Russia’s war in Ukraine: Update, March 13, No. 2
Thirty-five people die and more than 130 are injured when Russian troops launch air strikes on a military training ground outside Ukraine’s western city of Lviv, near the border with Poland, local officials say.
– Mykolaiv strike –
Nine people are killed in a strike on the southern city of Mykolaiv, the regional governor says. The city lies on the road to the port city of Odessa, around 100 kilometres (62 miles) away.
– Russia encircling Kyiv –
Russian forces advance ever closer to the capital from the north, west and northeast. Russian strikes also destroy an airport in the town of Vasylkiv, south of the city.
Only roads to the south remain open and Kyiv is preparing to mount a “relentless defence”, according to the Ukrainian president’s office.
– US journalist killed –
A US journalist is shot dead and another wounded in Irpin, a frontline northwest suburb of Kyiv, medics and witnesses say.
– Mariupol aid convoy blocked –
A convoy of aid heading for the besieged southern port of Mariupol, where residents have been trapped without running water and power for close to two weeks, is blocked at a Russian checkpoint.
Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says it hopes to arrive on Sunday.
The mayor says more than 1,500 civilians have been killed in the city.
– Turkey asks for Russian help –
Turkey has asked Russia to help evacuate its citizens stranded in Mariupol, Ankara’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says.
– Pope urges end to ‘massacre’ –
Pope Francis issues a plea for an end to the “massacre” in Ukraine, saying there is no justification for attacks on civilians.
– Attacks in east –
Ukrainian officials accuse Russia of using phosphorus chemical bombs in the eastern Donbas region, where a separate air strike on a monastery sheltering civilians wounds 30.
– US authorises $200 mn military aid –
US President Joe Biden authorises $200 million (183 million euros) in additional military equipment for Ukraine. Washington has already authorised $350 millions worth of military equipment — the largest such package in US history.
– 1,300 Ukrainian troops killed –
“Around 1,300” Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since the start of the invasion, President Volodymyr Zelensky says, the first time he has given a toll for Ukraine’s forces. Russia said on March 2 it had lost 498 soldiers but Zelensky says the figure is closer to 12,000.
At least 579 Ukrainian civilians have been killed, the UN says, stressing that the real toll is probably much higher than its figure.
– Zelensky says Moscow taking different approach –
Zelensky says the approach Moscow is now taking in negotiations contrasts with that of earlier talks, at which Moscow only “issued ultimatums”. He says he is “happy to have a signal from Russia”, after Putin said he saw “some positive shifts” in their dialogue.
– Protests in seized city –
Russian troops fire warning shots at peaceful protesters as thousands demonstrate in the southern city of Kherson, which was seized by the Russian army earlier this month, a local broadcaster reports.
– Nearly 2.7 million flee –
Almost 2.7 million people have fled the war in Ukraine, more than 100,000 of them in the past 24 hours, the UN says. More than half have gone to Poland.