UN doing all it can to enable Mariupol evacuation: Guterres


‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja


Daily Courier – UN chief Guterres calls for escape route from Mariupol ‘apocalypse’

Referring to the possibility of a UN and ICRC-coordinated humanitarian corridor for the hundreds of civilians believed to still be in Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant, Guterres said: “As we speak, there are intense discussions to move forward on this proposal to make it a reality.

“Mariupol is a crisis within a crisis. Thousands of civilians need life-saving assistance. Many are elderly, in need of medical care or have limited mobility,” Guterres told reporters after talks with Zelenskyy.

“They need an escape route out of the apocalypse.”

Rescue officials say one person has been killed and several injured after two explosions hit a central district of Kyiv.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Kyiv says the organisation is doing all it can to enable the evacuation of a steel plant in Mariupol.

US President Joe Biden asks Congress for $33bn to support Ukraine.

Ukraine’s military says Russian offensive in east picks up momentum, with Russian forces “exerting intense fire”.


House passes military lend-lease bill to speed Ukraine aid

The US House has given final passage to legislation that would streamline a World War II-era military lend-lease program to more quickly provide Ukraine and other Eastern European countries with American equipment to fight the Russian invasion.

The measure, which passed by an overwhelming 417-10 vote, now goes to the White House for Biden to sign into law.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Gregory Meeks of New York said with unified support from the US Congress, “Ukraine will win”.

Russian strikes that hit a residential neighbourhood in Kyiv as the UN’s secretary general was visiting were an attempt “to humiliate” the global body, Zelenskyy has said.

“Today, immediately after the end of our talks in Kyiv, Russian missiles flew into the city. Five rockets. And this says a lot… about the Russian leadership’s efforts to humiliate the UN and everything that the organisation represents,” Zelenskyy said, adding that it required “a correspondingly powerful reaction”.


UN chief, team ‘shocked’ by proximity of Russian strike on Kyiv

Guterres and his team were “shocked” by the proximity of the Russian strikes which slammed into central Kyiv as they were visiting but were all “safe”, a spokesman has said.

“It is a war zone but it is shocking that it happened close to us,” Saviano Abreu, spokesman for the UN’s humanitarian office told AFP, without saying how close they were to the point of impact, with one missile hitting a residential building, wounding three people.

White House expects other countries to step up assistance to Ukraine

The White House expects other countries to step up and continue to provide a range of assistance to Ukraine, press secretary Jen Psaki has said.

“Other countries, we expect them to step up as well as this is going to be a sustained effort,” Psaki said.

Canada training Ukrainian troops on howitzer artillery, Canadian defense minister says

Canada’s Defense Minister Anita Anand has said during a visit to Washington that Canadian troops were training Ukrainian troops to use howitzer artillery.

The US has been training a small number of Ukrainian forces on howitzers and some other systems outside of Ukraine. Anand, speaking alongside US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, did not say where the Canadian training was taking place

At least one person killed in Kyiv: Rescue officials

At least one person has been killed and several are injured in the attack on Kyiv, including some who were trapped in the rubble after two buildings were hit, rescue officials have said.

At least three injured in Kyiv: Ukrainian officials

Russia fired two missiles at Kyiv and one of them struck the lower floors of a residential building, injuring at least three people, Ukrainian officials have said.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said the blasts hit the central Shevchenko district. In an online post he said three people had been taken to hospital.

Svetlana Vodolaga, press secretary of the State Emergency Service, said the other missile had hit an unnamed facility close to the residential building.

Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba both said Russia had used missiles in the attack.