The Azovstal steel plant in the besieged southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol came under attack by Russian forces hours after around 100 civilians trapped there were evacuated on Sunday.
It is estimated that hundreds of Ukrainian civilians and soldiers, many of them injured, are still hiding out in the ruins of the plant, Ukraine’s last stronghold in the city.
Following Russian fire, evacuations were suspended Sunday night. The Ukrainian government will continue to evacuate people Monday morning, President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
He added that the evacuees are set to arrive in the town of Zaporizhzhia later on Monday.
Reports say the next stage of the evacuation, coordinated by the UN and the Red Cross, is uncertain due to security threats posed by Russia’s renewed attacks.
Casualties were reported in Russian rocket attack in the Kharkiv region on Sunday, its military administration chief said.
Elsewhere in the country, Russian forces are slowly advancing in the eastern Donbas region, BBC reported.
Ukraine’s President warned that the Russian invasion could trigger a food crisis affecting countries around the world.
Zelensky said his country could lose tens of millions of tons of grain because Russia had blockaded its ports on the Black Sea.
“Russia wants to completely block our country’s economy,” Zelensky told Australian news program ’60 Minutes’.
Ukraine is one of the world’s top exporters of grain and other food products.
A similar warning was issued by Samantha Power, the administrator of the US Agency for International Development.
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, she said the impacts of the war in Ukraine include global food shortages and rising prices.
It is just another catastrophic effect of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, according to Power.
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa and in the Middle East get most of their wheat and other grains from Russia and Ukraine.
“Massive spikes in food prices, food prices right now globally are up 34% from where they were a year ago, aided substantially again by this invasion,” Power said. So we’ve gone to Congress asking for a substantial increase in humanitarian assistance and in order to be able to meet those needs, she added.
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