The battle in Ukraine is increasingly fierce against the citizenry. Two Russian bombings in kyiv and the shooting to disperse a demonstration in Kherson on Monday show the harshness of the war amid a deadlock in the negotiations. Odesa, in the south, has received its first attack, also launched against a residential area. In Mariupol, which has become a symbol of the destruction and cruelty towards civilians in this war that is now 26 days old, the Ukrainian troops have refused to surrender to the ultimatum issued by Moscow on Sunday.
At least eight people were killed in the attack carried out late on Sunday in the north of kyiv, a few hours before the Ukrainian capital experiences a new period of lethargy imposed by the City Council. The curfew runs from Monday afternoon to Wednesday morning. Although during the night it is not allowed to go out on any day, this is the third time that this measure has been forced on citizens since the beginning of the war on February 24. The purpose, according to the authorities, is to be able to better confront supposed groups of enemies infiltrated in the city.
It was eleven o’clock on Sunday night when the explosion was heard for several kilometers around. Dawn, with the end of the curfew, brought back the image of devastation. This time it was the recently built Retroville shopping center. It stands in one of the extensions in the court of the Ukrainian capital, not far from the area where the Ukrainian and Russian Army have been disputing for days the land that gives access to the capital. The fighting can still be heard in the distance from the attacked area on Monday afternoon.
The neighbors crowded in the morning as close as they could to the cordoned off area. “It was like an earthquake,” explains Victoria, one of them, making the detonation gesture with her hands that shook everyone who lives in the neighborhood. She “she was sitting on the sofa at home when everything shook and small pieces began to fall from the windows.”
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Around the epicenter of the attack, blocks of about fifteen heights built a few years ago with gardens in the middle. Many of the windows and glass had been blown out. Also shop windows. The damage could be seen even several hundred meters from the huge explosion that hit the mall. Many of the posters of large international fashion, restaurant or DIY brands had been installed in this commercial area that this Monday has remained surrounded by security teams and members of the Army.
Hours later, the mayor of the capital, Vitali Klitschko, reported in an interview with TVE of another attack in the center of the city in which a civilian was killed and 10 people were injured. “We expect new attacks in the next 24 hours and our main priority is to safeguard the lives of citizens,” Klitschko said.
On the southern front, local authorities have reported this Monday the first recorded attack in the coastal city of Odessa, which has also been launched against residential buildings, without causing casualties. The town, located at a strategic point for Moscow, had been shielding itself for weeks from the possibility of an imminent attack.
The Ukrainian authorities have announced the closure of the ports of the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. After weeks of intense fighting, kyiv has lost control of the Sea of Azov, a geostrategic key for the Kremlin to unite the Crimean peninsula illegally annexed in 2014 with the Donbas region. Russian troops have taken over the port of Mariupol, the main port in these waters, and have already entered the strategic city. Ukraine received an ultimatum from Moscow on Sunday to lay down its arms and surrender in the bomb-ravaged city. The kyiv Army rejected it.
In addition to Mariupol, Kharkov, Sumi and Chernigov, in the east of the country, are the cities that have suffered the most from the Russian tactic of destroying urban areas with artillery. The mayor of Kharkov, Igor Terekhov, assures that many of the buildings reduced to rubble in the country’s second city were residential. “It is impossible to say that we have left behind the worst days; we are constantly being bombarded, last night there was artillery fire again,” Terekhov told Reuters.
Until now, peaceful demonstrations of Ukrainian citizens protesting the invasion had been seen under the gaze of Russian troops. This Monday, however, Russian soldiers have repressed a protest in Kherson with live fire, as reported by Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba. According to the minister, they have injured a Psionist.
In Kherson, Russian war criminals opened fire at unarmed people who peacefully protested against invaders. You can see a wounded pensioner. This is the ugly face of Russia, a disgrace to human kind. We must stop Russia! Sanction them, isolate them, hold war criminals to account. pic.twitter.com/WeItSykD3q
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 21, 2022
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has accused Russia of forcibly transferring thousands of children from the Donbas region to Russia. The ministry spokesman, Oleg Nikolenko, has assured on his social networks that 2,389 minors were separated from their families on Saturday alone.
In the west of the country, just 166 kilometers from Poland, several people were injured this Monday after a missile attack on Ukrainian military facilities in the Rivne region, as reported by the Russian Defense Ministry and confirmed by the mayor of the town, Alexandr Tretiak, through his Telegram account. “According to the first information, there are several wounded. We will report in more detail later”, details the mayor of Rivne.
While the attacks continue, the negotiating teams have resumed the talks this Monday. Delegates from Moscow and kyiv spoke this morning via videoconference for 90 minutes. According to David Arajamia, leader of the party of the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, in Parliament, they will continue to speak with the Russian delegation throughout the day.