Ukraine: LBC commentator on possibility of nuclear conflict
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Russian forces have intensified attacks over the last 24 hours in an attempt to overwhelm Ukrainian resistance using brute force and numbers. Already Kyiv is expecting the imminent arrival of thousands more Russian troops as a convoy over 40 miles long approaches the city from the North.
With reports suggesting over 840,000 Ukrainians have fled the country into Eastern Europe, the mayor of Maroupol has suggested efforts are being made to stop the exodus by Russian forces.
Vadym Boichenko said: “The enemy occupying forces of the Russian Federation have done everything to block the exit of civilians from the city of half a million people.”
The mayor claims many people have died in the last 14 hours amid relentless and continuous Russian shelling.
He added: “We cannot count the number of victims there, but we believe at least hundreds of people are dead.
“We cannot go in to retrieve the bodies.”
Further reports suggest electricity has also been cut off to the city.
In a plea for help, one Ukrainian soldier in the city wrote to the media asking for help.
Writing to the Telegraph, the soldier said: “If anything happens don’t let us be forgotten.
“We are surrounded in Mariupol and no way out.”
Reports have also been circulating appearing to show a dying 6-year old girl, fatally injured as a result of Russian shelling.
A doctor in blue medical scrubs, pumping oxygen into the girl, looked straight at the camera of an Associated Press video journalist who had been allowed inside.
“Show this to Putin,” he said angrily. “The eyes of this child, and crying doctors.”
The girl, whose name was not immediately known, could not be saved.
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Russian separatists have vowed to encircle and eventually capture the city.
Speaking during a television interview, Denis Pushilin said: “The task for today is to directly encircle Mariupol.”
The mayor of the city has also spoken out surrounding the shelling.
Mr Boichenko said: “We have had residential quarters shelled for five days.
“They are pounding us with artillery, they are shelling us with GRADS, they are hitting us with air forces.
“We have civilian infrastructure damaged – schools, houses.
“There are many injured.
“There are women, children killed.”
WILL THE WAR SPREAD WEST INTO MAINLAND EUROPE? HAS VLADIMIR PUTIN UNDER-ESTIMATED UKRAINIAN DEFENCES? SHOULD MORE HUMANITARIAN AID BE DISPATCHED TO UKRAINE? HAVE YOUR SAY ON THIS ISSUE BY CLICKING HERE AND JOINING THE DEBATE IN OUR COMMENTS SECTION – EVERY VOICE MATTERS!
Mariupol, an important port city of between 400,000-500,000 people has been under attack since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine last week.
Mariupol was briefly occupied by pro-Moscow separatists when fighting broke out with the Ukrainian army in 2014, following historic street demonstrations that boasted a pro-Kremlin president.
Russian sources claim 14,000 separatists have been killed by Ukrainian forces over the last 8 years.
Putin has described the invasion of Ukraine as a “special operation” to achieve the demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine.
The global community has highly condemned the actions of the Russian President, responding with punitive measures in the form of economic sanctions.
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