Sorting fact, disinformation amid Russian war on Ukraine
Associated Press journalists around Ukraine and beyond are documenting military activity during Russia’s invasion. With disinformation rife and social media amplifying military claims and counterclaims, determining exactly what is happening can be difficult. Here’s a look at what could be confirmed Tuesday as Russia’s military assault on Ukraine was in its sixth day.
— Russian shelling continued to hit civilian targets in Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv. In video verified by the AP, explosions burst through a residential area of the city.
— The administration headquarters in Kharkiv’s city center also was targeted. Images showed the building badly damaged by a powerful explosion that blew up part of its roof. Closed-circuit television footage showed a fireball engulfing the street in front of the building, with a few cars rolling out of the billowing smoke. An emergency official said the bodies of at least six people had been pulled from the ruins and at least 20 other people were wounded.
— Hospital workers transferred a Kharkiv maternity ward to a bomb shelter. Amid makeshift electrical sockets and mattresses piled up against the walls, pregnant women paced the crowded space, accompanied by the cries of dozens of newborns.
— Flames shot up from a military base northeast of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, in the suburb of Brovary, according to footage verified by the AP that was shot from a passing car. AP photos showed wounded men being treated at a hospital in Brovary.
— Images showed a TV tower in Kyiv on fire. Ukraine officials said a Russian strike on the tower killed five people and left five more wounded. Local media had reported Ukrainian TV channels stopped broadcasting shortly after the strike. An official with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office said some channels have resumed broadcasting.
— In Moscow, people lined up to withdraw cash as sanctions imposed by Western countries threatened to drive up prices and reduce the standard of living for millions of ordinary Russians.
— Powerful blasts could be heard Tuesday night in central Kyiv. People on the ground reported car alarms were set off by the blasts, a first in the central part of the capital city where Russian forces are encroaching.
— A convoy of armored Russian vehicles, tanks, artillery and support was 25 kilometers (17 miles) from the center of Kyiv early Tuesday morning and stretched about 65 kilometers (40 miles), according to satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies. A U.S. defense official told the AP later in the day the convoy’s movements appeared to be paused. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
ANNOUNCED BY UKRAINIAN AUTHORITIES
— Ukrainian authorities say Russian forces have blocked a major port on the Black Sea. Ihor Kolyhayev, the mayor of the port of Kherson located on the estuary of the Dnieper River, said Tuesday that it has been sealed by the Russian troops. Kolyhayev’s statement confirms Monday’s Russian military claim that it has sealed the city while pressing its offensive in the south.
— In Zhytomyr, a city about 140 kilometers (85 miles) west of Kyiv, a Russian airstrike hit a residential area near a hospital late Tuesday, Mayor Serih Sukhomlin said in a Facebook video. Ukraine’s emergency services said the strike killed at least two people, set three homes on fire and broke the windows in the hospital.
— Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said in a statement Belarussian troops are concentrated close to the countries’ border. The ministry said at the end of the day Tuesday there has been significant aircraft activity in the past 24 hours and “a column of vehicles with food and ammunition” approaching.
ANNOUNCED BY RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES
— Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reiterated Tuesday the Russian military “strikes only military facilities and uses exclusively precision weapons” despite abundant evidence documented by the AP of shelling of homes, schools and hospitals.
— Russian nuclear submarines sailed off for drills in the Barents Sea and mobile missile launchers roamed the taiga on Tuesday following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order to put the nation’s nuclear forces on high alert. It was unclear whether the drills represented any change in the country’s normal nuclear posture. The Russian military said the submarine exercises were to “train maneuvering in stormy conditions.”
ANNOUNCED BY OFFICIALS ELSEWHERE
— NATO’s chief says the alliance sees no need to change its nuclear weapons alert level, despite Russia’s threats. NATO’s secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, spoke to the AP following talks on European security with Polish President Andrzej Duda at an air base in Poland where NATO’s Polish and U.S. fighter jets are based.
— The U.N. human rights office says it has recorded the deaths of 136 civilians, including 13 children, in Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24, but warned the toll may be far higher.
— A senior Western intelligence official estimated more than 5,000 Russian soldiers have been captured or killed, although overall soldier death tolls remained unclear.
— The separatist forces in Donetsk say they have established two corridors for the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol, an indication that a large attack on the key Azov Sea port could be imminent. Mariupol, an industrial center, is seen as a key target, which would help Russia establish a land corridor between Crimea and its mainland.
— UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo said Tuesday in Geneva that about 660,000 people have fled Ukraine since the start of the invasion. The number was up from a count of more than 500,000 a day earlier.
— U.N. humanitarian coordinator Martin Griffiths said shelling and bombing have left “hundreds of thousands of families” without drinking water in Ukraine.
— The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence said Ukrainian forces hold Kharkiv, Kherson and Mariupol, but all three cities are encircled.
— A spokesperson for the Babi Yar Holocaust memorial said damage was inflicted to a Jewish cemetery at the site, which is near the Kyiv TV tower that was attacked. The memorial is the site of a 1941 massacre of more than 33,000 Jews by Nazi Germany. Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid denounced the damage and said Israel would help with repairs.
— Slovenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted its consulate building in Kharkiv was destroyed Tuesday by a Russian strike, adding the “horrific act will not remain without consequences.” The honorary consul was safe, the ministry said.
Follow AP’s coverage of Russia’s war on Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine