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Strategic Port Mariupol Becomes New Focus in Ukraine War

There has been a surge in violence in Eastern Ukraine, this time in the city of Mariupol. Ukraine officials have said that Russian troops have been moving north and south from their eastern strongholds.

Ukrainian Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenuk, said that 20 civilians were killed in residential districts in Mariupol, a port city in the south of Donetsk. He also said that 87 more were injured in the rocket attacks that occurred this morning. The numbers have yet to be verified.

Yatsenuk has in response, called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council over the situation.

Today, President Petro Poroshenko will discuss the escalation in a meeting with Joe Bidem in Saudi Arabia.

Rebel leaders have denied any shelling in Mariupol. They called them ‘provocations’ from Ukraine, aimed at escalating the conflict.

Strategic Town

 

Mariupol is a strategic port town in the South East of the Ukraine on the Black Sea. It is the tenth largest city in the country with a population of 461,000.

Whilst it is many hundreds of miles from Crimea, it could potentially mark the beginning of the formation of a land link between Russia and the annexed territory.

The United Nations said that 5,086 people have now been killed since April in the conflict. The period between 13th and 21st of January, was ‘the most deadly period’ since the peace accords in Minsk, Belarus in September.

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