World News 23.04: Mariupol’s plight, another mining accident in Poland

The besieged city of Mariupol is experiencing extreme food and water shortages but refuses to surrender. The residents held up in the ruins of the Azovstal steel plant – among them, women and children – are suffering due to very hard conditions. Meanwhile, another mining tragedy strikes in Poland, as a tremor in the Zofiówka coal mine causes a methane leak. So far, rescuers have been able to reach four out of ten workers trapped underground.

Mariupol – a dying city

While the Eastern Orthodox church celebrates the coming of Easter, the Russian forces continue their occupation of Mariupol. Hundreds of civilians are trapped in the besieged city, suffering from dehydration and starvation. The situation of the women and children hiding in the ruins of the Azovstal steel plant – the last bastion of Ukrainian defenders – is extremely difficult.

While Russian forces have now shifted their priorities towards the Donbas region, major cities across Ukraine are still experiencing numerous instances of shelling and missile attacks. TVP World’s Owidiusz Nicieja reports from Kyiv, where air raid sirens were heard multiple times during the day.

Impact of Ukraine crisis

The World Bank has emphasised the need to provide Ukraine with external financing following its latest prediction that the country’s GDP could fall by nearly 40 percentage points. The crisis in Ukraine is expected to lead to drastic export grain shortages, which in turn will worsen the world hunger.

Polish support for Ukraine

Poland has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion in February. However, the Polish people also backed their neighbours on other occasions in the past. We present an overview of the relations between Poland and Ukraine during the last 100 years.

Mining disaster in Poland

A serious rockburst occurred in the Zofiówka mine in Poland, trapping several people underground and resulting in a methane leak. A rescue effort has been initiated to save the miners who are stranded underground.

Afghanistan terror attack

A Shi’ite Mosque was hit by a blast in the Northern region of Afghanistan. It marks yet another attack against the country’s Shi’ite minority occurring in a single week. The Taliban authorities claim to have the situation under control, while citizens urge the government to prevent further outbreaks of violence.

On the eve of the French elections

Campaigning has come to an end in France, as the second round of the French presidential elections is scheduled to take place tomorrow. TVP World’s Stanisław Jegliński reported on the overall mood on the streets of Paris ahead of the vote on Sunday.

The upcoming second round of voting in France could have a profound effect on European politics. French citizens are heading to the polls at a crucial time in history, with Europe consolidating against a belligerent Russia. Could a surprising win of the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen undermine Western unity against Vladimir Putin? And can Emmanuel Macron succeed as a regional leader when faced with the challenge of helping Ukraine win the war? TVP World’s guest who discussed the French elections in detail was Prof. James Shields, Honorary Professor in French Studies at the University of Warwick.

Nuclear equals green?

As Russia attacked Ukraine, the European stance on energy has begun to change. From maintaining close ties with the Russian gas giant Gazprom, Europe turned towards considering a full embargo on Russian oil and gas. One of the options to help reduce carbon footprint, while also ensuring energy security, is nuclear power. Some governments, however, remain reluctant to embrace this option despite its advantages.