A Red Cross warehouse in Ukraine has been hit under Russian fire, satellite images show.
The building appears to have been hit multiple times, including this week in the besieged city of Mariupol, which has been under an intense Russian attack since late February.
It appears to have been struck before Moscow claimed to have declared a local ceasefire in the region on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s government says it is sending 45 buses to Mariupol to evacuate trapped civilians — despite Russia’s widespread accusations of earlier firing at evacuation convoys.
Conditions in the strategic southern port city — where around 100,000 civilians are still being held captive — are said to be appalling, with civilians bunkered in basements without water, food and communications and with bodies littering the streets.
Images taken on Tuesday show significant damage to five areas of the roof, although a red cross has been painted on the warehouse, suggest images from Planet Labs PBC analyzed by The Associated Press.
Pictures from Monday appear to show two damage in two areas, in stark contrast to pre-invasion footage of October 2021.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) distributed all supplies from the warehouse in early March and no personnel have been on site since March 15, the aid group said in a statement.
The Azov special forces unit – a unit of Ukraine’s National Guard fighting in the city and whose members include far-right activists – has also accused Russian forces of firing on the building.
Russia did not immediately acknowledge the accusation, and it is unclear exactly when the attack took place.
But pictures show clear damage to the roof of the warehouse along the Kalmius River near its confluence with the Sea of Azov.
At least one hole from suspected shelling was visible in a picture taken on March 21.
On Wednesday, about four holes in the roof were clearly visible in images taken that day.
According to satellite images, the Red Cross has been on the roof of the warehouse since at least the end of August 2021.
Mariupol, home to around 430,000 people before the war, has seen weeks of intense fighting following Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
Russian attacks there have hit a variety of targets, including a maternity hospital, fire service sites and apartment buildings – sparking outrage.
Putin is not being told the “catastrophic truth” about how bad the war is going for him
A humanitarian corridor to the city of Zaporizhia is to be opened in cooperation with the UN refugee agency and the International Committee of the Red Cross, Moscow says.
The Defense Ministry announced late on Wednesday that a humanitarian corridor would open from Mariupol to Zaporizhia via the Russian-controlled port of Berdyansk from 10am (7am UK time) on Thursday.
Several previous attempts to help civilians escape the city have failed.
Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk said the Ukrainian armed forces “confirmed that they will guarantee the ceasefire”.
Two more evacuation corridors were agreed for Thursday, from Melitopol to Zaporizhia and from Energodar, home to Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant, also to Zaporizhia.
The ICRC said its team was en route to Mariupol with supplies and ready to evacuate civilians.
Spokesman Ewan Watson urged Ukraine and Russia to agree on the precise terms of the operation, which is scheduled for Friday, adding that “tens of thousands” of lives depended on its success.
“For logistical and safety reasons, we are ready to lead safe passage tomorrow, Friday, provided all parties agree on the precise terms, including the route, start time and duration,” added Mr Watson.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/03/31/ukraine-russia-war-red-cross-building-shelled-in-mariupol-16378718/ Ukraine War in Russia: Red Cross building in Mariupol shelled