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Russia-Ukraine news live: Russia takes aim at urban areas; Biden vows Putin will ‘pay’

KYIV, Ukraine – The Ukrainian leader has denounced the escalation of Russian attacks on busy cities as a major terrorist campaign, with US President Joe Biden warning that if the Russian leader did not “pay the price” for the invasion, will stop with a country.

“No one will forgive. No one will forget,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised after Tuesday’s bloodshed in the main square in Kharkov, the country’s second largest city, and the deadly bombing of a television tower in the capital. He described the attack in the square as “sincere, overt terror” and a war crime.

The attack in Kharkov continued on Wednesday, with a Russian strike on regional police and intelligence headquarters, according to Ukraine’s emergency services. He said three people were injured.

The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a police recruiting center at Kisak, killing at least 12 people.

MAP: How Ukrainian soldiers are defending their country

Biden used his first speech on the state of the Union to underscore the determination of a renewed Western alliance to work to re-equip the Ukrainian military and impose harsh sanctions, which he said had left Russian President Vladimir Putin “isolated.” more than ever. it was.”

“Throughout our history we have learned this lesson – when dictators do not pay the price for their aggression, they cause more chaos,” Biden said. “They continue to move. And the costs and the threats to America and to the world continue to rise.”

HOW TO HELP: List of non-profit organizations responding to the crisis in Ukraine

As Biden spoke, an escort of hundreds of Russian tanks and other 40-mile (64-kilometer) vehicles slowly made their way to Kyiv, the capital of nearly 3 million people, in what the West feared was an attempt by Putin to overthrow the government. and establish a Kremlin-friendly regime.

The invading forces also repulsed their attack on other cities and towns, including the strategic ports of Odessa and Mariupol in the south.

As the seventh day of the war dawned on Wednesday, Russia found itself increasingly isolated, framed by sanctions that have brought its economy into turmoil and left the country virtually unarmed, with the exception of a few nations such as China, Belarus and the North. Korea. Russia’s top bank, Sberbank, announced on Wednesday that it was withdrawing from European markets amid tougher Western sanctions.

As the fighting raged, the humanitarian situation deteriorated. About 660,000 people have fled Ukraine and countless others have fled underground.

The death toll was less clear, with neither Russia nor Ukraine revealing the number of troops missing. The UN human rights office said it had recorded 136 civilian deaths, although the true tally was certainly much higher.

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A senior Western intelligence official has estimated that 5,000 Russian soldiers were captured or killed in Europe’s largest land war since World War II.

Many military experts are concerned that Russia may change tactics. Moscow’s strategy in Chechnya and Syria was to use artillery and airstrikes to pulverize cities and undermine the fighters’ resolve.

The British Ministry of Defense said that it has seen an increase in Russian air and artillery strikes in residential urban areas in the last two days. He also said that Kharkiv and Mariupol were surrounded by Russian forces and that troops were reportedly moving to the center of a third city, Kherson. Russia’s Defense Ministry said it had occupied Kherson, although the claim could not be confirmed.

Ukrainian authorities say five people have been killed in an attack on a television tower near central Kiev. A TV control room and a power substation were hit and at least some Ukrainian channels stopped broadcasting for a while, officials said.

Zelensky’s office said the site of the Babi Yar Holocaust memorial next to the television tower was also hit. A spokesman for the monument said a Jewish cemetery at the site, where Nazi occupiers killed more than 33,000 Jews in two days in 1941, was damaged, but the extent would not be clear until daylight.

Zelensky expressed outrage Wednesday over the attack on Babi Yar and expressed concern that other historically important and religious sites, such as Hagia Sophia, could be targeted.

“This is beyond humanity. Such a missile strike means that for many Russians our Kiev is completely foreign,” Zelensky said in a Facebook post. “They have a mandate to erase our history, our country and all of us.”

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Russia has previously told people living near transmission facilities used by Ukraine’s intelligence service to leave their homes. However, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov claimed on Wednesday that the airstrike on the TV tower did not hit any residential buildings. He did not mention the reported deaths or injuries to Babi Yar.

In Kharkov, with a population of about 1.5 million, at least six people were killed when the district administration building in Eleftherias Square was hit by a rocket believed to be. The Slovenian Foreign Ministry said its consulate in Kharkov, located in another large building in the square, had been destroyed.

The attack on the square – the core of public life in the city – was seen by many Ukrainians as a brazen proof that the Russian invasion was not only to hit military targets but also to break their spirit.

The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck. Inside a building, pieces of plaster were scattered and the doors were in the hallways.

Another Russian airstrike hit a residential area in the city of Zhytomyr. Ukraine’s emergency services say Tuesday’s attack killed at least two people, burned three houses and shattered the windows of a nearby hospital. About 85 miles (140 kilometers) west of Kiev, Zhytomyr is home to the elite 95th Airborne Brigade, which may have been the target.

In the southern port of Mariupol, the mayor said the attacks were relentless.

“They have been leveling us non-stop for 12 hours,” Mariupol Mayor Vadim Boichenko was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency. “We can not get the wounded out of the streets, out of houses and apartments today, as the bombing does not stop.”

Boichenko referred to Russia’s actions as “genocide” – using the same word that Putin used to justify the invasion.

Zelensky mocked Russia’s claim that it was pursuing only military objectives, noting that 16 children were killed on Monday.

“Where are the children? What kind of military factories do they work in?” said Zelensky.

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The Human Rights Watch said it had recorded a cluster bomb attack outside a hospital in eastern Ukraine in recent days. Residents also reported the use of such weapons in Kharkov and the village of Kiyyanka. The Kremlin has denied using cluster munitions.

Scatter bombs drop smaller “bombs” over a large area, many of which do not explode long after they are dropped. If their use is confirmed, it will represent a new level of barbarism in war.

The first talks between Russia and Ukraine after the invasion took place on Monday, but ended only with an agreement to resume talks. On Tuesday, Zelensky said Russia must first stop the bombing.

In contrast, Moscow issued new escalation threats on Tuesday, days after the escalation of the nuclear war. A senior Kremlin official has warned that the West’s “economic war” against Russia could be “real”.

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Inside Russia, a leading radio station critical of the Kremlin has withdrawn from the air after authorities threatened to shut it down to cover the invasion. Among other things, the Kremlin does not allow fighting to be referred to as “invasion” or “war.”

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry has said it has evidence that Belarus, an ally of Russia, is preparing to send troops to Ukraine. A ministry statement posted on Facebook early Wednesday said Belarussian troops were on high alert and were stationed near Ukraine’s northern border. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has stated that his country does not intend to take part in the struggle.

A senior US defense official has said that Russia’s military progress – including the huge convoy – has slowed, plagued by logistics and supply problems. Some Russian military columns have run out of gas and food, the official said, and morale has fallen as a result.

Overall, the Russian military has stopped because of its tough ground resistance and astonishing inability to fully dominate Ukrainian airspace.

The huge convoy, with vehicles crowded along narrow streets, would appear to be “a big target” for Ukrainian forces, a senior Western intelligence official said on condition of anonymity. But it also showed that Russia was comfortable not being attacked by air, rockets or missiles, the official said.

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Isachenkov and Litvinova reported from Moscow. Karmanau reported from Lviv, Ukraine. Mstyslav Chernov in Mariupol, Ukraine. Sergei Grits in Odessa, Ukraine. Robert Burns, Zeke Miller and Eric Tucker in Washington. Francesca Ebel, Josef Federman and Andrew Drake in Kyiv. Lorne Cook in Brussels. and other AP journalists from around the world contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.



Russia-Ukraine news live: Russia takes aim at urban areas; Biden vows Putin will ‘pay’ Source link Russia-Ukraine news live: Russia takes aim at urban areas; Biden vows Putin will ‘pay’

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