Russia intensifies bombardments and prepares for renewed push on Ukrainian cities

Russian forces bombarded Ukraine’s essential infrastructure and regrouped to make a push on its largest cities because the US warned Vladimir Putin would “pay the value” for his unprovoked invasion.

Throughout a seventh morning of preventing throughout the nation, Russia stepped up a fierce aerial assault on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-biggest metropolis, whereas persevering with its faltering advance on Kyiv with the goal of enveloping the capital from the north and north west.

The 2 sides made competing claims over the main southern metropolis of Kherson on Wednesday morning. Russia’s protection ministry stated it had captured the town whereas Kherson’s mayor stated it remained below Ukrainian management however that Russian forces had seized the railway station and river port.

Nationwide, the troop actions, reinforcements and the shift to utilizing extra heavy weapons on city areas have ready the bottom for what analysts count on to be a essential section of the battle, with Russia set to speed up its floor offensives over coming days.

The clashes got here as US president Joe Biden vowed to make the “dictator” Vladimir Putin face a reckoning for his aggression, saying the Russian president had “badly miscalculated” the energy of Ukrainian resistance and the resolve of the west.

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“When the historical past of this period is written, Putin’s warfare on Ukraine could have left Russia weaker and the remainder of the world stronger,” the Biden stated throughout his first State of the Union tackle to a joint session of Congress.

Biden introduced Russian flights could be shut out of US airspace, the newest in a wave of measures geared toward hobbling Putin’s financial system. He additionally hinted that additional sanctions may observe because the invasion progresses, saying Putin “has no concept what’s coming”.

Russia’s financial system is already reeling from the squeeze on its monetary sector, sanctions on oligarchs, flight restrictions throughout Europe and North America and a western company exodus from its financial system.

Boeing introduced it had halted main operations in Russia, which incorporates elements and upkeep for the nation’s airways, becoming a member of a fast-growing checklist of suspensions that features Apple, ExxonMobil, Ford and Nike.

The controversial fuel pipeline Nord Stream 2 has change into bancrupt after focused sanctions and Swiss-based miner and commodity dealer Glencore additionally stated it was reappraising its actions in Russia.

Concern over the battle and its financial fallout pushed oil costs even additional above $100, with Brent crude, the worldwide benchmark, buying and selling at a seven-year excessive of $111.27 early within the European day.

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The human price of the warfare has grown quickly, with rising civilian casualties and 660,000 already fleeing Ukraine at a price the UN stated would change into Europe’s largest refugee disaster this century.

Residents of Kyiv heard loud explosions in a single day, and sirens warning of incoming fireplace sounded in cities throughout the nation.

Ukraine’s army stated on Wednesday morning that enemy troops had been persevering with to launch bombing and missile strikes on essential infrastructure as they sought to shut in on the capital Kyiv.

In a 7am replace, the army’s normal workers stated that enemy troops had been persevering with their offensive on Kyiv with the goal of blocking the capital from the north and north-west. Moscow on Tuesday warned residents to filter of unspecified areas round Ukraine’s communications infrastructure.

“Unsuccessful in advancing its forces, the enemy insidiously continues to launch missile and bomb strikes on essential infrastructure with a purpose to intimidate the civilian inhabitants, which is courageously facet by facet with the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Ukraine’s army stated.

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Ukraine’s ministry of inner affairs stated that the regional police headquarters in Kharkiv was one of many targets that had been hit. The federal government physique shared photos of firefighters attempting to douse flames within the blown-out constructing as burning rubble fell to the bottom. 

Video: Russia strikes authorities constructing in centre of Kharkiv

The replace got here after a day wherein Russia hit Kyiv’s tv tower in a missile assault and despatched individuals in Kharkiv into shelters amid heavy bombardment.

The BBC reported Russian paratroopers had landed in Kharkiv on Wednesday morning, a part of an assault to take the north-eastern metropolis that has suffered among the heaviest preventing of the warfare.

Video footage printed on the Ukrainian Telegram channel Ukraina: operativno confirmed a number of homes in flames in Zhitomir, west of Kyiv, after a reported rocket assault.

The Ukrainian army stated it was additionally foiling Russian makes an attempt to encompass the cities of Sumy, Lebedyn and Okhtyrka, and that Russian troops had been attempting to dam the strategic port metropolis of Mariupol “with out success”. The Ukrainian army’s claims couldn’t be independently verified.

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