August 10, 2022

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As Russia batters Ukraine, either side prepared for extra talks

By JIM HEINTZ, YURAS KARMANAU, VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV and DASHA LITVINOVA

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia renewed its assault Wednesday on Ukraine’s second-largest metropolis in a pounding that lit up the skyline with balls of fireside over populated areas, whilst either side mentioned they have been able to resume talks geared toward stopping the brand new devastating struggle in Europe.

The escalation of assaults on crowded cities adopted an preliminary spherical of talks between outgunned Ukraine and nuclear energy Russia on Monday that resulted in solely a promise to satisfy once more. It was not clear when new talks may happen — or what they might yield. Ukraine’s chief earlier mentioned Russia should cease bombing earlier than one other assembly.

Seven days into the struggle, roughly 874,000 folks have fled Ukraine and the U.N. refugee company warned the quantity might cross the 1 million mark quickly. The general loss of life toll was not clear, however Ukraine’s State Emergency Service mentioned greater than 2,000 civilians have died. It was not possible to confirm that declare.

Numerous others have taken shelter underground, as Russia continued its bombardment.

One other assault got here Wednesday on Kharkiv, a metropolis with a inhabitants of about 1.5 million, and a strike reportedly hit a hospital within the nation’s north. A 40-mile (64-kilometer) convoy of tons of of Russian tanks and different autos superior slowly the capital of Kyiv, whereas Russian forces pressed their assault on the strategic southern metropolis of Kherson.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s objectives should not clear, however the West has warned he could also be looking for to topple the federal government and set up a Kremlin-friendly regime.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has decried Russia’s assaults on civilian targets as a blatant terror marketing campaign, whereas U.S. President Joe Biden warned on Tuesday that if the Russian chief didn’t “pay a worth” for the invasion, the aggression wouldn’t cease with one nation.

Russia, too, ramped up its rhetoric, with International Minister Sergei Lavrov reminding the world in regards to the nation’s huge nuclear arsenal. In an interview with Al-Jazeera, he mentioned: “A 3rd world struggle might be nuclear, and devastating,” in response to Russian information websites.

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A Russian strike hit the regional police and intelligence headquarters in Kharkiv, killing 4 folks and wounding a number of, the state emergency service of Ukraine mentioned. It added that residential buildings have been additionally hit, however didn’t present additional particulars.

A blast blew the roof off of the five-story police constructing and set the highest ground alight, in response to movies and pictures launched by the service. Items of the constructing have been strewn throughout adjoining streets.

Within the northern metropolis of Chernihiv, two cruise missiles hit a hospital, in response to the Ukrainian UNIAN information company, which quoted the well being administration chief. Serhiy Pivovar mentioned and authorities have been working to find out the casualty toll.

Within the besieged port metropolis of Mariupol, at the very least one teenager died and two extra have been wounded by obvious Russian shelling.

The three boys have been rushed to a regional hospital. One had misplaced his legs within the assault and died quickly after arriving, in response to an Related Press reporter on the scene. Relations instructed the AP the three had been enjoying soccer close to a faculty when the shelling hit.

The assaults adopted a day after one in Kharkiv’s central sq. that shocked many Ukrainians for hitting on the middle of life in a serious metropolis. A Russian strike additionally focused a TV tower within the capital of Kyiv on Tuesday, killing 5 folks, Ukrainian authorities mentioned.

A spokesman for the close by Babi Yar Holocaust memorial mentioned {that a} Jewish cemetery on the website was broken however that the extent was not clear. An AP photographer who visited the scene Wednesday mentioned the principle monument itself wasn’t broken.

Zelenskyy, who referred to as the strike on the sq. in Kharkiv a struggle crime that the world would always remember, expressed outrage Wednesday on the assault close to Babi Yar, the place Nazi occupiers killed greater than 33,000 Jews over two days in 1941.

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He expressed concern that mentioned different traditionally important and non secular websites could possibly be focused and referred to as on Jews around the globe to protest the invasion.

“That is past humanity,” Zelenskyy, who’s Jewish, mentioned in a speech posted on Fb. “They’ve orders to erase our historical past, our nation and all of us.”

Whilst Russia pressed its assault, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned Wednesday {that a} delegation can be prepared later within the day to satisfy Ukrainian officers.

Ukrainian International Minister Dmytro Kuleba additionally mentioned his nation was prepared — however famous that Russia’s calls for haven’t modified and that he wouldn’t settle for any ultimatums. Neither aspect mentioned the place the talks may happen.

Because the struggle wears on, Russia finds itself more and more remoted, beset by the sanctions which have thrown its economic system into turmoil and left the nation virtually friendless, other than a number of nations like China, Belarus and North Korea. There have been some studies that Belarus is making ready to ship troops into Ukraine, however Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has mentioned his nation has no such plans.

Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, acknowledged the worldwide financial punishment hitting Russia and Russians now could be “unprecedented” however mentioned Moscow had been ready for all method of sanctions, and the potential harm had been taken under consideration earlier than launching the invasion.

“Now we have expertise with this. Now we have been by way of a number of crises,” he mentioned.

The invading forces additionally pressed their assault on different cities and cities. Britain’s Protection Ministry mentioned Kharkiv and the strategic port of Mariupol have been encircled. A 3rd metropolis, Kherson, is underneath stress, however there have been conflicting studies of who managed it.

The Vienna-based Worldwide Atomic Vitality Company, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, mentioned it had acquired a letter from Russia saying its navy had taken management round Ukraine’s largest nuclear energy plant. Based on the letter, personnel on the plant continued their “work on offering nuclear security and monitoring radiation in regular mode of operation,” and it mentioned the “radiation ranges stay regular.”

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Russia already seized management of the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear energy plant, scene of the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe in 1986.

The IAEA says that it has acquired a request from Ukraine to “present speedy help in coordinating actions in relation to the security” of Chernobyl and different websites.

Many navy specialists 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 mentioned it had seen a rise in Russian air and artillery strikes on populated city areas over the previous two days. Human Rights Watch mentioned it documented a cluster bomb assault exterior a hospital in Ukraine’s east in current days. Residents additionally reported the usage of such weapons in Kharkiv and Kiyanka village. The Kremlin denied utilizing cluster bombs.

Within the southern port metropolis of Mariupol, the mayor mentioned Wednesday morning that the assaults had been relentless.

“We can not even take the wounded from the streets, from homes and residences right now, because the shelling doesn’t cease,” Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko was quoted by the Interfax information company as saying.

Boychenko referred to Russia’s actions as a “genocide” — utilizing the identical phrase Putin has used to justify the invasion.

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Isachenkov and Litvinova reported from Moscow; Karmanau reported from Lviv, Ukraine. 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 around the globe contributed to this report.

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Comply with the AP’s protection of the Ukraine disaster at