Russian forces destroyed a theater in Mariupol where hundreds of people were sheltering Wednesday and rained fire on other cities, Ukrainian authorities said, even as the two sides projected optimism over efforts to negotiate an end to the fighting.
The airstrike ripped apart the center of the once-elegant building, where hundreds of civilians had been living since their homes had been destroyed in the fighting, Ukraine’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Many people were buried in the rubble, the statement said, though there was no immediate word on how many had been killed or injured. Satellite imagery from Monday showed the word “CHILDREN” written in Russian in large, white capital letters on the pavement in front of and behind the building, the Maxar space technology company said.
Earlier Wednesday, Zelenskyy went before the U.S. Congress via video and, invoking Pearl Harbor and 9/11, pleaded with America for more weapons and tougher sanctions against Russia, saying: “ We need you right now.”