Ukrainian servicemen carry containers backdropped by a blaze at a warehouse after a bombing on the outskirts of Kyiv, 17 March 2022 —
Monday marks the 25th day of war in Ukraine after the invasion was launched by Moscow on 24 February.
The fighting has forced more than ten million Ukrainians to flee their homes, with thousands of people killed or wounded and widespread damage in the wake of shelling and aerial bombardments.
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Monday’s key points:
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- Ukrainian deputy prime minister and defence minister both refused Moscow’s ultimatum for the surrender of the southern port city of Mariupol, asking for the humanitarian corridor to be established as soon as possible — an option the Kremlin refuses.Earlier on Sunday President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of committing war crimes in Mariupol, saying in a video address that the siege of the city will go down in history for «terror that will be remembered for centuries to come».Only four out of seven agreed humanitarian corridors were functioning on Sunday, with some 7,000 civilians evacuated, Ukrainian authorities said.Air raids continued across the country, with a number of explosions recorded overnight in the capital Kyiv. Several buildings and a large shopping mall were reported damaged, with no information available on possible casualties.The UN said on Sunday that 10 million people in Ukraine have now fled their homes since the Russian invasion.
Ammonia leak in Sumy threatens local communities
An ammonia leak at a chemical plant in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sumy has contaminated an area with a radius of more than 2.5 kilometres, officials said early Monday.
Sumy regional governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyy did not say what caused the leak.
He said the nearby village of Novoselytsya, about 1.5 kilometres southeast of Sumy, is under threat.
The Sumykhimprom plant is on the eastern outskirts of the city, which has a population of about 263,000 and has been regularly shelled by Russian troops in recent weeks.
Kyiv: At least six Russian generals killed in Ukraine so far
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, says that six Russian generals and dozens of other senior officers have been killed since the start of the Russian invasion.
Podolyak tweeted on Sunday that “the high mortality rate among Russia’s senior military officers” reflects a “total lack of readiness,” adding that the Russian military relies on its large number of troops and cruise missiles.
The Russian military hasn’t confirmed the death of any of its generals. But an associate and an officers’ group in Russia confirmed the death of one, Major-General Andrei Sukhovetsky, the commanding officer of the 7th Airborne Division.
The Russian military offered the Ukrainian troops defending the strategic port of Mariupol to lay down arms and exit the city via humanitarian corridors, but that proposal was quickly rejected by the Ukrainian authorities.
Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that Kyiv already had told Russia that “there can be no talk about surrender and laying down weapons.” She rejected the Russian statement as “manipulation”.
The authorities demanded that the humanitarian corridor be established as soon as possible instead.
Russian Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev stated on Sunday that Russia will wait until 5 am on Monday for a written response from Kyiv to the Russian proposal for the Ukrainian troops to leave Mariupol but did not say what action Russia will take if its “humanitarian offer” is rejected.