March 18, Friday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.A senior US defense department official says Russian artillery units are joining forces around Kyiv in an apparent move to attack the Ukrainian capital from afar. The official said there has been basically no change in the Russian forces around Kyiv, but Russia is moving some of those forces, including artillery units, from their rear to join their advancing elements, which the official said are 15 kilometers from the city center.
2.Russian forces are lashing out at Ukrainian resistance with the relentless siege of the country’s cities. The eastern city of Mariupol has seen the worst of it. But with rescue efforts hampered by constant shelling, it’s difficult to know exactly how hard the city has been hit.
3.Western countries attending a UN Security Council meeting have condemned Russia for destroying a theater in the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, where civilians were taking shelter. UN Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo told the delegates that the use of powerful weapons in populated areas has caused many casualties.