Kyiv yesterday said that more than 1,000 Ukrainian troops, many of them injured, remained in the sprawling Azovstal steel works in the Russian-controlled port city of Mariupol.
“More than a thousand” Ukrainian soldiers remain in the plant, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk, said. “Hundreds are injured. There are people with serious injuries who require urgent evacuation.”
Earlier yesterday, Matilda Bogner, head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, told reporters in Geneva, Switzerland, that since the Russian invasion, thousands more civilians have been killed than the official UN death toll of 3,381.
The UN team, which includes 55 monitors in Ukraine, has said that most of the deaths occurred from the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, such as shelling and airstrikes.
“We have been working on estimates, but all I can say for now is that it is thousands higher than the numbers we have currently given to you,” Bogner said.
“The big black hole is Mariupol, where it has been difficult for us to fully access and to get fully corroborated information,” she said.
On Monday, Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa came under repeated missile attack.
The Ukrainian military said that Russian forces fired seven missiles from the air at Odesa, hitting a shopping center and a warehouse.
As part of the barrage, a Russian supersonic bomber fired three hypersonic missiles, said the Center for Defense Strategies, a Ukrainian think tank tracking the war.
Using advanced guided missiles allows Russia to fire from aircraft at a distance, without being exposed to potential anti-aircraft fire.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden signed a law speeding up arms deliveries to Kyiv.
The US has sent about US$4 billion in military aid to Ukraine, but “caving to aggression is even more costly,” Biden said.
In a bid to build pressure on Russia, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she made “progress” on a proposed Russian oil embargo during talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Additional reporting by Reuters, AP
The US Department of State yesterday criticized Beijing over its misrepresentation of the US’ “one China” policy in the latest diplomatic salvo between the two countries over a bid by Taiwan to regain its observer status at the World Health Assembly, the decisionmaking body of the WHO. “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] continues to publicly misrepresent U.S. policy,” Department of State spokesman Ned Price wrote on Twitter. “The United States does not subscribe to the PRC’s ‘one China principle’ — we remain committed to our longstanding, bipartisan one China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Joint Communiques, and
FATES LINKED: The US president said that sanctions on Russia over Ukraine must exact a ‘long-term price,’ because otherwise ‘what signal does that send to China?’ US President Joe Biden yesterday vowed that US forces would defend Taiwan militarily in the event of a Chinese attack in his strongest statement to date on the issue. Beijing is already “flirting with danger,” Biden said following talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, in which the pair agreed to monitor Chinese naval activity and joint Chinese-Russian exercises. Asked if Washington was willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, he replied: “Yes.” “That’s the commitment we made,” Biden said. “We agreed with the ‘one China’ policy, we signed on to it ... but the idea that it can be
INFORMATION LEAKED: Documents from Xinjiang purportedly showed top leaders in Beijing calling for a forceful crackdown and even orders to shoot to kill Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) yesterday held a videoconference with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet as she visited Xinjiang during a mission overshadowed by fresh allegations of Uighur abuses and fears she is being used as a public relations tool. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been accused of detaining more than 1 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the region as part of a years-long crackdown the US and lawmakers in other Western nations have labeled a “genocide.” China denies the allegations. Bachelet was expected to visit the cities of Urumqi and Kashgar on a six-day tour. The US
SUBTLE? While Biden said the US policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’ on Taiwan had not changed, the group targeted China and Russia without naming them Leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the US yesterday warned against attempts to “change the status quo by force,” as concerns grow about whether China could invade Taiwan. The issue of Taiwan loomed over a leadership meeting in Tokyo of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) nations — the US, Japan, Australia and India — who stressed their determination to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region in the face of an increasingly assertive China, although Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the group was not targeting any one country. The four leaders said in a joint statement issued after their talks