Ukrainians fight on as Russia bombards cities it has struggled to seize


In Kyiv, the capital of 3 million people where residents have been sheltering at night in the underground metro, Russia blasted the main television tower near a Holocaust memorial on Tuesday, killing bystanders.

Zelenskiy, in his latest update to his nation, said that attack proved the Russians "don't know a thing about Kyiv, about our history. But they all have orders to erase our history, erase our country, erase us all."

Earlier, a tired and unshaven Zelenskiy, wearing green battle fatigues in a heavily guarded government compound, told Reuters and CNN in an interview that the bombing must stop for talks to end the war.

"It's necessary to at least stop bombing people, just stop the bombing and then sit down at the negotiating table."

Russia's main advance on the capital – a huge armoured column stretched for miles along the road to Kyiv – has been largely frozen in place for days, Western governments say. A senior U.S. defense official on Tuesday cited problems including shortages of food and fuel, and signs of flagging morale among Russian troops.

"While Russian forces have reportedly moved into the centre of Kherson in the south, overall gains across axes have been limited in the past 24 hours," Britain's ministry of defence said in an intelligence update on Wednesday morning.

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"This is probably due to a combination of ongoing logistical difficulties and strong Ukrainian resistance."

It said Russia was carrying out intensive air and artillery strikes, especially on Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mariupol and the eastern city of Chernihiv.

The Kremlin's decision to launch war – after months of denying such plans – has shocked Russians accustomed to viewing Putin, their ruler of 22 years, as a methodical strategist. have been forced to queue at banks to salvage their savings, an echo of the post-Soviet economic collapse of the 1990s.

Ukraine said more than 1,000 volunteers from 16 countries were on their way to fight alongside Ukrainian forces, and that it would free any Russian prisoners whose mothers come to collect them.

Moscow has given no full account of its losses so far, but Ukraine says it has killed nearly 6,000 Russian troops and captured hundreds more. Pictures online have shown burnt-out columns of Russian tanks surrounded by corpses.

Russia has largely eliminated domestic opposition, with Putin's main critics jailed or forced into exile. Leading opposition figure Alexey Navalny said from prison that Russians should protest daily against the war, a spokesperson tweeted.

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