Russia stepped up attacks on western Ukraine on Sunday, launching a deadly air strike on a military base where Ukrainian troops were training with NATO forces, bringing the conflict closer to Poland and forcing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to resume his requests for a no-fly zone.
Zelensky called Sunday a “black day” and said that no action at the military base would threaten Russia’s territory. An American journalist was also killed on Sunday and another was injured when their car came under fire from Russian troops near Kiev. Meanwhile, prolonged fighting in several regions has caused even more suffering in Ukraine and caused outrage among the international world.
For the third week now, the war has forced more than 2.5 million people to leave Ukraine. Thousands of civilians and soldiers were killed.
Another round of talks between Russia and Ukraine is scheduled for Monday, and Zelensky said he would continue talks and look forward to meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Here are some key things to know about conflict:
WHAT HAPPENED IN WESTERN UKRAINE?
Ukrainian officials said at least 35 people were killed and 134 wounded on Sunday when more than 30 cruise missiles were fired at the Yavoriv military range, just 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the Polish border.
The training base seems to be the westernmost target hit by the 18-day invasion. The facility, also known as the International Center for Peacekeeping and Security, has long been used to train the Ukrainian military, often with instructors from the United States and other NATO countries.
NATO international exercises were also held at the base. The site symbolizes what has long been Russia’s complaint: that a 30-member NATO is approaching Russia’s borders. Russia has demanded that Ukraine abandon its ambitions to join NATO.
After the attack, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CBS News “Face the Nation” that NATO will respond if Russia strikes at NATO countries.
Zelensky said he had told Western leaders that the base was in danger, and again asked NATO to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
“If you do not close our skies, it is only a matter of time before Russian missiles hit your territory. NATO territory. At the homes of citizens of NATO countries, ”Zelensky said. Military analysts say the no-fly zone is unlikely because the U.S. and its allies believe it could lead to an escalation of the war.
Russian airstrikes also again struck an airport in Ivano-Frankivsk, another city in western Ukraine south of Lviv and 250 kilometers (155 miles) from Ukraine’s border with NATO members Slovakia and Hungary. Mayor Ruslan Martinkov said that Russia’s goal is to “sow panic and fear.”
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MARIUPAL AND ODE?
In the besieged port city of Mariupol, according to the city council, more than 2,180 people have died in near-constant shelling by Russian forces.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said the suffering in the port city was “just huge” and that hundreds of thousands of residents were “facing an extreme or complete shortage of essentials such as food, water and medicine”. The organization said the bodies of civilians and soldiers remain where they fell.
Zelensky said Russian forces blocked a humanitarian convoy with tons of aid to Mariupol on Sunday. But he said the convoy would try to reach the city again on Monday.
In the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, near the Black Sea, authorities reported nine people were killed in the blasts. They said 32 people were also injured in Russian airstrikes on a monastery and children’s sanatorium in the eastern Donetsk region.
WHAT HAPPENED TO US JOURNALISTS?
American journalist Brent Reno was killed and another American journalist was injured when the Russian military opened fire on their car in Irpen, near the capital, Kiev police said.
A New York Times spokesman said the 50-year-old Reno was “a talented director who has contributed to The New York Times over the years.” At the time of his death, he was not working for the publication. According to TIME, Reno worked on the TIME Studios project on the global refugee crisis.
The injured journalist Juan Aredondo was taken to a hospital in Kyiv. Journalist Annaliza Camili recorded a video in which Arendonda is lying on a stretcher in the hospital. In the video, Aredondo said he and Reno were filming refugees when Russian soldiers opened fire. Their driver turned around, but soldiers continued firing, Arendonda said. Arendonda said an ambulance drove him away, and Reno, who was wounded in the neck, was left behind.
WHAT DIRECTLY WITNESSED OR CONFIRMED AP?
At a hospital in Brovary near Kiev, doctors examined the victims, including three people who ran into a mine.
The hospital’s chief doctor Valiantsin Bahniuk said that 80% of the hospital’s patients were civilians affected by the shelling.
Uladzimir Adamkovich was sitting on a hospital bed without a shirt, covering the wounds on his stomach from a shell that hit his house. He said he spent the night in his basement before reaching the hospital safely. He said his wife and child were also at home but were not injured.
In the suburbs of Kiev, Irpin, Ukrainian serviceman Alexei Lipirdi, 46, said that the Russians “want to intimidate us so that we are not calm,” but he and his unit remain adamant. As he spoke, smoke billowed from distant buildings.
WHAT’S LAST ABOUT UKRAINIAN REFUGEES?
While the number of people arriving in neighboring countries from Ukraine appears to have declined over the past week, refugees continue to suffer painful reports of destruction and death.
At the railway station in Przemyśl (Poland), the refugees described traveling in crowded trains and “people sleeping on each other” during their trips to safety. Some heard explosions as they passed through the western area, where Russian missiles hit a military training base.
“The sky,” said 25-year-old Elizaveta Zmievskaya from the Dnieper, “turned red.”
More than 1.5 million refugees have arrived in Poland since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24. The United Nations says a total of about 2.7 million have fled Ukraine.
Spokeswoman for the Polish Border Guard Service Anna Michalska said that the number of refugees who had arrived had decreased over the past week: about 79,800 on Saturday, up from 142,000 a week earlier.
Zelensky said humanitarian corridors had saved more than 130,000 people in six days.
UKRAINIAN AND RUSSIAN LEADERS SPEAK?
Negotiations on a broad ceasefire in Ukraine have so far failed. A Kremlin spokesman said the next round of talks would take place on Monday via video link, Russia’s state news agency TASS reported.
Zelensky said the talks are held daily; his repeated calls to meet with Putin went unanswered.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden is sending his national security adviser to Rome on Monday to meet with a Chinese official amid concerns that Beijing is spreading Russian disinformation and could help Moscow avoid Western sanctions. The White House said the talks would focus on the impact of the war on regional and global security.
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