Live Updates | 6 dead, 11 wounded in Russian strikes on Lviv
KYIV, Ukraine — Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said six people were killed and another 11, including a child, were wounded by Russian strikes in the western Ukrainian city.
Plumes of thick black smoke could be seen rising over the city as multiple explosions believed to be caused by missiles struck, according to AP staff Lviv.
Lviv Regional Governor Maksym Kozytskyy said there were four Russian missile strikes, three of which hit military infrastructure facilities and one struck a tire shop. He said emergency teams were putting out fires caused by the strikes.
Oleksandr Kamyshin, the chairman of the Ukrainian rail service, said the strikes hit near railway facilities. He said train traffic has resumed with some delays, and he vowed to restore the damaged network.
Lviv and the rest of western Ukraine has been less affected by the fighting than other parts of the country, and is considered to be a relatively safe haven.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:
— ‘No surrender’: Ukrainians fight on in Mariupol steel plant
— Russia renews strikes on Ukraine capital, hits other cities
— Mother, grandmother weep over 15-year-old killed in shelling of Kharkiv
Follow all AP stories on Russia’s war on Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine.
LONDON — Britain’s defense ministry says the continuing siege of Mariupol is tying up Russian forces and slowing its advance ahead of a planned major offensive in eastern Ukraine.
In a daily intelligence update, Britain’s military says “concerted Ukrainian resistance has severely tested Russian forces and diverted men and materiel, slowing Russia’s advance elsewhere.”
The Sea of Azov port city has been devastated in weeks of Russian pummeling. Britain says “large areas of infrastructure have been destroyed” and there are “significant” civilian casualties.
Britain accuses Russia of using similar tactics of all-out war on civilian areas that it deployed in Chechnya and Syria, despite Russian claims at the start of its invasion “that Russia would neither strike cities nor threaten the Ukrainian population.”
LVIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian troops in southern Ukraine have been carrying out torture and kidnappings, and he called on the world Sunday to respond.
“Torture chambers are built there,” Zelenskyy said in an evening address to the nation. “They abduct representatives of local governments and anyone deemed visible to local communities.”
Zelenskyy said humanitarian aid has been stolen, creating famine.
In occupied parts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, he said, the Russians are creating separatist states and introducing Russian currency, the ruble. Intensified Russian shelling of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, has killed 18 people and wounded 106 in the last four days alone, Zelenskyy said.
“This is nothing but deliberate terror. Mortars, artillery against ordinary residential neighborhoods, against ordinary civilians,” he said.
He said a planned Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine “will begin in the near future.”
Zelensky again called for increased sanctions against Russia, including its entire banking sector and oil industry. “Everyone in Europe and America already sees Russia openly using energy to destabilize Western societies,” Zelenskyy said. “All of this requires greater speed from Western countries in preparing a new, powerful package of sanctions.”
WASHINGTON — Ukraine’s foreign minister is describing the situation in Mariupol as dire and heartbreaking and says Russia’s continued attacks there could be a “red line” that ends all efforts to reach peace through negotiation.
Dmytro Kuleba tells CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the remaining Ukrainian military personnel and civilians in the port city are basically encircled by Russian forces.
He says the Ukrainians “continue their struggle” but that the city effectively doesn’t exist anymore because of massive destruction.
Kuleba says his country has been keeping up “expert level” talks with Russia in recent weeks in hopes of reaching a political solution for peace. But citing the significance of Mariupol, he echoed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in saying the elimination of Ukrainian forces there could be a “red line” that stops peace efforts.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden says he’s praying on Easter for those living in the “dark shadow” of war, persecution and poverty.
Biden released an Easter message Sunday in which he says he’s also praying for peace, freedom and basic dignity and respect for all of God’s children.
Biden didn’t say which war he had in mind, but the president has been deeply involved in trying to force an end to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The American president says he’s grateful that the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed many people around the world to celebrate by attending religious services and in-person family gatherings. He also acknowledges that the holiest day on the Christian calendar “falls on heavy hearts for those who have lost loved ones and those among us living in the dark shadow of war, persecution and poverty.”