© Reuters. Firefighters work at the scene of a fire in the Balabasova market as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine in Kharkov, Ukraine, March 17, 2022. REUTERS/Oleksandr Lapshyn
Kyiv, UKRAINE/Lviv (Reuters) – Russian missiles hit an area near the airport in the city of Lviv in western Ukraine on Friday, while Japan and Australia imposed new sanctions on Russian entities as part of their incursion, the mayor said. punishment.
Western sources and Ukrainian officials say Russia’s onslaught has subsided since its troops invaded on February 24, further shattering Russia’s expectations for a quick victory and overthrow of President Zelensky’s government.
Russia relies heavily on missiles and bombing to subdue Ukrainian forces, but has yet to protect any of its 10 largest cities.
At least three explosions were heard near Lviv airport on Friday morning, with videos on social media showing large explosions and mushroom-like smoke.
Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovy said several missiles hit an aircraft maintenance facility, destroying buildings but causing no casualties.
So far, the city has escaped major battles.
Despite battlefield setbacks and punitive sanctions from the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown few signs of easing.
His government has said it is counting on China to help Russia weather the economic blow.
The United States this week announced $800 million in new military aid to Kyiv, amid concerns that China “is considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment for use in Ukraine.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
President Joe Biden, who has described Putin as a “murderous dictator,” will make it clear to Chinese President Xi Jinping in a conference call on Friday that China “will take responsibility for any actions it takes to support Russian aggression,” he said. Lincoln told reporters. reporter.
The pair will speak at 9:00 a.m. ET (1300 GMT), the White House said.
China refuses to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine or call it an invasion. He said he recognized Ukraine’s sovereignty, but Russia had legitimate security concerns that must be addressed.
This week, a Chinese foreign ministry official met with the Russian ambassador to China to exchange views on counterterrorism and security cooperation, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Japan and Australia have announced separate sanctions against Russian individuals and organizations, including two oligarchs with ties to the Australian mining industry, as well as Russia’s state-owned arms exporter, the Treasury Department and the central bank.
The UN Human Rights Office in Geneva said it had recorded 2,032 civilian casualties in Ukraine, including 780 dead and 1,252 wounded.
According to the United Nations, some 3.2 million civilians have fled to neighbouring countries.
On Thursday, Russian and Ukrainian negotiators held talks via video link for the fourth day in a row, but the Kremlin said no agreement had been reached.
Kyiv and its Western allies say Russia launched the war to conquer a neighbor that Putin calls an artificial state. Russia said it was conducting a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine.
Digging for survivors
In the southern port city of Mariupol, rescuers dug for survivors from the rubble of a theater that authorities said was hit by an airstrike on Wednesday and civilians fled shelling. Russia denies attacking theaters.
Mariupol suffered the worst humanitarian disaster of the war, with hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in basements without food, water or electricity. City officials said they could not estimate the number of casualties in the war zone.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the Russian bombing of the theater was a lie.
The northeastern and northwestern suburbs of Kyiv were hit hard, but the capital itself held on, with a curfew and deadly rocket attacks every night.
A building in Kyiv’s Darnitsky district was severely damaged on Thursday. A man knelt beside the body of a woman covered in blood and wept as residents cleared the glass.
The governor of the region centered on the town of Chernihiv north of the front line, Viacheslav Chaus, said Thursday that 53 civilians were killed there in the past 24 hours. Charges cannot be independently verified.
One of those killed in Chernihiv was American citizen Jimmy Hill, who was shot while waiting in line for bread, his family said.
“His body was found on the street,” his sister wrote on Facebook (NASDAQ: ).