Artillery types

At least 4 dead as Russian artillery hits buildings in Kyiv

Kyiv, Ukraine — The Russian offensive in Ukraine moved closer to central kyiv on Tuesday even as the two countries kept open a close diplomatic channel with further talks scheduled. Shortly before dawn, large explosions thundered through the city as a series of Russian strikes hit a residential area, sparking a huge fire and a frantic rescue effort in a 15-story building.

At least four people were killed and others were trapped, Reuters news agency quoted Mayor Vitali Klitschko as saying. Emergency services said earlier that 27 people had been rescued.

Shock waves from an explosion also damaged the entrance to a downtown subway station which was used as a bomb shelter. City officials tweeted an image of the blown facade, saying trains would no longer stop at the station.

Rescuers work next to a bomb-damaged residential building in Kyiv
Rescuers work next to a bomb-damaged residential building as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine, in this photo released March 15, 2022.

Press Service of the National Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters


Mayor Vitali Klitschiko announced a curfew for Kyiv, saying everyone should stay indoors for 35 hours between Tuesday evening and Thursday morning, according to Reuters news agency.

There was a rare ray of hope in the beleaguered port city of Mariupol after a convoy of 160 civilian cars set off along a designated humanitarian route, the city council reported. For the past 10 days or so, the deadly siege has pulverized homes and other buildings and left people desperate for food, water, heat and medicine.

Ukraine hopes to open nine “humanitarian corridors” on Tuesday to evacuate civilians from many cities and intends to try to deliver humanitarian supplies to Mariupol, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said, quoted by the agency. Reuters press.

The latest talks between Russia and Ukraine, held via video on Monday, were the fourth round involving high-level officials from both countries and the first in a week. The talks ended without a breakthrough after several hours, with an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky saying negotiators had taken a “technical break” and planned to meet again on Tuesday.


A Ukrainian city cut off by Russia’s brutal siege

02:35

Both sides had expressed some optimism in recent days. Mykhailo Podolyak, Zelensky’s aide, tweeted that negotiators would discuss “peace, ceasefire, immediate troop withdrawal and security guarantees”.

Previous talks, held face-to-face in Belarus, did not result in any lasting humanitarian itinerary or agreement to end the fighting.

Zelensky is seeking to extend martial law until April 24 and to force men between the ages of 18 and 60 to stay in the country to fight. Zelensky has submitted the extension in a bill to parliament, which is expected to vote this week.

Zelensky should address the US Congress Wednesday.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine
A woman reacts after being rescued from a residential building which was hit by shelling as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, in kyiv, Ukraine March 15, 2022.

THOMAS PETER / REUTERS


In Washington, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that while the Biden administration supports Ukraine’s participation in talks with Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin should show signs of de-escalation in order to act in good faith.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned China against helping Russia during a lengthy meeting in Rome with a senior Chinese diplomat on Monday. Two US officials told CBS News the Kremlin has asked China to help in its war against Ukraine. The request included military aid and equipment, and a US official told CBS News on Monday that the request was primarily for financial aid, but Russia also inquired about drones.

The Russians do not appear to have anticipated that they or Ukraine would deploy drones in this conflict, which is one of the reasons they are asking China about them, according to the US official.


Russia requests military assistance from China

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Ukrainians are using drones, especially Turkish-made TB2 drones, quite effectively, a senior defense official noted in a Monday briefing. The drones are used for reconnaissance as well as strikes and have been particularly effective against Russian ground movements.

The Kremlin denied asking China for military equipment to use in Ukraine and China called it “disinformation”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was able to continue the operation on its own and insisted it was “going according to plan and would be completed on time and in its entirety”.

In kyiv, the morning explosions were artillery strikes, the Ukrainian military said. They hit the Svyatoshynskyi district in western Kyiv, adjacent to the suburb of Irpin which saw some of the worst battles of the war.

Flames erupted from the building as firefighters climbed ladders to rescue people. Smoke choked the air. Damage from unspecified ammunition caused a fire in a 10-storey building in the Podilsky district of kyiv, north of the government district. One person was hospitalized, the state emergency agency reported.

Russian forces also stepped up strikes overnight on the northwestern suburbs of Irpin, Hostomel and Bucha, Kyiv region chief Oleksiy Kuleba said.

“Many streets (in these areas) have been turned into a mush of steel and concrete. People have been hiding in basements for weeks and are afraid to come out even for evacuations,” Kuleba told the Ukrainian television.

But overall, Russia is far from achieving the progress Russian leaders predicted, defense and intelligence officials told CBS News. Russia’s advance on kyiv from three separate directions has progressed slowly, with days of troops stalling and sitting targets for the Ukrainians.


Former National Security Advisor HR McMaster on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine and the US Response

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The slow progress may have prompted Russia to seek help from China.

A senior US defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Associated Press that Russian troops were still about 15 km from central kyiv. The official said Russian forces had launched more than 900 missiles but Ukrainian airspace was still contested as Russia failed to achieve full air superiority.

Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office on Tuesday released details of two deadly Russian bombings the day before. The office said an artillery strike hit a university and an open-air market, killing 10, and a 65-year-old woman was shot on a bus evacuating civilians from a Kyiv suburb .

Russian artillery fire also hit a nine-story apartment building in the city’s northern Obolonskyi district, killing two other people, authorities said. A city councilor from Brovary, east of Kyiv, was killed in fighting there, officials said. And a Russian airstrike near a Ukrainian checkpoint caused extensive damage to a district in downtown kyiv, killing one person, Ukraine’s emergency agency said.


Russia steps up attacks near NATO territory

05:09

In an area outside kyiv, Fox News reporter Benjamin Hall was injured while reporting and was hospitalized, the network said.

In Russia, the main live evening news program on state television was briefly interrupted by a woman who entered the studio holding a poster against the war. The OVD-Info website which monitors political arrests said it was a Channel 1 employee who was taken into custody.

Airstrikes were reported across the country, including the southern city of Mykolaiv and the northern city of Chernihiv, where heat knocked out most of the city. Explosions also rippled overnight around the Russian-occupied port of Kherson on the Black Sea.

Russian news agencies reported on Tuesday that the Kremlin claimed Russian troops had taken full control of the entire Kherson region, according to Reuters.

Nineteen people were killed in a rocket attack on a television tower in the western village of Antopol, according to local officials speaking to Agence France-Presse.

In Mariupol, where the war has caused some of the greatest suffering, the city council did not specify the number of people in the convoy of cars heading west towards the town of Zaporizhzhia. But he said a ceasefire along the route appeared to be holding. Previous attempts to evacuate civilians and deliver humanitarian aid to the southern city of 430,000 have been thwarted by fighting.

Russia Ukraine War
A car burns next to the damaged Mariupol maternity hospital on March 9, 2022.

Evgeny Maloletka / AP


Ukraine’s military said on Monday it repelled an attempt to take control of Mariupol by Russian forces, which were forced to retreat. Satellite images from Maxar Technologies showed fires across the city, with many high-rise buildings heavily damaged or destroyed.

The head of Russia’s Kremlin-backed Chechnya region said on a messaging app that Chechen fighters were leading the offensive on Mariupol.

The Russian military said on Monday that 20 civilians in the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine were killed by a ballistic missile launched by Ukrainian forces. The claim could not be independently verified.

The UN has recorded at least 596 civilian deaths since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, although it estimates the true toll to be much higher. Millions more have fled their homes, with more than 2.8 million crossing into Poland and other neighboring countries in what the UN has called Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

Russia’s military is larger and better equipped than Ukraine’s, but its troops have faced stronger resistance than expected, bolstered by weapons supplied by the West.