Photos: Russian shelling batters encircled Ukrainian towns

Civilians across war-hit Ukraine fled on footpaths and grief-stricken parents mourned dead children as Russian troops continued to shell encircled cities.

A promised ceasefire in the port city of Mariupol collapsed on Saturday amid scenes of terror in the besieged town, while on the outskirts of the capital, Kyiv, a stream of residents with pets and children crossed the Irpin River on an improvised path under a bridge destroyed by a Russian air raid.

Kyiv’s central train station remained crowded with people desperate to flee. “People just want to live,” one woman, Ksenia, said.

Eleven days into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, nearly 1.5 million people have fled the battered country, according to the United Nations.

The death toll in the conflict has been difficult to measure. The UN human rights office says at least 351 civilians have been confirmed killed since the February 24 invasion, but the true number is probably much higher.

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