Russian troops enter Ukraine’s 2nd largest city : NPR

A civil protection man stands guard at a checkpoint in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, as Russian troops continued their advance.

Emilio Morenatti/AP

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Emilio Morenatti/AP

A civil protection man stands guard at a checkpoint in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, as Russian troops continued their advance.

Emilio Morenatti/AP

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Road preventing broke out early Sunday in Kharkiv as Russian troops pushed into Ukraine’s second-largest metropolis, in response to a regional official, following a wave of assaults elsewhere focusing on airfields and gas services that appeared to mark a brand new section of an invasion that has been slowed by fierce resistance.

The U.S. and EU responded with weapons and ammunition for the outnumbered Ukrainians and highly effective sanctions meant to additional isolate Moscow.

Russian troops approached Kharkiv, about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) south of the border with Russia, shortly after Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine on Thursday. However till Sunday, they remained on the outskirts of the town of 1.4 million with out making an attempt to enter whereas different forces rolled previous, urgent their offensive deeper into Ukraine.

Early Sunday, Russian troops moved in and had been engaged by Ukrainian forces, stated Oleh Sinehubov, the pinnacle of the Kharkiv regional administration, who instructed civilians to not go away their properties. He gave no additional particulars.

Movies posted on Ukrainian media and social networks confirmed Russian autos shifting throughout Kharkiv and a lightweight automobile burning on the road.

Elsewhere, large explosions lit up the sky early Sunday south of the capital, Kyiv, the place folks hunkered down in properties, underground garages and subway stations in anticipation of a full-scale assault by Russian forces.

Flames billowed into the sky earlier than daybreak from an oil depot close to an air base in Vasylkiv, the place there was intense preventing, in response to the city’s mayor. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s workplace stated one other explosion was on the civilian Zhuliany airport.

Zelenskyy’s workplace additionally stated Russian forces blew up a gasoline pipeline in Kharkiv, prompting the federal government to warn folks to guard themselves from the smoke by protecting their home windows with damp material or gauze.

“We’ll combat for so long as wanted to liberate our nation,” Zelenskyy vowed.

Terrified males, girls and kids sought security inside and underground, and the federal government maintained a 39-hour curfew to maintain folks off the streets. Greater than 150,000 Ukrainians fled for Poland, Moldova and different neighboring nations, and the United Nations warned the quantity might develop to 4 million if preventing escalates.

President Vladimir Putin hasn’t disclosed his final plans, however Western officers imagine he’s decided to overthrow Ukraine’s authorities and exchange it with a regime of his personal, redrawing the map of Europe and reviving Moscow’s Chilly Struggle-era affect.

To help Ukraine’s skill to carry out, the U.S. pledged an extra $350 million in navy help to Ukraine, together with anti-tank weapons, physique armor and small arms. Germany stated it could ship missiles and anti-tank weapons to the besieged nation and that it could shut its airspace to Russian planes.

A Ukrainian soldier walks previous particles of a burning navy truck, on a road in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.

Efrem Lukatsky/AP

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Efrem Lukatsky/AP

A Ukrainian soldier walks previous particles of a burning navy truck, on a road in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.

Efrem Lukatsky/AP

The U.S., European Union and United Kingdom agreed to dam “chosen” Russian banks from the SWIFT world monetary messaging system, which strikes cash round greater than 11,000 banks and different monetary establishments worldwide, a part of a brand new spherical of sanctions aiming to impose a extreme price on Moscow for the invasion. In addition they agreed to impose “restrictive measures” on Russia’s central financial institution.

Responding to a request from Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation, tech billionaire Elon Musk stated on Twitter his satellite-based web system Starlink was now lively in Ukraine and that there have been “extra terminals en route.”

It was unclear how a lot territory Russian forces had seized or to what extent their advance had been stalled. Britain’s Ministry of Protection stated “the velocity of the Russian advance has quickly slowed seemingly on account of acute logistical difficulties and robust Ukrainian resistance.”

A senior U.S. protection official stated greater than half the Russian fight energy that was massed alongside Ukraine’s borders had entered the nation and Moscow has needed to commit extra gas provide and different assist items inside Ukraine than initially anticipated. The official spoke on situation of anonymity to debate inner U.S. assessments.

The curfew forcing everybody in Kyiv inside was set to final by way of Monday morning. The relative quiet of the capital was sporadically damaged by gunfire.

Combating on the town’s outskirts advised that small Russian items had been making an attempt to clear a path for the principle forces. Small teams of Russian troops had been reported inside Kyiv, however Britain and the U.S. stated the majority of the forces had been 19 miles (30 kilometers) from the town’s heart as of Saturday afternoon.

Russia claims its assault on Ukraine from the north, east and south is aimed solely at navy targets, however bridges, colleges and residential neighborhoods have been hit.

Ukraine’s well being minister reported Saturday that 198 folks, together with three kids, had been killed and greater than 1,000 others wounded throughout Europe’s largest land battle since World Struggle II. It was unclear whether or not these figures included each navy and civilian casualties.

A missile struck a high-rise condominium constructing in Kyiv’s southwestern outskirts close to one of many metropolis’s two passenger airports, leaving a jagged gap of ravaged flats over a number of flooring. A rescue employee stated six civilians had been injured.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova, stated troops in Kyiv had been preventing Russian “sabotage teams.” Ukraine says some 200 Russian troopers have been captured and hundreds killed.

Markarova stated Ukraine was gathering proof of shelling of residential areas, kindergartens and hospitals to undergo The Hague as doable crimes towards humanity.

Zelenskyy reiterated his openness to talks with Russia in a video message, saying he welcomed a proposal from Turkey and Azerbaijan to arrange diplomatic efforts, which thus far have faltered.

The Kremlin confirmed a cellphone name between Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev however gave no trace of restarting talks. A day earlier, Zelenskyy provided to barter a key Russian demand: abandoning ambitions of becoming a member of NATO.

Putin despatched troops into Ukraine after denying for weeks that he meant to take action, all of the whereas increase a pressure of virtually 200,000 troops alongside the nations’ borders. He claims the West has didn’t take severely Russia’s safety issues about NATO, the Western navy alliance that Ukraine aspires to hitch. However he has additionally expressed scorn about Ukraine’s proper to exist as an impartial state.

Along with Kyiv, the Russian assault appeared to deal with Ukraine’s economically important coastal areas, from close to the Black Sea port of Odesa within the west to past the Azov Sea port of Mariupol within the east.

Ukrainian troopers in Mariupol guarded bridges and blocked folks from the shoreline amid issues the Russian navy might launch an assault from the ocean.

“I do not care anymore who wins and who would not,” stated Ruzanna Zubenko, whose massive household was pressured from their dwelling exterior Mariupol after it was badly broken by shelling. “The one vital factor is for our youngsters to have the ability to develop up smiling and never crying.”

Combating additionally raged in two japanese territories managed by pro-Russia separatists. Authorities in Donetsk stated scorching water provides to the town of about 900,000 had been suspended due to injury to the system by Ukrainian shelling.

The U.S. and its allies have beefed up forces on NATO’s japanese flank however thus far have dominated out deploying troops to combat Russia. As an alternative, the U.S., the European Union and different nations have slapped wide-ranging sanctions on Russia, freezing the property of companies and people together with Putin and his overseas minister.

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