Live updates: half of Kharkiv’s population fled

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KHARKIV, Ukraine – About half the population of the eastern city of Kharkiv has left, and food and other essentials are dwindling for those who remain. A line formed in an apartment building on Thursday as neighbors waited for help from the Red Cross.

“Among those who remained there are people who can walk on their own, but many cannot walk, elderly people,” said Hanna Spitsyna, who distributed the food as the explosions sounded behind her.

Kharkiv has been besieged by Russian forces since the start of the invasion, with relentless shelling that has forced people to sleep in metro stations and basements.

The Ukrainian government said the shelling of a group of people waiting for help elsewhere in the city killed six people on Thursday. It was not immediately possible to verify the allegation.

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINE WAR:

— Ukrainian President press Biden and NATO for more help as war enters second month

— The UN votes to condemn Russia for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

— Russian Stock Exchangecrushed by war, partially reopens

— Go to https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine for more coverage

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Satellite photos from Planet Labs PBC analyzed by The Associated Press show thick black smoke rising over the port in the Ukrainian city of Berdyansk on Thursday, with a large ship on fire.

The timing of the photos matches what the Ukrainian Navy described as a successful attack which saw a Russian landing craft carrying armored vehicles to the city sink from the harbour.

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The image also matches online videos allegedly showing the attack on the Russian-held port of the city on the Sea of ​​Azov.

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LVIV, Ukraine — Russian forces fired two missiles Thursday evening at a Ukrainian military unit on the outskirts of Dnipro, the country’s fourth-largest city, regional emergency services said.

The strikes destroyed buildings and started two fires, he added, while the number of people killed and injured was still being established.

Dnipro lies west of regions along the Russian border that have been controlled by Russian-backed separatists since 2014.

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LVIV, Ukraine — As the war enters its second month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke of hope and determination in his nightly video address to the nation Thursday night.

” It’s already nighttime. But we are working,” he said in a calm voice. “The country must move towards peace, move forward. With each day of our defense, we are getting closer to the peace we so desperately need. We are getting closer to victory. … We can’t stop for even a minute. Because every minute determines our destiny, our future, if we will live.

He reported on his conversations that day with the leaders of NATO and European Union countries meeting in Brussels, and their promises of even more sanctions against Russia.

“We must seek peace,” he said. “Russia must also seek peace.”

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LVIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has thanked EU leaders for working together to support Ukraine and impose sanctions on Russia, including Germany’s decision to prevent Russia from delivering food. natural gas to Europe via the new Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

But he lamented that those steps had not been taken sooner, saying there was a chance Russia thought twice before invading.

He then called on EU leaders, who met in Brussels on Thursday, to act quickly on Ukraine’s bid to join the bloc. “Here, I ask you, do not delay. Please,” Zelenskyy said via video from Kyiv. “For us, it’s a chance.”

He then listed the 27 member countries, noting which ones he said were “for us”. He called on Germany and in particular Hungary not to block Ukraine’s candidacy.

“Listen, Viktor, do you know what is happening in Mariupol? said Zelenskyy, addressing Hungarian President Viktor Orban. “I want to be open once and for all – you have to decide for yourself, who you are for.”

Orban is widely seen as Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s closest ally among EU leaders.

Zelenskyy said Ukraine was certain that “in the decisive moment, Germany will also be with us.”

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BRUSSELS — President Vladimir Putin’s threat to have “unfriendly” countries pay for Russian natural gas exports only in roubles has now received the unfriendly treatment of European Union countries.

Several European leaders said it would be a flagrant violation of their contracts. From German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, they have said they will not respond to such requests.

The Russian threat is powerful since the EU imports 90% of the natural gas used to generate electricity, heat homes and supply industry, with Russia supplying nearly 40% of the EU’s gas.

Economists say such a move appears designed to try to prop up the rouble, which has slumped against other currencies since Russia invaded Ukraine and Western countries responded with sweeping sanctions on Moscow. .

However, making such demands would fundamentally alter contracts and render them null and void, several EU leaders said during the first day of their EU summit.

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SOFIA, Bulgaria — Thousands of people took to the streets of the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, on Thursday to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and show solidarity with Ukrainians.

The rally, organized on social media, followed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s call for people around the world to protest against the month-long war.

Some of the 60,000 Ukrainian refugees joined the protest. Waving Ukrainian and European flags, the demonstrators chanted “Stop the war”, “Stop Putin” and “Freedom for a democratic Ukraine”.

Organizers of the event said it was time for Bulgaria to come out in large numbers in favor of a sovereign Ukraine.

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MOSCOW — The Russian military has said it will offer safe passage to foreign ships stranded in Ukrainian ports.

Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev said on Thursday that Russia was offering to allow foreign ships to congregate in the Black Sea 32 kilometers southeast of the port of Illichivsk and then follow an 80-mile (129 kilometer) route. ). “humanitarian corridor” to safety. He added that the secure route will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Moscow time (05 a.m. to 4 p.m. GMT) from Friday.

He said 67 ships from 15 countries were stuck in Ukrainian ports. Mizintsev blamed these ships for not being able to leave due to the threat of Ukrainian bombardment and the presence of sea mines deployed by Ukrainian forces.


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