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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: LIVE UPDATES

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Zelenskyy calls for Russia to lose UN Security Council power, says attack ‘bears signs of genocide’

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday called for Russia to lose its voting power as a member of the U.N. Security Council, alleging its attack on his country, which started last week, amounted to “criminal actions” that bore “signs of genocide,” according to a report.

“This is terror,” Zelenskyy said in a video message, referring to the military invasion ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, which spread across Ukraine in recent days to include targets in Kyiv, the capital, and Kharkiv, the nation’s second-largest city, among other locations.

“They are going to bomb our Ukrainian cities even more, they are going to kill our children even more subtly,” he added, according to Reuters. “This is the evil that has come to our land and must be destroyed.”

“Russia’s criminal actions against Ukraine bear signs of genocide,” he added, according to the report.

Also on Sunday, Zelenskyy said he was ready for talks with Russia – but rejected its offer of holding the negotiations in Belarus, claiming the country was a staging area for Russia’s invasion last week.

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Russians enter Kharkiv, Ukraine’s No. 2 city, as fighting broadens: reports

Fighting got underway Sunday in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, after Russian forces stormed in from the outskirts, according to reports.

The Kharkiv offensive combined with overnight strikes in Kyiv and other parts of the country to broaden the Russian invasion that began Thursday, the reports said.

Kharkiv, located about 480 miles east of Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, lies just a little more than 12 miles from the Russian border.

The city’s population is about 1.4 million, or about half the size of Kyiv, the BBC reported.

Russian troops began approaching Kharkiv on Thursday, when the invasion into Ukraine got underway, but remained outside the city until Sunday, The Associated Press reported.

Oleh Sinehubov, head of the Kharkiv regional administration, said Ukrainian fighters were engaged against Russians inside the city, and civilians were being asked to stay in their homes, the AP reported.

Videos posted on social media showed Russian military vehicles on the streets of Kharkiv and showed at least one residential building heavily damaged by shelling.

An elderly woman was killed at the site but about 60 other residents were said to be unharmed after taking refuge in the basement, the BBC reported.

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Petro Poroshenko, former Ukraine president, dons battle gear, joins countrymen in the streets

Former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko has been spotted among citizens in Kyiv wearing battle armor, a video online shows.

In the video, Poroshenko said the situation in Ukraine remains dire as Russia sieges the capital

“We are in the center of Kyiv, we are here to protect Ukraine,” said Poroshenko, who is seen wearing a bullet-proof vest. He said Russian forces were a “little bit more than 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from here.”

“This is very difficult to explain. What does it mean in the 21st century, in the middle of Europe, to be awakened by the Russian missile attack, by Russian airborne attack?” he added.

The former president also thanked the international community for supporting Ukraine in the war noting it serves as “a great demonstration that Ukraine and its people are not alone.”

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Russian airliners still welcome in Canadian airspace despite Ukraine invasion

Canadian officials say the country’s skies remain open for Russian airliners to fly through, according to a report.

Several European countries, meanwhile, have shut their airspace in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
, the Globe and Mail of Canada reported.

“At this time, Canada’s airspace remains open to Russian carriers. However, the department is actively monitoring the current situation and working closely with key allies, including the United States,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra’s office said in a statement.

Russian carrier Aeroflot passes through Canadian airspace several times a day on the way to the U.S. and other destinations.

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Ukrainian man squares up with Russian tank as invasion continues

Ukraine gained its own Tiananmen Square-style “Tank Man” on Saturday when a defiant Ukrainian appeared to confront a Russian military convoy in the northeastern town of Bakhmach. 

A video shows the man jumping onto the tank as it continues forward then kneeling in front of it as it comes to a stop. Other bystanders appeared to pull the man from the front of the tank as they yelled at the convoy. 

The scene was reminiscent of one in 1989 in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square
, when an unidentified Chinese man stood in front of a line of tanks with nothing but grocery bags in his hands as China’s military cracked down on protesters at the time. 

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Kyiv mayor extends curfew as Russian forces continue attacks

The mayor of Kyiv has extended a curfew for all citizens of Ukraine’s capital city as Russian forces continued their siege, according to reports.

The revised curfew calls for all residents to remain in their homes from 5 p.m. until 8 a.m., and will apply until at least Monday morning, Mayor Vitaly Klitschko announced, Reuters reported.

Klitschko previously announced a curfew order for residents to remain at home between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., as the city faced missile strikes and the threat of looming Russian tanks.

The change comes after a Russian missile strike struck a civilian oil depot outside Kyiv early Sunday morning, Ukrainian officials said.

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Russian missile strikes Ukrainian civilian oil depot south of Kyiv, official says

A suspected Russian missile strike exploded at a civilian oil depot outside Kyiv early Sunday morning local time, Ukrainian officials said, near the start of the fourth day of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.”

A missile attack launched on the oil depot in Vasilkov near Kyiv,” Ukrainian MP Anna Purtova told Fox News around 2 a.m. in the region. 

She described it as an “ecological catastrophe.” She also called on the U.S. and European Union to implement a no-fly zone over Ukrainian airspace. 

She also provided video from the scene that showed clouds of smoke billowing upward. The clouds of smoke were so thick they blocked out some of the light from the burning fuel.

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Putin ‘furious’ Ukraine invasion hasn’t been ‘easy,’ EU official says

Russian President Vladimir Putin, monitoring developments in Ukraine from his “lair in the Urals,” is “furious” and “fuming” that his military’s invasion of the smaller country to the south hasn’t gone more smoothly, claims a European Union official who says he has reviewed a Ukrainian intelligence report.

Riho Terras, a former defense chief in Estonia and member of the European Parliament
, detailed the contents of the documents in a Twitter thread Saturday.

“He thought that the whole war would be easy and everything would be done in 1-4 days,” Terras wrote.

Instead, Ukrainian military members – and civilians arming themselves with guns and Molotov cocktails – have been working to fend off Russian forces who have been entering Ukraine from several directions since Thursday.

Fox News has not independently confirmed the authenticity of the intel report, which Terras included in his Twitter post.

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