Russian forces seize 14 tonnes worth of supplies for Mariupol. This city is home to thousands of hungry Ukrainians who are running low on water, food and other essential supplies.

A group of 45 buses, travelling with the Red Cross convoy carrying aid to the city, was stopped in the town of Berdyansk in Russian-held territory. According to reports, Vladimir Putin’s troops took the supply buses carrying.

Moscow intervened even though it had agreed to a ceasefire yesterday at 10am to allow for the opening of a humanitarian corridor. These buses would be used for evacuation of citizens in the devastated city, which was almost completely destroyed by Russian bombardment. 

With some civilians aboard, around 15 buses were able return to Zaporizhzhia (located 120 miles north of Mariupol). Uncertain if the other 30 buses would allow them to continue.

Few humanitarian buses have managed to get people out of the city, but many have escaped in their cars – or even on foot – often under fire. According to the Ukrainian government, only 631 individuals were able get out of the city by private vehicles in the past day.  

Some of the greatest sufferings of war have been in the city. Kyiv claims that the city has seen at most 5,000 deaths, although one Ukrainian official says that it could have as many as 20,000. 

Many hundreds of thousands were able to flee the conflict zone in the last few weeks through humanitarian corridors. The population has fallen from 430,000 pre-war to 100,000 now. But other relief efforts continue to be blocked by Russian attack.

Russian forces have seized 14 tonnes of food and medical supplies destined for the besieged city of Mariupol, Kyiv has said. Pictured: Evacuees from Mariupol region arrive at reception centre, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, March 31, 2022

Kyiv said that Russian forces captured 14 tonnes of food, medical equipment and other supplies for Mariupol. Pictured: Evacuees arriving from Mariupol arrive at the reception centre as Russia invades Ukraine. This was in Zaporizhzhia Ukraine on March 31, 2022.

Two young boys are seen on an evacuation bus that arrived at reception centre in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, March 31, 2022, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues

Two boys, aged between 10 and 12, are seen in an evacuation bus as it arrived at Zaporizhzhia reception center, Ukraine on March 31, 2022. This is in response to Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that Russian forces seized 14 tonnes of supplies, while the deputy mayor of Mariupol said that the city remained closed for anyone trying to enter and was ‘dangerous’ for those trying to leave. 

Petro Andryushchenko stated that Russian forces prevented humanitarian aid from reaching the trapped population since Thursday, making it obvious that an ‘humanitarian corridor’ had never been established.

Telegram message app Telegram stated that “The city is still closed to entry” and it was very dangerous for people to leave with their personal transport.

“In addition, the occupiers have not permitted any humanitarian aid to enter the city since yesterday. Even small amounts. 

Mariupol’s mayor stated this week that 170,000 people were still trapped in the city, with limited power and diminishing supplies. Some have suggested that many people still living in Mariupol are unaware of evacuation efforts or the locations of meeting points.

After Putin’s February 24 invasion, Mariupol was under siege. Attempts to organize safe corridors failed and each side has blamed the other. Russia has denied attacking civilians as part of its attack on Ukraine, contrary to evidence. 

Separately, the governor of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine stated that five corridors to safety would be open Friday for towns and cities.

Mariupol refugees have shared horror stories about bodies littering the streets, and their families being forced to starve their pets. Also, reports have been made that Russian soldiers were involved in the rape and murder of women.

Vladimir Putin stated that the bombing and siege of Ukraine will continue after the humanitarian operations, but insisted that it will stop only once the Ukrainian troops are surrendered.

Evacuees from Mariupol region arrive at reception centre, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, March 31, 2022

As Russia invades Ukraine in a continuing manner, Evacuees arrive from Mariupol to the reception center. This is Zaporizhzhia (Ukraine), March 31, 2022. 

Local residents cook food outside an apartment building damaged during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine March 30, 2022

Residents prepare food in front of an apartment that was damaged by the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, which took place at Mariupol (Ukraine), March 30-2022.

Late last night, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky warned Russia is consolidating and preparing ‘powerful strikes’ in the country’s east and south, including besieged Mariupol.

Zelensky said, “This is part their tactics,” in an now-customary address addressed to the nation.

He stated, “We are aware that they are shifting away from areas where they are beating them and to concentrate on other that are very essential…where it can be challenging for us.”

He warned that the current situation in the country’s east and south was particularly difficult. “In Donbas, Mariupol and in Kharkiv direction the Russian Army is building the potential for powerful attacks,” he stated.

Military experts believe that Moscow is ditching efforts to advance simultaneously along multiple axes in the north, east and south, after struggling to overcome stronger-than-expected Ukrainian resistance.

Instead, it seeks to build a long-awaited land connection between Crimea (which Moscow occupied in 2014) and the Donbas separatist regions, Donetsk, and Lugansk, that Russia has supported.

Mariupol, the last obstacle to this goal is Russian troops have relentlessly bombarded and encircled the city in an attempt to take it.

Instead, it has been reduced to rubble by indiscriminate Russian shelling with tens of thousands of civilians trapped inside with little food, water or medicine.

While previous evacuation attempts have been unsuccessful, others have managed to escape the dangers of freedom. Russia has announced that on Friday it will open a humanitarian corridor organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

On Twitter, the ICRC Ukraine delegation stated that it was located in Zaporizhzhia where buses are expected to arrive from the encircled cities.

“We want to make it possible for people to escape Mariupol by providing safe passage.” Lucile Marbeau from the Organisation said on a video that they are also there with two trucks of aid, and that it is possible to also receive assistance.

“In these trucks, there are food, medicine, and relief items for the civilians that decide to stay,” she said. 

Local residents carry supplies while walking past an apartment building damaged during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine March 31, 2022

As local residents walk past an apartment block that was damaged in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, they carry their supplies. It is located in Mariupol (Ukraine), March 31st 2022.

Local resident Pavel, 42, stands next to the grave of his friend Igor, who was killed by shelling while they were riding together in a car during Ukraine-Russia conflict, in a residential area in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine March 30, 2022

Pavel, a 42-year-old local resident, is standing next to Igor’s grave in Mariupol (Ukraine), March 30, 2022. Igor was killed in shelling when they were in a car together during the Ukraine-Russia Conflict.

Earlier this week, Mariupol’s mayor said more than 20,000 of the city’s residents had been taken ‘against their will’ to Russia, where their identity documents were confiscated and before they were moved ‘to Russian cities far away.’

On Wednesday, the office stated that more than 70 women and doctors from No. 1 Maternity Hospital were taken by force. The occupiers took 2 residents of the left bank district. 

France, Turkey, Greece, and France have tried to organize a massive evacuation of Mariupol civilians in recent days. However, talks between Putin and President Emmanuel Macron ended on Tuesday.

The proposal was rejected by the Russian leader, who said ‘nationalists’ in the city must surrender before the ‘difficult humanitarian situation’ is resolved, effectively scuppering the proposed relief mission.

Kyiv claimed that on Wednesday, Russian forces attacked Mariupol’s Red Cross station.

The Russian President Vladimir Putin also warned that the bombardment of the city will stop if the Ukrainian forces in the area surrender.

Lyudmyla denisova, Ukrainian ombudswoman, stated that the attackers aimed their guns at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) building in Mariupol. She also added that the target was aircraft and artillery.

Drone footage taken over the city shows the devastating trail of destruction wrought by Putin

The destruction that Putin has caused in the city is clearly visible from drone footage.

Homes, administrative buildings and cultural landmarks have all been shelled in the brutal campaign

The brutal campaign has decimated homes, cultural landmarks and administrative buildings.

Thousands of people have died in Mariupol since the city was subjected to horrific bombardment, and the theatre has been completely destroyed (pictured)

Mariupol has seen thousands of deaths since it was bombarded with bombs. The theatre in the centre of the city has also been destroyed.

BEFORE: A satellite image shows home and buildings in Mariupol in June last year before the Russian invasion

BEFORE – A satellite image of Mariupol shows homes and buildings before the Russian invasion in June 2013.

AFTER: A photo taken on Tuesday shows the scale of devastation on the port city wrought by Putin's army

AFTER : This Tuesday photo captures the extent of destruction caused by Putin’s military on the port town

Russian forces struck a Red Cross facility in Mariupol but no staff were inside after it was evacuated

Russian forces attacked Mariupol’s Red Cross center, but there was no staff after the evacuation.

A spokeswoman for the ICRC confirmed that photos of a damaged building circulated on social media were images from warehouses owned by the organization in Mariupol. A building was shown with massive holes in its roof and the red cross.

“We don’t have any team on ground, so we do not know anything other than possible casualties and damage,” the spokesperson stated, adding that all the aid had been distributed. 

This attack occurred just days after Russia and Ukraine were urged by the ICRC to reach an agreement on safe evacuation and aid delivery.

Russia moved around 20% of its troops out of Kyiv, but the strikes continue. According to John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesperson, troops will likely be repositioned into Belarus to be refitted, resupplied, and then used in other parts Ukraine.

Officials in Kyiv say that Russian troops pulled back from Chernobyl after several weeks of occupation and took a variety of Ukrainian servicemen captive with them.

A Russian official claimed Friday that Ukrainian helicopters attacked a fuel station in Belgorod. This is about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Ukraine border.

Western intelligence claims that Putin’s advisers might be afraid to tell the truth. US President Joe Biden suggested that some of his advisors could have been put under house arrest. However, he warned that there is a lot more speculation.