Russia rests on Mariupol, attacking other Ukrainian cities

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – Russian forces on Sunday attacked the Hulking steel plant in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which has been under siege for six weeks, holding the last pocket of resistance. In the east of the country.

As the last Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol refused to surrender, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky said Russia was “deliberately trying to destroy everyone there.” He said Ukraine urgently needed more heavy weapons from the west to save the port city on the Sea of ​​Azov.

“Our partners can immediately supply Ukraine with the necessary heavy weapons, aircraft and without exaggeration, thus reducing the pressure of the invaders on Mariupol and breaking the siege,” he said. The role of our allies in this must be decisive.

Earlier, Zelenskyy told Ukrainian journalists that the siege of Mariupol had come at a terrible cost to the stranded and starving civilians, who could block talks on ending the war.

A spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that Ukrainian forces had been evacuated from most of the city and were only at the Azovstal steel plant, where the tunnels allow guards to hide and resist until the ammunition runs out.

The Russians have already taken control of what remains of the city after several weeks of bombings. The strike at the steel plant is part of Russia’s preparations for an expected offensive in eastern Ukraine.

The capture of Mariupol would allow Russian forces in the south, coming through the annexed Crimean peninsula, to fully integrate with troops in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine and to the center of the expected offensive.

Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hannah Malyar said on Sunday that Mariupol guards had cordoned off the city, besieging significant Russian forces. He described the city as “a shield to protect Ukraine”, preventing Russian troops from encircling the city from advancing to other parts of the country.

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Muller said the Russians were constantly attacking Mariupol with airstrikes and preparing for a waterfall landing to strengthen their forces in the city.

Meanwhile, Russian attacks scattered elsewhere in Ukraine were an explosive reminder to the Ukrainians and their Western supporters that the whole country is now under threat of an invasion in its eighth week.

After the failure to capture the capital of Ukraine and the first humiliating loss of its Black Sea Fleet, And Russia’s military command promised to step up missile strikes on the capital, Kiev. The Russians say they hit the armored vehicle plant on Saturday, a day after the missile plant was targeted.

Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said one person was killed and several others were injured in the strike on Saturday. He advised residents who had left the city earlier during the war not to return.

“We do not rule out further strikes in the capital,” he said. “If you have the opportunity to stay in safe cities for a while, do it.”

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the plant had been attacked at several Ukrainian military bases by “high-precision long-range weapons launched into the air.” The Ukrainian president’s office said missile strikes and shelling took place in eight regions across the country between Friday and Saturday.

The governor of the Lviv region in western Ukraine, who has only occasionally been affected by the violence of the war, announced airstrikes by Russian Su-35 aircraft departing from neighboring Belarus.

In the northeastern city of Kharkiv, Mayor Ihor Derekov said three people were killed and 34 wounded on Saturday. An explosion is believed to have been caused by a missile, which rescue workers were chasing near the outdoor market. Workers said one person was killed and at least 18 were injured.

“All the windows, all the furniture, all the doors were destroyed.”

The previous day, a 15-year-old boy had been killed when rockets hit a residential area in KharkivAuthorities say there is an infant and at least eight people in Ukraine’s second largest city.

Said Nate Mook, a member of the World Central Kitchen NGO run by renowned chef Jose Andres. A tweet In Kharkiv, four workers were injured in the strike. Andres Has tweeted that The staff were tense but safe.

Austrian President Carl Nehammer, 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 face what we see in Ukraine.”

Nehmmer told Putin that he had seen Putin during a visit to the Kiev suburb of Pucha, where more than 350 bodies had been found with evidence of killings and torture under Russian occupation, and that “this is not a friendly conversation.”

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 release of civilians “unconditionally.”

Russia’s warning of attacks on Kiev came on Thursday, following Ukraine’s accusations that seven people had been injured in airstrikes in Bryansk on the Ukrainian border and that about 100 residential buildings had been damaged. Ukrainian officials have not confirmed whether Russia hit the targets.

Russian Major General Vladimir Frolov, one of the men who besieged Mariupol, was buried Saturday in St. Petersburg after his troops died in battle, Governor Alexander Beklov said. Ukraine says several Russian generals and dozens of other high-ranking officials have been killed in the war.

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Chernov reported from Kharkiv. The report was co-authored by Jessica Fish from Kramatorsk, Ukraine, Robert Burns from Washington, and the Associated Press from around the world.

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Follow AP’s War Coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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