Russia takes intention at city areas; Biden vows Putin will ‘pay’



Biden used his first State of the Union handle to focus on the resolve of a reinvigorated Western alliance that has labored to rearm the Ukrainian army and undertake robust sanctions, which he stated have left Russian President Vladimir Putin ”remoted on the planet greater than he has ever been.”

“All through our historical past we’ve discovered this lesson — when dictators don’t pay a worth for his or her aggression, they trigger extra chaos,” Biden stated. “They maintain shifting. And the prices and threats to America and the world maintain rising.”

Biden devoted the primary 12 minutes of his Tuesday night handle to Ukraine, with lawmakers of each events repeatedly rising to their ft and applauding as he praised the bravery of Ukraine’s folks and condemned Putin’s assault.

As Biden spoke, a 40-mile (64-kilometer) convoy of lots of of Russian tanks and different automobiles superior slowly on Kyiv, the capital metropolis of practically 3 million folks, in what the West feared was a bid by Putin to topple the federal government and set up a Kremlin-friendly regime.

The invading forces additionally pressed their assault on different cities and cities, together with the strategic ports of Odesa and Mariupol within the south.

Because the seventh day of the battle dawned Wednesday, Russia discovered itself more and more remoted, beset by the sanctions which have thrown its financial system into turmoil and left the nation virtually friendless, other than just a few nations like China, Belarus and North Korea.

Whereas the preventing raged, so did the humanitarian toll. Roughly 660,000 folks have fled Ukraine, and numerous others have taken shelter underground.

The loss of life toll was much less clear, with neither Russia nor Ukraine releasing the variety of troops misplaced. The U.N. human rights workplace stated it has recorded 136 civilian deaths, although the precise toll is unquestionably far greater.

One senior Western intelligence official estimated that 5,000 Russian troopers had been captured or killed within the largest floor battle in Europe since World Conflict II.

Many army consultants fear that Russia could also be shifting techniques. Moscow’s technique in Chechnya and Syria was to make use of artillery and air bombardments to pulverize cities and crush fighters’ resolve.

Britain’s Protection Ministry stated it had seen a rise in Russian air and artillery strikes on populated city areas over the previous two days. It additionally stated three cities — Kharkiv, Kherson and Mariupol — had been encircled by Russian forces.

Ukrainian authorities stated 5 folks had been killed within the assault on the TV tower, close to central Kyiv. A TV management room and energy substation had been hit, and at the least some Ukrainian channels briefly stopped broadcasting, officers stated.

Russia beforehand instructed folks residing close to transmission services utilized by Ukraine’s intelligence company to go away their properties.

Zelenskyy’s workplace additionally reported a missile assault Tuesday on the positioning of the Babi Yar Holocaust memorial, close to the tower. A spokesman for the memorial stated a Jewish cemetery on the web site, the place Nazi occupiers killed greater than 33,000 Jews over two days in 1941, was broken, however the extent wouldn’t be clear till daylight.

In Kharkiv, with a inhabitants of about 1.5 million, at the least six folks had been killed when the area’s administrative constructing on Freedom Sq. was hit with what was believed to be a missile. The Slovenian Overseas Ministry stated its consulate in Kharkiv, situated in one other giant constructing on the sq., was destroyed.

The assault on Freedom Sq. — the nucleus of public life within the metropolis — was seen by many Ukrainians as brazen proof that the Russian invasion wasn’t nearly hitting army targets but additionally about breaking their spirit.

The bombardment blew out home windows and partitions of buildings that ring the sq., which was piled excessive with particles and mud. Inside one constructing, chunks of plaster had been scattered, and doorways lay throughout hallways.

“Individuals are underneath the ruins. We now have pulled out our bodies,” stated Yevhen Vasylenko, an emergency official.

One other Russian airstrike hit a residential space within the metropolis of Zhytomyr. Ukraine’s emergency providers stated Tuesday’s strike killed at the least two folks, burned three properties and broke the home windows in a close-by hospital. About 85 miles (140 kilometers) west of Kyiv, Zhytomyr is the house of the elite ninety fifth Air Assault Brigade, which can have been the supposed goal.

Zelenskyy has mocked Russia’s declare that it’s going after solely army targets, noting that 16 kids had been killed on Monday.

“The place are the kids? What sort of army factories do they work at? What tanks are they going at?” Zelenskyy stated.

Human Rights Watch stated it documented a cluster bomb assault outdoors a hospital in Ukraine’s east in latest days. Residents additionally reported using such weapons in Kharkiv and Kiyanka village. The Kremlin denied utilizing cluster bombs.

Cluster bombs shoot smaller “bomblets” over a big space, lots of which fail to blow up till lengthy after they’ve been dropped. If their use is confirmed, that will symbolize a brand new degree of brutality within the battle.

The primary talks between Russia and Ukraine because the invasion had been held Monday, however ended with solely an settlement to speak once more. On Tuesday, Zelenskyy stated Russia ought to cease bombing first.

In his speech, Biden introduced that the U.S. was becoming a member of a number of different nations in closing its airspace to Russian planes. He additionally warned the nation’s oligarchs that the Division of Justice was assembling a process power to research any crimes they dedicated.

“We’re becoming a member of with our European allies to seek out and seize your yachts, your luxurious residences, your non-public jets,” he stated. “We’re coming in your ill-begotten positive aspects.”

Biden trumpeted the toll international measures had taken on the Russian financial system already, together with a inventory market plunge and forex devaluation.

Moscow made new threats of escalation, days after elevating the specter of nuclear battle. A high Kremlin official warned that the West’s “financial battle” towards Russia might flip right into a “actual one.”

Inside Russia, a high radio station important of the Kremlin was taken off the air after authorities threatened to close it down over its protection of the invasion. Amongst different issues, the Kremlin is just not permitting the preventing to be known as an “invasion” or “battle.”

Ukraine’s Protection Ministry stated it had proof that Belarus, a Russian ally, is getting ready to ship troops into Ukraine. A ministry assertion posted early Wednesday on Fb stated the Belarusian troops have been introduced into fight readiness and are concentrated near Ukraine’s northern border. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has stated his nation has no plans to affix the struggle.

A senior U.S. protection official stated that Russia’s army progress — together with by the large convoy — has slowed, affected by logistical and provide issues. Some Russian army columns have run out of fuel and meals, the official stated, and morale has suffered consequently.

Total, the Russian army has been stalled by fierce resistance on the bottom and a shocking lack of ability to fully dominate Ukraine’s airspace.

The immense convoy, with automobiles packed collectively alongside slender roads, would seemingly be “an enormous fats goal” for Ukrainian forces, the senior Western intelligence official stated on situation of anonymity. However it additionally confirmed Russia was comfy that they would not come assault by air, rocket or missile, the official stated.


Isachenkov and Litvinova reported from Moscow. Mstyslav Chernov in Mariupol, Ukraine; Sergei Grits in Odesa, Ukraine; Robert Burns, Zeke Miller and Eric Tucker in Washington; Francesca Ebel, Josef Federman and Andrew Drake in Kyiv; Lorne Prepare dinner in Brussels; and different AP journalists from world wide contributed to this report.


Observe the AP’s protection of the Ukraine disaster at

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