Ukraine: Russia seized rescue workers trying to deliver food to Mariupol
Ukraine on Tuesday accused Russian forces of seizing 15 rescue workers and drivers who were working with a humanitarian convoy to provide food and supplies to Mariupol, which has endured heavy attacks throughout the invasion.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia blocked an aid convoy on a previously agreed upon route. He added that a convoy was seized near Manhush, which is located just outside Mariupol, according to The Associated Press.
The Red Cross also confirmed to the AP that the aid convoy was unable to enter the city.
“We are trying to organize stable humanitarian corridors for Mariupol residents, but almost all of our attempts, unfortunately, are foiled by the Russian occupiers, by shelling or deliberate terror,” the Ukrainian president said, the AP reported.
Mariupol has been attacked recently by Russian navy vessels in addition to enduring weeks of Russian air and land strikes.
The reported aid workers’ capture comes amid warnings of supply shortages in some parts of Ukraine as a result of Russia’s unprovoked attack.
Mercy Corps, a humanitarian agency, said on Tuesday that Ukraine’s humanitarian system “is entirely broken down,” leaving some towns with a supply of just three or four days of food left.
“We are not seeing a high-functioning, coordinated international aid effort covering the whole of Ukraine like we often see in other conflict zones,” Steve Gordon, a Mercy Corps humanitarian response adviser in Ukraine, said, citing “the failure of humanitarian corridors.”
Despite agreements between the two countries, Ukrainian officials have also previously accused Russian forces of blocking and shelling humanitarian corridors meant to facilitate civilian evacuations and the supply of aid.
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