Russian advances are thwarted in Ukraine; the fight for Mariupol continues

Ukrainian forces held off Russian attempts to occupy Mariupol. They claimed to have retaken Kyiv's strategic suburb on Tuesday.

Russian advances are thwarted in Ukraine; the fight for Mariupol continues

This is a defensive so obstinate that it is fueling fears Russia's Vladimir Putin will escalate war to new heights.

"Putin is back against the wall," stated Joe Biden, U.S. President. He is traveling to Europe this week for meetings with allies. "And the more his back against the wall, he will use the most severe tactics possible."

Biden reaffirmed his accusations that Putin might resort to chemical or biological weapons. However, John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesperson, said that the U.S. has not seen any evidence that this is possible.

Warnings were issued as attacks continued in and surrounding Kyiv, Mariupol, and people fled the besieged and battered port city.

One Mariupol survivor was shaking when she arrived in Lviv by train.

"There is no connection to the rest of the world. Julia Krytska said that she couldn't have asked for help and was aided by volunteers. She made it with her husband, and son. "People don’t even have water there."

Kyiv was shaken by explosions and bursts gunfire. Heavy artillery fire could also be heard in the northwest as Russia sought to encircle several areas of the capital.

According to Ukraine's Defense Ministry, on Tuesday morning, Ukrainian troops drove the Russian forces out of Makariv, a Kyiv suburb. The Ukrainian forces retook control of the key highway, and were able to block Russian troops from the northwest.

The Defense Ministry stated that Russian forces had taken part in the capture of other northwest suburbs, Bucha and Hostomel, but not Irpin. Some of these areas have been under attack since Russia invaded almost a month ago.

An official from the West, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss military assessments, stated that Ukrainian resistance had halted much of Russia's advance but not caused Moscow to retreat.

Officials from the West claim that Russia is facing severe shortages in food, fuel, and cold weather gear. This has left some soldiers with frostbite. Ukrainians reported that hungry soldiers were looting homes and stores in search of food.

According to the United Nations, more than 10,000,000 people have been forced from their homes by the invasion. This is almost 25% of Ukraine's population.

It is believed that thousands of civilians have been killed. Although estimates of Russian military casualties vary, even conservative Western figures are within the thousands.

Russian's pro-Kremlin Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported Monday that nearly 10,000 Russian soldiers were dead. The newspaper blamed hackers for the quick removal of the report. The Kremlin declined to comment. According to the Western official, this figure was "reasonable."

Putin's troops are increasing their air power and artillery against the stiff resistance of Moscow, which has kept the bulk of Moscow’s ground forces far from the center Kyiv.

Video continues to be shown as the talks to end the fighting. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian President, has stated that he is willing to waive any request by Ukraine to join NATO -- which is a key Russian demand -- in return for a ceasefire, withdrawal of Russian troops, and guarantee of Ukraine's safety.

Antonio Guterres, U.N. Secretary General, stated that he sees progress in the negotiations.

He said that elements of diplomatic progress were emerging from my outreach with different actors on several key issues. These gains are sufficient to end hostilities right now. He gave no details.

However, the Western official stated that there was no indication Moscow was willing to compromise.

Officials from Mariupol stated that 2,300 people were killed in the siege. There are concerns that the death toll could rise. Over the last week, airstrikes destroyed a theater and an arts school where many civilians sought refuge.

Many people managed to escape Mariupol after the bombardment cut off electricity, water, and food supplies, and severed communication with outsiders. According to the city council, more than 1,100 people escaped the siege in buses headed northwest from Mariupol.

The Red Cross stated that a convoy of humanitarian aid trying to reach the city with urgently needed supplies was still unable to enter.

Mariupol, perched on the Sea of Azov is a vital port for Ukraine. It lies along a stretch of territory that runs between Russia and Crimea. The siege cut off the city from the sea, and allowed Russia to create a land corridor to Crimea.

It's unclear how much of Moscow is actually Russian, as fleeing residents claim that fighting continues on every street.

Under condition of anonymity, a senior U.S. defense officer stated that Russian ships were attacking Mariupol from the Sea of Azov. According to the official, there were seven Russian ships in the area, including a minesweeper as well as a few landing vessels.

According to Ukraine's Defense Ministry, troops protecting the city had destroyed a Russian electronic warfare system and a patrol boat. The Defense Ministry of Britain stated that Ukrainian forces "continued to repel Russian attempts to occupy Mariupol."

Mariupol was a devastation city according to those who made it.

Viktoria Totsen (39), fled to Poland after being bombed for 20 days. "In the past five days, the planes flew over us every five minutes and dropped bombs all around -- on residential buildings as well as kindergartens and art schools.

The war has caused a terrible human toll and shaken the post-Cold War international security consensus. It also imperiled the supply of key crops around the world, raising concerns that it could trigger a nuclear disaster.

Although wildfires broke out at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, Ukraine's natural resources minister stated that the flames were extinguished and radiation levels were within normal limits. Chernobyl was the site of the worst nuclear accident in history, occurring in 1986.

In a series of speeches to foreign legislatures Zelenskyy asked them to increase sanctions against Moscow. He noted that many wealthy Russians live in Italy.

He said from Kyiv, "Don't be an resort for murderers."


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