Update on the crisis in Russia and Ukraine, April 19th. Click here for the latest information from April 18th.
Russia begins a fight for an industrial center, Ukraine says
After several days of reorganization and strengthening, Russian troops launched a long-feared full-scale ground attack to control the industrial center of Ukraine, a new of the war in Ukraine. And potentially the climax stage has begun, Ukrainian officials said.
According to Ukrainian officials, the intensified assault began on Monday along a wide front of more than 300 miles (480 kilometers).
“Russian troops have begun a fight for Donbus,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video speech. “A significant portion of the entire Russian army is currently focused on this attack,” he said.
Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian troops for eight years, primarily in Russian-speaking Donbus, proclaiming two independent republics approved by Russia. Russia has declared that the occupation of Donbus is the main goal of the war because of the unsuccessful attempt to occupy the capital Kyiv.
Before the attack began, Russia appeared to be a fierce bid to attack cities and other targets in western Lviv and shatter the country’s defenses.
Russians fight on the streets of Ukrainian towns
Ukrainian military officials said street fighting had begun and evacuation was not possible in the town of Kreminna. This is one of the only two places the Ukrainians said they were able to break through hundreds of miles of fronts on Monday.
Serhiy Haidai, the administrator of the Luhansk local army, said the town was hit by heavy guns overnight, seven homes were set on fire, and the Olympus sports complex trained by the national Olympic team was targeted.
Heidai later said on Ukrainian television that the Russians dominated the city after “flattening everything to the ground,” so his men withdrew to reorganize and continue to fight. “It just doesn’t make sense to stand in one place to die for everyone without serious damage to the enemy,” he said.
Biden talks to allies over Ukraine’s invasion
US President Joe Biden meets with allies on Tuesday Ukraine Crisis including how to coordinate the event Russia The White House said it was accountable.
“The President convenes secure video calls with allies and partners, Ukraine And efforts to keep Russia We are accountable as part of our close coordination. “
Ukraine says the first citizens were killed in Lviv
Ukraine said a Russian missile attack killed seven people in Lviv on Monday. This is the first civilian victim in a western city.
Lviv Governor Maksym Kozytskyy, 60 km (40 miles) from the Polish border, reportedly had four strikes, three in a warehouse not used by the military, and another in a car service. Said it was done at the station.
The Russian Defense Ministry said it had achieved hundreds of military goals overnight in Ukraine. Air-launched missiles said they destroyed 16 military installations in Kharkov, Zaporizhia, Donetsk, the Dnipropetrovsk region, and the ports of Mykolaiv in southern and eastern Ukraine.
The Russian Air Force launched strikes on 108 areas where Ukrainian troops are concentrated, adding that Russian artillery attacked 315 Ukrainian targets.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said on Monday that the situation in Mariupol was “very difficult”, but the city was not under full control of Russian troops.
Video and audio footage showed explosions and smoke rising from the Azovstal Ironworks, including countless buildings, blast furnaces, and railroad tracks.
Taking Mariupol will unite Russian troops on two of the main axes of aggression and free them to participate in possible new attacks on the main Ukrainian troops in the east.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.