The Drama Theater in Mariupol, destroyed by Russian shelling on March 16, 2022. The word “Children”, indicating a shelter, is painted on the ground in large white letters outside the building. (Maxar)

EA on WION News and Monocle 24: Winning the Information Battle in the Ukraine War

Saturday’s Coverage: Russia’s “Strategy of Attrition” With “Increased Civilian Casualties”


Videos are circulating of Russian troops using force against protesting residents in occupied areas, including In Berdyansk in southern Ukraine.

On Saturday, Russian forces near Berdyansk blocked a convoy seeking to evacuate people from besieged Mariupol (see Original Entry).


Russian forces have been accused of killing 56 elderly people with tank fire on a residential facility.

Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman Ludmila Denisova said the attack was in Kreminna in the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine on March 11.

She said 15 survivors were taken to Russian-occupied territory in Svatova.

“It is still impossible to get to the site of the tragedy to bury the dead old people,” she noted.


The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, says 10 million Ukrainians — almost a quarter of the country’s 44 million population — are displaced.

Among the responsibilities of those who wage war, everywhere in the world, is the suffering inflicted on civilians who are forced to flee their homes.

The war in Ukraine is so devastating that 10 million have fled either displaced inside the country, or as refugees abroad.

The High Commissioner says the refugee count is now 3,389,044, with 60,352 added since Saturday. About 90% are women and children.

As of Wednesday, the UN recorded about 6.48 million displaced within Ukraine.


Ukraine Presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak claims six Russian generals have been killed during Moscow’s invasion.

On Saturday the Ukraine military reported the slaying of Lt. Gen. Andrei Mordvichev, commander of the 8th Combined Arms Army of the Southern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces.


Commanders of pro-Assad militias in Syria say they are ready to fight in Ukraine, but have not yet been directed to do so by the Assad regime.

European intelligence officials say 150 pro-Assad fighters have reached Ukraine to support the forces of Russia, whose military intervention in 2015 prevented Bashar al-Assad’s fall from power. The Ukraine military also made claim and said more than 30 fighters had returned to Russia’s main Syrian base “after being wounded in fighting with Ukrainian defenders”.

Pro-Assad sites reports thousands of men signing up for Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine.

The Kremlin, the Assad Information Ministry, and the Assad military did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

EA on Radio FM4: Is Russia Recruiting Assad’s Fighters for Ukraine?


The Ukraine Parliament says 115 Ukrainian children have been killed and more than 140 wounded by the Russian invasion.

UPDATE 0900 GMT: Seeking to limit Russia’s munitions production, Australia has banned the sale of aluminum, aluminium ores, and bauxite.

Australian supplies 20% of Russia’s aluminum.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marisa Payne also said Canberra will sned at least 70,000 tonnes of thermal coal to Ukraine.


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has suspended 11 pro-Russian political parties.

Zelenskiy said, “The activities by politicians aimed at discord and collaboration will not succeed”.

The President also ordered all Ukraine TV channels, public and private, to be combined on one platform for a “unified information policy” under martial law.


Russian forces have bombed another shelter in Mariupol, according to the city council.

The council said about 400 residents including women, children, and the elderly, were in an art school which was struck. Casualties are unknown, but people “are still under the rubble” of the building in the Left Bank district.

A police officer, standing in front of destroyed buildings, appeals to US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron:

You have promised that there will be help. Give us help.

Biden, Macron, you are great leaders. Be them to the end.

Save the civilian population.


In the latest Russian shelling across Ukraine, five people have been killed in the second city Kharkiv, including a nine-year-old boy.

In Rubizhne in eastern Ukraine, three people were slain as 24 houses and apartment buildings were destroyed in the city and nearby Severodonetsk.

Two of the victims were children.

Russia’s Defense Ministry is ignoring the civilian casualties, preferring to boast that it has fired
cruise missiles from warships in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea and launched hypersonic missiles from Crimean airspace.

More than 40 Ukrainian marines were slain on Friday in Mykolaiv, in the south of the country, when a barracks was struck by a cruise missile.


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says more than 6,600 people were evacuated through eight humanitarian corridors on Saturday.

In his latest video address, Zelenskiy declared:

After eight years of aggression, Ukrainians have proved that they know how to fight more professionally than an army that has been fighting for decades in different regions and under different conditions. We respond with wisdom and courage to the huge number of their equipment and soldiers sent to Ukraine.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: The city council of besieged Mariupol in southern Ukraine says several thousand residents have been forcibly deported to Russia.

The council said the deportees from the Left Bank district and from shelters in the sports club building were taken to “filtration camps”, where they were selected for removal after Russian forces checked phones and documents”.

Pyotr Andryuschenko, an assistant to the mayor, said “between 4,000 and 4,500 Mariupol residents” were moved “forcibly across the border to Taganrog” in Russia without their passports.

Those still in Mariupol said they had heard from friends and neighbors who had been transferred without their consent. Eduard Zarubin, a doctor who left the city on Wednesday, said he was in touch with three families held by Russian soldiers and now in Tagenrog.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said that about 35,000 residents have been able to leave Mariupol of their own accord, despite Russia’s units breaking ceasefires and shelling evacuees. However, about 350,000 people are still trapped after three weeks of siege, with no heat, water, and electricity and scarce food supplies.

The Russians have prevented any aid reaching the city and continue to limit evacuations. On Saturday, a convoy was stopped near Berdyansk, between Mariupol and Zaporizhzhia to the west. Amid the threat of Russian shelling, the mayor of Zaporizhzhia ordered a 38-hour curfew beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The fate of hundreds of residents — including children, the elderly, and the ill — is still unknown after Russia bombed and destroyed the city theater last Wednesday. About 130 survivors have been rescued from the estimated 1,000 sheltering in the basement, but Russian attacks have hindered further efforts.

Maxar has posted new images of the destroyed theater:

On Friday, some Russian tanks and forces entered the city center where there were fighting, according to Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko.

No further clashes were reported on Saturday, but the Russian assault on infrastructure is “non-stop”.