Ukraine war live updates: Moscow issues Mariupol surrender ultimatum, Kyiv refuses

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Ukrainian servicemen carry containers backdropped by a blaze at a warehouse after a bombing on the outskirts of Kyiv, 17 March 2022

AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

Monday marks the 25th day of war in Ukraine after the invasion was launched by Moscow on 24 February.

The fighting has forced more than ten million Ukrainians to flee their homes, with thousands of people killed or wounded and widespread damage in the wake of shelling and aerial bombardments.

Follow our live updates below.


Monday’s key points: 

    Ukrainian deputy prime minister and defence minister both refused Moscow’s ultimatum for the surrender of the southern port city of Mariupol, asking for the humanitarian corridor to be established as soon as possible — an option the Kremlin refuses.Earlier on Sunday President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of committing war crimes in Mariupol, saying in a video address that the siege of the city will go down in history for “terror that will be remembered for centuries to come”.Only four out of seven agreed humanitarian corridors were functioning on Sunday, with some 7,000 civilians evacuated, Ukrainian authorities said.Air raids continued across the country, with a number of explosions recorded overnight in the capital Kyiv. Several buildings and a large shopping mall were reported damaged, with no information available on possible casualties.The UN said on Sunday that 10 million people in Ukraine have now fled their homes since the Russian invasion.


UK MoD: Russia to prioritise encircling Kyiv ‘over the coming weeks’

Britain’s defence ministry says heavy fighting is continuing north of Kyiv as Russian forces press on with a stalled effort to encircle Ukraine’s capital city.

UK officials said that “despite the continued lack of progress, Kyiv remains Russia’s primary military objective and they are likely to prioritise attempting to encircle the city over the coming weeks.”

In an update Monday on social media, the ministry said Russian forces advancing on the city from the northeast have stalled. Troops advancing from the direction of Hostomel to the northwest have been pushed back by fierce Ukrainian resistance.

It said the bulk of Russian forces were more than 25 kilometres from the city centre.


Ammonia leak in Sumy contained

Emergency officials have contained an ammonia leak at a chemical plant that contaminated a wide area in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sumy, officials said Monday.

Sumy regional governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyy did not say what caused the leak.

Earlier, he said the nearby village of Novoselytsya, about 1.5 kilometres southeast of Sumy, was under threat.

The Sumykhimprom plant is on the eastern outskirts of the city, which has a population of about 263,000 and has been regularly shelled by Russian troops in recent weeks.


Four killed overnight in bombardment of Kyiv

At least four people were killed, and a large shopping centre in the densely populated Podil district was devastated in shelling overnight on Monday.

Emergency services reported at least four people were killed by the overnight shelling near the city centre late Sunday. The force of the explosion shattered every window in the high-rise next door and twisted their metal frames.


Kyiv: At least six Russian generals killed in Ukraine so far

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, says that six Russian generals and dozens of other senior officers have been killed since the start of the Russian invasion.

Podolyak tweeted on Sunday that “the high mortality rate among Russia’s senior military officers” reflects a “total lack of readiness,” adding that the Russian military relies on its large number of troops and cruise missiles.

The Russian military hasn’t confirmed the death of any of its generals. But an associate and an officers’ group in Russia confirmed the death of one, Major-General Andrei Sukhovetsky, the commanding officer of the 7th Airborne Division.


Mariupol will not surrender, Ukrainian authorities say

The Russian military offered the Ukrainian troops defending the strategic port of Mariupol to lay down arms and exit the city via humanitarian corridors, but that proposal was quickly rejected by the Ukrainian authorities.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that Kyiv already had told Russia that “there can be no talk about surrender and laying down weapons.” She rejected the Russian statement as “manipulation”.

The authorities demanded that the humanitarian corridor be established as soon as possible instead.

Russian Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev stated on Sunday that Russia will wait until 5 am on Monday for a written response from Kyiv to the Russian proposal for the Ukrainian troops to leave Mariupol but did not say what action Russia will take if its “humanitarian offer” is rejected.


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