Over 100,000 people stuck in Mariupol, need advanced weapons: Ukraine envoy

Photo and art exhibition at Ukraine Embassy showcases destruction and civilian deaths due to the war

April 19, 2022 08:50 pm | Updated April 20, 2022 08:10 am IST - NEW DELHI

Visitor going through the photo and art exhibition, at Embassy of Ukraine, Vasant Vihar, in New Delhi on Monday, April 18, 2022.

Visitor going through the photo and art exhibition, at Embassy of Ukraine, Vasant Vihar, in New Delhi on Monday, April 18, 2022. | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

In many cases, allegedly the most advanced weapons were destroyed by primitive Ukrainian weapons, Igor Polikha, Ukrainian envoy to India, said at a photo and art exhibition put up at his country’s embassy showcasing the civilian deaths and destruction in the ongoing war and continued Russian bombing. As Russia renewed attacks on capital Kyiv, the envoy said they do not yet have a definitive count of the civilian deaths in the region.

“Now we are now waiting for more advanced weaponry. There are lot of promises and discussions are on. That will help us repel these attacks,” Mr. Polikha said on Monday evening addressing several heads of missions, diplomats and others present at the exhibition.

A series of paintings done by schoolchildren in Ukraine before the beginning of the war were put up along with pictures showcasing the widespread destruction of cities and loss of civilian lives in a four-day exhibition titled ‘darkness vs light – children dream about peace’. This will now move to the British and American schools and also various embassies in Delhi, the envoy stated.

Bombing of Sumy

At the exhibition, Vikas Javla, working with pharmaceutical company Kusum Pharm and has been based in Sumy for over a decade, recounted the bombing of the city and how he and his company officials managed to help several Indians and others as they were trying to move out.

“The sound of siren meant something was going to happen,” Mr. Javla said. The sound was psychologically affecting them even now. “Our plant head and others didn’t bother about their own lives and helped others,” he added. He left Ukraine in a Government of India organised evacuation flight on March 11 via Poland.

Showing a picture of Mariupol, a major city in southeastern Ukraine, Mr. Polikha said there was no estimate of the deaths but “over 100,000 civilians are still stuck in the besieged city, hungry, starving and without water.” Hospitals and other facilities were destroyed, he noted.

Intensified Russian offensive

Over 1,000 civilians are hiding in underground shelters beneath the vast Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, the city council has said as the Russian offensive on the city intensified. On Tuesday morning, Russian military renewed its demand to the Ukrainian forces defending the city to lay down arms and surrender.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky renewed request to the West for heavier weapons and equipment as fighting intensifies in the east in the Donbas region. Discussions are on for unmanned aerial vehicles, tanks and other equipment, officials said.

In the last couple of weeks, the United States and several other countries have announced more military aid. In the latest development, the United Kingdom is expected to send its Stormer missile systems, which can shoot down low-flying helicopters and aircraft.

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