Kyiv: Russia and Ukraine broke through yesterday in the first top-level talks since the invasion of Moscow two weeks ago in international anger over the bombing of a children’s hospital, which Kyiv said killed three people, including a girl. Could not be opened. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said there was “no progress” in the 24-hour ceasefire after meeting with Russia’s Sergeĭ Viklov in Turkey, but said Moscow would continue to speak.
Russian troops rolled their armored vehicles to the northeastern tip of Kyiv yesterday, approaching their attempt to surround the Ukrainian capital, as the AFP team saw. Mayor Vitali Klitschko said half of the population had fled, adding: All streets, all buildings and all checkpoints have been enhanced. “
The United Nations estimates that more than 2.3 million refugees have left Ukraine since the invasion of Russia on February 24. This, along with cultural and sporting boycotts, prompted unprecedented western sanctions on Moscow. President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday that at least 35,000 civilians would be evacuated from cities around Smy, Enerhodar and Kyiv, and three routes would open, including the southern port city of Mariupol.
Mariupol’s children and maternity hospitals were attacked on Wednesday with what Zelensky described as a Russian “war crime,” which caused global anger. Local officials said yesterday that at least three people, including a girl, were killed in the attack. Overall, at least 71 children have been killed and more than 100 injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, said Lyudmyla Denisova, a human rights officer in the Ukrainian Parliament.
“Savage” hospital attack
According to the mayor, a 10-day continuous attack on Mariupol has already killed more than 1,200 civilians, creating a situation that aid agencies call an “apocalyptic” situation without water, electricity or heat. Zelensky shared footage of a massive destruction at the hospital on Wednesday, saying that a “direct strike by Russian troops” left the children under the wreckage. Officials had previously stated that 17 people, including doctors, were injured. A video shared by rescue workers from the scene showed a scene of complete devastation, with the injured evacuated, partly on a stretcher, with a burning car corpse and a huge crater by the building.
The White House accused “barbaric” use of force against civilians, and EU foreign policy director Joseph Borrell called it a “evil war crime” and responded to Zelensky. “Aerial strikes in residential areas and blocking of access to convoys by Russian troops must be stopped immediately,” Borrell said. The Russian Foreign Ministry did not deny the attack, but accused the Ukrainian “nationalist battalion” of using the hospital to set the firing position after moving staff and patients.
Viklov reiterated this claim yesterday, saying it was a military base for members of the radical Azov Battalion. When asked by a Turkish reporter if Russia had plans to attack another country, Viklov replied, “I have no plans to attack another country,” and claimed that he “did not attack Ukraine.” He argued that the situation in Ukraine “posed a direct threat to the Russian Federation” and that Russian President Vladimir Putin had launched the operation.
“Do not run anywhere”
At the northeastern end of Kyiv, Ukrainian soldiers portrayed a night of fierce battle for control of the main highway leading to the capital. The AFP team witnessed a missile attack in Velkya Dymerka, a mostly remote village just outside the city border of Kyiv. Ukrainian troops had minimal presence in the village, which said locals witnessed a fierce battle overnight.
“That’s scary, but there’s really no place to run or hide what you can do. We live here,” said Vasyl Popov, a 38-year-old advertising salesman. In the surrounding villages, there were few cars on the road and we were driving the current frontline territory with great care. They have fixed a handwritten sign on the rear windshield that says “Children,” hoping this will protect them from Russian bombardment.
The conflict has raised the threat of a nuclear accident in a country where major nuclear power plants and the site of the Chernobyl accident are located. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear power agency, said Wednesday that “there is no significant safety impact” after a power outage in Chernobyl, the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986. However, he warned that he had not received the latest information from Chernobyl or Zaporizhia, Europe’s largest nuclear power plants currently under Russian control. Meanwhile, the United States rejected Russia’s allegations of being involved in biological weapons research in Ukraine and warned that Russia may be preparing to use chemical or biological weapons in the war. Washington has strongly supported Ukraine, led the promotion of strict international sanctions, and sent weapons and other aid.
However, it ruled out forcing a no-fly zone and rejected Poland’s plan to transfer fighters via US air force bases, fearing being directly drawn into the conflict. However, Washington said it had strengthened its defenses in Poland and sent two new surface-to-air missile batteries on Wednesday. Britain says it is preparing to send more portable missile systems to support Ukraine, in addition to the more than 3,000 anti-tank weapons sent so far, and Canada has an additional $ 50 million in military. I promised to equip it.
In Turkey yesterday, Viklov said the EU and other countries’ supply of deadly weapons to Ukraine “created a huge danger to themselves.” The US House of Representatives has greened a spending package containing about $ 14 billion for Ukraine and its allies in Eastern Europe. This must be rubber stamped by the Senate. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has approved a $ 1.4 billion emergency package for Kyiv to provide “significant financial support.”
Western nations and allies are also trying to squeeze Moscow with unprecedented sanctions, damaging not only the Russian economy, but also those close to its oligarchs and Putin. The United States has banned Russia’s oil and gas imports this week, and Canada has pledged to end imports from London later this year. Britain has called for a follow-up to the G7 as a whole, but some countries are wary, and both Germany and Italy rely on Russia’s energy. -AFP
https://www.kuwaittimes.com/death-toll-mounts-as-bombing-of-ukraine-hospital-sparks-outrage/ Bombing Ukrainian hospitals causes anger and increases death toll