Russian forces bomb a mosque in Mariupol as attacks continue in Kyiv
Russian forces shelled a mosque in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Saturday that was sheltering more than 80 people, including children, the Ukrainian government said, AP reports.
Driving the news: There were no immediate reports of casualties, per AP.
- The Ukrainian Embassy in Turkey said 86 Turkish nationals, including 34 children, were among those who sought safety in the mosque of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his wife, Roksolana.
- Artillery barrages around Kyiv on Saturday also sent residents seeking shelter, per AP.
- Russian ground forces that have predominately been north of Kyiv have edged to within 25 kilometers of the city center, according to Britain's Defense Ministry.
- "Elements of the large Russian column north of Kyiv have dispersed. This is likely to support a Russian attempt to encircle the city," the ministry said.
The big picture: Mariupol, with a population of roughly 430,000, has been under "continuous Russian shelling" and officials have warned of an escalating humanitarian crisis that's left residents with no heat or communication.
- As of Friday, more than 1,500 people have died in Mariupol during 12 days of attack, according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
- The ongoing shelling led crews to stop digging trenches for mass graves, so the "dead aren’t even being buried," Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said, per AP.
- Russian forces bombed a children's hospital and maternity ward in Mariupol this week, which Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky called a "war crime" and "proof that the genocide of Ukrainians is taking place."