• Authorities of Mariupol in southern Ukraine said on March 16, that Russians have bombed a drama theatre where hundreds of civilians, including women and children, were reportedly taking shelter.
  • German and Finnish armies had laid siege on the USSR’s second-largest city of Leningrad (modern-day St. Petersburg), on the Eastern Front of World War II, for 872 days from September 1941 to January 1944, making it one of the longest and most damaging blockades of the War. 
  • Mariupol lies between the conflicted Donbas region, controlled by Russian-backed sparations, and Crimea close to Russia’s land and sea borders. If seized, Moscow can establish a corridor between Russia, the Donbas and Crimea.