War in Ukraine, day 26: At least 8 killed in the bombings in Kyiv, explosions at sea in Odessa. Mariupol refuses to surrender

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At least eight people have been killed in a bombing in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, on Sunday night to Monday, an AFP journalist found at a time when Russian forces are still trying to encircle the city.

Six bodies were laid in front of the Retroville shopping center in northwestern Kyiv on Monday morning, according to an AFP journalist.

The site was hit by a very powerful rocket, which sprayed cars and left a few-meter-wide crater in the parking lot in front of a charred ten-story building that was still emitting smoke.

The entire south side of this huge mall was destroyed, as was a fitness club in the parking lot, an AFP reporter found. Debris, wrecked vehicles and contorted beasts can be seen hundreds of meters away.

On Monday morning, firefighters and soldiers were trying to see if there were any other victims under the rubble. The civil defense authority said on Monday morning on Facebook that at least four people had died, according to DPA.

The mayor of the city, Vitali Kliciko, said several residential buildings in the historic Podilsky district were damaged and caught fire, along with the shopping center in the area. During the night, rescue teams reported that “enemy fire” caused a fire on several floors of the shopping center in the Podilsky district.

They released images from a surveillance camera showing a huge explosion and a mushroom-shaped cloud, followed by a series of smaller explosions. Residents of a nearby building, whose windows were shattered by the blast, said they saw a mobile rocket launcher near the mall a few days ago. A huge explosion shook the entire city during the attack, according to AFP journalists. Kiev was hit by a series of attacks last week, including one on an apartment building on Sunday, killing five people.

The bridge connecting the railway link between Irpin and Kyiv has been detonated.

 

Missile strikes were also reported at a military training base northwest of the city of Rivne, located 300 km west of Kyiv, writes The Guardian. Rivne Governor Vitali Koval said Russian troops had attacked the two-miss military training base. There is no information on casualties or damage. Later on, the Defense Ministry in Moscow confirmed it had struck the military base in Rivne with cruise missile.

Ukraine would have managed to take down an Orlan-10 surveillance drone in Kharkiv area.

 

An elite unit of the Ukrainian Armed Forces uses drones guided by Elon Musk’s Starlink system to destroy tanks, armored vehicles, trucks and other equipment of the Russian army at night, while the Russian military sleeps, Business Insider reports.

 

Security alert in Sumi following ammonia leak

There was a security alert in Sumi, where the explosions allegedly affected a chemical plant, where an ammonia leak occurred. The affected area is estimated to be between 2.5 and 4 kilometers around the plant.

Dmitry Zivitsky, the head of the Sumi regional administration, announced the ammonia leak in a Telegram post and called on all residents within a five-kilometer radius of the plant to stay in basements or ground-floor apartments where possible. to avoid contact with the chemical. Strong-smelling gas is lighter than air. Jivitsky did not say what caused the leak from the Sumikhimprom plant. “As a result of the Russian bombing, an ammonia tank with a capacity of 50 tons was damaged,” Dmitro Zivitsky told The Guardian. He added that there is no danger to the city’s population.

Mariupol – “Hell on Earth”

At the same time, the ultimatum given by the Russian troops to the Mariupol administration expired. The mayor and local elected officials were ordered to hand over control of the port of the Sea of ​​Azov. “There will be no surrender, no laying down of arms,” ​​said Irina Vereşciuc, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister. However, eight humanitarian cordons have been agreed to allow civilians to leave Ukraine on Monday, but none of them include the city of Mariupol, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Veresciuk said, according to The Guardian. She said efforts to provide humanitarian supplies to the city had failed.

“Hell on earth“, this is how Ukrainian MP Yaroslav Zelezniak described the situation in his hometown of Mariupol. The city is completely surrounded by Russian troops, which means that the inhabitants are trapped. People have nothing to eat and the disease is spreading. The bodies of those who died during the attacks are left on the street, as their lifting operations are difficult and dangerous.

Another Ukrainian MP, Dmitro Gurin, has accused Russia of trying to starve the people of the besieged port city of Mariupol to force them to surrender.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said that Russian troops’ assault on Mariupol is a personal matter for Vladimir Putin – because he failed to conquer the city in 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula, said Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.

 

Russians unload armored vehicles in the Berdyansk port

The Russian navy brought a large landing ship and unloaded armored personnel carriers to the Ukrainian port of Berdyansk on the Azov Sea, south of Mariupol, according to images broadcast by Russian news stations. It is the Orsk landing craft, 113 meters long and with a displacement of 4,650 tons.

 

Meanwhile, a new round of talks between Ukraine and Russia is set to take place on Monday. President Volodomir Zelenski said that even if there was a 1% chance that these talks would lead to the end of the war, that chance should be used. He also said he was ready to negotiate directly with Vladimir Putin. At the same time, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Israel was working hard to hold high-level peace talks between Ukraine and Russia, and suggested that they could take place in Jerusalem.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense urges Ukrainian citizens to use a special “chatbot” service, which generates a QR code to signal to the army information about places where they observed Russian troops.

According to the British intelligence, Kyiv remains Russia’s main military target. The latest report from the Ministry of Defense in London, heavy fighting is taking place north of Kyiv. The advance of Russian troops is blocked by the harsh resistance of Ukrainian forces. The Russians are more than 25 km from the city center. “Despite the lack of progress, Kiev remains Russia’s main military target, which is likely to prioritize the attempt to encircle the city in the coming weeks,” the report said.

Highly toxic ammonia leaks at a chemical plant in Sumi

Highly toxic ammonia spills were detected at a chemical plant on Monday morning in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Sumi, according to regional authorities, quoted by the DPA.

Dmitry Zivitsky, the head of the Sumi regional administration, announced the ammonia leak in a Telegram post and called on all residents within a five-kilometer radius of the plant to stay in basements or ground-floor apartments where possible. to avoid contact with the chemical. Strong-smelling gas is lighter than air. Jivitsky did not say what caused the leak from the Sumikhimprom plant. “As a result of the Russian bombing, an ammonia tank with a capacity of 50 tons was damaged,” Dmitro Zivitsky told The Guardian. He added that there is no danger to the city’s population.

Half of the employees of Chernobyl nuclear power plant allowed to go home

Four weeks later, a shift change was possible at the disused Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Half of the personnel were able to go home, the UN nuclear surveillance agency said. About 100 technicians, who were finishing their night shift when Russian forces captured the plant, were no longer allowed to go home. This happened on the very first day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Exhausted physically and mentally, people were forced to work surrounded by Russian weapons and soldiers. Their acquaintances told the press about those trapped there that they receive little food, sleep on the floor, on desks or on chairs, can take a shower, but without soap and have no access to any medicine.

Offshore explosions in Odessa

The Ukrainian army released images on Monday morning that it says were filmed in Odessa, where shells are seen exploding in the sea.

Russian troops open fire during a protest in Kherson

Russian troops opened fire on a protesting crowd in Kherson, Russia’s largest Ukrainian-captured city, with dramatic images posted on social media.

Locals protested peacefully in front of buildings in the city center, captured by the Russian army. One of the videos posted on social media shows Russian troops throwing grenades and opening fire on a peaceful crowd protesting in Kherson, where there were several protests by locals.

Ukraine’s Strategic Communications Center reported that Russian forces fired grenades on those attending the rally, and some allegedly exploded under protesters’ feet, according to The Guardian. At least two people were injured.

Slovenia to send its diplomats back to Kyiv

On the other hand, Slovenia announces that diplomats from its embassy in Ukraine return to Kyiv and urges EU countries to do the same. Few days after his surprise visit to Kyiv, next to his Czech and Polish counterparts, Slovenia’s PM, Janez Jansa, has announced that Slovenian diplomats are returning to the Ukrainian capital.

Ukraine needs diplomatic support and Slovenian diplomats will soon return to Kyiv, the Slovenian chief executive said in a tweet on Sunday night announcing his decision. “We are working to persuade the EU to do the same,” he said.

EU considers potential embargo on the Russian oil

The governments of EU member states will consider a possible embargo on Russian oil, as European leaders meet this week with US President Joe Biden for a series of summits designed to strengthen the West’s response to Russia’s invasion.

“Ministers will discuss this,” Josep Borrell told reporters ahead of a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels.

In retort, Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov said on Monday that Europe would be hit hard in the event of an embargo on Russian oil. Peskov said such a decision would energetically unbalance the continent, but would not affect the United States. The subject of any oil embargo is a very complex one, says a Kremlin spokesman.

The Kremlin also said on Monday that peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv had not yet made any major progress, and called on states that could exercise influence over Ukraine to use it to persuade Kiev to take a more constructive negotiating stance.

Dmitry Peskov said there was still significant progress to be made in negotiations to provide a basis for a possible meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky. He also said there would be no ceasefire during the talks.

Meanwhile on Monday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has made a new call on the European Union, especially Germany, to cease all trade with Russia and, in particular, to refuse its energy resources, according to a video message posted on the Telegram network.

“No euros for the occupants, close all the doors, stop sending them goods, refuse energy resources.Without trade with you, without your companies and banks, Russia would have no money for this war,” said the Ukrainian head of state.

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