Zelensky says Russians attacked humanitarian convoy

Ukrainians escaping from the besieged city of Mariupol along with other passengers from Zaporizhzhia arrive at Lviv, western Ukraine, on March 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Ukrainians escaping from the besieged city of Mariupol along with other passengers from Zaporizhzhia arrive at Lviv, western Ukraine, on March 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Russian forces not only blocked a humanitarian convoy trying to reach besieged Mariupol with desperately needed supplies today but took captive some of the rescue workers and bus drivers.

He says the Russians had agreed to the route ahead of time.

“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,” Zelensky says in his daily nighttime video address to the nation.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says the Russians seized 11 bus drivers and four rescue workers along with their vehicles. She says their fate is unknown. The figures couldn’t immediately be confirmed.

More than 7,000 people were evacuated from Mariupol today, but about 100,000 remain in the city “in inhuman conditions, under a full blockade, without food, without water, without medicine and under constant shelling, under constant bombardment,” Zelensky says.

Before the war, 430,000 people lived in the port city on the Sea of Azov.

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