Russo-Ukrainian War: What you need to know about the conflict
On Friday, Russian forces struck Ukrainian towns from a distance again, hitting sites in the capital Kyiv and across the west of the country as their ground offensive progressed under fierce Ukrainian resistance.
The war launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin entered its fourth week as his troops failed to take kyiv – a major objective in their hopes of forcing a settlement or dictating the country’s future political alignments.
Missiles and shelling hit the edges of kyiv as well as Lviv, near Ukraine’s western border with NATO countries like Poland.
Late Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to the nation that he was grateful to US President Joe Biden for additional military aid, but would not say specifically what the new package includes because it does not does not want to warn Russia. .
Foreign ministers from the major Group of Seven economies said in a joint statement that Russian President Vladimir Putin was waging an “unprovoked and shameful war”.
The fighting has driven more than 3 million people to flee Ukraine, the UN estimates. The death toll remains unknown, although Ukraine said thousands of civilians had died.
Here are some key things to know about the conflict:
WHAT HAPPENS ON THE PITCH?
The Western Command of the Ukrainian Air Force said six missiles were launched at Lviv from the Black Sea, but two of them were shot down.
The city’s mayor, Andriy Sadovyi, said the missiles hit a military aircraft repair facility near Lviv International Airport, also damaging a bus repair facility. No casualties were reported immediately. The establishment had suspended work before the attack, the mayor said on the Telegram messaging app.
Early morning barrages also hit a residential building in kyiv’s Podil district, killing at least one person, according to emergency services, which said 98 people had been evacuated from the building. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said 19 people were injured in the shelling just north of downtown Kyiv.
Two other people were killed when strikes hit residential and administrative buildings in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, according to regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.
Civilian casualties are mounting. The United Nations says it has so far recorded 780 killed and 1,252 injured, although it estimates the actual casualties to be much higher. It says most of the civilian casualties were due to wide area explosive weapons, such as heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, as well as missiles and airstrikes.
Ukrainian officials say thousands of civilians have been killed.
The World Health Organization has confirmed 43 attacks on hospitals and health facilities, killing 12 and injuring 34, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the United Nations Security Council on Thursday. of a virtual press briefing.
The besieged southern city of Mariupol suffered much of the bombardment. There, rescuers continue to search for survivors of a Russian airstrike in a theater where hundreds of people were sheltering, local officials said.
With communications down throughout the city and travel difficult due to shelling and other fighting, there were conflicting reports as to whether anyone had emerged from the rubble.
Video and photos provided by the Ukrainian military showed the building had been reduced to a roofless shell, with some exterior walls collapsed. Petro Andrushchenko, an official in the mayor’s office, said the building had a relatively modern bomb shelter designed to withstand airstrikes.
The Russian military denied bombing the theater or anywhere else in Mariupol on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Thursday that Russia’s invasion “has largely stalled on all fronts” amid strong Ukrainian resistance. He said Russian forces had made “minimal progress” on land, sea or in the air in recent days and were suffering heavy casualties.
Ukrainian forces use cheap Turkish-made drones to carry out deadly attacks against Russian invaders.
WHAT DID THE AP DIRECTLY WITNESS OR CONFIRM?
Smoke could be seen rising from the western part of the capital kyiv after an early morning barrage on Friday. Outside Lviv, black smoke billowed for hours after several missiles struck early in the morning. A day earlier, AP reporters relayed images of destruction, distress and defiance from across Ukraine.
A soldier standing guard near the site of the strike in Lviv said he heard three explosions in quick succession around 6 a.m. He said he had not heard of any casualties. A nearby resident described his building vibrating with explosions and panicked people. Smoke continued to rise from the site nearly three hours later.
The Mariupol bombings knocked out the windows of apartment buildings and sent smoke billowing above the horizon. Cars, some with the “Z” symbol of the Russian invasion force on their windows, drove past piles of crates of ammunition and artillery shells in a neighborhood controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
In Kharkiv, medics struggle to treat COVID-19 patients as bombs fall outside. Several times a day, air raid sirens sound at a local hospital, sending patients infected with the virus – some hooked up to ventilators and struggling to breathe – into bomb shelters.
HOW DOES THE WORLD RESPOND TO WAR?
The United States and its allies have implemented a series of sanctions aimed at crippling the Russian economy. Hundreds of international companies have announced they are cutting operations in Russia, and those that remain are under pressure to pull out.
On Friday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said her country should consider imposing an oil embargo on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. She said it was important to take a stand and not stay silent because of economic or energy dependency.
Movie icon Arnold Schwarzenegger told Russians in a video posted on social media on Thursday that they were being lied to about the war in Ukraine. He also accused Putin of sacrificing the lives of Russian soldiers for his own ambitions.
Schwarzenegger posted his video on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. While some of these services are blocked in Russia, he also posted it on the Telegram messaging app – which is not – where he got over half a million views. It was subtitled in Russian.
US President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping are due to speak by phone on Friday. Biden also plans to travel to Europe next week for talks with European leaders on the Russian invasion, and will attend an extraordinary NATO summit in Brussels. NATO reinforced its eastern flank with troops and equipment to deter Russia from invading any of its members.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said US officials were assessing and documenting potential war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine. Blinken said the intentional targeting of civilians is a war crime, for which there will be “massive consequences”.
Follow AP coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war: http://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine