted to a war of attrition that has turned residential areas into ruins and has raised concerns in the West that the conflict could escalate into even a nuclear war.
Russia’s security dogma dictates that the country could use nuclear weapons if its very existence is threatened, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peshkov told CNN. Earlier, he claimed that “no one” had thought that the operation in Ukraine would last only a few days and that the campaign was proceeding according to Moscow’s plan.
Source: News Beast