Ukraine to appeal to US for more help amid Russian bombing - GulfToday

Ukraine to appeal to US for more help amid Russian bombing


Firefighters extinguish flames after a Russian rocket attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine. AP

Ukraine’s president was preparing to make a direct appeal for more help in a rare speech by a foreign leader to the US Congress, even as Russia continued its bombardment of the Ukrainian capital Wednesday.

In the war's third week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suggested there was still some reason to be optimistic that negotiations with the Russian government might yet yield an agreement.

Previewing his speech to the US Congress, Zelensky thanked President Joe Biden and "all the friends of Ukraine” for $13.6 billion in new support. He appealed for more weapons and more sanctions to punish Russia and repeated his call to "close the skies over Ukraine to Russian missiles and planes.”


Russia escalates bombardment of Ukrainian capital

Yemen facing catastrophe if overlooked UN warns

Zelenskyy said Russia’s demands were becoming "more realistic" after their delegations met Tuesday via video. The sides were expected to speak again later Wednesday.

"Efforts are still needed, patience is needed,” he said in his video address to the nation. "Any war ends with an agreement.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attends a meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Tuesday. Reuters

He said Russian forces had been unable to move deeper into Ukrainian territory but had continued their heavy shelling of cities.

Developments on the diplomatic front and on the ground occurred as the number of people fleeing Ukraine amid Europe’s heaviest fighting since World War II eclipsed 3 million.

Zelensky said 28,893 civilians were able to flee through nine humanitarian corridors in the past day although the Russians refused to allow aid into Mariupol.

Shrapnel from an artillery shell slammed into a 12-story apartment building in central Kyiv on Wednesday, obliterating the top floor and igniting a fire that sent plumes of smoke over the area, according to a statement and images released by the Kyiv emergencies agency. The neighboring building was also damaged. The agency reported two victims, without saying if they were injured or killed.

Smoke rises after an explosion in Kyiv on Wednesday. AFP

Also, a powerful explosion thundered overnight in Kharkiv that was heard across the eastern city.

In addition to airstrikes and shelling by ground forces, Russian naval ships fired overnight on a town south of Mariupol on the Azov Sea and another near Odessa on the Black Sea, according to local officials.

Russian forces have intensified fighting in the Kyiv suburbs, notably around the town of Bucha in the northwest and the highway leading west toward Zhytomyr, the head of the Kyiv region Oleksiy Kuleba said. He said Russian troops are trying to cut off the capital from transport arteries and destroy logistical capabilities even as they plan a wide-ranging attack to seize Kyiv.

Twelve towns around Kyiv are without water and six without heat.

Russia has occupied the city of Ivankiv, 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Kyiv, and controls the surrounding region on the border with Belarus, Kuleba said.

Associated Press


Related articles