August 13, 2022

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

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

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces escalated their assaults on crowded city areas Tuesday in what Ukraine’s chief referred to as a blatant marketing campaign of terror, whereas U.S. President Joe Biden vowed to make his Russian counterpart “pay a worth” for the invasion.

“No one will forgive. No one will neglect,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed after the bloodshed on the central sq. in Kharkiv, the nation’s second-largest metropolis, and the bombing of a TV tower within the capital.

Biden used his first State of the Union handle to spotlight the resolve of a reinvigorated Western alliance that has labored to rearm the Ukrainian army and undertake robust sanctions, which he mentioned have left Russian President Vladimir Putin ”remoted on the earth 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 mentioned. “They preserve transferring. And the prices and threats to America and the world preserve 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 almost 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.

Day 6 of the largest floor warfare in Europe since World Warfare II discovered Russia more and more remoted, beset by the sanctions which have thrown its economic system into turmoil and left the nation virtually friendless, aside from just a few nations like China, Belarus and North Korea.

Because the preventing in Ukraine raged, the demise toll remained unclear. One senior Western intelligence official estimated that greater than 5,000 Russian troopers had been captured or killed. Ukraine gave no general estimate of troop losses.

The U.N. human rights workplace mentioned it has recorded 136 civilian deaths. The true toll is believed to be far increased.

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. It additionally mentioned three cities — Kharkiv, Kherson and Mariupol — have been encircled by Russian forces.

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

Ukrainian authorities mentioned 5 folks have been killed within the assault on the TV tower, which is a few miles from central Kyiv and a brief stroll from quite a few condo buildings. A TV management room and energy substation have been hit, and no less than some Ukrainian channels briefly stopped broadcasting, officers mentioned.

The bombing got here after Russia introduced it will goal transmission services utilized by Ukraine’s intelligence company. It urged folks residing close to such locations to go away their houses.

Zelenskyy’s workplace additionally reported a strong missile assault on the location of the Babi Yar Holocaust memorial, close to the tower. A spokesman for the memorial mentioned 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, no less than six folks have been killed when the area’s Soviet-era administrative constructing on Freedom Sq. was hit with what was believed to be a missile.

The Slovenian Overseas Ministry mentioned its consulate in Kharkiv, situated in one other giant constructing on the sq., was destroyed within the assault. The doorway to the consulate was between a jewellery retailer and a financial institution.

The assault on Freedom Sq. — Ukraine’s largest plaza, and 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 large sq., which was piled excessive with particles and dirt. Inside one constructing, chunks of plaster have been scattered, and doorways, ripped from their hinges, lay throughout hallways.

“Persons are below the ruins. We’ve got pulled out our bodies,” mentioned Yevhen Vasylenko, an emergency official.

Zelenskyy pronounced the assault on the sq. “frank, undisguised terror” and a warfare crime. “That is state terrorism of the Russian Federation,” he mentioned.

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In an emotional enchantment to the European Parliament later, Zelenskyy mentioned: “We’re preventing additionally to be equal members of Europe. I imagine that in the present day we’re displaying everyone that’s what we’re.”

One other Russian airstrike hit a residential space close to a hospital within the metropolis of Zhytomyr, Mayor Serih Sukhomlin mentioned in a Fb video. Ukraine’s emergency providers mentioned the Tuesday’s strike killed no less than two folks, set three houses on fireplace and broke the home windows within the 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 meant goal.

Zelenskyy mentioned 16 youngsters had been killed round Ukraine on Monday, and he mocked Russia’s declare that it’s going after solely army targets.

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

Human Rights Watch mentioned it documented a cluster bomb assault exterior a hospital in Ukraine’s east in latest days. Native residents additionally reported the usage of such weapons in Kharkiv and the village of Kiyanka, The Kremlin denied utilizing cluster bombs.

Cluster bombs shoot smaller “bomblets” over a big space, a lot of which fail to blow up till lengthy after they’ve been dropped. If their use in Ukraine is confirmed, that may signify a brand new degree of brutality within the warfare and will result in even additional isolation of Russia.

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

“As for dialogue, I feel sure, however cease bombarding folks first and begin negotiating afterwards,“ he informed CNN.

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

Inside Russia, a prime radio station crucial 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 will not be permitting the preventing to be known as an “invasion” or “warfare.”

Roughly 660,000 folks have fled Ukraine, and numerous others have taken shelter underground. Bomb harm has left lots of of hundreds of households with out consuming water, U.N. humanitarian coordinator Martin Griffiths mentioned.

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“It’s a nightmare, and it seizes you from the within very strongly. This can’t be defined with phrases,” mentioned Kharkiv resident Ekaterina Babenko, taking shelter in a basement with neighbors for a fifth straight day. “We’ve got babies, aged folks, and admittedly talking it is extremely scary.”

A Ukrainian army official mentioned Belarusian troops joined the warfare Tuesday within the Chernihiv area within the north, with out offering particulars. However simply earlier than that, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko mentioned his nation had no plans to affix the combat.

As for the Russians’ advance on the capital, the forefront of the convoy was 17 miles (25 kilometers) from the middle of town, in response to satellite tv for pc imagery from Maxar Applied sciences.

A senior U.S. protection official mentioned 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 gasoline and meals, the official mentioned, and morale has suffered because of this.

General, the Russian army has been stalled by fierce resistance on the bottom and a stunning incapacity to fully dominate Ukraine’s airspace.

The immense convoy, with automobiles packed collectively alongside slender roads, would seemingly be “a giant fats goal” for Ukrainian forces, the senior Western intelligence official mentioned on situation of anonymity.

“However it additionally reveals you that the Russians really feel fairly comfy being out within the open in these concentrations as a result of they really feel that they’re not going to come back below air assault or rocket or missile assault,” the official mentioned.

Ukrainians have used no matter they needed to attempt to cease the Russian advance. On a freeway between Odesa and Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine, residents piled tractor tires full of sand and topped with sandbags to dam convoys.

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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 Cook dinner in Brussels; and different AP journalists from world wide contributed to this report.

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Observe the AP’s protection of the Ukraine disaster at