LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces intensified shelling of cities in Ukraine’s center, north and south, a Ukrainian official said, upending attempts to evacuate besieged civilians. With the Ukrainian leader urging his people to fight in the streets, Russian President Vladimir Putin shifted blame for the invasion, saying Moscow’s attacks could be halted “only if Kyiv ceases hostilities.”
The outskirts of Kyiv, Chernihiv in the north, Mykolaiv in the south, and Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, faced stepped-up shelling late Sunday, presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich said. Heavy artillery hit residential areas in Kharkiv and shelling damaged a television tower, according to local officials.
“This is likely to represent an effort to break Ukrainian morale,” the U.K. Ministry of Defense said of Russian tactics as the war entered its 12th day Monday. Fighting has caused 1.5 million people to flee the country, which the head of the U.N. refugee agency called “the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.”
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Photo by: Emilio Morenatti