A convoy of hundreds of Russian tanks and other military vehicles stretching 40 miles long closed in on Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv on Tuesday. As Russia entered its sixth day of attacks, a determined Ukrainian resistance continued to block Russian troops from advancing, though it’s unclear if that resistance can continue against the increasing Russian forces.
“US satellites detect large convoy of Russian troops and weapons northwest of Ukrainian capital of Kyiv near Antonov airfield. It is now only a few miles outside the city,” tweeted journalist Kyle Becker. “The Russian convoy is approx, 63 km (40 miles) long and comprises approximately 2300 vehicles. (Maxar Tech.).”
On Monday, a five-hour talk between Ukraine and Russia concluded without any agreement to stop fighting. The two nations did agree to another meeting later this week, but Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he would not make concessions “when one side is hitting another with rocket artillery.”
“I believe Russia is trying to put pressure (on Ukraine) with this simple method,” Zelenskyy said, referring to the constant barrage of attacks, The Associated Press reported.
“They want to break our nationhood, that’s why the capital is constantly under threat,” he later added.
Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv – which has a population of around 1.5 million – was also targeted by Russian attacks this week. Explosions lit up the city, destroying a Soviet-era administrative building where six people were killed. Russian bombs also struck residential areas, including a maternity ward, which was forced to move into an underground shelter.
Russian forces also attacked Kharkiv’s Freedom Square, the largest plaza in the country, with what is believed to be a missile.
“People are under the ruins. We have pulled out bodies,” said Yevhen Vasylenko, a representative of the Emergency Situations Ministry in Kharkiv region. He added that 20 people were also injured in the Russian attacks.
Zelenskyy called the Freedom Square attack “frank, undisguised terror” and characterized it as a war crime.
“This is state terrorism of the Russian Federation,” he said.
Zelenskyy also addressed the European Parliament on Monday.
“We are fighting also to be equal members of Europe. I believe that today we are showing everybody that is what we are,” he said.
The Ukrainian president added that 16 children had been killed in the Russian attacks on Monday, ridiculing Russia’s claims that the nation was only attacking military targets.
“Where are the children, what kind of military factories do they work at? What tanks are they going at, launching cruise missiles?” Zelenskyy said.
“It is a nightmare, and it seizes you from the inside very strongly. This cannot be explained with words,” said Kharkiv resident Ekaterina Babenko, who has been sheltering with neighbors in a basement for nearly a week, according to the AP. “We have small children, elderly people and frankly speaking it is very frightening.”