August 14, 2022

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By ANDREA ROSA

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces destroyed a theater in Mariupol the place a whole bunch of individuals had been sheltering Wednesday and rained hearth on different cities, Ukrainian authorities mentioned, whilst the 2 sides projected optimism over efforts to barter an finish to the preventing.

There was no rapid phrase on deaths or accidents in what the Mariupol metropolis council mentioned was an airstrike on the theater. Satellite tv for pc imagery from Monday confirmed the phrase “youngsters” written in massive white letters in Russian in entrance of and behind the constructing, the Maxar area know-how firm mentioned.

In Kyiv, residents huddled in houses and shelters amid a citywide curfew that runs till Thursday morning, as Russian troops shelled areas in and across the metropolis, together with a residential neighborhood 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) from the presidential palace. A 12-story residence constructing in central Kyiv erupted in flames after being hit by shrapnel.

And 10 folks had been killed whereas standing in line for bread within the northern metropolis of Chernihiv, the Ukrainian Normal Prosecutor’s Workplace mentioned.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in the meantime, went earlier than the U.S. Congress by way of video and, invoking Pearl Harbor and 9/11, pleaded with America for extra weapons and harder sanctions towards Russia, saying: “ We want you proper now.”

U.S. President Joe Biden introduced the U.S. is sending an extra $800 million in navy help to Ukraine, together with extra anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons and drones. He additionally known as Vladimir Putin a “conflict felony” in his sharpest condemnation of the Russian chief because the invasion started.

Worldwide strain towards the Kremlin mounted and its isolation deepened because the Worldwide Courtroom of Justice, also referred to as the World Courtroom, ordered Russia to cease attacking Ukraine, although there was little hope it might comply. Additionally, the 47-nation Council of Europe, the continent’s foremost human rights physique, expelled Russia.

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Whereas Moscow’s floor advance on the Ukrainian capital appeared largely stalled, Putin mentioned the operation was unfolding “efficiently, in strict accordance with pre-approved plans,” and he decried Western sanctions towards Moscow. He accused the West of making an attempt to “squeeze us, to place strain on us, to show us right into a weak, dependent nation.”

One other spherical of talks between the 2 sides was scheduled for Wednesday. After Tuesday’s negotiations, Russian Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov mentioned a impartial navy standing for Ukraine was being “critically mentioned” by the 2 sides, whereas Zelenskyy mentioned Russia’s calls for for ending the conflict had been changing into “extra real looking.”

Hopes for diplomatic progress to finish the conflict rose after Zelenskyy acknowledged Tuesday in probably the most specific phrases but that Ukraine is unlikely to comprehend its purpose of becoming a member of NATO. Putin has lengthy depicted Ukraine’s NATO aspirations as a risk to Russia.

Lavrov welcomed Zelenskyy’s remark and mentioned “the businesslike spirit” beginning to floor within the talks “provides hope that we will agree on this challenge.”

“A impartial standing is being critically mentioned in reference to safety ensures,” Lavrov mentioned on Russian TV. “There are concrete formulations that for my part are near being agreed.”

Russia’s chief negotiator, Vladimir Medinsky, mentioned the edges had been discussing a potential compromise for a Ukraine with a smaller, non-aligned navy.

Prospects for a diplomatic breakthrough had been extremely unsure, nonetheless, given the gulf between Ukraine’s demand that the invading forces withdraw utterly and Russia’s suspected purpose of changing Kyiv’s Westward-looking authorities with a pro-Moscow regime.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak denied Russian claims Ukraine was open to adopting a mannequin of neutrality akin to Sweden or Austria. Podolyak mentioned Ukraine wants highly effective allies and “clearly outlined safety ensures” to maintain it secure.

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One other supply of dispute is the standing of Crimea, which was seized and annexed by Russia in 2014, and the separatist-held Donbas area in japanese Ukraine, which Russia acknowledges as unbiased. Ukraine considers each a part of its territory.

The preventing has despatched greater than 3 million folks fleeing Ukraine, by the United Nations’ estimate. The U.N. reported that over 700 civilians have been confirmed killed however that the actual quantity is greater.

In going earlier than Congress, Zelenskyy mentioned that Russia “has turned the Ukrainian sky right into a supply of loss of life for 1000’s of individuals.” However Biden has rejected Zelenskyy’s requests to ship warplanes to Ukraine or set up a no-fly zone over the nation due to the chance of triggering conflict between the U.S. and Russia.

The pinnacle of the Worldwide Committee of the Crimson Cross, Peter Maurer, arrived in Ukraine to attempt to get hold of larger entry for help teams and elevated safety of civilians.

Amid the huge humanitarian disaster brought on by the conflict, the Crimson Cross has helped evacuate civilians from besieged areas and has delivered 200 tons of help, together with medical provides, blankets, water and over 5,200 physique luggage to assist “make sure the lifeless are handled in a dignified method.”

Nowhere has suffered greater than the encircled metropolis of Mariupol, the place native officers say missile strikes and shelling have killed greater than 2,300 folks. The southern seaport of 430,000 has been underneath assault for nearly the entire three-week conflict in a siege that has left folks struggling for meals, water, warmth and drugs.

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Native authorities mentioned Russian forces took a whole bunch of individuals hostage at a Mariupol hospital and had been utilizing them as human shields.

Our bodies have been buried in trenches in Mariupol, and extra corpses lay within the streets and in a hospital basement.

Utilizing the flashlight on his cellphone to light up the basement, Dr. Valeriy Drengar pulled again a blanket to indicate the physique of an toddler 22 days previous. Different wrapped our bodies additionally seemed to be youngsters, given their measurement.

“These are the folks we couldn’t save,” Drengar mentioned.

Practically 30,000 folks managed to flee town on Tuesday in 1000’s of autos by the use of a humanitarian hall, metropolis officers mentioned.

However with humanitarian help unable to get in amid the fixed bombardment, folks burn scraps of furnishings to heat their fingers and cook dinner the little meals nonetheless out there.

Kyiv regional chief Oleksiy Kuleba mentioned Russian forces had intensified preventing within the Kyiv suburbs and a freeway main west, and throughout the capital area, “kindergartens, museums, church buildings, residential blocks and engineering infrastructure are affected by the limitless firing.”

In different developments, the mayor of town of Melitopol, who was seized by Russian forces 5 days in the past, has been freed, mentioned Zelenskyy chief of workers Andriy Yermak. No particulars got about how he grew to become free.

Ukraine additionally appeared to have successes, with satellite tv for pc photographs from Planet Labs PBC analyzed by The Related Press displaying helicopters and autos ablaze on the Russian-held Kherson airport and air base after a suspected Ukrainian strike on Tuesday.

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Related Press journalists around the globe contributed to this report.

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Observe AP’s protection of the conflict at