“No one forgives. No one will forget, ”Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised after the bloodshed on Tuesday in the central square of Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city, and the deadly explosion of a TV tower in the capital. He called the attack on the square “sincere, undisguised terror” and a war crime.
The storming of Kharkiv continued on Wednesday, with Russian strikes on regional police and intelligence headquarters, according to the Ukrainian State Emergency Service. It was noted that three people were injured.
As a result of the impact, the roof of the police building exploded and the upper floor caught fire, and pieces of the five-story building were scattered on nearby streets, according to videos and photos published by the Ministry of Emergencies.
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Biden used his first address on the state of the Union to underscore the determination of an intensified Western alliance working to rearm the Ukrainian military and adopt harsh sanctions, which he said left Russian President Vladimir Putin “isolated in the world more than ever.” was “.
“Throughout our history, we have learned this lesson – if dictators do not pay the price for their aggression, they cause even more chaos,” Biden said. “They keep moving. And the cost and threats to America and the world continue to rise.”
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When Biden said a 40-mile (64-kilometer) column with hundreds of Russian tanks and other vehicles was slowly advancing toward Kyiv, the capital with a population of nearly 3 million, leaving the West afraid of Putin’s attempts to overthrow the government. and establish a Kremlin-friendly regime.
Invading forces also stormed other cities, including the strategic ports of Odessa and Mariupol in the south.
When the seventh day of the war came on Wednesday, Russia found itself increasingly isolated, gripped by sanctions that wreaked havoc on its economy and left the country virtually without friends, except for a few countries such as China, Belarus and North Korea. Russia’s leading bank, Sberbank, announced on Wednesday that it would withdraw from European markets amid tightening Western sanctions.
As the fighting progressed, the humanitarian situation deteriorated. About 660,000 people fled Ukraine, and countless others hid underground.
The death toll was less clear, with neither Russia nor Ukraine reporting the number of troops lost. The UN Office of Human Rights has said it has recorded 136 deaths among civilians, although the actual number is certainly much higher.
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One high-ranking Western intelligence official estimated that 5,000 Russian soldiers had been 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 aerial bombardment to disperse cities and destroy the determination of the fighters.
The Ministry of Defense of the United Kingdom said that over the past two days there has been an increase in Russian air and artillery strikes on settlements. It also says that Kharkiv and Mariupol are surrounded by Russian forces and that troops have reportedly moved to the center of a third city, Kherson. Russia’s Defense Ministry said it had seized Kherson, although it could not be confirmed.
Ukrainian authorities have said that five people were killed in an attack on a TV tower in central Kyiv. The television and power control stations were affected, and at least some Ukrainian channels stopped broadcasting for a short time, officials said.
Zielenski’s office reported that the site of the Holocaust memorial in Babi Yar adjacent to the TV tower had also been damaged. A spokesman for the memorial said the Jewish cemetery at the site where the Nazi occupiers killed more than 33,000 Jews in two days in 1941 had been damaged, but the extent would not be determined.
On Wednesday, Zelensky expressed outrage at the attack on Babi Yar and concern that other historically significant and religious sites, such as St. Sophia Cathedral, could be targeted.
“It’s above humanity. Such a missile strike means that for many Russians our Kyiv is completely foreign, ”Zelensky said in his speech posted on Facebook. “In their order to erase our history, our country and all of us.”
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Earlier, Russia told people living near the facilities used by Ukrainian security services to leave their homes. But Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Kanashenkov said on Wednesday that the airstrike on the TV tower did not affect any apartment buildings. He did not touch upon information about the death or damage of Babi Yar.
In Kharkiv, with a population of about 1.5 million people, at least six people were killed in an alleged rocket attack on the region’s administrative building in Freedom Square. The Slovenian Foreign Ministry said its consulate in Kharkov, located in another large building on the square, had been destroyed.
The attack on the square – the center of public life of the city – was seen by many Ukrainians as brazen evidence that the Russian invasion was not only to defeat military targets, but also to break their spirit.
As a result of the bombing, the windows and walls of the buildings surrounding the area covered with debris and dust were smashed. Pieces of plaster were scattered inside one building, and doors lay through corridors.
Another Russian air strike struck a residential area in the city of Zhytomyr. Ukrainian emergency services said at least two people were killed in a strike on Tuesday, three houses burned and windows at a nearby hospital smashed. Approximately 85 miles (140 kilometers) west of Kiev in Zhytomyr is the elite 95th Airborne Assault Brigade, which may have been the intended target.
The mayor of Mariupol in the south of the port said the attacks were ruthless.
“We have been being flattened for 12 hours,” Mariupol Mayor Vadzim Boychanka was quoted as saying by Interfax. “We can’t even pick up the wounded from the streets, houses and apartments today, because the shelling doesn’t stop.”
Boychenko called Russia’s actions “genocide” – he used the same word that Putin used to justify the invasion.
Zelensky ridiculed Russia’s assertion that it pursues only military goals, noting that 16 children were killed on Monday.
“Where are the children? What military factories do they work in?” said Zelensky.
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Human Rights Watch said it had documented a cluster bomb attack near a hospital in eastern Ukraine in recent days. Residents of Kharkiv and Kiyanka also reported the use of such weapons. The Kremlin denies the use of cluster bombs.
Cluster bombs shoot smaller “bombs” in a large area, many of which do not explode until dropped. If their use is confirmed, it will represent a new level of brutality in the war.
The first talks between Russia and Ukraine after the invasion took place on Monday, but ended only with an agreement to re-negotiate. On Tuesday, Zelensky said Russia must first stop the bombing.
Instead, Moscow made new threats of escalation on Tuesday, days after raising the specter of nuclear war. A senior Kremlin official has warned that the West’s “economic war” against Russia could turn into a “real one.”
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Inside Russia, a major radio station criticizing the Kremlin was taken off the air after authorities threatened to shut it down for covering the invasion. Among other things, the Kremlin does not allow to call hostilities “invasion” or “war”.
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine stated that 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 Belarusian troops were on alert and concentrated near Ukraine’s northern border. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has stated that his country has no plans to join the struggle.
A senior U.S. defense official said Russia’s military progress – including through a massive convoy – had slowed due to logistics and supply problems. Some Russian military columns have run out of gas and food, the official said, and morale has suffered as a result.
In general, the Russian military was stopped by fierce resistance on the ground and a strange inability to completely dominate the airspace of Ukraine.
A huge convoy of vehicles packed together along narrow roads would seem to be a “big fat target” for Ukrainian forces, a senior Western intelligence official said on condition of anonymity. But it also showed that Russia feels comfortable that they will not attack from the air, missiles or missiles, the official said.
Isachenkov and Litvinov reported from Moscow; Karmanov reported from Lviv (Ukraine). Mstislav Chernov in Mariupol, Ukraine; Sergei Grits in Odessa, Ukraine; Robert Burns, Zick Miller and Eric Tucker in Washington; Francesca Ebel, Joseph Federman and Andrew Drake in Kiev; Lorne Cook in Brussels; and other AP journalists from around the world contributed to this report.
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