Attacks on Kyiv intensify, first convoy of civilians leaves Mariupol

Strikes on residential areas in Kyiv killed at least two people early on Tuesday morning, emergency services said, as Russian troops intensified their attacks on the Ukrainian capital.  The casualties came after a strike hit a 16-story building in the Sviatoshynsky district, the emergency service said in a Facebook post, adding that 27 people had been rescued from the construction.  Another residential building in the Podilsk area also came under attack, the emergency service said, causing “a fire” that “started on the first five floors of a ten-story residential building on Mostytska street as a result of ammunition fire.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address late on Monday that Russia “didn’t expect such resistance” in Ukraine.  Zelenskyy said that the Russian military was responsible for war crimes and vowed to hold Russian leadership accountable.  “We are working with our partners on new punitive measures against the Russian state,” Zelenskyy said. Zelenskyy confirmed that negotiations between Ukraine and Russia would resume on Tuesday.

Another round of direct talks between Russia and Ukraine closed with little meaningful progress, save a plan for another round later on Tuesday.  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked Ukrainian lawmakers to extend martial law for another 30 days.  Russian authorities were halting grain exports to the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, which includes Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan in addition to Russia itself.  The Russian government was also temporarily stopping the exports of white sugar and raw sugar to countries outside the bloc.  The move comes amid fears that the war in Ukraine would disrupt the food supply in Europe.  Over 4,000 civilians have transported away from the fighting on Monday, according to Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk, including a convoy of vehicles that left the besieged city of Mariupol.

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