clearn.png
Thursday September 29th, 2022 6:55AM

Some evacuated from Mariupol; US lawmaker Pelosi visits Kyiv

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (AP) — The United Nations labored Sunday to get civilians out of the bombed-out ruins of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, while U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revealed she visited Ukraine's president to show unflinching American support for the country's defense against Russian aggression.

Russia's high-stakes offensive in coastal southern Ukraine and the country’s eastern industrial heartland has Ukrainian forces fighting village by village and more civilians fleeing airstrikes and artillery shelling as war draws near their doorsteps.

As many as 100,000 people are believed to still be in blockaded Mariupol, including up to 1,000 civilians who were hunkered down with an estimated 2,000 Ukrainian fighters beneath a sprawling Soviet-era steel plant that is the only part of the city not occupied by the Russians.

Pelosi, a California Democrat who is second in line to succeed the president, is the most senior American lawmaker to travel to Ukraine since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. Her Saturday visit came just days after Russia launched rockets at the capital during a visit by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres.

During a Sunday news conference in the Polish city of Rzeszow, Pelosi said she and other members of a U.S. congressional delegation met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, for three hours and brought him “a message of appreciation from the American people for his leadership.”

Rep. Jason Crow, a U.S. Army veteran and a member of the House intelligence and armed services committees, said he came to Ukraine with three areas of focus: “Weapons, weapons and weapons.”

“We have to make sure the Ukrainians have what they need to win. What we have seen in the last two months is their ferocity, their intense pride, their ability to fight and their ability to win if they have the support to do so,” the Colorado Democrat said.

Russian forces have embarked on a major military operation to seize significant parts of southern and eastern Ukraine following their failure to capture Kyiv. Mariupol, a port city on the Sea of Azov, is a key target because of its strategic location near the Crimea Peninsula, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014.

"All the leaders of the free world know what Russia has done to Mariupol. And Russia will not go unpunished for this,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address. He warned that Russia was “gathering additional forces for new attacks against our military in the east of the country.”

Details about the scope of Saturday's evacuations and the possibility of more to come Sunday were unclear given the number of parties involved in the negotiations and the volatile situation on the ground.

The Russian Defense Ministry said a total of 46 people, a group of 25 and another numbering 21, were evacuated from areas near the Azovstal steel plant, the last defense holdout in Mariupol.

A top official with the Azov Regiment, the Ukrainian unit defending the steelworks, said Saturday that 20 women and children were evacuated from the plant. Civilians have sheltered in a maze of underground tunnels while the plant has been under siege.

In a video posted on the regiment's Telegram channel, regiment Deputy Commander Sviatoslav Palamar called for the evacuation of wounded Ukrainian fighters as well as civilians. “We don’t know why they are not taken away and their evacuation to the territory controlled by Ukraine is not being discussed," he said.

An Associated Press journalist saw women and children arriving in Bezimenne, a village which is under the control of Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, accompanied by U.N. and Red Cross representatives. The U.N. has not confirmed that people were able to leave Mariupol on Saturday.

The Mariupol City Council said an evacuation might happen Sunday afternoon. It was not clear whether the effort was related to the U.N. one.

Elsewhere in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, about 20 older adults and children clutching bags along with their dogs and cats boarded a minivan Saturday in the town of Lyman, where at least half the population has fled Russian shelling, The van, marked with a sign reading “evacuation of children” in Ukrainian, sped off toward the city of Dnipro as explosions were heard in the distance.

“The liberators have come and have freed us from what? Our lives?” said Nina Mihaylenko, a professor of Russian language and literature, referring to the Russian forces.

Undeterred by air raid sirens and warnings to shelter at home, people in the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia visited cemeteries Sunday, when Ukrainians observed the Orthodox Christian day of the dead.

"If our dead could rise and see this, they would say, ‘It’s not possible, they’re worse than the Germans,’” Hennadiy Bondarenko, 61, said while marking the day with his family at a picnic table among the graves. “All our dead would join the fighting, including the Cossacks.”

Getting a full picture of the unfolding battle in eastern Ukraine has been difficult because airstrikes and artillery barrages have made it extremely dangerous for reporters to move around. Also, both Ukraine and Moscow-backed rebels have introduced tight restrictions on reporting from the combat zone.

But Western military analysts have suggested that the offensive in the Donbas region, which includes Mariupol, was going much slower than planned. So far, Russian troops and the separatists appeared to have made only minor gains in the month since Moscow said it would focus its military strength in the east.

Video and images from inside the Mariupol steel plant, shared with The Associated Press by two Ukrainian women who said their husbands are among the fighters refusing to surrender there, showed unidentified men with stained bandages; others had open wounds or amputated limbs.

A skeleton medical staff was treating at least 600 wounded people, said the women, who identified their husbands as members of the Azov Regiment of Ukraine’s National Guard. Some of the wounds were rotting with gangrene, they said.

The AP could not independently verify the date and location of the video, which the women said was taken in the last week in the maze of corridors and bunkers beneath the plant.

Numerically, Russia’s military manpower vastly exceeds Ukraine’s. In the days before the war began, Western intelligence estimated Russia had positioned near the border as many as 190,000 troops; Ukraine’s standing military totals about 200,000, spread throughout the country.

With plenty of firepower still in reserve, Russia’s offensive still could intensify and overrun the Ukrainians. Overall the Russian army has an estimated 900,000 active-duty personnel. Russia also has a much larger air force and navy.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in military assistance has flowed into Ukraine since the war began, but Russia's vast armories mean Ukraine will continue to require huge amounts of support.

___

Fisch reported from Sloviansk. Associated Press journalists Jon Gambrell and Yuras Karmanau in Lviv, Mstyslav Chernov in Kharkiv, Lolita C. Baldor in Washington, Trisha Thompson in Rome and AP staff around the world contributed to this report.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News, AP Business, AP World News - International incidents, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Agriculture
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Some evacuated from Mariupol; US lawmaker Pelosi visits Kyiv
Some women and children have been evacuated from a steel plant that is the last defensive stronghold in the bombed-out ruins of the port city of Mariupol
4:22AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Pelosi visits Kyiv, meets with Ukraine president
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has led a Congressional delegation to Kyiv to meet with Ukraine’s president before heading to Poland for talks with officials there
4:10AM ( 20 minutes ago )
China's 'zero-COVID' restrictions curb May 1 holiday travel
Many Chinese are marking a quiet May Day holiday this year as the government’s “zero-COVID” approach restricts travel and enforces lockdowns in multiple cities
3:42AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Biden roasts Trump, GOP, himself at correspondents' dinner
President Joe Biden took the White House press corps' annual gala as an opportunity to make light of the criticism he has faced in his 15 months in office
12:33AM ( 3 hours ago )
Ukrainians plead for Mariupol rescue; Russian advance crawls
Ukrainian forces are fighting village by village to hold back a Russian advance in their country's east, while the United Nations works to broker a civilian evacuation from the ruins of the city of Mariupol
10:11PM ( 6 hours ago )
Motorcycles rumble through Canadian capital under police eye
Motorcycles have rumbled through the streets of Canada’s capital and a memorial service was held at the national War Memorial as a strong police presence kept an eye on the “Rolling Thunder” protest
9:49PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP National News
Naomi Judd, of Grammy-winning duo The Judds, dies at 76
Naomi Judd, the Kentucky-born singer of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died
9:42PM ( 6 hours ago )
Sen. Rand Paul wants to investigate origins of COVID-19
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has promised to wage a vigorous review into the origins of the coronavirus if Republicans retake the Senate and he lands a committee chairmanship
8:50PM ( 7 hours ago )
Draft Day 3: Kickers and running backs take NFL spotlight
In Las Vegas, which bills itself as the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” an NFL draft bereft of star quarterback prospects wouldn’t seem a fit
7:14PM ( 9 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Biden roasts Trump, GOP, himself at correspondents' dinner
President Joe Biden took the White House press corps' annual gala as an opportunity to make light of the criticism he has faced in his 18 months in office
11:45PM ( 4 hours ago )
Biden roasts Trump and himself at correspondents’ dinner
President Joe Biden took the annual White House press corps' gala as an opportunity to make light of the criticism he has faced in his 18 months in office
10:57PM ( 5 hours ago )
Red carpet returns with White House correspondents' dinner
Journalists, government officials and celebrities paraded down the red carpet Saturday night ahead of the annual dinner of the White House Correspondents’ Association
8:40PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Live updates l Sweden: Russian plane violated its airspace
Sweden says a Russian military plane has violated Swedish airspace
5:33PM ( 10 hours ago )
Hollywood's Jolie makes surprise visit to war-torn Ukraine
Hollywood actress and U.N. humanitarian Angelina Jolie has made a surprise visit to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
3:39PM ( 12 hours ago )
Live updates l Johnson talks about Mariupol with Zelenskky
 Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has discussed the progress of the U.N. effort to evacuate people from the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskky
3:29PM ( 13 hours ago )
AP World News
Taylor edges Serrano at MSG, stays women's lightweight champ
Katie Taylor remained the undisputed lightweight champion in a thrilling first women’s boxing match to headline at Madison Square Garden, edging Amanda Serrano in a split decision
11:36PM ( 4 hours ago )
Warren Buffett tells shareholders about spending $51 billion
Warren Buffett gave Berkshire Hathaway investors a few details of how he spent more than $50 billion earlier this year and again reassured them that the company he built will endure long after the 91-year-old billionaire is gone
6:13PM ( 10 hours ago )
Buffett invests big chunk of Berkshire Hathaway's cash
Warren Buffett gave Berkshire Hathaway investors a few details of how he spent more than $50 billion earlier this year and again reassured them that the company he built will endure long after the 91-year-old billionaire is gone
4:31PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Business
Biden, Mexican president confer on migration, diplomacy
The White House says President Joe Biden and Mexico’s Andres Manuel López Obrador agreed in a phone call Friday to do more to promote “just, humane and effective efforts to reduce irregular migration” at the southern border
9:20PM ( 1 day ago )
Live updates | US official: Ukraine resistance slows Russia
A senior U.S. defense official says the Russian offensive is going much slower than planned in part because of the strength of the Ukrainian resistance
7:45PM ( 1 day ago )
Live updates | Zelenskyy: Russia is trying to destroy Donbas
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russia is trying to destroy the Donbas and all who live there
6:56PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Industries
Heat wave scorches India's wheat crop, snags export plans
India is in the throes of a record-shattering heat wave that is stunting wheat production
1:11PM ( 1 day ago )
First case of human bird flu infection confirmed in Colorado
The first case of a human testing positive for bird flu in the United States has been confirmed by the federal government in a Colorado state prison inmate on prerelease employment assignment helping to remove chickens from an infected farm
12:49PM ( 1 day ago )
A look at what Biden's requested aid for Ukraine might buy
The money that President Joe Biden has asked Congress to approve for Ukraine is designed to help with a range of needs — military equipment for the immediate fight, economic aid for the future and much more
4:11PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Agriculture
Pelosi visits Kyiv, meets with Ukraine president
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has led a Congressional delegation to Kyiv to meet with Ukraine’s president before heading to Poland for talks with officials there
4:10AM ( 20 minutes ago )
China's 'zero-COVID' restrictions curb May 1 holiday travel
Many Chinese are marking a quiet May Day holiday this year as the government’s “zero-COVID” approach restricts travel and enforces lockdowns in multiple cities
3:42AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Ukrainians in Romania help new refugee arrivals
Elena Trofimchuk fled Ukraine to Romania more than a month ago
3:01AM ( 1 hour ago )
LEADING OFF: Mets ace Scherzer starts night game vs Phillies
New York Mets ace Max Scherzer starts at night against Bryce Harper and the Phillies at Citi Field
2:59AM ( 1 hour ago )
China's zero-COVID restrictions curb May 1 holiday travel
Many Chinese are marking a quiet May Day holiday this year as the government’s zero-COVID approach restricts travel and enforces lockdowns in multiple cities
2:45AM ( 1 hour ago )