The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

As a Ukrainian city nears ‘humanitarian catastrophe,’ Russians face void of digital information

New and expecting mothers are sleeping in the basement at this clinic in Kyiv. Nurses care for newborns in the cafeteria. Doctors are working around the clock. (Video: Whitney Shefte, Jorge Ribas/The Washington Post, Photo: Heidi Levine for The Washington Post/The Washington Post)
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A Ukrainian port city is “on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe" after Russian attacks, its mayor said, while Russia’s isolation grows.

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“We are simply being destroyed,” said Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko on his Telegram channel, noting that the city has been under “merciless bombardment” from Russian forces over the past five days, not giving enough time between the firing for workers to restore utilities such as electricity and water. Graphic images of the destruction have driven Europeans to protest in their cities’ streets.

In the face of an international boycott, Russian authorities sought to stymie outside sources of information, blocking access to Facebook. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a measure into law criminalizing news coverage that accurately portrays the country’s bloody incursion into Ukraine as an “invasion,” leading BBC and major U.S. news networks, including CNN, ABC and CBS, to say they would stop reporting from Russia.

Here’s what to know

  • Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations denied that his country attacked Europe’s largest nuclear plant, as delegates from other countries condemned the assault.
  • Russia’s communications watchdog announced that it would block access to Facebook, a dramatic step that will cut Russian citizens’ access to information about the war in Ukraine.
  • More than 1 million people have fled Ukraine and at least 331 civilians have been killed, the United Nations said.
  • Officials in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson said Russia is not cooperating after agreeing to “humanitarian corridors” as several cities warned they were running out of supplies.