trying in every possible way to stall negotiations, putting forward more and more unrealistic proposals,” the Kremlin said after the phone call.
Russian forces on Friday struck an area around Lviv’s airport in western Ukraine, Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said, as grey smoke streamed across the sky and ambulances and police vehicles raced to the scene. Writing on messaging app Telegram, Sadovyi said he could not give a precise address of the targeted area “but it’s definitely not an airport.” A thick pall of grey smoke streamed across clear blue sky over Lviv’s airport in western Ukraine at 7:30 am Friday, an AFP reporter saw.
An explosion was heard and smoke was seen in the northern part of Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Friday morning, a Reuters witness said.
As Russian troops appeared to stall in their advance on Ukrainian cities, the United States voiced concern on Thursday that China might assist Moscow with military equipment as the war entered its fourth week. Ukraine’s capital Kyiv came under renewed Russian shelling as rescuers in the besieged port of Mariupol dug survivors from the rubble of bombed buildings. Officials from the two countries met again for peace talks but said their positions remained far apart.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said he agreed with President Joe Biden that war crimes have been committed in Ukraine and U.S. experts were gathering evidence to prove it.
Biden told reporters a day earlier that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin was a “war criminal” but the White House later said no formal determination had been made on potential violations of international law since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
“Personally, I agree,” Blinken said in a news conference at the State Department. “Intentionally targeting civilians is a war crime,” Blinken said, adding that he finds it “difficult to conclude that the Russians are doing otherwise” after the destruction over the past few weeks.
President Joe Biden will make clear to China’s President Xi Jiping in a call Friday that Beijing “will bear responsibility for any actions it takes to support Russia’s aggression, and we will not hesitate to impose costs,” Blinken told reporters.
More than 700 civilians – including 52 children – have been killed in Ukraine since Russia invaded three weeks ago, but the “actual number is likely much higher,” U.N. political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council on Thursday.
“Most of these casualties were caused by the use in populated areas of explosive weapons with a wide impact area. Hundreds of residential buildings have been damaged or destroyed, as have hospitals and schools,” DiCarlo said.
She told the 15-member council that the U.N. human rights agency has recorded 726 deaths, including 52 children, and 1,174 people injured, including 63 children, between Feb. 24 and March 15. DiCarlo did not specify who was to blame.
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