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Putin double-crosses 20,000 trying to leave ruined city

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by Edward Steen, Vienna, April 2, 2022

Ruined house in Mariupol (Courtesy of Tass)

After weeks of street fighting, all that remains of much of Mariupol are burnt-out ruins. Under intense international pressure, Putin agreed to evacuate residents of the besieged Ukrainian port city, and 42 buses carrying 2,000 civilians left the neighbouring coastal city of Berdyansk for Zaporizhia yesterday (01/04/22), joined by numerous private vehicles. But the exodus proved to be a trick, with more suffering for refugees living without food, water or electricity for weeks, and Russian looting of buses and aid packages. See DW life update. Today the Red Cross is trying again.

But the war is not going well for Putin, now reputed without hard evidence to be ill with thyroid cancer and in hiding with his high command in a nuclear bunker east of Moscow, while his family is supposedly holed up in another bunker in Siberia.

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