The bloody invasion of Russia enters its 4th week
Twenty-one people were killed and 25 injured on Thursday after rockets rained down on the western Ukrainian town of Merefa as Russia’s bloody and difficult invasion entered its fourth week.
Merefa Mayor Veniamin Sitov said the assault destroyed a school and a community center. Ten survivors were seriously injured, the local prosecutor’s office reported.
Merefa, a town of 20,000, is about 20 miles south of Kharkiv and has fallen victim to its location near the sprawling regional gem that Russian military shelling has failed to subdue.
Kharkiv has become one of the saddest stories of the war, a city of museums and universities where 1.4 million people live. Now it is slowly but deliberately torn apart as the seemingly stalled Russian military swoops down on any target its missiles can hit.
Similar scenarios were unfolding across much of the country. In the battered southern city of Mariupol, rescue efforts were underway on Thursday following Russian airstrikes that destroyed a theater. The building, serving as a makeshift shelter for hundreds of women and children, was shelled on Wednesday evening even though the word “CHILDREN” was written in giant letters all around.
“The building withstood the impact of a high-powered aerial bomb and protected the lives of people hiding in the bomb shelter,” Ukrainian mediator Ludmyla Denisova said Thursday. living.”
The Kyiv Independent reported that at least 130 survivors were pulled from the wreckage. Rescue efforts continued.
“Our hearts are broken by what Russia is doing to our people, to our Mariupol,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
REDUCED INTO PIECES:Heartbreaking footage explores devastated residential areas in Ukraine
Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, denied the attack and said the army “does not bomb cities”.
But Vadim Denisenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, said 90% of the city of Mariupol had been destroyed or damaged and almost no building had been spared. Most of the 400,000 residents remain in the city, he said.
“Evacuation and rescue efforts remain extremely difficult due to constant Russian shelling,” Denisenko said. “This is beyond a humanitarian disaster.”
In the northern city of Chernihiv, “colossal losses and destruction” resulted from heavy artillery shelling and Russian airstrikes, Governor Viacheslav Chaus said on Thursday.
Chaus told Ukrainian television that the bodies of 53 people had been delivered to morgues in the city in the past 24 hours.
“The enemy continues the systematic aerial bombardment of the regional center, destroying civilian infrastructure,” Chaus said in a Facebook post. “We are taking big losses.”
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►The town of Slavytuch outside kyiv was completely cut off by the Russian aggressors, cutting it off from all supplies. The city is close to a humanitarian disaster, the Kyiv regional government has said.
►Europe will not attempt to send its first rover to Mars this year due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Space Agency confirmed on Thursday.
►The Ukrainian army claims to have captured around a thousand Russian soldiers and that around 14,000 others were killed in action.
►Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called on Europe to stop buying oil and gas from Russia: “You pay Putin $50 million every hour. Every hour. And that money is used for us kill us Ukrainians.”
►The Ukrainian army claimed to have shot down 10 Russian planes and cruise missiles over the city,
►Six Western countries – the US, UK, France, Ireland, Norway and Albania – have called for a public hearing on Ukraine before the UN votes on a humanitarian resolution on Friday which has been heavily criticized for making no mention of its invasion of Ukraine.
Schwarzenegger posts video urging Putin and Russians to end violence
Arnold Schwarzenegger urged the Russian government, military and citizens to end the war in a nine-minute video shared on social media on Thursday. The former California governor shared his appreciation for the Russian people and aimed to dispel misinformation among Russian citizens and military personnel by sharing “the truth” about why Russia invaded Ukraine.
Schwarzenegger dismissed claims by the Russian government that the purpose of their invasion was to “denazify Ukraine”, and shared heartbreaking images and videos of buildings that had been bombed.
“To the soldiers listening to this, remember that 11 million Russians have family ties to Ukraine,” he said. “So with every bullet you fire, you shoot a brother or a sister. … And to President Putin, I say: you started this war. You are leading this war. You can stop this war.”
– Hannah Yasharoff
WNBA star Brittney Griner will remain detained in Russia until May 19
WNBA star Brittney Griner, detained at a Moscow airport last month, will be held until at least May 19, Russian news agency Tass reported. Griner was arrested after Russian authorities said a search of her luggage revealed vape cartridges. They were identified as containing cannabis-derived oil, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison in Russia.
“The court granted the request for an investigation and extended the period of detention of American citizen Griner until May 19,” the court said.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist, 31, has played basketball in Russia for the past seven years in the winter, earning more than $1 million per season, more than four times her WNBA salary. The WNBA season begins May 6.
UK assessment: Russian push all but stalled
The invasion of Ukraine has mostly stalled and Russian troops are suffering heavy casualties and unable to take control of major cities, reports a new British intelligence assessment. The assessment mirrors assessments released by US defense officials in recent days. The UK Ministry of Defense says the Ukrainian resistance remains “firm and well-coordinated” and that the Ukrainian government controls most of the country.
“Russian forces have made minimal progress on land, sea or air in recent days and they continue to suffer heavy casualties,” the assessment said.
Putin says ‘special operation’ in Ukraine is going well
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a speech broadcast on Russian television, said that his army’s “special operation” in Ukraine was going according to plan and that all goals would be achieved.
He repeated a number of false claims about the invasion, including the conspiracy theory that Ukraine was developing weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear and biological weapons. He also said that by enacting sanctions, the West is trying to “cancel” Russia. The Russian economy must adapt to new realities, he said.
“The West thinks we’re going to back down,” Putin said, according to a translation by Meduza, a Latvia-based news outlet. “The West does not understand Russia.”
Ukrainians prepare for battle, saying goodbye to families
LVIV, Ukraine – As millions of Ukrainian women and children move west to escape Russia’s spreading war in their country, a largely unspoken front line – open, full of psychological suffering burning – continues to spread across Ukraine: the men they leave behind.
Many women USA TODAY spoke to were too emotional to broach the subject of their husbands’ abandonment, but many Ukrainian men showed remarkable stoicism in speaking of the pain of family separations that didn’t have no foreseeable end. They feel it is their duty to defend their country.
“My family understands that if we don’t win this fight, future generations – maybe even the whole world – won’t have a good life,” said Kotz’s husband Igor, 37, a property developer turned chef. amateur security. for a Lviv-based humanitarian aid center that helps supply Ukrainian professional and civilian armed forces. Learn more here.
– Kim Hjelmgaard and Jessica Koscielniak
Biden calls Putin a ‘war criminal’
For the first time in public, President Joe Biden on Wednesday called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” for his continued assault on Ukraine, which has killed hundreds of civilians.
“I think he’s a war criminal,” Biden said in response to a reporter’s question after delivering remarks at the White House on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.
Earlier Wednesday, Biden authorized an additional $800 million in military aid to Ukraine. He vowed that the American people will be “firm in their support of the Ukrainian people in the face of Putin’s immoral and unethical attacks on civilian populations.”
“We are united in our horror of Putin’s depraved attack,” he said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the president “speaks from his heart and talks about what you saw on television, which are barbaric actions of a brutal dictator during his invasion of ‘A strange country”.
The State Department said it was reviewing Russia’s actions for possible war crimes, a judicial process according to Psaki is underway.
Contributor: The Associated Press