Lviv, Ukraine – On Monday, the Russian military continued its punitive campaign to capture the Ukrainian capital by fighting and artillery fire in the suburbs of Kiev after an air strike on a military base near the border with Poland dangerously brought the war to the threshold of NATO.

Residents of besieged Ukrainian cities have expressed hope that resumed diplomatic talks could pave the way for more civilians to evacuate or emergency supplies to areas where there is a shortage of food, water and medicine.

During the night in the cities and towns of the country there were reports of air raids, from the border with Russia in the east to the Carpathians in the west, when fighting continued on the outskirts of Kiev. Ukrainian officials said Russian forces had shelled several suburbs of the capital, the main political and strategic goal of the 19th-day invasion.

Two people were killed when artillery struck a nine-story building in the northern part of the city, said Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko. Using a ladder, a group of firefighters painstakingly carried the injured woman on a stretcher from a blackened and still smoky building.

In Kiev, rescuers are working near the damaged house
Rescuers are working near a house damaged by shelling during the Russian attack on Ukraine, in Kiev, in this handout photo published on March 14, 2022.

Press Service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine / Handout via Reuters

As reported by Reuters, on Monday, the Kiev city administration said that there was fired at the Antonov aircraft plant. Agence France-Presse reports that the mayor’s office reports that two people were killed.

As a result of fighting there killed a deputy of the city council of Brovary east of Kiev, officials said.

The shells also hit the suburbs of Kiev Irpen, Bucha and Gostomel, where some of the fiercest fighting took place in a stopped attempt by Russia to seize the capital, said on Ukrainian television the head of the regional administration Alexei Kuleba.

A fourth round of talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials is expected to take place on Monday to discuss, among other issues, the supply of food, water, medicine and other much-needed goods to the cities and towns under fire, the aide said. President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podalak.

The besieged southern city of Mariupol, where the war brought some of the greatest human suffering, remains cut off, despite previous talks on setting up aid or evacuation convoys.

It will be a “tough discussion,” Podalak wrote on Twitter. “Although Russia is aware of the futility of its aggressive actions, it is still mistaken that 19 days of violence against (Ukrainian) peaceful cities is the right strategy.”

In Beijing, meanwhile, China’s foreign ministry on Monday dismissed as “misinformation” US allegations that Russia had asked China for military equipment for operations in Ukraine, according to Reuters.

Hopes of a breakthrough emerged the day after Russian missiles struck a military training base in western Ukraine that had previously served as an important hub for cooperation between Ukraine and NATO.

In Beijing, meanwhile, China’s foreign ministry on Monday dismissed as “misinformation” US allegations that Russia had asked China for military equipment for operations in Ukraine, according to Reuters.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on Monday morning that Russian troops have not made significant progress in the last 24 hours, despite the expansion of strikes to the west.

During one such attack, Russian missiles hit a military base in western Ukraine on Sunday, killing 35 people. The base served as an important center of cooperation between Ukraine and NATO countries that support its defense. This increased the likelihood that the alliance could be involved in the struggle. The attack was also a strong symbol in the conflict that revived old Cold War rivalries and threatened to rewrite the current global security order.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called it a “black day” and again called on NATO leaders to create a no-fly zone over the country, urging the West to turn the war into a nuclear confrontation.

Rescuers are pulling people out of a damaged apartment building in Kyiv
Rescuers are working to pull people out of an apartment building in Kiev, which was shot down during Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in this handout published on March 14, 2022.

Press Service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine / Handouts via REUTERS

“If you do not close our skies, it is only a matter of time before Russian missiles fall on your territory. NATO territory. To the homes of NATO citizens, ”Zelensky said, urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet with him directly. , a request left unanswered by the Kremlin.

The fourth round of talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials is expected by video conference on Monday, where they will discuss, among other things, receiving aid to cities and towns under fire, said Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podalak.

The same top officials, who met earlier in Belarus, will take part in the talks in order to “assess the preliminary results” of the talks, Podalak said. Preliminary talks have not led to major breakthroughs or a decision to seek help or evacuate convoys to the desperate, strategic city of Mariupol.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is sending his national security adviser to Rome to meet with a Chinese official on fears that Beijing is spreading Russian disinformation and could help Moscow avoid Western economic sanctions.

The UN has recorded at least 596 deaths among civilians, although it believes the true number is much higher, and the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine said that among them at least 85 children. Millions more people have left their homes against the backdrop of the largest land conflict in Europe since World War II.

Since its invasion more than two weeks ago, Russian troops have struggled to advance across Ukraine, in the face of tougher-than-expected resistance backed by Western support for weapons. Instead, Russian troops laid siege to several cities and struck them, hitting two dozen medical facilities and causing a series of humanitarian crises.

On Sunday, the battle spread to a branched facility in Yavoriv that has long been used to train Ukrainian soldiers, often with instructors from the United States and other Western Allies. More than 30 Russian cruise missiles were aimed at the facility. In addition to the dead, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported that 134 people were injured in the attack.

The base is less than 15 miles from the Polish border and appears to be the westernmost target affected during Russia’s 18-day invasion. NATO exercises took place here, making it a strong symbol of Russia’s long-standing fears that expanding the 30-member Western military alliance to include former Soviet states threatens its security, which NATO denies. However, the alleged threat from NATO is central to Moscow’s excuses for war, and it has demanded that Ukraine abandon its ambitions to join the alliance.

Russian militants also shelled an airport in the western city of Ivano-Frankivsk, less than 94 miles north of Romania and 155 miles from Hungary, two other NATO allies.

NATO said Sunday that it currently has no personnel in Ukraine, although the United States has increased the number of U.S. troops deployed in Poland. White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the West would respond if Russian strikes go beyond Ukraine and hit any NATO member, even by accident.

Ukrainian and European leaders have had limited success in pushing for Russia to open a safe passage for civilians trapped in the fighting. Ukrainian authorities said on Sunday that they plan to open more than 10 humanitarian corridors, including from the besieged port of Mariupol. But such promises have repeatedly been shattered, and there was no word on Sunday night as to whether people would be able to take advantage of the evacuation routes.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said the suffering in Mariupol was “just huge” and that hundreds of thousands of people were facing extreme shortages of food, water and medicine.

“The bodies of civilians and militants remain trapped under the rubble or lie in the open where they fell,” the Red Cross said in a statement. “Life-changing injuries and chronic, debilitating diseases cannot be treated.”

The struggle for Mariupol is crucial because its capture could help Russia create a land corridor to Crimea, which it captured in Ukraine in 2014.

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