Russia’s military command warns of renewed missile strikes on Ukraine’s capital Authorities in Moscow said they had targeted military bases, a claim repeated throughout the 52-day war – and denied by witnesses.
The figure reaches very deep. Every day brings new discoveries to the civilian population affected by the invasion that has eroded European security. A mother cries as she looks at the body of her 15-year-old son as rockets hit a residential area of the city of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine as Russia prepares for an expected attack. Authorities said one child and at least eight others were killed.
Authorities say more than 900 civilian bodies have been found in the Kiev area since Russian troops retreated two weeks ago. Smoke rose again from the capital early Saturday morning as Mayor Vitaly Klitschko announced a strike that killed one person and injured several others.
The mayor advised residents who had previously left the city during the war not to return.
“We do not rule out further strikes in the capital,” Klitschko said. “If you have the opportunity to stay in safe cities for a while, do it.”
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. The sprawling area on the southeast edge of the capital is a mix of Soviet-style apartments, new shopping centers and large box retail outlets, industrial areas and railroads.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the attack targeted an armored vehicle plant. He did not specify where the factory was located, but there was one in the Dornitsky district.
He said the plant was also among several Ukrainian military bases attacked by “high-precision long-range weapons fired by the wind.” As the US and Europe send new weapons to Ukraine, this strategy could be aimed at preventing Ukraine’s security ahead of a full – scale Russian offensive in the east.
This is the second attack in the Kiev region since the Russian military vowed this week to step up missile strikes on the capital. Another hit the missile plant on Friday, residents came out on foot, foreign embassies were scheduled to reopen and other temporary signs of pre-war life began to emerge in the city following the failure of Russian troops to capture Kiev.
Kiev is one of many destinations on Saturday. The Ukrainian president’s office has announced that it has carried out missile strikes and shelling in eight regions across the country in the past 24 hours.
The governor of the Lviv region in western Ukraine – long considered a safe zone – announced the airstrikes of a Russian Su-35 aircraft departing from neighboring Belarus.
In apparent preparations for its attack in the east, the Russian military has recently intensified shelling on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city. Ukraine’s presidential office says Friday’s attack killed civilians and injured more than 50.
On Saturday, AP reporters at the scene said an explosion believed to have been caused by a missile had chased emergency workers near an outdoor market in Kharkiv. One person was killed and at least 18 were injured, according to rescue workers.
“All the windows, all the furniture, everything was destroyed. Even the door,” said stunned resident Valentina Ulyanova.
Austrian President Carl Neummer, who met with Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week – the first European leader to do so since the invasion began on February 24 – has said that the Russian president is “on his own war logic” against Ukraine.
In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Nehammer said he believed Putin had won the war and that “we must look into his eyes and confront what we see in Ukraine.”
Nehammer also said that he encountered Putin during a visit to the Kiev suburb of Pucha, where graphic evidence of killings and torture during the Russian occupation emerged.
In southeastern Ukraine, the southern port city of Mariupol is detained, but the situation is very dangerous, according to the Ukrainian Presidential Office. Russian troops have been maintaining a siege there since the early days of the invasion.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday that Ukrainian forces had been evacuated from most of the city and were confined to the large Azovstal steel plant.
If Mariupol is captured, Russian forces in the south, which came through the annexed Crimean peninsula, will be allowed to fully integrate with troops in the Donbas region, the eastern industrial hub of Ukraine.
The war for control like Mariupol has come at a terrible cost to the trapped and starving civilian population. Locals said Russian troops were digging up bodies from residential yards and blocking new graves. It is not clear why.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also called for a global embargo on Western weapons and Russian oil, accusing Russian troops of intimidating civilians in occupied cities.
“The occupiers think this will make it easier to control the area. But they are so wrong. They are fooling themselves, ”Zhelensky said in his nightly video conference late Friday. “Russia’s problem is that it is not accepted by the entire Ukrainian people – it is never accepted. Russia has lost Ukraine forever.
He warned in an interview with CNN that “all nations of the world” must be prepared for the possibility of Putin’s use of tactical nuclear weapons, which has been a fundamental fear since the beginning of the invasion.
Zelenskyy estimates that between 2,500 and 3,000 Ukrainian troops were killed and about 10,000 wounded in the war. The Office of the Attorney General of Ukraine said on Saturday that at least 200 children had been killed and more than 360 injured.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vareshuk said on Saturday that Russian forces had captured about 700 Ukrainian troops and more than 1,000 civilians. Ukraine holds the same number of Russian troops as prisoners and wants to arrange a transfer, but “demands the unconditional release of civilians,” Vareshchuk said.
Russia’s warning of attacks on Kiev comes after Russian officials blamed Ukraine on Thursday for airstrikes in the Bryansk region on the Ukrainian border that injured seven people and damaged about 100 residential buildings.
Ukrainian authorities have not confirmed the targets of the attack in Russia. However, earlier this week they claimed responsibility for the destruction of a major warship by missiles.
The Moscow ship sank on Thursday after suffering extensive damage. Russia has denied any involvement in the attack, saying only that the fire was caused by an explosive device on board the ship.
The sinking reduced Russia’s firepower in the Black Sea and seemed to symbolize Moscow’s luck in the eight – week invasion, which is widely regarded as a historic mistake following Russia’s retreat from Kiev and much of northern Ukraine.
After the withdrawal, the bodies were dumped or temporarily buried in the streets of cities around Kiev. Andriy Nebytov, head of the region’s police force, cited police data and noted that 95% of people died from gunshot wounds, saying they were “simply hanged on the streets”.
Every day more and more bodies are found beneath the ruins and in mass graves, he added, adding that the largest number of more than 350 are found in Pucha.
The diplomatic rift between Russia and the West deepened on Saturday, with Moscow barring British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a dozen other UK officials from entering the country in response to British sanctions.
Chernov reported from Kharkiv. The report was co-authored by Jessica Fish from Kramatorsk, Ukraine, Robert Burns from Washington, and the Associated Press around the world.
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