• Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

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Russia Pummels Ukrainian Civilian Targets Ahead of Talks – The Wall Street Journal

LVIV, Ukraine—Russia pursued a pressure campaign in its invasion of Ukraine with nighttime strikes on civilian targets as the war entered its 12th day, while Kyiv’s military held fast along several fronts ahead of planned cease-fire talks.

Continuing their encirclement operations on Ukrainian cities, Russian forces prevented civilians from escaping via humanitarian corridors and shelled urban centers in the country’s north and south. Ukrainian forces continued to frustrate Russia with counterattack and sabotage operations.

Russia’s failure to capture major cities and its mounting loss of aircraft and armored vehicles have increased pressure on Moscow in a campaign that has drawn global ire and sanctions.

Russian invasion

Areas seized as of Saturday

Direction of invasion forces

Controlled by or allied to Russia

Primary refugee crossing locations

Ukraine territory, recognized by Putin as independent

Nuclear facilities

Chernobyl

Not in operation

Khmelnitsky

Controlled by

separatists

Zaporizhzhia

South

Ukraine

Transnistria

Sea of Azov

Sevastopol

Russian invasion

Areas seized as of Saturday

Direction of invasion forces

Controlled by or allied to Russia

Ukraine territory, recognized by Putin as independent

Primary refugee crossing locations

Nuclear facilities

Chernobyl

Not in operation

Khmelnitsky

Controlled by

separatists

Zaporizhzhia

South

Ukraine

Transnistria

Sea of Azov

Sevastopol

Russian invasion

Areas seized as of Saturday

Direction of invasion forces

Controlled by or allied to Russia

Primary refugee crossing locations

Ukraine territory, recognized by Putin as independent

Nuclear facilities

Chernobyl

Not in operation

Khmelnitsky

Controlled by

separatists

Zaporizhzhia

South

Ukraine

Transnistria

Sea of Azov

Sevastopol

Russian invasion

Areas seized as of Saturday

Direction of invasion forces

Controlled by or allied to Russia

Primary refugee crossing locations

Nuclear facilities

Ukraine territory, recognized by Putin as independent

Transnistria

Sevastopol

Russian invasion

Areas seized as of Saturday

Direction of invasion forces

Controlled by or allied to Russia

Primary refugee crossing locations

Nuclear facilities

Ukraine territory, recognized by Putin as independent

Transnistria

Sevastopol

Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China, the most important global power to align itself with Russia, said Beijing would work with the international community to provide “necessary mediation” when required.

Ukrainian and Russian negotiators were scheduled to meet in Belarus for their third round of talks on Monday, with progress uncertain after earlier agreements to allow civilians to flee the fighting collapsed. Ukrainian negotiators arrived in Poland on Monday morning ahead of the meeting.

With Ukraine’s ability to withstand the barrage amid increasing deprivation in question, President Volodymyr Zelensky, in separate calls with President Biden, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, pressed his case for increased sanctions against Russia and the implementation of a no-fly zone over his country.

The burnt-out remains of a building destroyed by Russian shelling in Kharkiv.

Photo: sergei bobok/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

A residential building in the southern city of Mykolaiv was hit by multiple-rocket launchers.

Photo: Ukranian State Emergency Service/AFP/Getty Images

As Russia continued to erase the line between military and civilian targets, Russian forces shot and killed Yuri Prylypko, the head of the village council in Hostomel, outside Kyiv, and two people who were helping him distribute food and medicine, according to the council’s Facebook page. Hostomel was the site of fierce fighting in the war’s early days.

In Kharkiv, near the Russian border, Russia intensified attacks on civilian targets, pressing to subdue a city, Ukraine’s second largest, that remains in Ukrainian control after days of fierce bombardment.

A Ukrainian counteroffensive retook a town on the outskirts of the city, with Ukrainian officials claiming to have killed two Russian colonels in the operation. Russia’s concentrated bombardment on civilian sites overnight in Kharkiv killed eight people and set more than 20 buildings ablaze, emergency services said.

Ukrainian servicemen helped an elderly woman to jump over a highway barrier during the evacuation of Irpin.

Photo: Manu Brabo for The Wall Street Journal

Volunteers filled sandbags to build barricades in the city of Odessa.

Photo: IGOR TKACHENKO/REUTERS

Elsewhere, Russia has been consolidating gains. In Irpin, to Kyiv’s west, where residents have been without food and water for three days, Russia moved in tanks and motorized infantry units in a sign of what may be in store for the capital.

Russia continued efforts to subdue cities and towns in the Ukrainian south, piecing together a land bridge to the Crimean Peninsula and choking off access to the Black and Azov Seas.

Russian forces have nearly encircled the Azov Sea port city of Mariupol, trapping civilians. Aid group Doctors Without Borders described the humanitarian situation in the city as catastrophic.

With food supplies threatened across the country, Ukraine banned exports of staples such as rye, oats, buckwheat, salt and sugar.

During the night, Russia assaulted an airport outside the southern port city of Mykolaiv, using Smerch multiple-rocket launchers to pound civilian targets.

Kyiv said it had destroyed 30 Russian helicopters at an airfield near Kherson, southern Ukraine.

Missiles launched from Russian ships in the Black Sea struck infrastructure in Tuzla, south of Odessa, which Mr. Zelensky said was the target of a Russian attack, according to plans he said Ukraine has obtained, auguring an expansion of Russian objectives. Russian ships were regrouping on the Black Sea.

Lviv, western Ukraine, has emerged as a transit point for refugees heading to the border.

Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz/MAPS for The Wall Street Journal

A Sunday service at a church in Lviv.

Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz/MAPS for The Wall Street Journal

“We know that Russian troops are actively preparing to attack Odessa,” said Mikhail Podolyak, a Ukrainian presidential military adviser. “They have already tried to implement this plan. But our defense has managed to hold them back.”

Ukrainian railways scheduled an additional evacuation train out of Odessa for Monday.

In the country’s east, Ukraine blunted a Russian advance in the Luhansk region, trading artillery blasts in the occupied territory and killing nearly 40 soldiers and hitting an oil depot, Ukrainian Interfax news service reported.

Ukraine continued to muster international support. The U.K. announced a $100 million grant to backfill Ukrainian pensions and public-sector salaries, and the U.S. with Australia, Canada and New Zealand called on Interpol to suspend Russian membership.

A Russian government plane left New York carrying a dozen expelled Russian diplomats to the United Nations.

More than 1.45 million people have left Ukraine since Russia invaded the country 10 days ago, representing the largest displacement of people in Europe since World War II. Photo: Reuters/Yara Nardi

Write to Brett Forrest at brett.forrest@wsj.com

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