Russia, invading its neighbor, continued to conduct air and artillery strikes on cities and towns across Ukraine entered its 10th day on Saturday.
Ground forces in southern Ukraine had reportedly made no significant progress as intensified tactics to control access to the Black Sea met aggressive resistance.
Fighting on the outskirts of the strategic port city of Mariupol has destroyed the electricity, heat and water systems that support nearly half a million people, and food and supplies have run out, Ukrainian officials said.
The Russian Defense Ministry said there will be one Armistice from 10 a.m Saturday, Moscow time to allow humanitarian corridors from Mariupol and the city of Volnovakha.
Mariupol Mayor Vadim Boychenko had said the city was “locked down” by Russian forces and called for a ceasefire and a humanitarian corridor for food and medicine.
The cities of Kharkiv and Okhtyrka were hit by heavy strikesbut resistance forces held on to Chernihiv and Mykolaiv, said Ukraine’s presidential aide Oleksiy Arestovich.
Troops also protected Odessa from Russian ships that had repeatedly attacked the southern port, he said.
A massive troop convoy en route to Kyiv was held up by logistical concerns, but frequent shelling could be heard from the center of the capital.
Russia took control of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plantthe largest in Europe, after an airstrike on Friday stoking fears of an international nuclear disaster.
A “projectile” hit a training center, start a massive fire. It did not damage any of the plant’s six reactors, a United Nations agency found. Officials reported no radiation spikes.
The historically unprecedented attack prompted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to call Russia a “nuclear terror” and called for “immediate action” from the West. The US Embassy in Ukraine condemned the attack as a “war crime”.
The Russian Defense Ministry blamed a Ukrainian “sabotage group” for the attack on the nuclear power plant without providing any evidence.
“These facilities are now in a situation that few people ever seriously considered when they were originally built,” said Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington. “No nuclear power plant was designed to withstand a potential threat of full-scale military attack.”
Other experts said the fire was likely the result of an inaccurate strike because the prevailing winds would send radioactive fallout straight to Russia.
Some 1.2 million refugees had fled the country as more and more civilians took up arms to continue their fierce resistance to the onslaught of the world superpower.
Ukraine said 28 children were killed and 840 injured by Russian forces. Three hundred and thirty-one citizens were confirmed dead, but the true total was likely far greater, a UN agency reported.
As global pressure mounted on Moscow, Russian lawmakers stamped legislation that sentenced journalists to 15 years in prison for accurately reporting what the Kremlin describes as a mere “special military operation” to “denazify” the former Soviet republic.
Major news networks like CBS, ABC, CNN and the BBC suspended their reporting from Moscow amid the crackdown on freedom of expression.
The censorship law “will force those who lied and made statements discrediting our armed forces to face a very severe punishment,” said Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the lower house of parliament.
“I want everyone and society to understand that we are doing this to protect our soldiers and officers and the truth.”
Russia also sought to further suppress the spread of information in the country by blocking Facebook and Twitter.
State outlets incorrectly reported that Zelenskyy, the survivor of three assassination attempts fled Kyiv in a week, although photos and video showed him continuing to lead his country’s defense from the capital.
Zelenskyj appealed again to NATO to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Officials turned down the request to avoid being forced to shoot down Russian warplanes.
“All the people who die from this day forward will also die because of you, because of your weakness, because of your discord.” Zelenskyj said the contract organization.
“The alliance has given the green light to bombing Ukrainian towns and villages by refusing to create a no-fly zone.”
Zelensky was scheduled to address the U.S. Senate Saturday during a Zoom call scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
With mail wires
https://nypost.com/2022/03/05/russia-ukraine-war-fierce-resistance-of-russian-onslaught-continues-in-ukraine/ Fierce resistance to the Russian attack continues in Ukraine