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Russian forces are utilizing “powerful anti-bunker bombs” to shell the Azovstal metal plant in Mariupol, the place civilians together with kids are sheltering underground alongside fighters defending the town, a senior Ukrainian authorities official stated.

This got here after residents of the town reported listening to highly effective explosions on Tuesday afternoon across the Soviet-era steelworks, the final space of the besieged port metropolis that’s nonetheless below Ukrainian management.

“The world watches the murder of children online and remains silent,” Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, stated in a tweet. “Religious & world leaders can stop it by organising humanitarian corridors. Otherwise, the blood will be on their hands, too.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Serhiy Taruta, a member of parliament and former governor of Donetsk, the area the place Mariupol is positioned, stated Russian forces had dropped a “powerful bomb on a hospital near Azovstal”.

“According to my information, there are about 300 people under the rubble, including children.”

The Financial Times couldn’t independently confirm the official’s claims.

Mariupol has suffered a number of the severest Russian bombardment of the battle, which entered a information part in current days after Moscow started a serious offensive in Ukraine’s japanese Donbas area.

Russia’s defence ministry gave fighters contained in the plant an ultimatum on Tuesday to depart the plant, saying their lives can be spared in the event that they stopped all navy motion from noon. Members of the Azov Battalion, a rightwing nationalist paramilitary group, are defending the town alongside Ukrainian marines, troopers, border guards, and volunteer fighters.

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