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Russia reneged on promises to retreat in Kyiv and Chernihiv, intensify attacks

Kyiv, March 31 (AP)

The Russian army bombed Kyiv and another city in the vicinity of these cities just hours after promising to reduce its operations. Ukrainian officials gave this information on Wednesday. After Russia’s escalating attacks on other parts of the country, any progress in talks aimed at ending the war has lost hope. The Russian military announced on Tuesday that it would reduce its operations near the capital Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv in order to “create conditions conducive to further talks and build mutual trust”. However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Western countries expressed deep doubts. Shortly thereafter, Ukrainian officials reported bombings of homes, shops, libraries and other civilian sites in and around Chernihiv and Kyiv. Russian forces intensified their attacks around the Donbass region and the city of Lycium in eastern Ukraine. This city is an important road leading to the Donbass. Chernihiv city council secretary Oleksandr Lomako said Russia’s announcement had proved “totally false”. “During the night, they did not reduce the military operation but intensified it,” he said. According to the United Nations, the number of citizens leaving Ukraine has reached 4 million, of which about half the population is children.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said the military had targeted fuel depots in two cities in central Ukraine with long-range cruise missiles. Russian forces also targeted the Ukrainian special forces headquarters in the South Mykolev region and two ammunition depots in the Donetsk region. Regional officials in southern Ukraine said a Russian missile destroyed a fuel depot in the country’s fourth-largest city, Dnipro. Meanwhile, a missile attack was carried out on an apartment in the rebel-held city of Donetsk early on Wednesday, killing two people. Separatists have blamed the Ukrainian military for the attack.

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