Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is prepared to negotiate a deal directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the war that he said has left cities across his country bombed beyond recognition.
Authorities in Kharkiv said the Russian assault in that area has been intensifying, with 84 artillery strikes reported in 24 hours. In beleaguered Mariupol, Russian aircraft dropped two more heavy bombs Tuesday, City Council said in a social media post.
“The enemy continues to cynically destroy Ukrainian Mariupol,” the post said. “The city suffered even more damage.”
Since the war began less than four weeks ago, about 3,780 residential buildings have been partially damaged, and 651 homes destroyed across the country, said Roman Prymush, deputy head of the State Emergency Service
In an interview with Ukrainian television channels, Zelenskyy said he would be willing to discuss a commitment from Ukraine to not seek NATO membership in exchange for a cease-fire, the withdrawal of Russian troops, and a guarantee of Ukraine’s security.
“It’s a compromise for everyone: for the West, which doesn’t know what to do with us with regard to NATO, for Ukraine, which wants security guarantees, and for Russia, which doesn’t want further NATO expansion,” Zelenskyy said.
He also repeated his call for direct talks with Putin — without them, it remains unknown whether Russia even wants to stop the war, Zelenskyy said.
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Meanwhile, the Ukrainian army said it forced Russian troops out of Makariv, a strategically important Kyiv suburb, after a fierce battle. The regained territory allowed Ukrainian forces to retake control of a key highway to the west and block Russian troops from surrounding Kyiv from the northwest.
But Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said Russian forces battling toward Kyiv were able to partially take other northwest suburbs – Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin – some of which had been under attack almost since Russia’s military invaded late last month.
► A second superyacht belonging to Chelsea soccer club owner and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has docked in a resort in southwestern Turkey. Turkey is not applying sanctions on Russia that have led to seizures of multiple oligarch-owned yachts around the world.
► Four children being evacuated were among those wounded Monday when Russian forces shelled along a humanitarian border, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address.
►Russian troops used stun grenades and fired in the air Monday to break up demonstrators in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson.
►France and Mexico are pressing U.N. members to mention Russia’s invasion in a resolution on the worsening humanitarian situation in Ukraine. But South Africa is arguing against that approach, saying that inserting political issues may block consensus on helping civilians.
►Zelenskyy is set to virtually deliver his address to the Japanese parliament on Wednesday to rally international support for his country’s fight against the Russian invasion.
The U.N. refugee agency says more than 3.5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, an exodus prompting Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.
With Russian munitions destroying cities and troops tightening a stranglehold, more displaced persons leave each day. They arrive at the border with only a bag of personal possessions and clothing, mostly women and children queuing in bitter cold for shelter, food and transport to destinations unknown.
Yet the uprooted Ukrainians may have advantages over millions who fled World War II and other past military conflicts.
An international refugee aid system developed at the end of World War II is more coordinated than at any time in history. Nonprofit relief agencies are bigger and more organized. And, at least for now, the Ukrainians are being welcomed into neighboring nations. Read more here.
– Dennis Wagner
Russian forces have increased the number of military aircraft sorties over Ukraine in the past two days, a senior U.S. defense official said. The official said Russians have done up to 300 sorties — a combat mission of an individual aircraft — in the past 24 hours.
Most of the flights involve air-to-ground strikes, mainly on stationary targets, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the military’s assessment.
Russia has much more aircraft than Ukraine but has yet to take air superiority over the country.
— Celina Tebor
President Joe Biden confirmed Russia’s use of hypersonic missiles in Ukraine, warning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “back is against the wall,” which means he could resort to using more severe tactics as the war stretches into another week.
Speaking at the Business Roundtable’s CEO Quarterly Meeting on Monday, Biden said Russia used the fast-flying missiles “because it’s the only thing that they can get through” Ukrainian defenses. He called it a “consequential weapon” that’s “almost impossible to stop.”
“There’s a reason they’re using it,” Biden said.
Russia has said it twice used its Kinzhal aviation missile system to strike targets in Ukraine. Hypersonic missiles can move at five times the speed of sound or more. The Russian military said these missiles are capable of hitting targets at a range of more than 1,200 miles, or roughly the distance from New York City to Kansas City.
— Courtney Subramanian
A 96-year-old Holocaust survivor was killed last week in a Russian bombing in his home city of Kharkiv, Ukraine. The victim, Borys Romanchenko, survived the Nazi concentration camps at Buchenwald, Peenemünde, Dora and Bergen-Belsen during World War II. The Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation confirmed Romanchenko’s death confirmed on Twitter Monday.
The foundation said Romanchenko’s granddaughter told them the multi-story building he was living in was hit by Russian shells, adding they were “deeply disturbed” by the news of his death.
— Jordan Mendoza
Contributing: The Associated Press