Seven key developments in the Ukraine conflict this weekend

Mar 21, 2022, 8:32 AM | Updated: 8:35 am
A satellite image from March 20 shows the extent of destruction in Mariupol. Photo credit:  Planet ...
A satellite image from March 20 shows the extent of destruction in Mariupol. Photo credit: Planet Labs PBC/AP
Originally Published: 21 MAR 22 09:53 ET
Updated: 21 MAR 22 10:12 ET

(CNN) — Civilian casualties continue to mount as a result of Russian attacks on Ukraine, and the besieged city of Mariupol has refused to surrender despite constant bombardment. Here are the key developments from the weekend.

Ukrainian officials reject Russian request to surrender Mariupol

Russian forces continued their assault on the southeastern city of Mariupol, striking an art school-turned-bomb shelter on Sunday.

The city council put the number sheltering in the school building at 400, but Petro Andrushenko, an adviser to the city mayor, said it was not clear how many people were there.

In a video message late Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said there were no military positions near the art school.

Most of the people sheltering there were “women and children, the elderly. They are under the rubble. We do not know how many are alive now, but we know that the pilot who dropped that bomb will definitely be shot down,” he said.

Russia issued an ultimatum to city authorities to surrender before dawn Monday, but both the government in Kyiv and the Mariupol city authorities rejected the Russian terms.

Zelensky said Sunday that Russia’s actions in Mariupol were an “act of terror that will be remembered for centuries.”

Dozens of care home residents killed by Russian tank attack

Fifty-six elderly residents of a care home in the eastern Ukrainian town of Kreminna were killed when a Russian tank opened fire on the facility, according to Serhii Haidai, the head of the Luhansk region.

The attack happened on March 11, said Haidai, who added that 15 other residents of the care home had been abducted and taken to the town of Svatove in what is now Russian-occupied territory.

CNN has been unable to independently verify the claim.

Russia continues to attack civilian targets across Ukraine. At least 902 civilians have been killed and 1,459 injured since the start of the invasion, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said Sunday.

Russia loses another general

Ukrainian forces killed Russian General Oleg Mityaev of the 150th Motorized Rifle Division near Mariupol, according to a Telegram post shared by Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister, last week.

On Sunday, Aleksei Arestovich, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian president’s office, told Ukraine’s NV News that Mityaev “most likely went to show, by example, how to fight. Because his soldiers refused to fight.”

Neither the Russian Ministry of Defense nor Russian state media have issued any statements on his death.

CNN cannot independently verify the Ukrainian claim.

Ukrainian officials say a total of five Russian generals have been killed since the invasion began on February 24. If true, this would be an unusually high number of high-ranking soldiers to have been killed in three weeks of combat. In addition, a deputy commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was confirmed killed by two senior Russian officials on Sunday.

Russia launches hypersonic missiles

The Russian military claimed it had launched a series of strikes on military targets in Ukraine employing hypersonic and cruise missiles on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

In a statement released on Sunday, Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman Igor Konashenkov said sea-launched Kalibr cruise missiles were fired from the Caspian Sea, and air-launched Kinzhal hypersonic missile systems were fired from airspace over Crimea.

US officials also confirmed to CNN that Russia launched hypersonic missiles against Ukraine last week, the first known use of such missiles in combat.

The launches were likely intended to test the weapons and send a message about Russian capabilities, multiple sources told CNN.

Rising concerns over risk of attack from Belarus

On Sunday, Ukraine’s General Staff said the threat of an offensive from Belarus into northwestern Ukraine is “high,” without providing additional details.

“The level of threat from the territory of Belarus in the direction of Volyn is evaluated as high,” the military said in a statement via the presidential office, adding: “Defense forces of Ukraine are ready to resist.”

Ukraine’s northwestern Volyn region borders Belarus to the north and Poland, a NATO member, to the west.

It could serve as a gateway for attacking forces from the north to approach Lviv, a strategic city in western Ukraine.

Lviv is a hub for both Ukrainian government logistics and relief efforts, as well as a transit point for many civilians looking to flee fighting in other parts of the country.

The Russian military has already used Belarusian territory as a launchpad for its invasion of Ukraine, with forces staging an offensive push toward Kyiv and central Ukraine from southern Belarus.

There is no direct evidence that Belarus’ troops have participated in hostilities.

Russia accused of detaining reporters, activists and officials

On Saturday, Ukrainian digital broadcaster Hromadske said its reporter Victoria Roshchina had gone missing and was believed to be being held by Russian forces.

Ukraine’s human rights commissioner, Liudmyla Denisova, said Saturday the government believed she had been kidnapped by Russian forces in the town of Berdyansk, which lies on the Black Sea coast and is under Russian occupation.

Roshchina’s disappearance comes amid reports of other activists and officials being held against their will in other parts of Russian-occupied Ukraine.

In Kherson region, Dmytro Vasyliev, a senior council official in the town of Nova Kakhovka, was abducted last week, according to the town’s mayor.

Human rights organization ZMINA said some 17 people had been abducted by Russian forces in Ukraine since the start of the war.

Zelensky repeats call for NATO admission in CNN interview

In an exclusive interview on Sunday morning, the Ukrainian President told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that he is ready to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I’m ready for negotiations with him. I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations, we cannot end this war,” said Zelensky, who also warned that failed negotiations could mean the fight between the two countries would lead to “a third World War.”

Zelensky told Zakaria that Russia would not have invaded Ukraine if the country had been admitted into the NATO alliance.

“If we were a NATO member, a war wouldn’t have started. I’d like to receive security guarantees for my country, for my people,” said Zelensky.

The Ukrainian president said he was grateful for military aid sent by the alliance, but he continued his push for NATO admission for his country.

“If NATO members are ready to see us in the alliance, then do it immediately because people are dying on a daily basis,” he said.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

Russia + Ukraine

Anastasiya Sayer, 11, joins others in rallying against the war in Ukraine at the Capitol in Salt La...
Curt Gresseth

Through donations, Ukrainian woman in Idaho seeks to ease suffering of war

The war in Ukraine may have faded from the daily news but a Ukrainian-born woman now in Idaho is dedicated to collecting and sending supplies to meet the needs of suffering Ukrainians.
2 days ago
Residents stand in front of building destroyed by missiles in Ukraine...
FRANCESCA EBEL Associated Press

Russian missiles kill at least 19 in Ukraine’s Odesa region

The Ukrainian president's office said three Kh-22 missiles fired by Russian bombers struck an apartment building and a campsite.
6 days ago
Tim Lister, Julia Kesaieva, Salma Abdelaziz, Pierre Bairin and Jeevan Ravindran, CNN

Russian missiles hit Kyiv as G7 summit begins in Europe

G7 summit begins in Germany, as Russia hits Kyiv with a series of missile attacks.
11 days ago
A fighter in a tank in Ukraine....

Men, morale, munitions: Russia’s Ukraine war faces long slog

Over the weekend, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned the war could last years and warned of "Ukraine fatigue" abroad.
17 days ago
Smokes raises from a railway service facility hit by a Russian missile strike in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sun...
JOHN LEICESTER Associated Press

Russia hits Kyiv with missiles; Putin warns West on arms

Vladimir Putin warned Sunday that any Western deliveries of longer-range rocket systems would prompt Moscow to hit "objects that we haven't yet struck."
1 month ago
Russian military vehicles move on a highway in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forc...
The Associated Press

US and allies: Hold Russia accountable for Ukraine crimes

Russia will be held accountable for crimes committed by its forces in Ukraine, the United States and its allies vowed on Thursday.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Seven key developments in the Ukraine conflict this weekend