LIVE Russia-Ukraine crisis: Russia demands Ukrainians surrender Mariupol by March 21

Russia says has again fired hypersonic missiles



By Team KT

Published: Sun 20 Mar 2022, 6:58 AM

Last updated: Sun 20 Mar 2022, 11:52 PM

Fighting is raging on multiple fronts in Ukraine, with intense combat underway in the besieged port city of Mariupol — the site of some of the war’s greatest suffering. Ukrainian officials say forces there are battling the Russians over one of the biggest steel plants in Europe. One local police officer says the city has been “wiped off the face of the earth.”

Overnight, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused the Kremlin of deliberately creating “a humanitarian catastrophe,” but he also appealed for Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet with him directly for talks.

Here's the latest of all top developments on March 20:


11.42pm: Russian defence ministry just confirmed that over 330,000 have been 'evacuated' to Russia from Ukraine since the start of the attacks


11.37pm: Russia's defence ministry says Ukraine has until early hours of March 21 to give its answer on surrendering Mariupol


11.22pm: Mariupol survivors take train to safety

Mariupol authorities say nearly 10% of the city’s population of 430,000 have fled over the past week, risking their lives in convoys out.


10.29pm: Russian navy commander killed in Ukraine

A senior naval commander in Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has been killed in Ukraine, the governor of Sevastopol said on Sunday.

Post-Captain Andrei Paliy, deputy commander of the fleet, died during fighting in the eastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said on the messaging app Telegram.


8.41pm: Orphans moved from Mariupol clinic to Russia-held territory

A group of children stuck in a clinic in Ukraine’s besieged Mariupol for weeks have been taken to Russian-controlled territory, a carer and a relative of the clinic’s worker told AFP Sunday.

More details here


7.34pm: Mariupol says Ukrainians being forced into Russia

The Mariupol City Council has issued a statement claiming that its residents are being evacuated to Russia against their will and one Ukrainian lawmaker says those people are being taken for forced labor in remote parts of Russia.

“The occupiers are forcing people to leave Ukraine for Russia. Over the past week, several thousand Mariupol residents have been taken to the Russian territory,” the city statement said.

More details here


6.38pm: Negotiation is only way out of war, says Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday renewed his plea for talks with his Russian counterpart, taking to US television to say negotiations were the only way to “end this war.”

“I’m ready for negotiations with him,” Zelensky told CNN show “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” referring to Russia’s Vladimir Putin, whose military operation Ukraine is in its fourth week.

“I think without negotiations we cannot end this war,” the Ukrainian leader said through a translator.

More details here


6.20pm: Fighting ongoing inside Ukrainian port city of Mariupol

Fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces is going on inside the eastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said in a televised interview on Sunday.

Many of Mariupol’s 400,000 residents have been trapped for more than two weeks as Russia seeks to take control of the city, which would help secure a land corridor to the Crimea peninsula that Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.


6.08pm: 56 people killed in Russian tank attack at nursing home

As many as 56 people were killed in a Russian tank attack at a nursing home in Luhansk, said a media report citing Luhansk Governor Serhiy Hayday.

“Death toll reaches 56 in Russian tank attack at nursing home in Luhansk Oblast on March 11. Russians moved 15 survivors to a facility on the occupied territories. Ukrainians still can’t reach the site of the attack. Source: Serhiy Hayday, the governor of Luhansk Oblast,” tweeted The Kyiv Independent, a Ukrainian media outlet.

More details here


5.39pm: Turkey says Russia, Ukraine ‘close to agreement’

“Of course, it is not an easy thing to come to terms with while the war is going on, while civilians are killed, but we would like to say that momentum is still gained. We see that the parties are close to an agreement.”

More details here


4.42pm: 10 million have fled their homes in Ukraine, says UN

Ten million people — more than a quarter of the population — have now fled their homes in Ukraine due to Russia’s “devastating” war, the United Nations refugees chief said Sunday.

“Among the responsibilities of those who wage war, everywhere in the world, is the suffering inflicted on civilians who are forced to flee their homes,” said UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi.


3.45pm: Pope urges leaders to stop war

“It is a senseless massacre where every day slaughters and atrocities are being repeated. There is no justification for this."


3.17pm: Ukraine’s Zelensky to address Israel lawmakers

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has emphasised his Judaism in seeking to rally Jewish and Israeli support for his country during the Russian invasion, was due to address Israel’s parliament on Sunday.

In an international tour via videoconference, Zelensky has spoken to several foreign legislatures since the invasion launched on February 24, including the United States Congress, Britain’s House of Commons and Germany’s Bundestag.


2:30pm: Patriot air defence systems move into Slovakia

FILE. US troops from the 5th Battalion of the 7th Air Defense Regiment emplace a launching station of the Patriot air and missile defence system at a test range in Sochaczew, Poland, on March 21, 2015. Photo: AFP
FILE. US troops from the 5th Battalion of the 7th Air Defense Regiment emplace a launching station of the Patriot air and missile defence system at a test range in Sochaczew, Poland, on March 21, 2015. Photo: AFP

Slovakia’s Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad says the first multinational NATO units with the Patriot air defense systems have been moving to his country.

Nad said on Sunday the transfers will continue in the next days.

Germany and the Netherlands have agreed to send their troops armed with the Patriots to Slovakia. The troops are some of the 2,100 soldiers from several NATO members, including the United States, who will form a battlegroup on Slovak territory as the alliance boosts its defenses in its eastern flank following Russia’s attack on Ukraine.


12:03pm: Russia says has again fired hypersonic missiles in Ukraine

(FILES) This file photo taken on May 9, 2018 shows Russia's MiG-31 supersonic interceptor jets carrying hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) missiles flying over Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow. Photo: AFP
(FILES) This file photo taken on May 9, 2018 shows Russia's MiG-31 supersonic interceptor jets carrying hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) missiles flying over Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow. Photo: AFP

Russia said Sunday it had again fired its newest hypersonic missiles in Ukraine, destroying a fuel storage site in the country’s south.

“Kinzhal aviation missile systems with hypersonic ballistic missiles destroyed a large storage site for fuels and lubricants of the Ukrainian armed forces near the settlement of Kostyantynivka in the Mykolaiv region,” the Russian defence ministry said.

More details here


11:34am: Officials say art school used as shelter bombed

Estimated damage in a neighbourhood in the eastern part of the city of Mariupol in Ukraine, as of March 14 - AFP / AFP
Estimated damage in a neighbourhood in the eastern part of the city of Mariupol in Ukraine, as of March 14 - AFP / AFP

Authorities in the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol say that the Russian military has bombed an art school where about 400 people had taken refuge.

Local authorities said Sunday that the school building was destroyed and people could remain under the rubble. There was no immediate word on casualties.

More details here


10:39am: Zelensky suspends parties with Russian links

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has ordered to suspend activities of 11 political parties with links to Russia.

The largest of them is the Opposition Platform for Life, which has 44 out of 450 seats in the country’s parliament. The party is led by Viktor Medvedchuk, who has friendly ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is the godfather of Medvedchuk’s daughter.

Also on the list is the Nashi (Ours) party led by Yevheniy Murayev. Before the Russian attack. the British authorities had warned that Russia wanted to install Murayev as the leader of Ukraine.

“Given a large-scale war unleashed by the Russian Federation and links between it and some political structures, the activities of a number of political parties is suspended for the period of the martial law. Activities by politicians aimed at discord and collaboration will not succeed.”


9:44am: Zelensky says siege of Mariupol involved war crimes

Ukrainian soldiers search for bodies in the debris at the military school hit by Russian rockets the day before, in Mykolaiv, southern Ukraine, on March 19, 2022. Photo: AFP
Ukrainian soldiers search for bodies in the debris at the military school hit by Russian rockets the day before, in Mykolaiv, southern Ukraine, on March 19, 2022. Photo: AFP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said early Sunday the siege of the port city of Mariupol would go down in history for what he said were war crimes committed by Russian troops.

Russian forces have pushed deeper into the besieged and battered city, where heavy fighting shut down a major steel plant and local authorities pleaded for more Western help.

The fall of Mariupol, the scene of some of the war’s worst suffering, would mark a major battlefield advance for the Russians, who are largely bogged down outside major cities more than three weeks into the biggest land attack in Europe since World War II.

“To do this to a peaceful city, what the occupiers did, is a terror that will be remembered for centuries to come”


9:30am: Australia bans alumina, bauxite exports to Russia

Australia announced more sanctions against Russia over the attack on Ukraine Sunday, immediately banning all exports of alumina and bauxite while pledging more weapons and humanitarian assistance.

The export ban aims to impact aluminium production in Russia, which relies on Australia for 20 per cent of its alumina.

It comes just days after Canberra sanctioned oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who owns a stake in Queensland Alumina Limited — a joint venture between Russian aluminium company Rusal and mining giant Rio Tinto, which has vowed to sever all business ties with Russia.


7:52am: Zelensky says Russia wages 'terror'

In this handout video grab taken from a footage released by the Ukrainian Presidency, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks face camera in a street of Kyiv on March 11, 2022. Photo: AFP
In this handout video grab taken from a footage released by the Ukrainian Presidency, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks face camera in a street of Kyiv on March 11, 2022. Photo: AFP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia’s siege of the port city of Mariupol was “a terror that will be remembered for centuries to come”, while local authorities said thousands of residents there had been taken by force to Russia.

“Over the past week, several thousand Mariupol residents were deported onto the Russian territory,” the city council said in a statement on its Telegram channel late on Saturday.

Reuters could not independently verify the claim.

More details here:


7:37am: UK defense says Ukraine holding its airspace

Ukraine’s air force and air defense are continuing to effectively defend the nation’s airspace

The British defense ministry said the Ukrainian Air Force and air defense forces are “continuing to effectively defend Ukrainian airspace.”

“Russia has failed to gain control of the air and is largely relying on stand-off weapons launched from the relative safety of Russian airspace to strike targets within Ukraine,” the ministry said on Twitter. “Gaining control of the air was one of Russia’s principal objectives for the opening days of the conflict and their continued failure to do so has significantly blunted their operational progress.”


7:06am: Russians push deeper into Mariupol

Russian forces pushed deeper into Ukraine’s besieged and battered port city of Mariupol on Saturday, where heavy fighting shut down a major steel plant and local authorities pleaded for more Western help.

The fall of Mariupol, the scene of some of the war’s worst suffering, would mark a major battlefield advance for the Russians, who are largely bogged down outside major cities more than three weeks into the biggest land attack in Europe since World War II.

“Children, elderly people are dying. The city is destroyed and it is wiped off the face of the earth,” Mariupol police officer Michail Vershnin said from a rubble-strewn street in a video addressed to Western leaders that was authenticated by The Associated Press.

More details here


6:59am: Ukraine’s Mariupol says Russia forcefully deported thousands of its people

The city council of Ukraine’s Mariupol said Russian forces forcefully deported several thousand people from the besieged city last week, after Russia had spoken of “refugees” arriving from the strategic port.

“Over the past week, several thousand Mariupol residents were deported onto the Russian territory,” the council said in a statement on its Telegram channel late on Saturday.

“The occupiers illegally took people from the Livoberezhniy district and from the shelter in the sports club building, where more than a thousand people (mostly women and children) were hiding from the constant bombing.”

Reuters could not independently verify the claims.

More details here:


6:47am: Ukrainian losing control of key Azovstal steel plant

Ukrainian troops were losing control of the key Azovstal steel plant, now damaged and heavily contested, according to an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister.

“We have lost this economic giant. In fact, one of the largest metallurgical plants in Europe is actually being destroyed,” Vadym Denysenko said in televised remarks.

An adviser to Ukraine’s president said there was no military solution for Mariupol, saying the nearest forces able to assist were already struggling against Russian forces at least 100 kilometers (60 miles) away.

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