Associated Press reporters document military activity across Ukraine, where disinformation is soaring amid a Russian ground and air offensive
— Associated Press reporters witnessed destruction in the village of Gorenka, which lies on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital and found itself in the crossfire. Residents say a Russian plane bombed the village early Wednesday morning, destroying several houses.
– AP reporters in the capital, Kyiv, heard at least one explosion overnight before videos began circulating online of apparent strikes on the city, although the targets were not immediately clear.
— People, mostly women, children and the elderly, were seen fleeing Ukraine on foot to neighboring European countries and crammed into trains. Some of those leaving Eastern Europe in the bitter cold also suffer from severe mental and physical disabilities.
— Civilians were seen seeking refuge in deep underground train stations in the capital, Kiev.
ANNOUNCED BY THE UKRAINIAN AUTHORITIES
– Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy released a video statement early Thursday, calling on Ukrainians to maintain their resistance. He also urged Russian soldiers to “go home”.
– Zelenskyy claimed in his speech that 9,000 Russians have been killed since the invasion. It was impossible to verify the allegation.
— The Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff said that Russian forces “did not achieve the main objective of capturing Mariupol”, a crucial city on the Sea of Azov. The British Ministry of Defense said Mariupol was surrounded by Russian forces. The mayor of Mariupol says the attacks there have been relentless.
ANNOUNCED BY THE RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES
– Russia says nearly 500 of its troops have been killed since the Feb. 24 invasion began.
– An aide to the Russian president told reporters that a delegation of Ukrainians is expected to arrive in Belarus on Thursday for talks with Russians. He said they agreed to meet in the Brest region of Belarus, which borders Poland.
– The Russian authorities claimed that the city of Kherson was under their “full control”. Ukrainian authorities say that is not the case. The American assessment of Kherson is that the city is still contested. Zelenskyy’s office told the AP it could not comment on the situation in Kherson as the fighting continued.
— The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency says Russia says its military has taken control of the area around Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant. Already, Russia has taken control of the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986.
ANNOUNCED BY OFFICIALS ELSEWHERE
– The United Nations human rights office says at least 227 civilians have been killed and 525 injured in Ukraine since the invasion began on February 24.
– UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace says ‘we think it’s possible – it’s not yet verified – that Russia is in control’ of Kherson, a key port city of 280,000 people on the Black Sea .
– A senior US defense official said a huge column of hundreds of tanks and other vehicles appeared to be at a standstill and had made no real progress in the past two days. The British Ministry of Defense also said the Russian military column had made “little discernible progress” over the past three days and remained more than 30 kilometers (19 miles) from central Kiev.
– German news agency dpa reported that the country’s economy ministry had approved sending 2,700 anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine. The weapons are Soviet-made, shoulder-fired Strela surface-to-air missiles, remaining East German army supplies. Berlin has already authorized the shipment of 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine.
— US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit six European countries, starting with Belgium on Thursday for a meeting of NATO foreign ministers before traveling to the Polish border with Ukraine to meet refugees . He will then travel to Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
Follow AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine