A Russian bomb destroyed a theater in Mariupol on Wednesday where hundreds of people, including children, had sought shelter. No official estimate of how many were killed is available as rescue efforts continue. As of Thursday morning, Mariupol’s city council said that it was still “impossible to estimate the scale of this horrific and inhumane act because the city’s residential areas are continually shelled.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has stalled, according to U.K. Defense Ministry. In an update posted on Twitter early Thursday, the agency also said that the invaders have made little progress and “continue to suffer heavy losses.”
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 17 March 2022
Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/OdjSV0U43C
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) March 17, 2022
In his live video speech to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the United States to “do more” to help his country beat back the Russian invasion. He renewed his plea for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, but, as before, that plea was mostly ignored.
Instead, President Biden signed a bill that includes $800 million in military assistance for Ukraine. According to the White House, the equipment includes 800 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, 9,000 anti-tank and anti-armor weapons, including 2,000 Javelin missiles and 100 Switchblade tactical drones.
More negotiations between Ukraine and Russia are due Thursday. A 15-point peace plan was drawn up on Monday, “including a ceasefire and Russian withdrawal if Kyiv declares neutrality and accepts limits on its armed forces,” sources told the Financial Times.
The going will not be smooth. One Ukrainian source told the Financial Times, “There’s a likelihood of trickery and illusion. They lie about everything–Crimea, the build-up of troops on the board, and the ‘hysteria’ over the invasion. … We need to put pressure on them until they have no other choice” but peace.
President Biden accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of committing war crimes when he signed the bill giving military support to Ukraine. Not to be outdone, Putin said in a speech that Russia needs to have a “self-cleaning of society” that gets rid of the “bastards and traitors” trying to “splinter” the country.
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