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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says almost 100,000 people are still trapped in the ruins of Mariupol

By Web Desk

Published: Thu 24 Mar 2022, 6:49 AM

Last updated: Thu 24 Mar 2022, 8:27 AM

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says almost 100,000 people are still trapped in the ruins of Mariupol, after more than 7,000 escaped on Tuesday.

Human Rights Watch describes the southern port city as a “freezing hellscape riddled with dead bodies and destroyed buildings”.

As US President Joe Biden heads to Europe, warning of a “real threat” Russia may use chemical weapons, a top US official says new sanctions are coming against Russian “political figures” and wealthy elites close to President Vladimir Putin.

Russia hits out at “absurd” US accusations calling on companies to better protect themselves from possible Russian cyberattacks.

Ukrainian forces have managed to reclaim some ground against invading Russian forces in some areas in recent days, according to the Pentagon.

Here’s the latest of all top developments on March 14:

8.26am: UN to vote on blaming Russia for Ukraine humanitarian crisis

The UN General Assembly votes Thursday on a resolution backed by over 90 countries that blames Russia for the escalating humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and demands an immediate halt to hostilities, especially attacks on civilians and their homes, schools and hospitals.

8.12am: French auto giant Renault boycotts Russia

French carmaker Renault announced in a statement Wednesday that it has suspended all activities at its Moscow factory after Ukrainian leaders have called for a boycott against the company, accusing Renault of “sponsoring Russia’s war machine.”

The giant carmaker on Tuesday resumed production in Moscow after it suspended production due to a disruption in logistics in late February. However, it again suspended the operations in just three days.

Renault, Auchan, Leroy Merlin and others must stop being the sponsors of Russia’s war machine.

More details here

7.45am: Russian journalist killed in Ukraine shelling

As Ukraine continues to face heavy bombardments, Russian journalist Oksana Baulina working for the independent news site The Insider was killed in a shelling incident in Ukraine, the media outlet said in a statement on Wednesday.

More details here

7.11am: Putin going to G20 ‘a step too far’, says Australia PM

I am not shocked by their barbarity. I am not shocked by their arrogance in what they are seeking to impose on Ukraine. And that’s why Australia has been one of the strongest in taking action in relation to Russia.

Allowing Russian President Vladimir Putin to sit with other world leaders at this year’s G20 summit would be “a step too far”, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday.

Putin has already been invited to the G20 heads of state summit in November by this year’s host Jakarta, and he intends to be there, Russia’s ambassador to Indonesia said this week.

But Morrison objected, citing Russia’s war in neighbouring Ukraine.

6.46am: 7,000 to 15,000 Russian troops dead in Ukraine, says NATO

NATO estimated on Wednesday that 7,000 to 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in four weeks of war in Ukraine, where fierce resistance from the country’s defenders has denied Moscow the lightning victory it sought.

By way of comparison, Russia lost about 15,000 troops over 10 years in Afghanistan.

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