AP

Russian forces shell Ukraine’s No. 2 city and menace Kyiv

Feb 28, 2022, 9:13 PM | Updated: Mar 2, 2022, 10:07 am

Cars are stopped at a roadblock set by civil defensemen at a road leading to central Kyiv, Ukraine,...

Cars are stopped at a roadblock set by civil defensemen at a road leading to central Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. Explosions and gunfire that have disrupted life since the invasion began last week appeared to subside around Kyiv overnight, as Ukrainian and Russian delegations met Monday on Ukraine’s border with Belarus. It's unclear what, if anything, those talks would yield. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

(AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces shelled Ukraine’s second-largest city on Monday, rocking a residential neighborhood, and closed in on the capital, Kyiv, in a 40-mile convoy of hundreds of tanks and other vehicles, as talks aimed at stopping the fighting yielded only an agreement to keep talking.

The country’s embattled president said the stepped-up shelling was aimed at forcing him into concessions.

“I believe Russia is trying to put pressure (on Ukraine) with this simple method,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Monday in a video address. He did not offer details of the hourslong talks that took place earlier, but said that Kyiv was not prepared to make concessions “when one side is hitting each other with rocket artillery.”

Amid ever-growing international condemnation, Russia found itself increasingly isolated five days into its invasion, while also facing unexpectedly fierce resistance on the ground in Ukraine and economic havoc at home.

For the second day in a row, the Kremlin raised the specter of nuclear war, announcing that its nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarines and long-range bombers had all been put on high alert, following President Vladimir Putin’s orders over the weekend.

Stepping up his rhetoric, Putin denounced the U.S. and its allies as an “empire of lies.”

Meanwhile, an embattled Ukraine moved to solidify its ties to the West by applying to join the European Union — a largely symbolic move for now, but one that is unlikely to sit well with Putin, who has long accused the U.S. of trying to pull Ukraine out of Moscow’s orbit.

A top Putin aide and head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, said that the first talks held between the two sides since the invasion lasted nearly five hours and that the envoys “found certain points on which common positions could be foreseen.” He said they agreed to continue the discussions in the coming days.

As the talks along the Belarusian border wrapped up, several blasts could be heard in Kyiv, and Russian troops advanced on the city of nearly 3 million. The vast convoy of armored vehicles, tanks, artillery and support vehicles was 17 miles (25 kilometers) from the center of the city and stretched for about 40 miles, according to satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies.

The Maxar photos also showed deployments of ground forces and ground attack helicopter units in southern Belarus.

People in Kyiv lined up for groceries after the end of a weekend curfew, standing beneath a building with a gaping hole blown in its side. Kyiv remained “a key goal” for the Russians, Zelenskyy said, noting that it was hit by three missile strikes on Monday and that hundreds of saboteurs were roaming the city.

“They want to break our nationhood, that’s why the capital is constantly under threat,” Zelenskyy said.

Messages aimed at the advancing Russian soldiers popped up on billboards, bus stops and electronic traffic signs across the capital. Some used profanity to encourage Russians to leave. Others appealed to their humanity.

“Russian soldier — Stop! Remember your family. Go home with a clean conscience,” one read.

Video from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-biggest city, with a population of about 1.5 million, showed residential areas being shelled, with apartment buildings shaken by repeated, powerful blasts. Flashes of fire and gray plumes of smoke could be seen.

Footage released by the government from Kharkiv depicted what appeared to be a home with water gushing from a pierced ceiling. What looked like an undetonated projectile was on the floor.

Authorities in Kharkiv said at least seven people had been killed and dozens injured. They warned that casualties could be far higher.

“They wanted to have a blitzkrieg, but it failed, so they act this way,” said 83-year-old Valentin Petrovich, who watched the shelling from his downtown apartment and gave just his first name and his patronymic, a middle name derived from his father’s name, out of fear for his safety.

The Russian military has denied targeting residential areas despite abundant evidence of shelling of homes, schools and hospitals.

Fighting raged in other towns and cities across the country. The strategic port city of Mariupol, on the Sea of Azov, is “hanging on,” said Zelenskyy adviser Oleksiy Arestovich. An oil depot was reported bombed in the eastern city of Sumy.

Despite its vast military strength, Russia still lacked control of Ukrainian airspace, a surprise that may help explain how Ukraine has so far prevented a rout.

In the seaside resort town of Berdyansk, dozens of protesters chanted angrily in the main square against Russian occupiers, yelling at them to go home and singing the Ukrainian national anthem. They described the soldiers as exhausted young conscripts.

“Frightened kids, frightened looks. They want to eat,” Konstantin Maloletka, who runs a small shop, said by telephone. He said the soldiers went into a supermarket and grabbed canned meat, vodka and cigarettes.

“They ate right in the store,” he said. “It looked like they haven’t been fed in recent days.”

Across Ukraine, terrified families huddled overnight in shelters, basements or corridors.

“I sit and pray for these negotiations to end successfully, so that they reach an agreement to end the slaughter,” said Alexandra Mikhailova, weeping as she clutched her cat in a shelter in Mariupol. Around her, parents tried to console children and keep them warm.

For many, Russia’s announcement of a nuclear high alert stirred fears that the West could be drawn into direct conflict with Russia. But a senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States had yet to see any appreciable change in Russia’s nuclear posture.

As far-reaching Western sanctions on Russian banks and other institutions took hold, the ruble plummeted, and Russia’s Central Bank scrambled to shore it up, as did Putin, signing a decree restricting foreign currency.

But that did little to calm Russian fears. In Moscow, people lined up to withdraw cash as the sanctions threatened to drive up prices and reduce the standard of living for millions of ordinary Russians.

In yet another blow to Russia’s economy, oil giant Shell said it is pulling out of the country because of the invasion. It announced it will withdraw from its joint ventures with state-owned gas company Gazprom and other entities and end its involvement in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project between Russia and Europe.

The economic sanctions, ordered by the U.S. and other allies, were just one contributor to Russia’s growing status as a pariah country.

Russian airliners are banned from European airspace, Russian media is restricted in some countries, and some high-tech products can no longer be exported to the country. On Monday, in a major blow to a soccer-mad nation, Russian teams were suspended from all international soccer.

In other developments:

— The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said he will open an investigation soon into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.

— Cyberattacks hit Ukrainian embassies around the world, and Russian media outlets.

— The United States announced it is expelling 12 members of Russia’s U.N. mission, accusing them of spying.

— The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly opened its first emergency session in decades, with Assembly President Abdulla Shahid calling for an immediate cease-fire and “a full return to diplomacy and dialogue.”

The U.N. human rights chief said at least 102 civilians have been killed and hundreds wounded — warning that figure is probably a vast undercount — and Ukraine’s president said at least 16 children were among the dead.

More than a half-million people have fled the country since the invasion, another U.N. official said, many of them going to Poland, Romania and Hungary.

Among the refugees in Hungary was Maria Pavlushko, 24, an information technology project manager from a city west of Kyiv. She said her father stayed behind to fight the Russians.

“I am proud about him,” she said, adding that many of her friends were planning to fight too.

The negotiators at Monday’s talks met at a long table with the blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag on one side and the Russian tricolor on the other.

But while Ukraine sent its defense minister and other top officials, the Russian delegation was led by Putin’s adviser on culture — an unlikely envoy for ending a war and perhaps a sign of how seriously Moscow took the talks.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

AP

Supreme Court Police officers stand on duty outside of the Supreme Court building on Thursday, June...

MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press

The Supreme Court upholds a gun control law intended to protect domestic violence victims

The Supreme Court has upheld a federal gun control law on Friday with intentions to protect domestic violence victims.

22 hours ago

A photo taken of Matthew Perry in 2022....

Clayre Scott

Criminal investigation opened in relation to Matthew Perry’s death

A criminal investigation has been opened in relation to Matthew Perry's death due to high levels of ketamine found in his blood.

1 month ago

FILE - The United Nations (UN) headquarters are pictured in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Sept. 9, 2...

EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press

U.N. to vote on resolution that would grant Palestine new rights

The U.N. General Assembly is expected to vote Friday on a resolution that would grant new "rights and privileges" to Palestine.

1 month ago

President Joe Biden arrives at Chicago O'Hare International Airport to attend a political fundraise...

ZEKE MILLER and AAMER MADHANI, Associated Press

Biden says US won’t supply weapons for Israel to attack Rafah

Biden said the U.S. was still committed to Israel's defense, but that if Israel goes into Rafah, "we're not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells used."

1 month ago

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who just testified in the Trump hush money trial....

Associated Press

Adult film star testifies in Trump hush money case

Donald Trump's attorneys have unsuccessfully pushed for a mistrial during the testimony of porn actor Stormy Daniels. She was testifying at Trump's hush money criminal trial that she had a sexual encounter with Trump after meeting him at a Lake Tahoe celebrity golf outing where her studio was a sponsor.

2 months ago

This photo provided by NASA shows an Eta Aquarid meteor streaking over northern Georgia on April 29...

CHRISTINA LARSON, AP Science Writer

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower, debris of Halley’s comet, peaks this weekend. Here’s how to see it

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower, remnants of Halley's comet, peaks this weekend.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Russian forces shell Ukraine’s No. 2 city and menace Kyiv