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Photo Of The Week: This Happened In Mariupol

A Russian air raid struck a Mariupol maternity hospital, an unthinkable new moral low in Vladimir Putin's war. Soon after the strike, Associated Press photographer Evgeniy Maloletka was on the scene, capturing a powerful image of the horror of war.

Photo Of The Week: This Happened In Mariupol

A detail of the photo of the week

Laure Gautherin and Laura Valentina Cortés Sierra

The Russian invasion of Ukraine struck a new moral low this past week. The killing of civilians is multiplying across the country, notably in the besieged port city of Mariupol.

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For the past two weeks, Mariupol has been surrounded by Russian troops and Ukraine has tried several times to evacuate civilians through a humanitarian corridor from a city where more than 400,000 people have been without water or electricity for over a week.

On Wednesday, March 9, a Russian air raid struck a Mariupol maternity hospital, an unthinkable target that many have already labeled a war crime. Soon after the strike, Associated Press photographer Evgeniy Maloletka was on the scene, capturing a series of horrific images.



Maloletka is a Ukrainian freelance photojournalist based in Kiev, Ukraine, with more than 10 awards — including first place in the news story category of the 2015 APME photo contest. Maloletka started his career in 2009 and has covered the Ukrainian revolution since the beginning, before moving to cover the conflicts in Crimea and eastern Ukraine for various international media like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, the BBC and Euronews.

See the video below for what may be the most memorable image of his career, and a visual indictment of the Russian invasion.

New Moral Low

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Economy

Russian Diamonds Are Belgium's Best Friend — But For How Much Longer?

Belgium has lobbied hard for the past year to keep Russian diamonds off the list of sanctioned goods. Indeed, there would be a huge impact on the economy of the port city of Antwerp, if Europe finally joins with the U.S. and others in banning sale of so-called "blood diamonds" from Russia. But a 10th package of EU sanctions arriving this month may finally be the end of the road.

Photo of a technician examining the condition of a diamond in Antwerp, Belgium

A technician examining the condition of a diamond in Antwerp, Belgium

Wang Xiaojun / Xinhua via ZUMA Wire

Since Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the European Union has agreed to nine different packages of sanctions against Russia. With the aim to punish Moscow's leadership and to cripple the war economy, European bans and limits have been placed on imports of a range of Russian products from coal, gas and steal to caviar and vodka — were successively banned over the past 11 months.

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Still, one notable Russian export is a shining exception to the rule, still imported into Europe as if nothing has changed: diamonds.

Russian state conglomerate Alrosa, which accounts for virtually all of the country's diamond production (95%) and deals with more than one-fourth of total global diamond imports, has been chugging along, business as usual.

But that may be about to change, ahead of an expected 10th package of sanctions slated to be finalized in the coming weeks. During recent negotiations, with 26 of the 27 EU members agreeing on the statement that ALSROA’s diamonds should no longer be imported, the one holdout was not surprisingly Belgium.

The Belgian opposition to the ban is explained by the port city of Antwerp, where 85% of the rough diamonds in the world pass through to get cut, polished, and marketed. There are estimates that 30,000 Belgians work for Alrosa.

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