PODCAST | The Story: Suffering continues in Ukraine as Russia steps up onslaught

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  • Three people were killed in a Russian airstrike on a hospital in the besieged port city of Mariupol on Wednesday.
  • The victims included a child.
  • Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky called the attack a war crime.

Suffering continues in Ukraine as Russia steps up its onslaught. Several ceasefire agreements to allow citizens to flee cities have failed.

And, on Wednesday, a maternity hospital in the port city of Mariupol was hit by a Russian airstrike, leaving three people dead. 

This week, on The STORY, co-hosts Catherine Rice and Amy Gibbings talk to News24 journalists about the latest developments in the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

Investigative journalist for News24 Kyle Cowan has been following the conflict closely.

ROLLING COVERAGE | Russia invades Ukraine

As the fighting enters its third week, he said: "Russia has stepped up its war of aggression."

But, he said, there had been movement on the diplomatic front. 

On Thursday, leaders of the EU member states met in Versailles, France - the same location where 103 years ago a treaty was signed to end World War 1.

Last week, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution to condemn Russia's military aggression in Ukraine. 

'An absolute disgrace and cop-out'

South Africa, however, did not support the motion.

Assistant editor for in-depth news, Pieter du Toit, believes South Africa's response has been "an absolute disgrace and cop-out". 

He said South Africa has "chosen to side with a dictator who has sent in his tanks to pretty much eviscerate a sovereign country". 

On Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa called Russia's President Vladimir Putin and reiterated his belief that the war should be resolved through mediation and negotiation. 

Ramaphosa said Russia appreciated "our balanced approach" and that, as a member of BRICS, South Africa had been approached to play a "mediation role".

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