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Jap European leaders arrive in Kyiv as Russian shelling continues

The leaders of three EU international locations arrived in Kyiv late on Tuesday in a present of European solidarity at the same time as Russian shelling continued on residential neighbourhoods within the Ukrainian capital.

The journey by the prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia is essentially the most high-profile go to to the Ukrainian capital since Russia unleashed its battle on February 24. Czech prime minister Petr Fiala mentioned the group was travelling as representatives of the European Council and deliberate to carry talks with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Individually on Tuesday, Nato mentioned that US president Joe Biden and the leaders of the alliance’s different 29 members would meet subsequent week for a unprecedented summit in Brussels.

“We’ll handle the implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, our sturdy help for Ukraine, and additional strengthening Nato’s deterrence and defence in response to a brand new actuality for our safety,” mentioned Jens Stoltenberg, Nato secretary-general.

EU officers mentioned the go to to Kyiv was not an official mission on behalf of the bloc. The presidents of the European Council and the European Fee have been knowledgeable concerning the journey plans final week and pointed to the safety dangers concerned, their spokespeople mentioned.

Michal Dworczyk, a senior aide to Poland’s prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki, mentioned that whereas Stoltenberg had been knowledgeable concerning the journey, it had “nothing to do with the actions of Nato”.

The bulletins got here after authorities in Rivne, a western Ukrainian metropolis, mentioned 19 folks have been killed in a Russian air strike on a tv tower. Russian forces additionally shelled an residence block within the Svyatoshinsky neighbourhood of Kyiv within the early hours of Tuesday, killing at the very least two folks, in keeping with Ukrainian emergency companies.

A Russian cruise missile landed in entrance of a 10-story residential constructing in Kyiv’s Podil district after being intercepted by a Ukrainian air defence system, a member of Ukraine’s civilian territorial defence forces instructed a Monetary Occasions reporter on the scene. The explosion shattered home windows and broken balconies, however police mentioned nobody was killed or critically injured.

An replace by the Ukrainian normal workers mentioned Russia “continues to launch missile and bomb strikes on crucial infrastructure” in a number of cities throughout Ukraine and specifically was nonetheless making an attempt to seize Mariupol, which is totally encircled by Russian forces. Ukrainian army claims couldn’t be independently verified.

A senior US defence official mentioned on Tuesday nevertheless that Russian floor forces had made “restricted to no progress” in reaching their aims, including that they remained about 15km-20km to the north-west and about 20km-30km to the east of Kyiv.

The assaults got here on the twentieth day of a battle that has laid waste to Ukrainian cities and triggered a wave of worldwide sanctions that has left Russia’s financial system extra remoted than at any time because the finish of the chilly battle.

Support teams have repeatedly warned of the dire circumstances in Mariupol, which has been subjected to relentless Russian shelling for greater than two weeks. Hundreds of individuals within the besieged metropolis have been compelled to dwell in bomb shelters, disadvantaged of heating, electrical energy and operating water.

Ukrainian authorities mentioned they might undertake a contemporary try and ship humanitarian provides to civilians trapped in Mariupol. A convoy would try to interrupt by on Tuesday, and on the best way again attempt to take ladies and kids out, mentioned Iryna Vereshchuk, minister for reintegration.

On Monday, 160 vehicles left the town in one of many first profitable makes an attempt to evacuate civilians from the port since hostilities started.

Zelensky mentioned peace talks with Russia, which ended on Monday with out a breakthrough, would proceed on Tuesday.

In an handle printed on Fb, Zelensky expressed gratitude to Russian civilians who had taken a stance towards the battle, which has compelled 2.8m folks to flee Ukraine and left hundreds useless.

The Ukrainian president provided his private because of an worker of a state-owned information channel in Moscow who interrupted a live broadcast on Monday night time to declare her opposition to the Kremlin’s invasion.

Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor at Channel One, shouted “Cease the battle. No to battle” and held an indication that learn: “Don’t imagine the propaganda. They’re mendacity to you right here.”

Marina Ovsyannikova stages a protest behind the newsreader on Russia’s main state television evening broadcast
Marina Ovsyannikova levels a protest behind the newsreader on Russia’s predominant state tv night broadcast © AFP/Getty

Information media in Russia are prohibited from depicting the battle in neighbouring Ukraine as something apart from a “particular army operation” — the time period utilized by the Kremlin to explain the invasion.

Attorneys for Ovsyannikova instructed Russian media they might not discover her. Pavel Chikov, head of the human rights group Agora, mentioned she would possible be charged with a misdemeanour and face a advantageous of as much as Rbs60,000 ($538).

A former senior Kremlin official, Arkady Dvorkovich, additionally joined the condemnations. Dvorkovich, the pinnacle of the World Chess Federation and who served as Russian deputy prime minister from 2012-18, told the US magazine Mother Jones: “My ideas are with Ukrainian civilians.”

He added: “Wars don’t simply kill priceless lives. Wars kill hopes and aspirations, freeze or destroy relationships and connections.”

The Russian protests got here amid heightened tensions between the US and China over Beijing’s stance on the battle, which has shaken up the postwar order in Europe and sparked the most important disaster between Russia and the west because the chilly battle.

Washington instructed allies that China had signalled its willingness to offer army help to Moscow, together with surface-to-air missiles, in keeping with officers conversant in US diplomatic cables on the trade. Beijing and Moscow have denied the declare that Russia had requested army assist from China.

A collection of strict sanctions rolled out by the US and its allies have hit fairness markets all over the world and despatched the price of some commodities, similar to oil and wheat, hovering.

Chinese language equities have been hit significantly onerous. Shares in China dropped 5 per cent on Tuesday, taking losses for the 12 months shut to twenty per cent on the specter of elevated tensions between Beijing and the west, in addition to the anticipated damaging influence of a Covid-19 outbreak on China’s financial system.

Further reporting by Valentina Pop in Brussels

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