Ukraine’s leader accused Russia of trying to humiliate the United Nations by raining missiles on kyiv during a visit by Secretary General António Guterres, an attack that shattered the capital’s tentative return to normality then that the focus of the war was shifting to the east.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Ukrainian forces are holding back Russia’s attempted advance in the south and east, as efforts continue to secure safe passage for residents of Mariupol, which has largely been cut back in rubble during a siege of 2 months.
Russia pounded targets across Ukraine on Thursday, including the attack on kyiv that hit a residential building and another building. Mayor Vitali Klitschko said Friday that a body had been found in the rubble of the attack. Ten people were injured, including at least one who lost a leg, according to Ukrainian emergency services.
In an apparent reference to the same strike, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Friday it had destroyed “production buildings” at the Artem defense factory in kyiv.
The boldest Russian bombardment of the capital since forces withdrew from Moscow weeks ago came barely an hour after Zelenskyy held a press conference with Guterres, who toured some of the destruction in Kyiv and surrounding areas and condemned the attacks on civilians.
“It says a lot about Russia’s true attitude towards global institutions, about Russian authorities’ attempts to humiliate the UN and everything the organization stands for,” Zelenskyy said in a video address to the nation. “Therefore, it requires a corresponding powerful reaction.”
One of the purposes of António Guterres’ visit was to ensure the evacuation of people from the ruined port city of Mariupol, including a destroyed steel mill where Ukrainian defenders are entrenched and hundreds of civilians are also sheltering,
We don’t know if it paid off. Previous evacuation attempts have collapsed.
“I cannot confirm the exact details of the operation to ensure that it is safe for our people and for the civilians stranded in Mariupol,” said Saviano Abreu, spokesperson for the humanitarian office of the ‘UN.
An official in Zelenskyy’s office said negotiations were underway with UN mediation and did not rule out that an evacuation of the factory could take place on Friday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Mariupol experienced some of the most dramatic suffering of the war. Under siege since the early days of the invasion, many of its residents have found themselves trapped with limited access to food, water, medicine or electricity.
It is estimated that around 100,000 people are still in the city, and the city council warned on Thursday that a lack of clean water or a working sewage system could lead to outbreaks of deadly diseases such as cholera and dysentery. He added that bodies lay decomposing under the rubble.
Drone footage from Mariupol, Ukraine shows a destroyed building.
Russian forces largely control the city, but some 2,000 Ukrainian fighters are entrenched in the steelworks, the last known pocket of resistance. About 1,000 civilians are with them, and fighters said recent concentrated shelling killed and injured people.
A video uploaded by the Ukrainian Azov regiment inside the steelworks shows people combing through the rubble to remove the dead and help the injured. The regiment said the Russians hit a makeshift underground hospital and its operating room, killing an unknown number of people. The video could not be independently verified.
The governor of Ukraine’s central Dnipropetrovsk region, Valentyn Reznichenko, said two towns in the region were hit by Russian Grad rockets on Friday. There was no immediate word on casualties or damage. Separately, the governor of Russia’s Kursk region, Roman Starovoit, said a border crossing came under mortar fire from Ukraine and Russian border forces returned fire. He said there were no casualties on the Russian side.
It comes a day after explosions were reported across the country – in Polonne in the west, in Chernihiv in the north near the border with Belarus and in Fastiv, a major rail hub southwest of the capital. The mayor of Odessa in southern Ukraine said the rockets were intercepted by air defenses.
President Joe Biden announced Thursday that he is asking Congress for billions of dollars in new aid for Ukraine in its fight against Russia. “Our unity with Ukraine sends an unequivocal message to Putin: you will never succeed in dominating Ukraine.”
Ukrainian authorities have also reported intense Russian fire in Donbass – the eastern industrial heartland which the Kremlin says is its main target – and near Kharkiv, a northeastern city outside Donbass which is considered as the key to offense.
In kyiv, explosions shook the city and flames poured out of the windows of the residential tower and another building. The capital had been relatively spared in recent weeks since Moscow had refocused its efforts on taking all of Donbass.
The blasts in the Shevchenkivsky district of northwestern Kyiv came as residents increasingly returned to the city. Cafes and other businesses reopened, and increasing numbers of people strolled, enjoying the spring weather.
During his visit to Ukraine, António Guterres reviewed the destruction in small towns outside the capital that saw some of the worst horrors of the war’s first onslaught. He condemned atrocities in towns like Bucha, where evidence of civilian massacres was found after Russia withdrew in early April in the face of surprisingly stiff resistance.
“Wherever there is a war, the highest price is paid by civilians,” the UN chief lamented.
Video footage shows civilian bodies on the streets of Bucha, Ukraine.
Getting a full picture of the battle unfolding in the east has been difficult as airstrikes and artillery barrages have made it extremely dangerous for journalists to travel. Several journalists were killed during the war. Ukraine and Moscow-backed rebels fighting in the east have also introduced strict restrictions on reporting from the combat zone.
Western officials say the Kremlin’s apparent goal is to take Donbass by encircling and crushing Ukrainian forces from the north, south and east.
But so far Russian troops and their allied separatist forces appear to have made only minor gains, taking several small towns as they attempt to advance in relatively small groups against fierce Ukrainian resistance.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Friday that Russia’s limited territorial gains had come at a significant cost to its forces. Britain put the Russian death toll in the two-month war at more than 15,000, a number far higher than Moscow has acknowledged.
Russian military units were crippled in the failed attempt to storm kyiv and had to regroup and refit. Some analysts say the delay in launching a full-fledged offensive may reflect a decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin to wait until his forces are ready for a decisive battle, instead of rushing and risking another failure that could undermine his rule amid deteriorating economic conditions. home because of Western sanctions.
Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, the United States had sent military equipment to the country for its defense. So where do these weapons come from? And how do these expeditions affect our own military readiness? William Hartung, senior fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, joined NBCLX storyteller Clark Fouraker to explain.
Many observers suspect Putin wants to claim a victory in the East by Victory Day on May 9, one of the proudest holidays on the Russian calendar, marking the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War. World War.
The terrible human cost of the war, which has driven more than 11 million Ukrainians from their homes, continues to mount.
In Lyman, a town in Donetsk where Russian forces are reportedly trying to advance as part of their push into the Donbass, shells rained down on Tatiana Maksagory’s house this week, devastating her family.
Maksagory’s 14-year-old grandson, Igor, was pronounced dead after emergency services took him to hospital. Her daughter was in serious condition and her son-in-law was also killed.
“Grandma, will I live? she said, Igor asked her when they were in the basement waiting for help. “I said he would live. But look what happened, I betrayed him.
Click here for comprehensive coverage of the crisis in Ukraine.
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine drags on, the endgame has become less clear. NBCLX storyteller Clark Fouraker spoke to Philip Wasielewski of the Foreign Policy Research Institute about the possible outcomes of the war, which hinge on a key question: Does Russia want to fight — or find a way out?
Associated Press reporters Jon Gambrell and Yuras Karmanau in Lviv, Mstyslav Chernov in Kharkiv, Yesica Fisch in Sloviansk, and AP staff around the world contributed to this report.
Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine