at the time.
A Ukrainian Defence Ministry representative told Reuters the ministry was still trying to establish if any of the foreign instructors were at the facility at the time of the attack.
Ukraine accused Russian forces on Saturday of killing seven civilians in an attack on women and children trying to flee fighting near Kyiv, and France said Russian President Vladimir Putin had shown he was not ready to make peace. The Ukrainian intelligence service said the seven, including one child, were killed as they fled the village of Peremoha and that “the occupiers forced the remnants of the column to turn back.”
Reuters was unable immediately to verify the report and Russia offered no immediate comment. Moscow denies targeting civilians since invading Ukraine on Feb. 24 and blames Ukraine for failed attempts to evacuate civilians from encircled cities.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said earlier that Moscow was sending in new troops after Ukrainian forces put 31 of Russia’s battalion tactical groups out of action in what he called Russia’s largest army losses in decades. It was not possible to verify his statements.
He also said about 1,300 Ukrainian troops had been killed so far and urged the West to get more involved in peace negotiations. The president suggested Russian forces would face a fight to the death if they sought to enter the capital.
Meanwhile, a troop of Ukrainian soldiers are keeping up morale by firing a constant barrage of artillery at the Russians. Their shelling has so far stopped Moscow’s tanks entering Kyiv from the east. And they hope that the enemy forces, which have struggled to take large cities, will eventually get bogged down.
Wearing camouflage uniform and carrying a Kalashnikov, a soldier nicknamed Topaz watches the motorway running north from Kyiv’s eastern suburbs.
Russian forces advance ever closer to the capital from the north, west and northeast. Russian strikes also destroy an airport in the town of Vasylkiv, south of the city.
Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak says Kiev is already effectively “under siege” as the army and volunteers prepare to defend the city, street by street.
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