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Russia Ukraine live updates: ‘Dozens dead’ in Russian war rocket attack in Kharkiv

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has left ‘dozens’ reportedly dead after rocket attacks hit its second largest city as tanks roll towards Kyiv. WARNING: Graphic

This Russia/Ukraine article is unlocked and free to read. Keep up to date with the latest on the war as it happens below.

Ukrainian officials have reported several dozen civilians had been killed in Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkiv after indiscriminate Russian forces shelling of apartment blocks.

“Barbaric rocket attacks and MLRS (multiple launch rocket systems) of peaceful cities are evidence that they are no longer able to fight armed Ukrainians,” Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Facebook.

He said there were unverified reports of dozens dead, some have put the figure close to at least 70, but so far 11 had been formally accounted for as killed from a series of explosions overnight and early this morning local time.

Kharkiv is largely a Russian-speaking city close to the border and defence analysts have said the Putin forces inability to capture the city as well as the capital Kyiv could lead to more desperate attacks on the civilian population.

A critical supply line shortage for fuel and armaments by the Russian forces is being cited for their lack of progress.

“The Russian advance on Kyiv has made little progress over the past 24 hours probably as a result of continuing logistical difficulties,” the British defence ministry said in a military intelligence update.

“Russian forces have increased their use of artillery north of Kyiv and in vicinities of Kharkiv and Chernihiv. The use of heavy artillery in densely populated urban areas greatly increases the risk of civilian casualties.”

Ukraine regional officials did confirm some 70 Ukrainian servicemen were killed on Sunday by Russian shelling of a base in the town of Okhtyrka, between Kharkiv and Kyiv.

Stunned by their failure to capture Kyiv in a planned 48-hour blitz, Russian military chiefs are becoming more ruthless yesterday bombing homes, schools and hospitals in the Ukrainian capital.

And any hopes for a negotiated truce during supposed high-level talks were quickly dashed yesterday, with the Kremlin sending a lowly “adviser on culture” to lead discussions of a possible withdrawal.

Ukraine nationals are in a fury after Russian missiles and mortars were directed at civilians, footage even showed an ambulance carrying a critically-wounded child being attacked.

Ukrainian leaders have warned Russian frustration and desperation at being held back “and defeated” from major cities Kyiv and Kharkiv had now changed the direction of war, with Russian forces targeting military installations as well as urban settings.

Moscow formally denied it was now targeting civilians despite abundant evidence of shelling of homes, schools and hospitals. In perhaps a signal of what was to come, Russia offered a “safe corridor” for any locals wishing to flee Kyiv before troops were ordered in.

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As well as the surrounding of capital Kyiv, Russian forces lay siege to the northern city Kharkiv and southern port of Odessa as their frustrations of armed resistance grew.

The fast moving conflict saw:

•new satellite images reveal hundreds of tanks, armoured and artillery descending on Kyiv and positioned 25km from the centre;

•Seven Ukrainian soldiers killed and 44 wounded in a battle in Kharkiv in Ukraine’s north;

•Young Russian soldiers taken hostage during fighting reveal how they thought they were just training before the invasion of Ukraine the told Ukraine’s “liberation” by Russia would be welcomed by the population;

•International Criminal Court proceed with alleged war crimes investigation by Russian forces;

•the EU issued asset freezes and travel bans on another 26 individuals including President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov;

•the United Nations General Assembly’s 193 members hold an extraordinary debate on the invasion of the ex-Soviet state;

•the United States expel 12 members of Russia’s UN mission from America for being “intelligence operatives”; and

•Russia turfed from the 2022 World Cup and its teams suspended from all international football competitions “until further notice”

The conflict raged as the first face-to-face talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials since the war began opened yesterday. The delegations met at a long table with the blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag on one side and the Russian tricolour on the other. Ukraine demanded a ceasefire and troop withdrawal but while the country had its defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov and other top officials, Russia left it to just Mr Putin’s private adviser on culture with many believing the appointment of the envoy a sign as how serious Moscow view the potential for peace talks.

Yesterday both parties just agreed to keep negotiations going.

“The next meeting will take place in the coming days on the Polish-Belarusian border, there is an agreement to that effect,” an aide to Mr Putin, Vladimir Medinsky, said.

Across Ukraine, mounting fury on Russia’s assault had seen thousands of young Ukrainians sign up and retired military veterans resign to take the war to Russia.

Such was the line up, the Ukraine military sent many away saying they already had more new recruits than they had uniforms, body armour and weapons to give them.

Originally published as Russia Ukraine live updates: ‘Dozens dead’ as Russia’s rocket attacks hit Kharkiv



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