Ukraine evacuates civilians from besieged Sumy, but millions remain trapped by fighting with Russia

Ukraine evacuated civilian convoys from the besieged northeastern city of Sumy on Tuesday, as renewed Russian bombing Forced to halt evacuations, millions of people were trapped elsewhere, cut off by the Russian advance.

With fierce fight It continued across the country on the 13th day of the Russian invasion, and the civilian death toll increased, as did international efforts to find a way to put pressure on the Russian president.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

to stop the war. The number of people forced to flee Ukraine has now exceeded two million, the United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday, with another million displaced within the country after fleeing their homes.

President Biden announced plans for the United States to ban imports of oil and natural gas from Russia. Photo: Getty Images

Biden administration Plans to ban Russian oil imports In the United States, according to people familiar with the matter, Washington is looking to inflict more economic pain on Mr. Putin, who has shown no indication he will bow to global condemnation of the war he launched.

In the southeastern city of Mariupol, where efforts to implement a ceasefire have failed for a fourth consecutive day, residents have been without electricity, mobile phone coverage or water supply for more than a week. Russian forces shelled residential neighborhoods in Mariupol on Tuesday as the city’s defenders refused to surrender. The city’s elected mayor, Vadim Boychenko, said on Tuesday that children in the city of 400,000 were dying from drought.

“My heart is full of pain and hatred for the fascists who have besieged our beloved Mariupol,” he said. “Something we thought impossible in the 21st century is happening today. It is frightening news for Europe, and a frightening reality for Ukraine.”

See also  Live updates: Russia's war in Ukraine

Around the strategic town of Izyum, eastern Ukraine, Russian forces advanced in an attempt to encircle some of the country’s strongest forces in the Donbass region. Ukraine continued to repel Russian attempts to storm the southeastern port city of Mykolaiv, the gateway to Odessa. About 3,000 civilians managed to flee the disputed town of Irbin, northwest of the capital, Kyiv.

Ukrainian officials said at least 700,000 people lack access to electricity and heating across the country due to the destruction of civilian infrastructure. Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city, has been hit so hard by Russian attacks that many of its 19th and early 20th century buildings have been reduced to ruins.

Civilians fled Sumy after Ukraine and Russia agreed to a limited ceasefire there; Residents said soldiers looted their homes in Irbin; Ukrainian President Zelensky posted defiant video messages. Photo: Emilio Morenati/Associated Press

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Tuesday that Russia continues to prevent evacuations from Mariupol despite agreements reached through the International Committee of the Red Cross. “War crimes are part of Russia’s deliberate strategy,” he said.

The regional prosecutor’s office in Sumy, the capital of the region of 260,000 people, said that during the night Russian air strikes hit several high-rise apartment buildings, killing 19 adults and two children. The regional government added it Ukrainian forces Using Turkish-made drones, it managed to hit and destroy three Russian columns moving to attack the city.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister, Irina Vereshuk, said Tuesday that under an agreement with Russia brokered by the International Committee of the Red Cross, civilians will be able to leave Sumy towards the city of Poltava in the morning, and that no combat activity will take place in the area until 9 pm, which It provides the opportunity to resupply the people of Sumy with food and medicine.

Rescue workers pick up the ruins of a destroyed school in Chernihiv, Ukraine.


Photo:

str/AFP/Getty Images

Emergency service workers in Zhytomyr deal with a fire at an oil depot in the wake of Russian air strikes.


Photo:

Cover Photos / Zuma Press

Late in the morning, civilians in Sumy began to board the evacuation buses, and the first convoy, mostly foreign students, reached Poltava safely. Sumy Governor Dmytro Chivitsky said in a video message that when the second convoy was about to leave, a Russian convoy including a tank on the city’s outer ring road approached a Ukrainian checkpoint and opened fire. Evacuation efforts later resumed, with buses and private cars leaving the city for Poltava.

This incident confirmed that there is no 100% security in leaving the city. Decide for yourself whether it is more dangerous to stay or leave,” Mr. Zhyvytski told Sumy residents.

On Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said it had opened what it said were humanitarian corridors outside of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Mariupol in addition to Sumy. Ukrainian officials said only one of Sumy has been coordinated by both sides, for now. Russia is offering to organize the evacuation of Ukrainian civilians to Russia or to the Russian-controlled states in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, something Kyiv rejects.

Third round of talks Between Russia and Ukraine over how to end the war, which was held in Belarus on Monday, failed to make much progress as Kyiv refused to accept Russian demands to recognize 2014 Annexation of Crimea By Russia and the independence of the states created by Russia in the Donbass region. Despite the Russian attack, Ukrainian forces continued to hold most of the populated areas of Donbass that they had captured before the invasion began.

“The discussion is difficult, talking about something positive is very early,” Russia’s chief negotiator, Vladimir Medinsky, said after the talks.

Captured areas as of Saturday

The direction of the invasion forces

Under the control of or allied with Russia

Main refugee transit sites

The territory of Ukraine, recognized by Putin as independent

Chernobyl

Not in operation

controlled by

separatists

Captured areas as of Saturday

The direction of the invasion forces

Under the control of or allied with Russia

The territory of Ukraine, recognized by Putin as independent

Main refugee transit sites

Chernobyl

Not in operation

controlled by

separatists

Captured areas as of Saturday

The direction of the invasion forces

Under the control of or allied with Russia

Main refugee transit sites

The territory of Ukraine, recognized by Putin as independent

Chernobyl

Not in operation

controlled by

separatists

Captured areas as of Saturday

The direction of the invasion forces

Under the control of or allied with Russia

Main refugee transit sites

The territory of Ukraine, recognized by Putin as independent

Captured areas as of Saturday

The direction of the invasion forces

Under the control of or allied with Russia

Main refugee transit sites

The territory of Ukraine, recognized by Putin as independent

The Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers are scheduled to meet initially on the sidelines of an international conference in Antalya, Turkey, on Thursday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has posted a selfie video from his office in the presidential palace in Kyiv, showing the familiar cityscape outside his window and vowing not to give up. “We are all here, working where we need to be. We are all at war, contributing to our victory, which is inevitable.” Russian state media continued to report that Mr. Zelensky had fled the country.

Mr. Zelensky said that every day that the Ukrainian resistance continues creates a better negotiating position for Kiev to end the war and ensure a peaceful future for the country.

Most of the city has been devastated in the past few days by Russian shelling and artillery, said Natalie Kirkach, who heads a volunteer group that has been evacuating civilians from there. “Conditions are still desperate and thousands still need to leave,” she said. She said the city had been without electricity for five days, and thousands of civilians had taken refuge in a tourist base near a monastery in the nearby town of Svyatohersk.

A sandbag barrier has been erected in the center of Odessa.


Photo:

Irina Nazarchuk/Reuters

A woman on a train bound for Poland from Lviv.


Photo:

Justyna Mielnikiewicz / MAPS for The Wall Street Journal

Ms. Kirkacz said the Russian infantry had moved into the northern part of Izyum to the northern bank of the river that divides it. Ukrainian officials said bridges over the river had been blown up, and the Ukrainian military was pressing to regain control Tuesday morning.

In Kharkiv, “the enemy slowed down its offensive operations because all his attempts to enter Kharkiv were repulsed,” said Governor Oleh Synehubov. “Our army has a high fighting spirit, and they continue to receive new weapons every day.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has joined the British Prime Minister

Boris Johnson

and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte for talks on Ukraine in London on Monday. “We recognize the heroic efforts of the Ukrainians, and will continue to work together – and with others – to respond to these blatant violations of international law,” Mr Trudeau wrote on Twitter.

Polish President Andrzej Duda, in remarks after a phone call with Mr. Zelensky, said that if Putin believes that “by demolishing homes and killing civilians, he will break the will and spirit of Ukrainians, then he is wrong.”

Returning from a trip to the Polish-Ukrainian border, the site of ongoing refugee flows westward, Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken wrote on Twitter that he was “inspired by the Polish people’s welcome of Ukrainian refugees after seeing them firsthand. The United States and Poland will continue to work together to respond to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”

Mr. Blinkin spoke with Mr. Kuleba of Ukraine about joint efforts to end Putin’s “War of Choice”.

German Chancellor Olaf Schulz spoke on Monday with Mr Johnson, President Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron and called on Russia to end the war immediately. “It leads to tragic human suffering,” said Mr. Schultz.

A Red Cross center provided hot meals to refugees in Lviv.


Photo:

Justyna Mielnikiewicz / MAPS for The Wall Street Journal

Family and friends gather around a grave during a joint funeral in Lviv for two soldiers who died during the fighting in eastern Ukraine.


Photo:

Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

write to Yaroslav Trofimov at [email protected] and Brett Forrest at [email protected]

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