Day 25: Russian Forces Bomb Art School In Mariupol As Zelensky Warns Of ‘A Third World War’

MARIUPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 20: Civilians trapped in Mariupol city under Russian attacks, are evacuated in groups under the control of pro-Russian separatists, through other cities, in Mariupol, Ukraine on March 20, 20... MARIUPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 20: Civilians trapped in Mariupol city under Russian attacks, are evacuated in groups under the control of pro-Russian separatists, through other cities, in Mariupol, Ukraine on March 20, 2022. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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As Russia continues its effort to capture cities in eastern and southern Ukraine, Russian troops are escalating their advance on civilians, shelling metropolitan areas of the country. On Sunday, Russia claimed it used long-range missiles to hit three military facilities in different parts of Ukraine.

Here are the latest developments:

  • Russian troops on Sunday bombed an art school in the besieged port city of Mariupol where hundreds of people were taking shelter, according to city officials. The local city council said the building was destroyed and civilians are “still under the rubble,” but did not indicate whether there were any casualties from the bombing.
  • Excavations of a theater in Mariupol that was bombed by a suspected Russian airstrike last week continue. The theater sheltered hundreds. A new satellite image shows the scale of destruction on the facility, with about two-thirds of the building completely destroyed.
  • Mariupol City Council on Saturday claimed residents are being taken to Russia against their will by Russian forces.

    “Over the past week, several thousand Mariupol residents have been taken to Russian territory,” the city said in a statement. “The occupiers illegally took people from the Livoberezhny 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.”
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told CNN on Sunday morning that he is ready to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but cautioned that if negotiation attempts fail, it could lead to “a third World War.”

    “I’m ready for negotiations with him. I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations, we cannot end this war,” Zelensky told CNN.

    This isn’t the first time Zelensky sounded the alarm on a potential World War III. Zelensky told NBC News anchor Lester Holt last week that it’s possible World War III has already begun, pointing to “similar tragedies” in World War II.
  • In a speech posted early Sunday on Telegram, Zelensky said he directed his government to ban 11 Ukrainian political parties with ties to Russia. Zelensky said the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine had decided to suspend the activity of the parties under martial law.

    “Given the full-scale war waged by the Russian Federation and the ties of some political structures with this state, any activity of a number of political parties during the martial law is suspended,” Zelensky said, according to a translation of his speech by the Washington Post.
  • At least 40 marines died in a Russian airstrike on barracks in the southern city of Mykolayiv on Friday, a senior Ukrainian military official told the New York Times.
  • U.S. officials confirmed to CNN that Russia used hypersonic missiles against Ukraine last week, marking its first known use of such missiles in combat. The launches were reportedly intended to test the weapons and signal Russian capabilities to the West, multiple sources told CNN.
  • Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk on Sunday said that seven humanitarian corridors are open in the country. Mariupol city council said that 4,000 residents evacuated on Saturday. About 39,000 Mariupol residents have reportedly evacuated the city in the past week.
  • UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on Sunday said 10 million people have been forced to flee their homes in Ukraine.
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