As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine and repeatedly has ultimatums rejected by President Volodymyr Zelensky, the devastation of a nation continues. Mariupol, one of the cities Russia demanded Ukraine surrender, has become the “ashes of a dead land” the city council said.
“Street fighting and bombardments raged in Mariupol, Ukrainian officials said, a day after it rejected an ultimatum from Russia to surrender. Hundreds of thousands are believed to be trapped inside buildings, with no access to food, water, power or heat” reports Reuters.
Civilians and Ukrainian troops were coming under Russian fire, said regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. “Russian forces and Russian-backed separatist units” had taken about half of the port city.
“There is nothing left there,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video address to Italy’s parliament. Mariupol Deputy Mayor Sergei Orlov told CNN the city was under a full blockade and had received no humanitarian aid.
“The city is under continuous bombing, from 50 bombs to 100 bombs Russian aircraft drops each day… A lot of death, a lot of crying, a lot of awful war crimes,” Orlov said.
Reuters reports Mariupol has become the focus of the war, as It lies on the Sea of Azov and its capture would allow Russia to link areas in the east held by pro-Russian separatists with the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014.
U.S. President Joe Biden will join allies in applying additional sanctions and tightening existing ones during his trip to Europe this week, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday.
The trip will also include an announcement on joint action to enhance energy security in Europe, which is highly reliant on Russian gas, and Biden will show solidarity with Ukraine’s neighbour, Poland, with a visit to Warsaw.
“Having failed to seize the capital Kyiv or any other major city with a swift offensive, Russia is waging a war of attrition that has reduced some urban areas to rubble and prompted Western concern that the conflict could escalate, even to a nuclear war” adds Reuters.
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Mental health crisis spikes among Afghan women after Taliban regained control two years ago
The women of Afghanistan are suffering a mental health crisis since the Taliban regained power two years ago. According to a joint report from three U.N. agencies released Tuesday, approximately 70% of women experience feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression.
The numbers continue to rise, as there has already been a significant jump between April and June of this year alone, with an increase from 57% the preceding quarter.
The report, conducted by U.N. Women, the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, interviewed women online, in-person and in group consultations as well as individual telesurveys.
592 Afghan women in 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces took part in the study. The Associated Press reports:
They have barred women from most areas of public life and work and banned girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade. They have prohibited Afghan women from working at local and non-governmental organizations. The ban was extended to employees of the United Nations in April.
Opportunities to study continued to shrink as community-based education by international organizations was banned and home-based schooling initiatives were regularly shut down by the de facto authorities — a term use by the U.N. for the Taliban government.
Afghanistan is the only country in the world with restrictions on female education and the rights of Afghan women and children are on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
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