Russian bombing hits theater in Mariupol functioning as shelter

Russian forces fired at a convoy of civilians fleeing Mariupol • Russian forces shot and killed 10 people waiting in line for bread in Chernihiv

 Russia's invasion of Ukraine, near Lviv (photo credit: REUTERS)
Russia's invasion of Ukraine, near Lviv
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Russian forces bombed a theater where civilians were sheltering in the encircled port city of Mariupol on Wednesday, the city council said.

It said the number of casualties was not yet known. Reuters could not independently verify the information. Russia denies targeting civilians.

The Ukrainian authorities accused Russian forces of firing artillery at a convoy of civilians fleeing the city of Mariupol on Wednesday, wounding at least five people including a child on their way to the city of Zaporizhzhia.

The US Embassy in Kyiv said on Wednesday that Russian forces had shot and killed 10 people waiting in line for bread in the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv. Although there are videos circulating online, this claim has not yet been verified.

Russia-Ukraine compromise terms

A demilitarized Ukraine would be an acceptable compromise for Russia, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday, according to TASS.

“We are at home and defending Ukraine. We are not going to lay down any weapons," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video statement on Wednesday. 

Stagnant battle lines

The Ukrainian military said that their battle lines did not change significantly by Wednesday morning. 

The UK Defense Ministry offered some more insights into why Russia's advance continues to be stymied: "Russian forces are struggling to overcome the challenges posed by Ukraine’s terrain," the ministry said in a Wednesday intelligence update.

"Russian forces have remained largely tied to Ukraine’s road network and have demonstrated a reluctance to conduct off-road maneuvers. The destruction of bridges by Ukrainian forces has also played a key role in stalling Russia’s advance.

Ukraine reported that Russia has still not been able to create a land bridge of territory from the regions of Crimea to Donbas. Russia attempted to advance on the capital Kyiv, but faced difficulties, said the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

"The tactics of the Ukrainian Armed Forces have adeptly exploited Russia’s lack of maneuver, frustrating the Russian advance and inflicting heavy losses on the invading forces," said the UK Defense Ministry on Wednesday.

Russia continues its efforts to seize Chernihiv but has remained unsuccessful, though it did successfully lay siege to Sumy, Lebedin, and Okhtirka. The Ukrainian military said that Russian forces continued to launch barrages into Ukrainian cities. 

Russian forces have focused on Mariupol, constantly bombarding it for the past two weeks, since it is a key city on the Azov Sea coast which they must gain control of in order to push further west.

Moscow has not captured any of Ukraine's 10 biggest cities since its invasion that began on February 24, the largest assault on a European state since 1945.

The Ukrainian military claimed to have launched some successful counterattacks on Tuesday and had conducted nine air raids on Russian convoys. They also claimed to have shot down three jets on Tuesday, two of them allegedly Su-34s.


About 13,800 Russian personnel have allegedly been killed in action against Ukraine, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Ukrainian military also claims to have destroyed 430 tanks, 1,375 armored vehicles, 190 artillery pieces, 70 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRSs), 43 anti-air systems, 84 warplanes, 108 helicopters, 819 other ground vehicles, three ships, 60 fuel tankers and 11 UAVs. 

Ukrainian officials estimated that more than 2,500 residents have been killed in the fighting and at least 200,000 are in urgent need of evacuation. A hundred Ukrainian children have died during the first 20 days of fighting, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. 

Ukraine's State Emergency Service said on Wednesday morning that 3,500 facilities and 2,700 houses have been destroyed.

About 20,000 people have managed to escape the besieged port of Mariupol in private cars, the Ukrainian interior ministry said on Wednesday, but hundreds of thousands remain trapped by Russian shelling, many without heating, power, or running water.