UN says at least 847 civilians killed in Ukraine since conflict began, 6.5 million internally displaced.
- Russian forces push deeper into besieged, battered port city of Mariupol.
- Ukraine says 6,623 evacuated on Saturday, 4,128 of those left Mariupol.
- UN says at least 847 civilians killed in Ukraine, 6.5 million internally displaced.
- Local official says Ukraine city of Mykolaiv facing air raids.
- Ukraine calls on China to condemn “Russian barbarism”, support “civilized countries’ coalition”.
- Poland PM calls for total trade ban between the EU and Russia.
- Russia says it used Kinzhal hypersonic missiles for the first time in Ukraine.
Here are the latest Russia-Ukraine war updates on March 20:
Ukrainian refugees seek ID cards in Poland
Hoping to restore some normalcy after fleeing the war in Ukraine, thousands of refugees waited in long lines on Saturday in the Polish capital Warsaw to get identification cards that will allow them to get on with their lives – at least for now.
Refugees started queuing by Warsaw’s National Stadium overnight to get the coveted PESEL identity cards that will allow them to work, live, go to school and get medical care or social benefits for the next 18 months. By mid-morning, many were told to come back another day.
The demand was too high even though the Polish authorities had simplified the process.
Increased risk for separated children
UNICEF has expressed concerns over separated and unaccompanied minors affected by the war.
“It’s a huge concern, almost 1.7 million children have fled Ukraine and a further 3.3 million are internally displaced,” UNICEF’s Joe English told Al Jazeera from Lviv.
“When children are separated from parents or caregivers, the risk of exploitation, trafficking, abuse and being forced into child labor is high. We know that gangs and criminal networks exist across Europe and it is critical that we scale up our programming and response to really mitigate that risk. ”
Mykolaiv facing air raids: Local official
Russian air raids on Mykolaiv were taking place in quick succession on Saturday, a regional official said.
Vitaly Kim, head of the regional administration, said there was not even enough time to raise the alarm over the raids “because by the time we announce this tornado, it’s already there”.
“The [alert] message and the bombings arrive at the same time, ”he said on social media.
Ukraine says 6,623 people evacuated on Saturday
A total of 6,623 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors on Saturday, a senior official said, considerably fewer than managed to escape the previous day.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president’s office, said in an online post that 4,128 people had left the besieged city of Mariupol. On Friday, he said 9,145 people had managed to leave cities across the country during the day.
‘The city is destroyed’
Russian forces have pushed deeper into Ukraine’s besieged and battered port city of Mariupol where heavy fighting shut down a major steel plant and local authorities pleaded for more help.
The fall of Mariupol, the scene of some of the war’s worst suffering, would mark a crucial battlefield advance for the Russians, who are largely bogged down outside key cities more than three weeks into the biggest land invasion in Europe since World War II.
“Children, elderly people are dying. The city is destroyed and it is wiped off the face of the earth, ”Mariupol police officer Michail Vershnin said on Saturday from a rubble-strewn street in a video addressed to Western leaders.
Click here to read all the Russia-Ukraine war updates from March 19.