News from Ukraine: Latest updates on the invasion

PARIS — French authorities said a convoy of rescue vehicles and emergency equipment was to leave Paris on Wednesday to be delivered to Ukrainian emergency services.

A press release from the French Foreign and Interior Ministries indicates that 100 firefighters and rescue workers will send the vehicles and equipment to Romania, on the border with Ukraine. They include 11 fire trucks, 16 rescue vehicles and 23 trucks carrying 49 tonnes of health and emergency equipment.

It comes in addition to a convoy of 21 new ambulances, which left on Tuesday.

The statement said the operation is intended to support Ukrainian Emergency Service rescue workers “mobilized day and night to assist the victims”.

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BERLIN — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has reiterated that his country will not support a no-fly zone over Ukraine or send troops to intervene in the war launched by Russia.

Scholz told German lawmakers on Wednesday that “NATO will not become a party to the war. We agree on this with our European allies and the United States.

Still, the German leader said Ukraine could count on Germany’s help, citing financial and military aid already provided, tough sanctions against Russia and hosting hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.

Scholz said Germany would not support a boycott of Russian oil, coal and gas, but is seeking to wean itself off such imports by seeking alternative suppliers and stepping up the use of renewable energy.

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LVIV, Ukraine — The Kyiv city administration said Russian forces shelled the Ukrainian capital overnight and early Wednesday morning, damaging buildings in two neighborhoods.

Kyiv authorities said on Telegram that a shopping center, some private sector buildings and high-rise buildings were fired upon in Sviatoshynskyi and Shevchenkivskyi districts.

Four people were injured.

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LVIV, Ukraine — Russian forces shelled and destroyed a bridge in the encircled city of Chernihiv, regional governor Viacheslav Chaus said.

The destroyed bridge had been used for the evacuation of civilians and the delivery of humanitarian aid. It crossed the Desna River and connected the city to the Ukrainian capital, kyiv.

Authorities in Chernihiv said on Tuesday that the beleaguered town had no water or electricity and called the situation a humanitarian disaster.

Explosions and bursts of gunfire rocked kyiv on Wednesday morning, and heavy artillery fire could be heard from the northwest, where Russian forces sought to encircle and take the capital’s suburbs.

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LVIV, Ukraine – Russian military forces have destroyed a laboratory at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant that was working to improve the management of radioactive waste, the Ukrainian agency responsible for the Chernobyl exclusion zone announced on Tuesday.

The Russian military seized the disused factory at the start of the war last month. The exclusion zone is the contaminated area around the plant, site of the world’s worst nuclear meltdown in 1986.

The state agency said the lab, built at a cost of 6 million euros with support from the European Commission, opened in 2015.

The lab contained “highly active samples and samples of radionuclides which are now in the hands of the enemy, who we hope will harm themselves and not the civilized world,” the agency said in a statement. his statement.

Radionuclides are unstable atoms of chemical elements that emit radiation.

Ukraine’s nuclear regulatory agency said Monday that radiation monitors around the plant had stopped working.

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WASHINGTON — Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied that the Russian invasion has stalled.

Asked on CNN what Russian President Vladimir Putin has achieved in Ukraine, he replied: “Well, first of all not yet. He hasn’t succeeded yet. But he insisted that the military operation was taking place “in strict accordance with the plans and objectives that had been established beforehand”.

Peskov reiterated that Putin’s main goals were to “get rid of Ukraine’s military potential” and “to turn Ukraine from an anti-Russian center to a neutral country.”

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LVIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian forces not only blocked a humanitarian convoy trying to reach besieged Mariupol with desperately needed supplies on Tuesday, but captured some of the rescue workers and bus drivers.

He said the Russians agreed to the route in advance.

“We are trying to organize stable humanitarian corridors for the people of Mariupol, but almost all of our attempts, unfortunately, are foiled by the Russian occupiers, by shelling or deliberate terror,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address to the nation.

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the Russians seized 11 bus drivers and four rescue workers along with their vehicles. She said their fate was unknown. The figures could not immediately be confirmed.

More than 7,000 people were evacuated from Mariupol on Tuesday, but around 100,000 remain in the city “under inhumane conditions, under complete blockade, without food, water, medicine and under constant shelling, under constant shelling” , Zelensky said.

Before the war, 430,000 people lived in the port city on the Sea of ​​Azov.

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Christi C. Elwood