Mykolaiv barracks attack

Rescuers carry a Ukrainian soldier rescued from a military barracks in Mykolaiv struck the previous day by Russian missiles on March 19, 2022. (Photo: Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images)

Russian Forces Strike Deeper Into Mariupol, Launch Devastating Strike on Mykolaiv Barracks

Russia also reportedly fired a hypersonic missile at a Ukrainian arms depot Saturday, the first time such a weapon has ever been used in war.

Russian forces ramped up attacks across Ukraine Saturday, pushing deeper into besieged Mariupol, while the southern city of Mykolaiv reeled from a deadly rocket attack that killed dozens of Ukrainian troops sleeping in their barracks.

"There are tanks... and artillery shelling, and all kinds of weapons fired in the area. There is no city center left."

The BBC reports Mariupol remains under Ukrainian control as it endures incessant bombardment from Russian forces encircling the city of more than 400,000 residents.

"There are tanks... and artillery shelling, and all kinds of weapons fired in the area," Mayor Vadym Boichenko told the outlet. "There is no city center left. Everybody is hiding in bunkers."

Intense street fighting in central Mariupol is reportedly hindering efforts to rescue an unknown number of civilians believed to be trapped inside the city's Drama Theater following an alleged Russian airstrike on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Ukraine, BBC reports scores of Ukrainian troops are feared dead after three Russian missiles struck a military barracks in the southern city of Mykolaiv late Friday. Around 200 Ukrainian soldiers were sleeping in the barracks when it was hit.

A Ukrainian soldier toldAgence-France Presse that "at least 50 bodies have been recovered, but we do not know how many others are in the rubble."

The attack also caused an unknown number of civilian casualties.

Also on Saturday, Russia claimed to have deployed a hypersonic missile for the first time in the history of warfare in an attack on an ammunition depot in western Ukraine. Such weapons are capable of flying at five times the speed of sound and have also been developed by nations including the United States, China, and North Korea.

Dominika Kunertova of the Center for Security Studies in Zurich told the BBC that Russia's use of a hypersonic missile is "a sign of showmanship."

"Even if it's used we should consider it as an isolated moment because Russia doesn't have a large number of these missiles," she continued. "It's a signal to the West, because [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is annoyed that the West is daring to shift all these weapons [to Ukraine]. It's questionable that it's so accurate, so it's not a game-changer."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy renewed calls for peace talks on Saturday, while blasting Putin for intentionally blocking humanitarian aid and evacuation corridors, trapping people in Mariupol amid fierce fighting.

"I want everyone to hear me now, especially in Moscow. The time has come for a meeting, it is time to talk," Zelenskyy said. "The time has come to restore territorial integrity and justice for Ukraine. Otherwise, Russia's losses will be such that it will take you several generations to recover."

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