Russian forces redoubled attacks on strategic targets across Ukraine Sunday, with fierce fighting reported around the capital, Kyiv, amid signs that the besieged city of Mariupol was close to falling.
As the conflict moved into its second month, Russian forces have largely failed in their first aim to take the largest cities and have narrowed immediate targets to the sieges of the southern port city of Mariupol and the strategically placed city of Chernihiv in the north.
Air raid sirens rang out in Kyiv during the day, but otherwise the city remained calm, lending some credence to the Russian Defense Ministry’s recent assertion that it was turning its focus away from Kyiv to concentrate on the eastern front. Some Russian units were withdrawing to Belarus in the north to regroup and re-equip, according to the Ukrainian military, but heavy Russian artillery attacks continued around Chernihiv, northeast of Kyiv.
Seven people, including two children, died in artillery fire in Kharkiv, in northeast Ukraine, as Russian forces tried to subdue the city near the border, the Ukrainian news media reported. And missiles hit a fuel depot in western Ukraine as Russia continued to use airstrikes to disrupt supply lines to Ukrainian forces.