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Russia escalates air strikes amid stuck land operation, Ukraine asks for air defense

A fire at the storage of frozen food in Kvitneve near Kyiv after the Russian shelling on 12 March. Source: State Emergency Service of Ukraine
Russia escalates air strikes amid stuck land operation, Ukraine asks for air defense
On 11-12 March, Russia again escalated its missile and airstrikes, both on military and civilian objects throughout Ukraine, which led to many deaths among civilians.

The indiscriminate shelling of civilian districts by rocket artillery systems has also intensified. Russians start using even more cruel tactics, deploying rocket launchers among village houses, to prevent Ukrainian artillery strikes in response, and cover neighboring cities with a barrage of rockets. Ukraine asks for air defense systems from the west to effectively stop the Russian invasion and atrocities of the Russian military.

The number of civilians killed by Russian troops in Ukraine is hard to estimate. The officials say about 1,500 were killed in Mariupol, and more than 600 throughout Ukraine, including at least 79 children.

For example, the bodies of two women, a man, and two children (2 and 12 years old) were found under the rubble in Kharkiv on 12 March. These are the consequences of the airstrike two days earlier. As airstrikes and shelling continue every night and sometimes even during the day, one can only assume the number of civilians killed and the number of killed or wounded who were not yet found by rescuers.

The rubble in Kharkiv, consequences of the airstrike on 10 February. Source: SES of Ukraine

On the night of 12 March, 8 Russian missiles destroyed the airfield and storage in Vasylkiv (Kyiv Oblast). Several more missiles hit the airfield in Kropyvnytskyi, others were aimed at Dnipro city but shot down by Ukrainian air defense. Several other missiles hit a factory of fish products in Hoholiv village near Kyiv. A day before, 11 March, Russian missile strikes were reported from Lutsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Dnipro, Zhytomyr.

Factory of Fish products in Hoholiv village, Kyiv Oblast, destroyed by Russian airstrike on 12 March

Kharkiv, Sumy, Chernihiv were targeted by Russian air strikes, and missiles fell on Kyiv during the night of 12 March.

For example, in Chernihiv, airstrikes severed the city’s electricity, gas, and water supplies. When the electricity supply was restored yesterday, Russian troops interrupted it again, Chernihiv Oblast Head Viacheslav Chaus reported, adding that residents of Chernihiv will not give up, the city will withstand, and Russians will fall near Chernihiv.

In Luhansk Oblast, the entire territory under the control of Ukraine is being shelled. Dozens of civilians were killed in the region. Ukrainian army holds central Sievierodonetsk city and its surroundings, but 70% of the oblast is occupied, Luhansk Oblast Head Serhiy Haidai said. Before the full-scale invasion, only 35% was.

According to Mykolayiv Oblast head, Russian invaders near Mykolayiv placed rocket and artillery systems between village houses, to avoid artillery strikes from the Ukrainian side, and shell the city’s houses and hospitals. The footage residential buildings of Mykolayiv being shelled was shared by locals to the Ukrainian border guard service. Russian troops destroyed the Mykolayiv oncology hospital during the attack.

The most severe situation remains in besieged Mariupol, where 1582 civilians have already died. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, appealing to the world:

“Besieged Mariupol is now the worst humanitarian catastrophe on the planet. 1582 dead civilians in 12 days, even buried in mass graves like this one. Unable to defeat the Ukrainian Army, Putin bombs the unarmed, blocks humanitarian aid. We need planes to stop Russian war crimes!”

Mass graves in besieged Mariupol are part of the reality today – there is no other way to bury killed civilians.
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