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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Russia accused of killing hundred of civilians as it intensifies attacks on key cities in Ukraine

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T

he human cost of the first week of war in Ukraine was laid bare as officials said hundreds of civilians had been killed since the Russian invasion began.

The death toll rose as Russian forces were closing in on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and attacks across the country’s main cities intensified.

The key Ukrainian port city of Mariupol was “near to a humanitarian catastrophe” on Wednesday after more than 15 hours of continuous bombardment by Russian forces and hundreds of civilians were believed to have died, the city’s deputy mayor said.

There was more rocket fire and air strikes in the north-eastern city of Kharkiv where least 21 people were killed and 112 injured over the past day, according to Oleg Sinehubov, head of the Kharkiv regional administration.

A Ukraine official said several Russian planes had been shot down.

There was also fierce fighting for control for the port city of Kherson with Russia claiming it had taken control – something both the Us and Ukraine disputed.

While a large explosion shook central Kyiv on Wednesday night in what the president’s office said was a missile strike near the capital city’s southern railway station where thousands of women and children were reportedly waiting to be evacuated.

Kyiv’s mayor said Russia is gathering forces “closer and closer” to the Ukrainian capital after a long convoy of military vehicles stalled around 20 miles northwest of the city in the early hours of Wednesday.

More than 2,000 civilians have died since the invasion, Ukraine’s state emergency service said, although that figure has not been independently verified.

While Russia reported its military casualties for the first time since the invasion began last week, saying nearly 500 of its troops had been killed and almost 1,600 wounded. Ukraine has said the number was far higher.

Describing the assault on the key Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, the city’s deputy mayor Serhiy Orlov told the BBC: “The Russian army is working through all their weapons here – artillery, multiple rocket launch systems, airplanes, tactical rockets. They are trying to destroy the city.”

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