Russian and Ukrainian delegations are meeting today for a third time since the Russian invasion was launched 12 days ago. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned his people to expect more heavy bombing in cities, as he took the international community to task for not doing more to stop Russia’s deadly assault.
President Volodymyr Zelensky: “The audacity of the aggressor is a clear signal to the West that sanctions against Russia are not enough, because they didn’t understand, did not feel, they did not see that the world is really determined — really determined — really determined to stop this war. You will not hide from this reality. You will not hide from new murders in Ukraine.”
On Friday, Zelensky addressed U.S. lawmakers, pleading for the creation of a no-fly zone over Ukraine and harsher sanctions, including a ban on Russian oil, and more military aid. The U.S. and NATO have rejected the idea of a no-fly zone, citing fears of further escalating the conflict with Russia. The U.S. and NATO are not directly involved in combat operations in Ukraine but have delivered over 17,000 anti-tank weapons, including Javelin missiles, into the country through bordering nations.
The civilian death toll in Ukraine has topped 364, according to the U.N., though the true toll could be much higher. Zelensky warned Sunday Russia was preparing to attack the key southwestern port city of Odessa, a city of 1 million. Russian missiles destroyed the international airport in the west-central city of Vinnytsia Sunday. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch said Russia used cluster bombs in its assault on Kharkiv last week, which could amount to war crimes. A U.S. official said Sunday Russia had fired 600 missiles since the start of the invasion and has committed 95% of its combat power inside Ukraine. The city of Mariupol is under siege by Russian forces, and attempts to evacuate trapped civilians repeatedly failed over the weekend. Russia said it was creating evacuation corridors for fleeing civilians, but Kyiv slammed the plan for forcing people to leave via Russia or Belarus. Thousands are also fleeing Zaporizhzhia, where Russian forces are now commanding operations at Europe’s largest nuclear plant after seizing it on Friday. The number of Ukrainian refugees has now topped 1.5 million. This is a mother who fled to Poland with her children but had to leave her husband behind in Ukraine.
Svitlana Zinchuk: “Now I feel safe, but I’m very depressed because my family was divided by war in two parts. And I left my heart there in Ukraine.”
Meanwhile, a group of prominent global civil rights lawyers filed a complaint with the U.N. on behalf of African refugees who faced racist discrimination from authorities while trying to flee Ukraine. Click here to see our interview with one of those refugees.
Back in Ukraine, residents of the Russian-occupied city of Kherson took to the streets Saturday to protest against Russian forces.