LVIV, Ukraine — Russian forces attacked a fuel depot and factory in Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region overnight, and the number of casualties remains unclear, region governor Valentyn Reznichenko said on Wednesday via messaging app Telegram.
“The night was alarming and difficult. The enemy attacked our area from the air, hitting the oil depot and one of the factories. The oil depot with fuel was destroyed. Rescue workers are still dousing the flames at the facility. There is a strong fire,” Reznichenko wrote.
In the eastern Luhansk region, shelling in the town of Rubizhne killed one person and wounded five others on Tuesday, Governor Serhiy Haidai said in the telegram on Wednesday.
The Russian military continues to focus its efforts on preparing an offensive in eastern Ukraine, according to an update from the Ukrainian general staff Wednesday morning, with the goal of “gaining complete control over the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.”
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Parts of the two regions have been under the control of Russian-backed rebels since 2014 and are recognized by Moscow as independent states.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:
— In Bucha, Ukraine, burned, piled bodies amid latest horrors
— Ukrainian President Zelenskyy accuses the UN of Russian military war crimes
— EU proposes Russian coal ban in new sanctions
— US official: US allies to ban new investments in Russia
— Harvard student website that helps refugees from Ukraine find housing
— Japan’s top envoy brings back 20 Ukrainians from Poland
— For more coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
BUCHAREST, Romania – Police in the Romanian capital say a car crashed into the gate of the Russian embassy, bursting into flames and killing the driver.
Bucharest police said the limousine rammed into the gate around 6 a.m. Wednesday but did not enter the embassy grounds.
Aftermath video showed the car bursting into flames as security personnel ran through the area.
According to the police, the firefighters who arrived at the scene were able to put out the fire, but the driver died at the scene.
There was initially no information about a possible motive or other details.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday authorized a $100 million transfer of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, according to a government official.
The transfer brings total US military aid to Ukraine to $2.4 billion since Biden took office last January.
The White House announced late Tuesday that Biden has approved the aid, which will be funded as part of a broader $13.6 billion aid to Ukraine approved by Congress last month in the wake of the Russian invasion .
The government official confirmed that it was a transfer of the Javelin missiles requested by the Ukrainian military to counter Russian armaments.
The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter.
LVIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said French President Emmanuel Macron has agreed to provide technical and expert support to an investigation into crimes committed by Russian forces in Bucha and elsewhere.
Zelenskyy said Tuesday he had also asked Macron to help people trapped in the besieged southern city of Mariupol.
In an interview with the Turkish television channel Haberturk in Kyiv, Zelenskyy accused Russia of trying to hide its actions in Mariupol and not wanting humanitarian aid to come to the city “until they clean everything up”.
Zelenskyj said he also expects a visit from EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell soon.
LVIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russian forces are still trying to push deep into Ukraine to the east, but the Ukrainian army is holding them back.
In his daily nightly video address to the nation late Tuesday, Zelenskyy said Ukraine was aware that Russia was gathering reinforcements for another offensive.
Zelenskyi also said Ukraine was outnumbered in both troops and equipment.
“We have no choice – the fate of our country and our people is being decided,” he said. “We know what we are fighting for. And we will do everything to win.”
LVIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Tuesday that he and Western leaders discussed a new round of sanctions against Russia.
“From what the world saw in Bucha, the sanctions against Russia must be proportionate to the seriousness of the war crimes committed by the occupiers,” Zelenskyy said in his daily nightly video address to the nation.
In coordination with the European Union and the Group of Seven, the US will impose further sanctions on Russia on Wednesday. This reportedly includes a ban on all new investment in the country.
Also, the EU executive has proposed a ban on coal imports from Russia, in what would be the first time the 27-nation bloc has sanctioned the country’s lucrative energy industry over the war.
Coal imports are estimated at 4 billion euros ($4.4 billion) a year.
Kyiv, Ukraine – A Ukrainian official said Russian troops allowed 1,496 civilians to evacuate the besieged city of Mariupol in private vehicles but prevented a convoy of evacuation buses from entering.
Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said Russian forces on Tuesday prevented buses escorted by workers from the International Committee of the Red Cross from going to the Sea of Azov port. Those civilians who were able to leave in their private vehicles traveled to Zaporizhia.
Mariupol was besieged by Russian forces for a month, cut off from food, water and energy supplies and facing relentless artillery barrage and air raids that killed thousands.
LVIV, Ukraine – A regional official in western Ukraine says a Russian missile hit fertilizer tanks and polluted groundwater.
Ternopil Region Governor Volodymyr Trush said Tuesday that the Russian missile attack destroyed six fertilizer-filled reservoirs, leading to ammonia leaks into groundwater and the Ikwa River.
Authorities are advising residents not to use water wells and to stop fishing, and officials have organized deliveries of drinking water. Trush says the environmental situation is expected to stabilize in a few days.
MOSCOW – Russia’s foreign minister has accused the Ukrainian government of sabotaging talks to end fighting in Ukraine and warned Moscow will not “play cat and mouse”.
Sergei Lavrov warns that Moscow will not accept Ukraine’s demand that a prospective peace deal include an immediate withdrawal of Russian troops, followed by a referendum in Ukraine on accepting the deal.
In a televised speech on Tuesday, he said if the peace deal fails to pass a referendum, a new deal will have to be negotiated. “We don’t want to play a game of cat and mouse,” he says.
Lavrov pointed to a peace deal for eastern Ukraine signed in Minsk, Belarus, in 2015 that was brokered by France and Germany but never implemented. “We do not want a repetition of the Minsk agreements,” he says.
He also says Ukraine is “sabotaging” the talks by blocking Russian demands to “demilitarize” and “denazify” the country.
Lavrov’s harsh statements were offset by optimistic signals from both Ukrainian and Russian officials after the latest round of talks in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 29.
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