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Russia-Ukraine live news: Alarm grows over Mariupol ‘catastrophe’ | Russia-Ukraine war News



  • The humanitarian situation in Mariupol continues to deteriorate with the United Nations citing reports of “looting and violent confrontations” over resources and satellite pictures showing extensive damage.
  • Some 13,000 Ukrainians evacuated from cities on Saturday, deputy PM says, but no one managed to leave Mariupol.
  • Fighting intensified northwest of Kyiv, with the bulk of Russian ground forces 25km (16 miles) from the centre of the Ukrainian capital.
  • The United States has said it would rush up to $200m in additional small arms, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine.
  • Russia has said its troops could target supplies of Western weapons in Ukraine.


Here are the latest updates:

Ukraine says people who died in Russia attack on convoy not in evacuation corridor

The seven women and children who Ukraine says died when Russian forces attacked a convoy escaping a village in the Kyiv region on Saturday were not as previously stated in an agreed evacuation corridor, the defence ministry said.

Ukraine’s intelligence service initially said those who died outside Peremoha had been in a “green corridor” agreed with Russia.

A defence ministry statement later said people had in fact tried to escape by themselves, “so they began evacuating without the ‘green corridor’ agreed by the parties”.

Inside Story: Is Facebook abandoning its hate speech policy?

Meta Platforms Inc, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, could soon be banned in Russia as an “extremist organisation”.

The Russian move comes in response to Meta announcing a change in its hate speech policy, allowing violent posts in some instances.

There is now a partial exception when the targets are Russian soldiers in Ukraine. Users are even allowed to call for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s death.

But what are the consequences of this change in policy?

Ukraine says Russia plans to control Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant: IAEA

The United Nations nuclear watchdog has said it was told by Ukraine that Russia was planning to take full and permanent control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s biggest, but that Russia had later denied this.

“The President of Ukraine’s nuclear power plant operator Energoatom, Petro Kotin, said in a letter to the Director General that around 400 Russian soldiers were ‘being present full time on site’ [at Zaporizhzhia],” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement.

The IAEA said the Ukrainian regulator had also informed it that efforts to repair damaged power lines at the Chernobyl nuclear plant were continuing and that diesel generators were providing back-up power to systems relevant for safety.

Ukraine president says he spoke to Israeli PM, discussed prospects for peace talks

President Zelenskyy said he has spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and discussed the prospects for peace talks to end the conflict with Russia.

Zelenskyy made the announcement in a tweet and also said he had asked Bennett for help in freeing the mayor of the city of Melitopol, whom Ukraine says was abducted by Russian forces.

Some 13,000 Ukrainians evacuated from cities on Saturday, deputy PM says

About 13,000 people were evacuated from a number of Ukrainian cities on Saturday, said Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk, almost twice the number who managed to get out the previous day.

Vereshchuk said in an online message that no one had managed to leave the besieged city of Mariupol and blamed obstruction by Russian forces. Moscow had earlier accused Ukrainian forces of intentionally trapping people there.

Amsterdam’s Orthodox clergy split from Moscow Patriarch

The clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Dutch city of Amsterdam has announced it will split from the Moscow church because of threats to them over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement posted to its website, it said that after a meeting “the clergy unanimously announced that it is no longer possible for them to function within the Moscow Patriarchate and provide a spiritually safe environment for our faithful”.

It was “with a heavy heart” that the four priests of Saint Nicholas of Myra in Amsterdam had reached their decision, they said.

Sweden official dismisses Russian NATO warning

Sweden’s foreign minister has dismissed fresh warnings from Russia that the Nordic country’s joining NATO would lead to retaliatory measures from Moscow.

Foreign Minister Ann Linde told Swedish news agency TT “Russia has nothing to do with our independent decisions”, referring to Stockholm’s possible move to join NATO.

Russia’s Interfax news agency on Saturday quoted a Russian Foreign Ministry official saying the possible accession of Sweden and neighbouring Finland to NATO would have serious military and political consequences.

Satellite images show fires, severe damage to residential buildings in Mariupol

Satellite images taken on Saturday morning showed extensive damage to civilian infrastructure and residential buildings throughout the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, a private US company said.

Maxar Technologies said fires were seen in the western section of the Black Sea port city and dozens of high-rise apartment buildings had been severely damaged. The images could not be independently verified.

Mariupol is facing what Ukraine says is a “humanitarian catastrophe”, with more than 1,500 civilians killed over 12 days.

A top Russian officer described the situation in the country in similarly stark language.

“Unfortunately, the humanitarian situation in Ukraine is continuing to deteriorate rapidly, and in some cities, it has reached catastrophic proportions,” said the head of the Russian National Defence Control Centre, Mikhail Mizintsev.

The UN has cited reports of “looting and violent confrontations” among civilians over the few resources available.

A satellite image shows a close up view of apartment buildings before the Russian invasion in Ukraine, in the western section of Mariupol, Ukraine
A satellite image shows a close-up view of apartment buildings before the Russian invasion in Ukraine, in the west of Mariupol, on June 21, 2021 [Maxar Technologies/via Reuters]


A satellite image shows a multispectral close up view of apartment buildings and fires, in the western section of Mariupol, Ukraine
A satellite image shows the same buildings in Mariupol on March 12 [Maxar Technologies via Reuters]


A satellite image shows a multispectral view of fires in an industrial area, in the western section of Mariupol, Ukraine
A satellite image shows a multispectral view of fires in an industrial area, in the western section of Mariupol, Ukraine [Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters]

Russia-Ukraine war military dispatch: March 12, 2022

Kyiv is braced for an all-out Russian assault as fighting intensifies on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital.

Air raid sirens were sounded in almost all regions of Ukraine on Saturday. The cities of Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Mariupol remain surrounded and are under heavy Russian bombardment.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow will treat Western arms shipments to Ukraine as legitimate military targets.

Here were the main military developments on Saturday – the 17th day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

US rushing $200m worth of weapons for Ukraine

The US has said it would rush up to $200m in additional small arms, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine, as Ukrainian officials pleaded for more equipment to defend against heavy shelling by Russian forces.

US President Joe Biden on Saturday authorised the additional security assistance, the White House said, paving the way for the “immediate” shipment of fresh military equipment to Ukraine, a senior administration official said.

Biden’s decision brings total US security aid provided to Ukraine to $1.2bn since January 2021, and to $3.2bn since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine, according to senior administration officials.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

Read all the updates from Saturday, March 12, here.

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Will Labor govt in Australia put climate change at the forefront? | Climate Crisis



Video Duration 25 minutes 00 seconds

From: Inside Story

Australia’s conservative coalition has been voted out of office after nearly a decade in power.

Australia has seen unprecedented bushfires and flooding in recent years.

Extreme weather has brought climate change to the top of the agenda for voters.

And Greens and climate-focused independents made big gains in Saturday’s election, at the expense of the conservative coalition.

Australia is a major exporter of fossil fuels, and the outgoing government often objected to plans to reduce greenhouse emissions.

Neighbouring Pacific Islands say Australia is blocking climate action, even as their territories are under threat of sinking.

Uneasy ties with the island nations are spilling into security, as concerns mount in Australia and the United States about China’s recent deal with the Solomon Islands.

How will Australia’s new government tackle China’s growing influence in the Pacific?

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra


Carlyle Thayer – Emeritus professor at the University of New South Wales and director of Thayer Consultancy

Anna Skarbek – CEO of Climateworks Centre

Gregory Melleuish – Professor of history and politics at the University of Wollongong

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Pakistan: Ousted PM Imran Khan calls for march on Islamabad | Politics News



Khan says he will never accept the new government and calls on his supporters to rally peacefully on Wednesday.

Pakistan’s defiant former Prime Minister Imran Khan has called on his supporters to march peacefully on Islamabad on May 25th, to press for fresh elections.

Khan, who served as prime minister for more than three and a half years, was ousted in a no-confidence vote in parliament by an alliance of all major political parties.

Since his removal, Khan has addressed rallies in several cities as he mobilises for a grand show of strength in the capital on Wednesday.

“We will never accept [the new government] – no matter how long we have to remain in Islamabad, we will remain there,” Khan told reporters in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Sunday.

Khan’s call came after a marathon session of talks with leaders from his Tehreek-e-Insaf party in Peshawar. He describes the march as a move to protect the country’s sovereignty, as he alleges that the vote that removed him was a United States-organised plot.

In his speech, Khan urged authorities not to oppose the march, which will gain strength outside of Islamabad before heading to the city centre.

Once in the city, the former prime minister said, his supporters will remain until parliament is dissolved and new elections are called. Thousands have come to his rallies in the past.

Khan claims the US wanted him removed from office because of his foreign policy choices in favour of Russia and China, and because of a visit he made on February 24 to Moscow, where he held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin – as Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine. He has also said the US dislikes his strident criticism of Washington’s “war on terror“.

The US Department of State has denied any involvement in Pakistan’s internal politics.

Khan came to power in 2018 promising to eradicate corruption and revive Pakistan’s economy, but he failed to deliver on most of his pledges.

He has nonetheless been able to draw huge crowds at rallies since his removal from office.

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Israel sentences Palestinian prison escapees to five more years | Prison News



Six Palestinians escaped from a high-security prison last year by digging a tunnel, sparking a massive manhunt.

An Israeli court has sentenced six Palestinian prison escapees to five years in prison for tunneling out of their cell last year and escaping from a high-security facility in what became Israel’s biggest prison break in decades.

The daring jailbreak sparked a massive manhunt in Israel’s north and the occupied West Bank as Israeli forces tried to recapture the men, who were members of Palestinian armed groups.

The bold escape dominated newscasts, sparked heavy criticism of Israel’s prison service, and prompted the Israeli government to launch an inquiry.

The escapees were recaptured days later.

A judge ruled on Sunday that the sentencing of the six took into account the fact that the prison break had paralysed Israel for days, the financial costs involved in recapturing the escapees, and the harm to public security caused by prisoners, under life sentence and convicted of serious crimes, escaping.

The five-year sentences will be added to the prison terms the prisoners are already serving.

Five other inmates charged with assisting the men escape were sentenced to an additional four years in jail.

According to various reports, the escapees used kitchen utensils to dig a tunnel through the floor of their shared cell undetected over several months. They then managed to slip past a sleeping prison guard after emerging through a hole outside the prison facility.israpri

An artist works on a mural painting glorifying six Palestinian prisoners who escaped from Israel's Gilboa prison in September 2021 with the help of the humble spoon [Mahmud Hams/AFP]
An artist works on a mural painting glorifying six Palestinian prisoners who escaped from Israel’s Gilboa prison in September 2021 with the help of the humble spoon [Mahmud Hams/AFP]

Israel considers all six escapees to be “terrorists”. Palestinians consider many prisoners held by Israel to be heroes of their national cause, and many on social media celebrated their breakout and held demonstrations in support of the escaped prisoners.

Five of the escapees are from the Islamic Jihad armed group, with four of them serving life sentences. The sixth escapee, Zakaria Zubeidi, is a member of the secular Fatah group of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Zubeidi was a leader during the second Palestinian uprising in the early 2000s and well known in Israel both for his activities and his love for giving media interviews.

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