3:00 p.m. has just ended in Kyiv, and fierce battles between Ukrainian and Russian forces are taking place all over Ukraine.
Here’s what you need to know:
Conversations continue: A second round of talks between Russia and Ukraine is scheduled for today, according to a Ukrainian presidential aide.
The first round of talks on Monday lasted for five hours and ended with no progress.
The real test: US President Joe Biden Use his annual State of the Union address To make a show of determination that Western democracies stand firmly behind Ukraine, which Russia invaded last week.
“Throughout our history we have learned this lesson: When tyrants don’t pay the price for their aggression, they cause more chaos. They keep moving,” Biden said.
However, Biden made it clear that no US forces would be deployed to fight alongside the Ukrainians, but that the West would instead use sanctions and economic measures to, as he saidAnd continue to “inflict pain on Russia and support the Ukrainian people.”
Biden also emphasized that the United States would vigorously defend its NATO allies, including those in Eastern Europe who worry that, like Ukraine, they could one day be a target of Russian aggression.
The fight for the main cities: The Russian army appears to be advancing steadily in the major southern cities. The Russian Defense Ministry said its forces were now fully in control of Kherson, although the Ukrainian authorities denied this, saying that “some parts are under our control.”
The mayor of Mariupol said fighting was also continuing in neighboring Mariupol, where heavy shelling left dozens injured. Russian forces and Russian-backed separatists surrounded the city from three sides. The Kremlin hopes to take Mariupol to complete a land corridor linking Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014 from Ukraine, with southern Russia.
Kharkiv hit: Russian artillery and missile shells also pounded Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second most populous city. Videos posted on social media and confirmed by CNN showed massive destruction in a northeastern Ukrainian city. One strike hit an apartment complex near a hospital on Tuesday, while the Kharkiv Regional Police Department and Kharkiv National University were hit on Wednesday morning.
Ukrainian authorities said “intense” shelling continued on Wednesday.
Objectives in Kyiv: Tuesday, Russian forces fired missiles Near a TV tower in the Ukrainian capital, hours after warning of “high-precision” strikes on other facilities linked to Ukrainian security agencies. The missile attack destroyed the transmitters, Raise fears that Russia is trying to knockout Communication infrastructure in the city.
At least 136 people, including 13 children, have been killed in Ukraine since Thursday, February 24, the United Nations said, although those numbers are likely to understate the true death toll.
Zelensky said nearly 6,000 Russian soldiers were killed in six days. The Kremlin has not publicly announced any death toll.
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