The Russian assault on Ukraine continues, with fighting raging yesterday in the strategic port city of Mariupol, and air raid sirens heard across almost every region of the country.
Ukraine rejected an offer from Russia to allow the safe exit of its troops from Mariupol, which would have handed the city to Russian forces, and united their presence across southern and eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said about 400 civilians were taking shelter at an art school in Mariupol when it was hit by a Russian bomb.
He added that it wasn’t clear how many casualties resulted from the attack.
At least 2,300 people have died in Mariupol since the start of the Russian invasion, with some buried in mass graves.
In Kyiv, Russian shelling yesterday near the city centre killed 8 people and destroyed a shopping centre, according to emergency officials.
The Ukrainian nuclear agency said that radiation monitors around the Chernobyl power plant have stopped working.
Source: AP, PAP
Russia says relations with US are “on the verge of a breach”
In diplomatic developments surrounding the conflict, Russia has said that its relations with the US are “on the verge of a breach”.
Moscow summoned the US ambassador to protest President Joe Biden’s previous criticism of Vladimir Putin.
Biden spoke at a press conference yesterday, saying that NATO has never been more united in its history, “thanks in large part to Putin”.
He also said that he believes Russian accusations that Ukraine has chemical and biological weapons might indicate that Putin is considering using such weapons himself.
The Polish government spokesperson Piotr Müller yesterday announced a proposed constitutional amendment that will allow for the confiscation of property belonging to Russian oligarchs.
The measures will also allow for additional tax sanctions to be aimed at companies that continue to operate in Russia.
Source: AP, onet.pl, radiogdansk.pl
Chinese plane crash leaves little hope of survivors
Chinese state media has said that there were no survivors after a plane carrying 132 people crashed in the south of the country yesterday.
The Boeing 737-800 aircraft of China Eastern Airlines came down in the mountains of Guangxi province during a domestic flight.
The reasons for the crash are not yet known.
It’s China’s worst air accident in more than a decade.
The state television channel CCTV said this morning that a rescue operation is ongoing, but the chance of finding survivors is close to zero.
Polish mask requirement will be dropped “soon”
The Polish government will decide today when the obligation to wear masks as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus will be dropped.
Government spokesperson Piotr Müller said on Radio Three yesterday that he thinks the recommendation from the health minister to end the requirement for masks will come into effect soon.
WWII Good Friday massacre commemorated in Gdańsk
Noon today sees the commemoration of the 82nd anniversary of the execution of a group of activists from Gdańsk by German soldiers during World War II.
It was Good Friday in 1940 when German occupiers shot dead 67 campaigners from the Free City of Gdańsk, including two priests, and nine defenders of the Polish Post Office.
The crime was only detected thanks to the testimony of a German woman who witnessed the shootings at a mass grave in a forest close to the city.
Today’s event, at the Cemetery of the Victims of Hitlerism, will begin with a minute’s silence in honour of victims of the war in Ukraine.
Gdańsk is heading for a pleasant early spring day today, with sunny skies and a high temperature of 13°C, 55°F. The outlook for the rest of the week is similarly sunny and mild, while cooler evening temperatures will bottom out around 3°C, 37°F.