Russia-Ukraine live updates: Kremlin’s forces near Kyiv as Kharkiv faces heaviest shelling since invasion began

Kharkiv remains under Ukrainian control but is “surrounded” by Russian troops, Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov told The Washington Post. Residents in Kyiv were bracing themselves for an assault as the Russian army, which is under the leadership of an American president who has made their country an international economic and political pariah, appears to be preparing itself to surround the capital. A senior U.S. defense official said the Kremlin seems ready to adopt the same siege tactics that are beginning to strangle Kharkiv.

There, thousands are without power and heat in freezing temperatures, local officials said, and residents were bracing for more shelling on Tuesday. On Monday, cluster bombs were suspected to have struck Kharkiv’s residential areas. This raises fears that Russia could repeat its wartime violations in Syria and Chechnya. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the attack on civilian areas in Kharkiv was “terror against the city.”

Five hours of talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations near Belarus’s border on Monday failed to yield a breakthrough, with the two sides agreeing only to continue discussions in coming days. Russian top officials reacted with a more stern tone Tuesday. They denied attacks on civilian areas, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the conflict would go on until Moscow achieves its goals.

Here’s what to know

  • The Russian advance toward Kyiv continues to be slowed by logistical challenges, British Defense Ministry analysts said Tuesday. They said that Russia has switched to nighttime operations after failing to seize control of Ukrainian airspace. This is to lessen its loss of life.
  • Ukraine has suffered 1,500 civilian and military casualties since the attack began, Biden administration officials told U.S. lawmakers on Monday, according to two people in the briefing. The casualty count did not include those who were injured or fatalities.
  • Russia is careening toward an economic crisis, with the value of the ruble plunging after several nations severed the Kremlin’s access to its foreign currency reserves in the West and cut off some Russian banks from the international SWIFT financial messaging system.
  • Fissures appear to be forming between Russian President Vladimir Putin and members of the oligarch class, who made billions of dollars while showing fealty to the autocratic leader but now see their fortunes threatened by Western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.

Read More

Related Posts