Russia has Increased its Attacks in Ukraine
Moscow has stepped up attacks on key Ukrainian cities in the north, east and south amid today's second round of talks between Ukraine and Russia in Belarus.
On the eighth day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky called on citizens to do everything possible to oppose the Russian occupation. Eyewitnesses say Russia's artillery bombardment has increased over the past 24 hours and fierce fighting continues.
At least four major explosions around 3 a.m. local time lit up the night sky in Kyiv. It is unclear what the target of the attack was, or how many people may have been killed or injured. Footage of a huge fireball illuminating the night sky was posted on social media.
A 64-kilometer Russian military convoy heading to the Ukrainian capital is at a standstill, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. According to him, the convoy has not traveled much in the last 36 hours.
There are fears of hundreds of deaths in the southern port city of Mariupol after hours of prolonged shelling, but the city remains in Ukrainian hands, the city's deputy mayor said. Pro-Russian forces could launch targeted strikes against the city unless Ukrainian forces surrender there, according to Donetsk separatist commander Eduard Basurin.
The mayor of Kherson wrote on Facebook that Russian troops had taken over the southern Ukrainian city.
Igor Kolikhaev also said that Moscow forces had imposed a curfew from 20:00 p.m. to 06:00 a.m. local time and added that cars with food, medicine and some other consumables would be allowed to enter the city.
In the northern city of Chernihiv, Ukrainian authorities said a hospital had been hit by two cruise missiles.
In Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, Russian shells continued to fall. Many civilians were reported killed and wounded.
Meanwhile, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, has announced that he has launched an investigation into potential war crimes committed by Russia during its invasion of Ukraine.
By a large majority, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling on Russia to stop its attack on Ukraine. The text says Russia must withdraw its forces from the country. It also condemns Moscow's decision to make its ground, air and naval forces on high alert.
More than a million people have fled Ukraine since the invasion, the United Nations said, adding that the number is growing rapidly.
For the first time since the beginning of the military invasion, the Ministry of Defense in Moscow provided information about the loss of personnel. Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said 498 Russian soldiers had been killed and more than 1,500 wounded.
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