The nonstop Russian bombardment of Mariupol continues, reducing the port city to ashes and making the rescue and evacuation of remaining residents treacherous, if not impossible. Ukrainian authorities said earlier today they reached a deal with Russia to create nine corridors to evacuate citizens in the regions of Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv and Luhansk. On Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv accused Russia of kidnapping over 2,000 Ukrainian children from the country’s separatist regions.
Ukrainian forces continue to hold off Russian advances around Kyiv and other areas as a Pentagon official said Russia’s combat power declined below 90% of its pre-invasion levels. Meanwhile, U.S. and NATO officials say Belarus could soon join Russian troops in combat. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday said it’s time to negotiate an end to the “unwinnable” war.
Secretary-General António Guterres: “Ukraine cannot be conquered city by city, street by street, house by house. The only outcome to all this is more suffering, more destruction and more horror as far as the eye can see. The Ukrainian people are enduring a living hell.”
Ukrainian officials say a series of forest fires near the Russian-occupied Chernobyl nuclear plant are further raising fears of radiation.
President Biden is traveling to Europe today, where he will meet with NATO allies and is expected to announce new sanctions on Russia. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expects to speak to Chinese leader Xi Jinping “very soon.”