Latest from war in Ukraine: Zelenskyy vows to keep negotiating with Russia
(AP) The latest developments in the Russia-Ukraine war:
Zelenskyy vows to keep negotiating with Russia
LVIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he will continue negotiating with Russia and is waiting for a meeting with Vladimir Putin.
Zelenskyy has repeatedly called for a meeting with Putin. But so far, his requests have gone unanswered by the Kremlin. Zelenskyy said Sunday during his nightly address to the nation that his delegation has a “clear task” to do everything to ensure a meeting between the two presidents.
Zelenskyy said talks are held daily between the two countries via video conference. He said the talks are necessary to establish a cease-fire and more humanitarian corridors. He said those corridors have saved more than 130,000 people in six days.
The humanitarian convoy to the besieged city of Mariupol was blocked Sunday by Russian forces. Zelenskyy said they would try again Monday.
Zelenskyy calls Sunday a ‘black day’
LVIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said it is a “black day” after Russia shelled a military base in the western part of his country.
Zelenskyy said in his nightly address on Sunday that Russia fired 30 rockets at the Yavoriv military base. He said the attack killed 35 people and injured 134 injured others.
The base is less than 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the Polish border. Zelenskyy said he had given Western leaders “clear warning” of the danger to the base. He asked NATO leaders again to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine. He warned “it is only a matter of time” before Russian missels fall on NATO territory.
Military analysts say the U.S, Britain and their European allies are unlikely to impose a no-fly zone because they believe it could escalate the war in Ukraine into a nuclear confrontation between NATO and Russia.
Red Cross: Besieged Mariupol needs cease-fire
GENEVA — The Red Cross is warning of a “worst-case scenario” for hundreds of thousands of civilians in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol unless the parties agree to ensure their safety and access to humanitarian aid.
The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, said in a statement said Sunday that residents of Mariupol “have endured a weeks-long life-and-death nightmare.”
The Geneva-based humanitarian agency said hundreds of thousands of people in the city are “facing extreme or total shortages of basic necessities like food, water and medicine.”
“Dead bodies, of civilians and combatants, remain trapped under the rubble or lying in the open where they fell,” the ICRC added. “Life-changing injuries and chronic, debilitating conditions cannot be treated. The human suffering is simply immense.”
The Red Cross called on the parties to agree on the terms of a cease-fire, routes for safe passage, and to ensure the deal is respected. It offered to act as a neutral intermediary in negotiations.
Power restored to Chernobyl plant
Ukraine says it has restored a broken power line to the Chernobyl power plant, the scene of a nuclear meltdown in 1986, which is held by Russian troops.
Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said that “heroes” from the national power grid company managed to restore the connection. The power is used to run pumps which keep spent nuclear fuel cool to prevent radiation leaks.
Ukraine said Wednesday that power had been cut to the site and that there was enough diesel fuel to run on-site generators for 48 hours. The International Atomic Energy Agency played down concerns, saying it saw little risk of the pools containing the spent fuel overheating even without electricity.
Belarus said Thursday it had set up an emergency power line to Chernobyl from its nearby border.
UN: 596 civilians killed in war
GENEVA — The U.N. human rights office says at least 596 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the start of the war, and at least 1,067 have been injured.
The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said Sunday that 43 of those killed were children, while 57 were injured.
The Geneva-based office had documented 579 civilian deaths and 1,002 injured a day earlier.
It said most recorded civilian casualties were caused “by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area,” such as shelling from heavy artillery and missile strikes.
U.N. officials said they believe the actual number of casualties is “considerably higher” than so far recorded because the receipt of information has been delayed and many reports still need to be corroborated.
Belgrade car parade supports Russia’s invasion
BELGRADE, Serbia — Dozens of cars drove through the Serbian capital of Belgrade on Sunday in support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The occupants waved Russian and Serbian flags, honked horns and chanted pro-Putin slogans. Some cars had the letter Z painted on them — a symbol of support for the Russian president.
The protest was organized by a small far-right group.
Serbia has refused to join international sanctions against its ally Russia despite formally seeking EU membership and voting in favor of the U.N. resolution condemning Moscow’s aggression.
Serbia’s dominant state-controlled media are daily carrying Moscow’s war propaganda, creating a strong pro-Putin mood among Serbia’s ultranationalists and far-right groups.
3 UN agencies call for end to attacks on health care facilities
BERLIN — Three U.N. agencies are calling for an immediate end to attacks on health care facilities in Ukraine, calling them “an act of unconscionable cruelty.”
In a joint statement Sunday, the U.N. Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization and the U.N. Population Fund said that “horrific attacks are killing and causing serious injuries to patients and health workers, destroying vital health infrastructure and forcing thousands to forgo accessing health services despite catastrophic needs.”
“To attack the most vulnerable — babies, children, pregnant women, and those already suffering from illness and disease, and health workers risking their own lives to save lives — is an act of unconscionable cruelty,” they said.
Since the start of the war at least 12 people were killed and 34 were injured, while 24 facilities and five ambulances were damaged or destroyed, the agencies said.
They said that some 4,300 children have been born since the conflict began and 80,000 Ukrainian women are expected to give birth in the next three months, with oxygen and other medical supplies running dangerously low.
“The health care system in Ukraine is clearly under significant strain, and its collapse would be a catastrophe. Every effort must be made to prevent this from happening,” they said.
Malteser air group: Plan ahead for end of war
BERLIN — The head of a group providing humanitarian aid in Ukraine says the international community needs to start making plans for how to help the country when the war ends.
Pavlo Titko, who heads the Ukraine branch of the Germany-based Malteser aid group, says the conflict could worsen the already difficult demographic situation in Ukraine where many educated young people have moved abroad, leaving the poor and elderly behind.
Titko told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Sunday from Ukraine’s eastern city of Lviv that the country needs a “long-term perspective.”
He urged Western nations to create partnerships between cities and institutions such as those established with Ukraine during the 1990s that helped prevent some of the worst impacts of the economic crisis following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Titko said Malteser Ukraine, which provides thousands of warm meals at train stations and border crossings each day, has also begun offering psychological help to those traumatized by the war. That need will dramatically increase in future, he predicted.
Russian, Ukrainian nationals protest war
LIMASSOL, Cyprus — Dozens of Russian nationals joined Ukrainians in the coastal resort town of Limassol, home to a sizeable Russian expatriate community, to protest the war in Ukraine.
About 50 Russians converged on Limassol’s promenade prior to joining with other protesters Sunday to chant slogans including “Stop the war, stop Putin” and “Russia without Putin.” They waved blue and white flags that they said were the Russian national flag without the red stripe that represented “blood and violence.”
Protester Evgeniya Shlikava, who has been living and working in Cyprus for five years, told The Associated Press that despite Russian propaganda, Ukraine “didn’t deserve this action from our government” and that protesters are demanding an immediate end to the war “that we don’t support.”
“I do believe that the person who did the most to make Russia weak and not united is Putin himself,” said Shlikava, who faulted the Russian president and his supporters for bringing the world’s wrath on Russia that is proud of its humanistic values and culture.
“But now Russia is the aggressor for the whole world, and we protest it,” Shlikava said.
US journalist, colleague shot at checkpoint
A U.S. journalist being treated at a hospital in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv says that he and a U.S. colleague were shot after they were stopped at a checkpoint just after a bridge in Irpin, a town near Kyiv.
Juan Arredondo told Italian journalist Annalisa Camilli in an interview from the hospital before being taken for surgery that the colleague who was with him was hit in the neck and remained on the ground earlier on Sunday.
Camilli told The Associated Press that she was at the hospital when Arredondo arrived and that Arredondo had himself had been wounded, hit in the lower back when stopped at a Russian checkpoint.
Arredondo told Camilli he didn’t have further information on the fellow U.S. journalist, whom he identified as Brent Renaud, a friend. He told Camilli they were filming refugees fleeing the area when they were shot at while in a car approaching a checkpoint. The driver turned around but the firing at them continued, Arredondo added.
A statement from Kyiv regional police said that Russian troops opened fire on the car, and that one journalist died. Arredondo said that an ambulance brought him to the hospital and that Renaud was “left behind.”
US video journalist, another injured when attacked by Russian forces
LVIV, Ukraine — Kyiv Region police say a U.S. video journalist has died and another journalist was injured when they were attacked by Russian forces in Ukraine.
The police force said Sunday on its official website that Russian troops opened fire on the car of Brent Renaud and another journalist in Irpin near the capital. It said the injured journalist was being taken to a hospital in Kyiv.
A New York Times spokesperson said Renaud, 50, was a “talented filmmaker who had contributed to The New York Times over the years.” It said he was not working for the publication at the time of his death.
The police force said: “Of course, the profession of journalism carries risks. Nonetheless, U.S. citizen Brent Renaud paid with his life trying to highlight the deceit, cruelty and ruthlessness of the aggressor.”
Asked about the reports, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CBS News that the U.S. government would be consulting with the Ukrainians to determine how this happened and would then “execute appropriate consequences.”
“This is part and parcel of what has been a brazen aggression on the part of the Russians, where they have targeted civilians, they have targeted hospitals, they have targeted places of worship, and they have targeted journalists,” Sullivan said.
White House national security adviser: Russia will face NATO reponse if attacks cross Ukraine border
WASHINGTON — White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan says Russia will face a response from NATO should any of its attacks in Ukraine cross borders and hit members of the security alliance.
Russian missiles on Sunday struck a military training base close to Ukraine’s western border with NATO member Poland and killed 35 people.
Sullivan tells CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that President Joe Biden “has been clear repeatedly that the United States will work with our allies to defend every inch of NATO territory and that means every inch.”
Sullivan says a military attack on NATO territory would cause the invocation of Article 5. That requires other countries in NATO to come to the defense of the attacked nation. Sullivan says “We will bring the full force of the NATO alliance to bear in responding.”
Sullivan says NATO would respond even if a shot by Russia that hit NATO territory was accidental.
Zelenskyy: 125,000 civilians evacuated in safe corridors
LVIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s president says nearly 125,000 civilians have been evacuated through safe-passage corridors so far, and a convoy with humanitarian aid is headed to the besieged city of Mariupol.
“We have already evacuated almost 125,000 people to the safe territory through humanitarian corridors,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address released Sunday. “The main task today is Mariupol. Our convoy with humanitarian aid is two hours away from Mariupol. Only 80km (left).”
“We’re doing everything to counter occupiers who are even blocking Orthodox priests accompanying this aid, food, water and medicine. There are 100 tons of the most necessary things that Ukraine sent to its citizens,” Zelenskyy said.
Pope decries ‘barbarianism’ of killing children, other civilians
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has decried the “barbarianism” of the killing of children and other defenseless civilians in Ukraine and pleaded for a stop to the attacks “before cities are reduced to cemeteries.”
In some of his strongest denunciations yet of the war in Ukraine, and in apparent reference to Russia, which invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the pontiff said that “there are no strategic reasons that hold up” in the face of such armed aggression.
Francis told about 25,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his customary Sunday noon appearance that Mariupol, the southern Ukrainian city which “bears the name” of the Virgin Mary, has “become a city martyred by the heartbreaking war that is devastating Ukraine.”
“In the name of God, I ask: ‘Stop this massacre,’” Francis said, sparking applause from the pilgrims, tourists and Romans, some of whom held Ukrainian flags, in the square.
Francis prayed for an end of the bombings and other attacks and for ensuring that humanitarian corridors “are safe and secure.”
Official: Turkey still trying to evacuate citizens in Mariupol mosque
ANTALYA, Turkey— Turkey’s foreign minister says his country is trying to evacuate Turkish citizens who were sheltering in a mosque in Mariupol.
Russian shells hit near the Sultan Suleiman Mosque Saturday. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the mosque had not been damaged and they had made contact with the Turkish nationals through satellite phones. He did not specify the number of people sheltering there. The Ukrainian Embassy in Ankara said Saturday 89 Turks, including 34 children, were at the mosque.
The minister said he spoke with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, to ask for his support for a humanitarian evacuation corridor in Mariupol. Buses were ready for their evacuation Saturday but had not been able to enter the city because of clashes. Efforts continued Sunday.
Cavusoglu said 489 Turkish citizens had been evacuated Saturday from places where clashes continued, including Kherson and Kharkiv.
Israeli official condemns Russian invasion
TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel’s foreign minister is condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling on Moscow to halt its attacks and end the conflict.
Yair Lapid’s criticism Sunday is among the strongest that has come from Israeli officials since the war began. His remarks set him apart from Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who has stopped short of condemning Russia.
Israel has walked a fine line in its response to the crisis. Bennett has voiced support for the Ukrainian people and the country has sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine. But Israel relies on Russia for security coordination in Syria, where Russia has a military presence and where Israeli aircraft have frequently struck enemy targets over recent years. Bennett has been attempting to mediate between the Kremlin and Ukraine.
Lapid made his remarks in Bucharest, Romania, where he met his Romanian counterpart.
Ukraine office reports 85 children killed
LVIV, Ukraine — The office of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General says a total of 85 children have been killed since the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine.
More than 100 more have been wounded, the office said. Officials also said that bombings and shelling have damaged 369 educational facilities in the country, 57 of which have been completely destroyed.
9 killed, 57 hurt, in Russian airstrike on military training base near Polish border
LVIV, Ukraine — At least nine people were killed and 57 wounded when a Russian airstrike hit a military training base in western Ukraine close to the Polish border, a local official said Sunday.
The governor of the Lviv region, Maksym Kozytskyi, said Russian forces fired more than 30 cruise missiles at the Yavoriv military range, located 30 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of the city of Lviv and 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Ukraine’s border with Poland.
The assault brought the war closer to the border with Poland. A senior Russian diplomat has warned that Moscow considered foreign shipments of military equipment to Ukraine “legitimate targets.”
The United States and NATO have regularly sent instructors to the range, also known as the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, to train Ukrainian military personnel. The facility has also hosted international NATO drills.
Russian fighters also fired at the airport in Ivano-Frankivsk, a city in western Ukraine located 250 kilometers (155.34 miles) from Ukraine’s border with Slovakia and Hungary.
Widow witnesses harrowing scenes
SUCEAVA, Romania — A widow fleeing the war in Ukraine with her teenage son has described the harrowing scenes they witnessed during their dayslong journey from their bombed hometown of Chernihiv in north Ukraine.
The 44-year-old Elena Yurchuk worked as a nurse at a local hospital she says no longer exists. She says, “Our city is under siege and we barely escaped.”
She says, “People in cars are blown up by mines, a car with children and a young family was blown up … literally behind us.”
Yurchuk described Chernihiv as a “ghost town” with no electricity when they left. After reaching Suceava in north Romania, she’s unsure where they’ll go next. They have earmarked Germany as a final destination, where she hopes to find work caring for the elderly.
She says, “I don’t know the language, it will be difficult for me.” She added that a lot of refugees have already arrived, saying, “I understand that no one needs us. “
She says her house was in the center next to a hotel that was bombed in an airstrike, adding, “I don’t know if I have a home or not.”
Italian radio: Bus of 50 refugees overturns, killing 1
ROME — Italian state radio says a bus carrying about 50 refugees from Ukraine has overturned on a major highway in northern Italy, killing a passenger and injuring several others, none of them seriously.
RAI radio said one woman died and the rest of those aboard the bus were safely evacuated after the accident early Sunday near the town of Forli’. It wasn’t immediately clear where the bus was headed.
Some 35,000 Ukrainians refugees who fled the war have entered Italy, most of them through its northeastern border with Slovenia. Forli’ is in the region of Emilia-Romagna, which borders the Adriatic Sea and which so far has taken in some 7,000 refugees.
The accident is under investigation.
Russian airstrikes hit military range in western Ukraine
LVIV, Ukraine — Russian forces carried out an airstrike on a military range near Lviv in western Ukraine, expanding its offensive closer to the border with Poland.
The Russian military on Sunday morning fired eight rockets at the Yavoriv military range 30 kilometers northwest of Lviv, the Lviv regional administration said, without offering any details about possible casualties.
The Yavoriv military range, also known as the Yavoriv International Peacekeeping and Security Center, is located 35 kilometers from Ukraine’s border with Poland.
Since 2015, the U.S. has regularly sent instructors to the Yavoriv military range to train Ukraine’s military. The range has also hosted international NATO drills.
On Friday, Russian forces shelled two airfields in the western cities of Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk, firing more than 10 cruise missiles from Tu-95MS strategic bombers, the Ukrainian General Staff said.