Russian military have reportedly shelled a mosque in the southeastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, where 80 civilians were seeking refuge, Ukraine’s foreign ministry said on Saturday.
“Russian invaders shelled the mosque of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his wife Roxolana (Hurrem Sultan) at Mariupol.
More than 80 people and children, including Turkish citizens, were taking shelter in the mosque in order to avoid Russia’s air bombardment, the ministry said on it’s Twitter page while expressing dissatisfaction with the situation.
It didn’t say when the shelling happened.
Mariupol has been surrounded by Russian soldiers and has been under siege and bombing for more than a week.
A top Doctors Without Borders official said Friday that the situation in the important port city was “desperate,” with citizens desperately trying to evacuate but running out of food and water.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, tweeted on Friday: “Mariupol, which is under siege, has become the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. In just 12 days, 1,582 civilians were killed.”
When a children’s hospital in the city was bombed on Wednesday, three people were killed, including a toddler, causing international anger.
In light of this, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk announced that a new attempt is being made to build a humanitarian corridor to allow inhabitants to flee the city to Zaporizhzhia, around 200 kilometers to the north east.
Ukrainians report that Russian troops have been pounding the evacuation route for days, preventing people from fleeing.
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Humanitarian lanes were to be reopened around Kyiv, as they had been the previous days.
“I sincerely hope that the day will go well, that the planned routes will be open, and that Russia will honor its ceasefire responsibilities,” Vereshchuk said in a video posted on the Ukrainian presidency’s website.
Strikes targeted the village of Vasylkiv on Saturday morning, roughly 40 kilometers south of Kyiv, as the Russian army continues to approach and besiege the capital.
Around 7:00 a.m. (0500 GMT), eight Russian rockets hit the local airport, which was “completely destroyed,” according to Mayor Natalia Balassinovitch’s Facebook page.
According to her, an oil depot was also hit and caught fire.