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Russia is resuming strikes on the Ukrainian capital, hitting other cities

Kyiv, Ukraine – Russian forces have accelerated scattered attacks on Kyiv, western Ukraine and beyond Saturday as an explosive reminder to Ukrainians and their Western supporters that the entire country remains under threat despite Moscow’s efforts to launch a new offensive in the east.

Horrified by the loss of its flagship in the Black Sea and outraged by the alleged Ukrainian aggression on Russian territory, the Russian military command has warned of renewed missile strikes on the Ukrainian capital. Officials in Moscow said they were heading for military sites, a statement that was repeated – and refuted by witnesses – during 52 days of war.

The fee goes much deeper. Every day brings new discoveries to civilian victims of an invasion that shattered European security. As Russia prepared for the expected offensive, a mother wept over her 15-year-old son’s body after rockets hit a residential area of ​​Kharkiv, a city in northeastern Ukraine. One baby and at least eight others were killed, officials said.

In towns and villages near Kyiv, authorities said they had found the bodies of more than 900 civilians, most of them shot dead after Russian troops withdrew two weeks ago. Smoke rose again from the capital early Saturday, when Mayor Vitali Klitschko announced a strike that killed one person and injured several.

The mayor advised residents who had fled the city earlier in the war not to return.

“We do not rule out further strikes on the capital,” Klitschko said. “If you have the opportunity to stay a little longer in cities where it’s safer, do it.”

It was not immediately clear from the ground what was hit in the Darnytskyi district of Kyiv. The vast area at the southeastern end of the capital contains a mix of Soviet-style apartment blocks, newer shopping malls and large shopping malls, industrial areas and railway facilities.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said an armored vehicle plant had been attacked. He did not specify the location of the factory, but there is one in the Darnytskyi district.

He said the plant was among many Ukrainian military sites affected by “high-precision, long-range weapons.” As the United States and Europe send new weapons to Ukraine, the strategy could focus on cracking Ukraine’s defenses before what is expected to be a full-scale Russian attack in the east.

It was the second strike in the Kyiv region since the Russian military promised this week to step up missile strikes on the capital. Another hit a rocket plant on Friday.

Russian missiles hit the city just as residents appeared for walks, foreign embassies planned to reopen, and other preliminary signs of the city’s prewar life began to reappear after Russian troops failed to take Kyiv and withdraw.

Kyiv was one of many targets on Saturday. The Ukrainian president’s office has reported rocket fire and shelling in the last 24 hours in eight regions across the country.

The governor of Lviv region in western Ukraine, which is only sporadically affected by the violence of the war, announced air strikes in the region by Russian Su-35 planes that took off from neighboring Belarus.

In apparent preparations for its attack in the east, the Russian military has stepped up shelling of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, in recent days. Civilians were killed and more than 50 were injured in Friday’s attack, the Ukrainian president’s office said.

An explosion believed to have been caused by a rocket sent to emergency workers climbing near an open market in Kharkov on Saturday, according to AP reporters. One person was killed and at least 18 were injured, according to rescuers.

“All the windows, all the furniture, everything is destroyed. And the door, too, “said the stunned resident Valentina Ulyanova.

Kharkov Mayor Igor Terekhov said three people were killed and 34 injured on Saturday.

Nate Mook, a member of the NGO World Central Kitchen, led by renowned chef Jose Andres, tweeted that four workers in Kharkov had been injured in a strike. Jose Andres tweeted that employees were worried but safe.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nechamer, who met with Vladimir Putin last week in Moscow – the first European leader to do so since the invasion began on February 24 – said the Russian president was “in his own military logic” for Ukraine.

In an interview with NBC’s Nehamer Press, he said he thought Putin believed he was winning the war and “we need to look him in the eye and confront him with what we see in Ukraine.”

Nehamer said Putin was confronted with what he saw during a visit to the Kiev suburb of Bucha, where more than 350 bodies were found, along with evidence of killings and torture during the Russian occupation, and “it was not a friendly conversation.” .

In an interview with Ukrainian journalists, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the ongoing siege of the port city of Mariupol, which costs a horrific cost to trapped and starving civilians, could hamper attempts to end the war.

“The destruction of all our boys in Mariupol – what they are doing now – could put an end to any format of negotiations,” he said.

Later, in his evening video address to the nation, Zelensky said Ukraine needed more support from the West to have a chance to save Mariupol.

“Either our partners give Ukraine all the necessary heavy weapons, planes and, without exaggeration, immediately so that we can reduce the occupiers’ pressure on Mariupol and end the blockade,” he said, “or we will do so through negotiations in which the role of our partners must be decisive. “

Zelenski said the situation in Mariupol remained “inhuman” and Russia was “deliberately trying to destroy everyone there.”

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday that Ukrainian forces had been expelled from most of the city and remained only in the huge Azovstal steel plant.

The capture of Mariupol would allow Russian forces to the south, rising through the annexed Crimean peninsula, to fully connect with troops in the Donbass region, Ukraine’s eastern industrial heart.

Zelensky estimated that between 2,500 and 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers died in the war and about 10,000 were wounded. Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office said on Saturday that at least 200 children had been killed and more than 360 injured.

Russian forces have also captured about 700 Ukrainian soldiers and more than 1,000 civilians, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said on Saturday. Ukraine has about the same number of Russian troops as the prisoners and intends to organize an exchange, but insists on the release of civilians “without any conditions,” she said.

Russia’s warning of intensified attacks on Kyiv came after it accused Ukraine on Thursday of injuring seven people and damaging about 100 residential buildings by air strikes in Bryansk, a region bordering Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities have not confirmed that they have hit targets in Russia.

Russian Major General Vladimir Frolov, whose troops were among the besiegers of Mariupol, was buried Saturday in St. Petersburg after dying in battle, Governor Alexander Beglov said. Ukraine says several Russian generals and dozens of other high-ranking officers have been killed in the war.

In the Vatican, Pope Francis on Saturday called for “gestures of peace in those days marked by the horrors of war” in a Easter vigil sermon at St. Peter’s Basilica attended by the mayor of the occupied Ukrainian city of Melitopol and three members of Ukraine’s parliament. Francis did not directly mention the Russian invasion, but called, apparently in vain, for an Easter truce in order to achieve peace through negotiations.


Chernov reported from Kharkov. Yeshitsa Fish from Kramatorsk, Ukraine, Robert Burns in Washington and Associated Press journalists from around the world contributed to this report.


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