In the ruined port city of Mariupol, Ukrainian fighters hiding in a steel plant representing the last resistance pocket said a concentrated bombing during the night had killed and wounded several people.
Authorities have warned that a lack of clean water in the city could lead to an outbreak of deadly diseases.
The new attacks came as UN Secretary-General António Guterres investigated the devastation in small towns outside Kiev, and they saw some of the worst horrors of the first attack of the war.
Guterres condemned atrocities in cities such as Bucha, where evidence was found of massacres of civilians as Russia retreated in the face of unexpectedly strong resistance from Ukrainians.
“Wherever war is fought, civilians pay the highest price,” Guterres complained during a visit to Irpin on the outskirts of Kiev, reiterating the importance of investigating alleged war crimes.
Some analysts say the delay in launching a full attack may reflect Putin’s decision to wait until Russian troops are ready for a decisive battle – rather than rushing and taking another risk of failure, such as a failed attack on Kiev.
Several observers expect Putin to try to achieve a major victory in the East on Victory Day, celebrated in Russia on May 9, which marks the defeat of Nazi Germany during World War II.
Putin, like many of his predecessors, often uses Russia’s patriotic holidays and anniversaries to make relevant announcements: in March, for example, the president offered a demonstration at a Moscow stadium to celebrate the eighth anniversary of the annexation of the Crimea. Russia and announced the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Denis Pushilin, leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said today that a separatist entity recognized by Russia as an independent state plans to open the port of Mariupol next May.
“Our plans are for the first cargo to be shipped from the port of Mariupol as early as May,” Pushilin told Mariupol’s reporters, quoted by Russian news agency Interfax.
“Currently, we are in the inventory, cleaning up the area, preparing regulations so that the port can be fully operational,” said Pushilin, adding that his regional government has already begun to enter into trade relations with neighboring regions of Ukraine that are already underway. For the control of Russian forces.