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Live updates: Russia invades Ukraine

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Residents carry their belongings as they leave Mariupol, Ukraine on March 16.
Residents carry their belongings as they go away Mariupol, Ukraine on March 16. (Maksim Blinov/Sputnik/AP)

People sheltering in Mariupol from a few of the most intense combating anyplace in Ukraine are risking their lives every time they step foot exterior their underground bunkers, a Ukrainian military commander stationed within the metropolis has instructed CNN. 

With Russia’s assault in its fourth week, Major Denis Prokopenko of the National Guard Azov Regiment mentioned the besieged metropolis was now beneath nearly fixed bombardment. 

“Usually, Mariupol is under fire during the whole day and night. Sometimes there is 30 minutes of silence, but then the city is again under attack [from] tanks, artillery, multiple rockets, and [aircraft] like bombers and helicopters,” he mentioned. 

The Azov Battalion is an ultra-nationalist militia that has since been built-in into the Ukrainian armed forces.

People are reluctant to go away their underground shelters even to pay money for necessities, which means they have been attempting to drink much less water and eat much less meals. One of the few occasions folks did go away the shelter was to organize sizzling meals, he mentioned.  

“People are cooking food in the streets, risking their lives under the continuous shelling and bombing. The temperature is minus 5 degree Celsius in the street,” Prokopenko instructed CNN. 

Basic providers like gasoline, electrical energy and water are all out. 

Bodies are left mendacity on the street as a result of there’s both nobody left to gather them or it is just too harmful to attempt. 

Prokopenko mentioned nobody knew the precise variety of folks killed.  

“Some people are buried under ruined buildings, buried alive,” he mentioned.  

Information about an enormous assault three days in the past on a theater in Mariupol getting used as a shelter has been gradual to emerge.  

Prokopenko mentioned he believed the constructing, which additionally acted as town’s foremost humanitarian meeting station, was offering non permanent dwelling to about 800 folks when it was hit. 

Former Donetsk regional head Sergiy Taruta mentioned on Thursday that 1,300 people have been within the constructing when it was bombed.

Prokopenko confirmed earlier stories that continued Russian artillery fireplace made makes an attempt to get survivors out of the constructing very tough. 

Figures launched by a number of Ukrainian leaders, together with President Volodymyr Zelensky, say 130 folks have been rescued, amongst them one particular person with severe accidents. 

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