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As the attack spread, Russian strikes struck western Ukraine – Daily Local

By YURASKARMANAU

Lviv, Ukraine (AP) —Russia expanded its military attack in Ukraine on Friday, with huge armored pillars that had long stagnated outside Kyiv re-moving and inciting, an airfield in the west and an industrial city in the east. Attacked for the first time. In nearby forests and towns.

The United States and its allies have prepared to step up efforts to isolate and sanction Russia by revoking Russia’s most favorable trading conditions. But now with the 16th day of the invasion, Russia appears to be reorganizing and regaining momentum, a major city that has already been attacked, especially tens of thousands of people struggling to find food. Bombardment and tightening on the port city of Mariupol has expanded. Intense 10-day-old siege.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said there was “certain positive progress” in the talks between Russia and Ukraine, but did not provide details.

Russian leaders convened Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Moscow on Friday, stating that negotiations are “almost every day” and that “there are certain positive developments and negotiators on our side Reported to me. “

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video outside Kyiv’s presidential government that the Ukrainian army “has reached a strategic turning point.”

“It’s impossible to say how many days we still need to free the land, but … we’ve reached a strategic turning point, so we can say we’ll do that.” He didn’t elaborate. He said authorities are working on 12 humanitarian corridors, trying to secure food, medicine and basic commodities to people across the country.

Western and Ukrainian officials said Russian troops were struggling in the face of heavier resistance and supply and morale issues than expected. So far, they have made the most progress in the cities of the South and East, while stalling around North and Kyiv.

The strike on Friday targeted the western part of the main battlefield where the Ukrainian Air Force was operating at its base. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Russia used high-precision long-range weapons on Friday to “suspend” military airfields in Lutsk and Ivano-Frankovsk. He didn’t provide the details.

Lutsk mayor Ihor Polishchuk said the Lutsk strike killed four Ukrainian soldiers and injured six. In Ivano-Frankovsk, residents were ordered to shelter after an air raid warning, said Mayor Ruslan Marzinkiv.

In another potentially ominous move, new satellite images appeared to show that a huge Russian convoy outside the Ukrainian capital had spread to nearby towns and forests.

According to Maxar Technologies, who created the image, the howitzer was towed to the position where it fired, and armored units were seen in a town near Antonov Airport, north of the city.

Earlier last week, 40 miles (64 kilometers) of vehicles, tanks and artillery were gathered outside Kyiv. However, while Ukrainian troops targeted it with anti-tank missiles, its progress appeared to be stagnant as food and fuel shortages were reported.

The purpose of the new move was not clear. Russia will probably eventually surround the capital. But Nick Reynolds, a land warfare analyst at the Royal United Services Institute, a British defense think tank, said the move “looks like a defensive measure to help convoys better protect themselves.” It may indicate that it is not possible to surround the city quickly.

“Therefore, by decentralizing, they can better protect themselves in the areas where they hold the ground,” Reynolds said. The Russians appeared to be stuck near Kyiv and Kharkov, but progress has been made elsewhere, with Ukrainian troops “blowing” while Russia increased its artillery and reorganized its troops on the ground. Received. “

“It’s already ugly, but it’s going to get worse,” he said.

The British Ministry of Defense said that after making “limited progress”, Russian troops are preparing for an operation against Kyiv and are trying to “reset and relocate” their troops.

Moscow has also announced plans to involve fighters from Syria in the conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved bringing in “volunteer” fighters and has told the Defense Minister to help them “move to the battle zone.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that “volunteers” included fighters from Syria.

According to the Kremlin records, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia knew “more than 16,000 applications” from Middle Eastern countries, many of them from those who said they helped Russia against Islamic State groups. Said there is.

Since 2015, Russian troops have supported Syrian President Bashar Assad against various groups opposed to his rule, including the Islamic State. Syrian opposition activists also reported Russia’s recruitment efforts for the Ukrainian war. However, they have so far estimated that the number of volunteers is hundreds or thousands.

In terms of sanctions, revoking Russia’s “most favored nation” trade status by the United States and other countries will impose higher tariffs on some Russian imports. Western sanctions have already hit Russia seriously, the ruble has plummeted, foreign companies have fled, and prices have skyrocketed. Putin argues that Russia can withstand sanctions.

Meanwhile, attacks on Ukrainian cities have expanded.

In Syria, Russia assisted the government by imposing long and brutal siege on opposition-controlled cities, causing massive destruction of residential areas and causing widespread civilian casualties. Its history, along with the continued siege of Mariupol’s Azov Seaport, has caused similar fears of bloodshed in Ukraine.

Russia’s airstrikes on Friday first targeted the eastern city of Dnipro, Ukraine’s fourth-largest city, strategically located on the Dnieper River, a major industrial center. At least one person was killed in three strikes, according to Anton Herashenko, an adviser to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.

In an image of the aftermath of a strike released by the Ukrainian State of Emergency Declaration Agency, firefighters extinguished a fiery building and scattered ash fell on bloody rubble. Smoke swirled over the shattered concrete, collapsing the siding on which the building once stood.

The Ukrainian General Staff said attacks in the West and Dnipro were launched because the Russians were “unsuccessful” in other respects. Russia’s efforts continue to concentrate around Kyiv and Mariupol, saying Russian troops have been reorganized around the northern and eastern cities of Smy and Kharkov.

In most parts of Ukraine, temperatures have fallen below freezing and were predicted to reach -13 degrees Celsius (8 degrees Fahrenheit) in Kharkov, which was heavily bombed. Approximately 400 apartments have been separated from heating, and Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov has called on the rest of the population to get off the subway and other underground shelters where authorities and volunteers are handing out blankets and hot food.

This week’s deadly strike at Mariupol’s maternity hospital has sparked accusations of international anger and possible war crimes.

Residents of Mariupol said the bombing continued on Friday. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Konashenkov said Russian-backed fighters are up to 800 meters east, north and west of Mariupol, further squeezing cities with the Sea of ​​Azov to the south. Stated. He said the advance was made by fighters from the Donetsk region, owned by separatists, which is the standard Russian route for fighting in the east.

Ukrainian authorities are planning to send aid to Mariupol, which is home to about 430,000 people, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a video message.

Repeated previous attempts failed as the convoys of aid and rescue were targeted by Russian artillery, despite the desperate growth of the population in search of food and fuel.

More than 1,300 people were killed in the siege, according to Weleschuk. “They want to destroy the people of Mariupol. They want to starve them,” she added. “It’s a war crime.”

The International Organization for Migration said Friday that about 2.5 million people have fled Ukraine since the invasion began. Millions more people have been expelled from their homes. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said about two million people, half the population of the metropolitan area, have left the capital.

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Contributed by Associated Press journalists Felipe Dana and Andrew Drake in Kyiv, Ukraine, and other reporters around the world.

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Follow the Associated Press coverage of the Ukrainian crisis at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

As the attack spread, Russian strikes struck western Ukraine – Daily Local

Source link As the attack spread, Russian strikes struck western Ukraine – Daily Local

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