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Ukraine retakes key Kyiv suburb, Chernobyl laboratory destroyed

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World

UKRAINE: Ukraine said it retook a strategically important suburb of Kyiv early Tuesday, as Russian forces squeezed other areas near the capital and their attack on the embattled southern port of Mariupol raged unabated.

Explosions and bursts of gunfire shook Kyiv, and black smoke rose from a spot in the north. Intensified artillery fire could be heard from the northwest, where Russia has sought to encircle and capture several suburban areas of the capital, a crucial target.

Residents sheltered at home or underground under a 35-hour curfew imposed by authorities in the capital that runs to Wednesday morning.

Russian forces also pressed their siege of Mariupol after the southern port city’s defenders refused demands to surrender, with fleeing civilians describing relentless bombardments and corpses lying in the streets. But the Kremlin’s ground offensive in other parts of the country advanced slowly or not at all, knocked back by lethal hit-and-run attacks by the Ukrainians.

Early Tuesday, Ukrainian troops forced Russian forces out of the Kyiv suburb of Makariv after a fierce battle, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said. The regained territory allowed Ukrainian forces to retake control of a key highway and block Russian troops from surrounding Kyiv from the northwest.

Still, the Defense Ministry said Russian forces battling toward Kyiv were able to partially take other northwest suburbs, Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin, some of which had been under attack almost since Russia’s military invaded almost a month ago.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces are increasingly concentrating their air power and artillery on Ukraine’s cities and the civilians living there.

The invasion has driven more than 10 million people from their homes, a number similar to the population of Portugal and almost a quarter of Ukraine’s pre-war population, according to the United Nations. The U.N. has confirmed over 900 civilian deaths while saying the real toll is probably much higher.

Meanwhile, a laboratory at the Chernobyl nuclear plant that works to improve the management of radioactive waste was destroyed, according to the Ukrainian agency in charge of the area surrounding the plant on Tuesday.

The laboratory contained “highly active samples and samples of radionuclides that are now in the hands of the enemy, which we hope will harm itself and not the civilized world,” the agency said in its statement.

Ukraine’s nuclear regulatory agency also said Monday that radiation monitors around the plant had stopped working.

Russia seized control of Chernobyl early on in its invasion of Ukraine, along with the Zaporizhzhia plant. Chernobyl is the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986 when a reactor exploded. The exclusion zone is the contaminated area around the plant.

– GULF TIMES, YAHOO NEWS

Thursday, March 24, 2022 – 01:10











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