Zelenskiy airs rescue efforts as Putin holds rally
STORY: With the charred and bombed-out remains of buildings looming over them, bodies lay strewn across the ground in Mariupol on Friday, some buried in makeshift graves… others simply covered by rubble… remnants of the latest assault on the city of southeastern Ukraine. Video released Friday by the Azov regiment, a former right-wing paramilitary unit now part of Ukraine’s National Guard, is said to show a bombed-out theater where Ukrainian officials say hundreds were sheltering at the time of a Russian airstrike. this week. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Friday that rescue operations were underway. “It is known that so far, more than 130 people have been rescued. But hundreds of Mariupol residents are still under the rubble. Despite the shelling, despite all the difficulties, we will continue the rescue work.” Russia has denied bombing the theater or targeting civilians. On Friday morning, black smoke rose over the western city of Lviv, a city that has attracted hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians seeking refuge away from the war front. The city’s governor, Maksym Kozytskyy, announced a Russian attack on an aircraft maintenance facility. There was an attack on the city of Lviv. The air raid warning system worked. I thank the armed forces for how they reacted. Some missiles that were launched from the Black Sea area were intercepted… More than 100 empty strollers were later placed in a square in Lviv as part of a campaign highlighting the large number of children killed in the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, in Moscow… Russian President Vladimir Putin justified the invasion before a packed soccer stadium on Friday, announcing to tens of thousands of people waving Russian flags that all of the Kremlin’s goals would be achieved as long as Russia calls his “special military operation” in Ukraine and defended against the “genocide” of the Russian-speaking people. But Russian troops have suffered heavy losses in recent weeks as they demolished residential areas, causing more than 3 million refugees to flee. Ukraine says it is fighting for its existence and that Putin’s claims of genocide are nonsense. kyiv and Moscow have outlined progress in peace talks this week toward a political formula that would keep Ukraine out of the NATO alliance. nce but protected by some other form of collateral. Ukraine has demanded an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops, and both sides accused each other on Friday of prolonging the talks.