Russia widens attack to western Ukraine as huge convoy nears Kyiv

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews  with AP
A man walks with a bicycle in a street damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Thursday, March 10, 2022
A man walks with a bicycle in a street damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Thursday, March 10, 2022   -   Copyright  Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo

Russia struck near airports in western Ukraine on Friday, widening its military offensive as troops gathered outside capital city Kyiv.

Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Russia used high-precision long-range weapons to put military airfields in Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk “out of action" without providing further details.

The strikes on the Lutsk airfield left two Ukrainian servicemen dead and six people wounded, head of the surrounding Volyn region, Yuriy Pohulyayko, said.

In Ivano-Frankivsk, residents were ordered to shelters after an air raid alert, Mayor Ruslan Martsinkiv said.

Satellite photos appeared to show a massive convoy gathering once again outside the capital city Kyiv, with people bracing for an attack. The convoy seen in satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies showed a 64-kilometre line of vehicles, tanks and artillery.

Russian airstrikes on residential areas in the eastern city of Dnipro, meanwhile, killed at least one person, Ukraine's emergency services said in a statement on Friday.

There were three airstrikes in the city, hitting a kindergarten, an apartment building, and a two-storey shoe factory, the emergency services said. The blast damaged windows in eight apartment buildings near the factory, the statement said.

There's a push for humanitarian corridors to bring aid to people in areas occupied or under Russian attack.

The situation in the southeastern port city of Mariupol is increasingly dire as trapped civilians seek food and fuel, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

More than 1,300 people have died in the city's 10-day siege, Vereshchuk said. “They want to destroy the people of Mariupol. They want to make them starve,” she added. “It’s a war crime.”

There is no heat, little electricity and no phone service. Temperatures are regularly below freezing and bodies are being buried in mass graves.

“They have a clear order to hold Mariupol hostage, to mock it, to constantly bomb and shell it,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to the nation on Thursday.