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ladimir Putin’s regime must not be allowed to succeed in his “disgusting” invasion, Boris Johnson said, as Russian bombardment of key towns intensified and dozens more civilians were reported to have died.
The Prime Minister said “innocent civilians were being killed and cities destroyed, and the world could not allow President Putin’s aggression to succeed” in a call discussing the conflict with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday evening, his spokesperson said.
“The Prime Minister said that the actions of the Russian regime in Ukraine were disgusting,” he said.
It came as battles over key cities in Ukraine raged on. Ukrainian forces were fighting Russian troops on the outskirts of the southern vital energy-producing city of Enerhodar, the site of the biggest nuclear plant in Europe.
While residents of the port city of Mariupol were trying to survive a relentless barrage of Russian shelling that has smashed residential districts and cut off power and water supplies.
“There has been no light, no heat, and no water now for two full days and we have hardly any food left,” Maxim, 27, an IT developer who was hiding in his grandparents’ apartment told the BBC.
Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Ukrainian evacuation – In pictures
New shelling was reported in the northern city of Chernihiv, where emergency officials said at least 22 civilians had been killed in a Russian bombardment of a residential area.
They warned that the number of casualties could grow as rescuers search the debris. The mayor said he was struggling to organise safe passage for civilians.
Russian forces have also been bombarding the country’s second-biggest city, Kharkiv, where swathes of the centre of the city have been reduced to rubble.
Families with children fled via muddy and snowy roads in the eastern region of Donetsk, while military strikes on the village of Yakovlivka near the eastern city of Kharkiv destroyed 30 homes, leaving three dead and seven injured, and rescuers pulled 10 people from the ruins, according to emergency authorities.
Swathes of central Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city with 1.5 million people, have been blasted into rubble.
Drone footage showed the extent of destruction to buildings as well as Russian military vehicles in Borodyanka, 60km (40 miles) north-west of Kyiv.
Ukrainian authorities called on the people to wage guerrilla warfare against Mr Putin’s forces by cutting down trees, erecting barricades in the cities and attacking enemy columns from the rear.
“Total resistance. … This is our Ukrainian trump card and this is what we can do best in the world,” Ukrainian presidential aide Oleksiy Arestovich said in a video message, recalling guerrilla actions in Nazi-occupied Ukraine during the Second World War.
Russia and Ukraine have agreed on the need to set up humanitarian corridors and a possible ceasefire around them for Ukrainian civilians fleeing the war, negotiators for both sides said following talks in Belarus on Thursday.
But while Russian negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said the talks had made “substantial progress,” Russian invasion forces surrounded and bombarded Ukrainian cities as the conflict entered its second week.
A Ukrainian negotiator said the talks had not yielded the results Kyiv hoped for but the two sides had reached an understanding on evacuating civilians.
It came as the humanitarian crisis deepened, with the United Nations saying one million people had now fled their homes.
Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Kharkiv shelled by advancing Russian forces
In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin, brushing aside worldwide condemnation of the invasion, said the military operation was “going according to plan.”
Meanwhile the UK Government announced new sanctions with a full asset freeze and travel ban imposed against Russian oligarchs Alisher Usmanov and Igor Shuvalov.
Russian billionaire Usmanov, 68, who had ties to Everton and Arsenal football clubs, owns Beechwood House in Highgate, worth an estimated £48m, and the 16th century Sutton Place estate in Surrey, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said.
Former Russian deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov’s assets in the UK include two luxury apartments in central London worth an estimated £11m.
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