Russia Bombards Kyiv as European Leaders Head to Ukraine’s Capital

KYIV, Ukraine—A delegation of European heads of state headed to Kyiv to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky as Russia lobbed more missiles at the embattled Ukrainian capital amid heightened fighting in the city’s outskirts.

One missile destroyed a building associated with an arms maker in central Kyiv in a predawn strike, blowing the windows out of buildings in a one-block radius. Separately, two apartment buildings were hit, setting fire to one of them.

At least two residents died and dozens were taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. There were no fatalities at the arms facility, officials said.

With Russian forces pushing to the city’s limits, Kyiv’s mayor said he was imposing a 36-hour curfew from late Tuesday and that the capital faced a “difficult and dangerous moment.” Heavy artillery barrages again shook the city early Tuesday and a firefight overnight lit up the western horizon with tracer bullets. There was shelling and sporadic attacks on other cities and towns.

A woman rescued from a shelled apartment building in Kyiv on Tuesday.


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THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Another survivor of the shelling in Kyiv on Wednesday received a hug after she was rescued from a residential building.


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THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

The group of Central European leaders visiting Kyiv—all from NATO member states—plan to offer a broad package of support for Ukraine, the Polish government said. Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Prime Minister of Slovenia Janez Janša were set to meet with Mr. Zelensky and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal as representatives of the European Council. The delegation headed to Kyiv jointly by train.

“Europe must guarantee Ukraine’s independence and ensure that it is ready to help in Ukraine’s reconstruction,” Mr. Morawiecki said.

The European Union also agreed on a fourth sanctions package targeting Russia, including a broad ban on energy-sector investment and high-value luxury goods and new targeted sanctions against Russian business executives and oligarchs, diplomats said.

Russian forces overnight fired two missiles at the airport in Dnipro, in central-eastern Ukraine, destroying the runway and damaging the terminal, said regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko. Shelling on the northeastern city of Kharkiv late on Monday damaged a warehouse and residential buildings in the Kholodnohirskyi district.

The overnight attacks occurred as Russian and Ukrainian negotiators were gearing up for more talks that had paused Monday.

A woman identified as a Russian state TV employee interrupted a live broadcast brandishing a poster against the war in Ukraine; attacks on Kyiv intensify, hitting a tram and residential areas; some EU leaders travel to Kyiv as diplomatic efforts continue. Photo: Reuters

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukraine’s president, has previously said Ukraine’s negotiators would focus on achieving a cease-fire, the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops and security guarantees for the country. “A technical pause has been taken in the negotiations until tomorrow,” Mr. Podolyak wrote on Twitter. “Negotiations continue.”

Kremlin aide Vladimir Medinsky, who is leading the Russian delegation at the talks, said that negotiations with the Ukrainian side would continue “every day, seven days a week” via videoconference, he wrote on his Telegram messenger channel following Monday’s talks. He said the format saved time and money.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday that “the work is difficult” but the fact that talks are continuing was positive.

Twenty days into the war, Russia has seized territory in the south of Ukraine but has been stopped short around Kyiv and elsewhere. Increasingly, its forces have resorted to bombing residential areas and civilian infrastructure in an effort to wear down Ukrainian resistance. The death toll from a rocket attack on the western city of Rivne on Monday rose to 19, the local military administration said.

Areas no longer controlled by Ukraine as of Friday

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Chernobyl

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Ukraine territory, recognized by Putin as independent

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Areas no longer controlled by Ukraine as of Friday

Direction of invasion forces

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Ukraine territory, recognized by Putin as independent

Primary refugee crossing locations

Chernobyl

Not in operation

controlled by

separatists

Areas no longer controlled by Ukraine as of Friday

Direction of invasion forces

Controlled by or allied to Russia

Primary refugee crossing locations

Ukraine territory, recognized by Putin as independent

Chernobyl

Not in operation

controlled by

separatists

Areas no longer controlled by Ukraine as of Friday

Direction of invasion forces

Controlled by or allied to Russia

Primary refugee crossing locations

Ukraine territory, recognized by Putin as independent

Areas no longer controlled by Ukraine as of Friday

Direction of invasion forces

Controlled by or allied to Russia

Primary refugee crossing locations

Ukraine territory, recognized by Putin as independent

Ukraine’s military also said it had detected a Russian surveillance drone crossing the border into neighboring Poland. The drone was shot down by Ukrainian air defenses after it crossed back into Ukraine’s airspace, the air force said overnight.

The Polish Defense Ministry declined to comment beyond saying it was “monitoring the situation and taking necessary measures to ensure the security of the country.”

The drone appeared to be surveilling a Ukrainian military training center close to the Polish border struck by Russian missiles on Sunday, killing at least 35 people.

It was the latest incident in recent days of a drone from the war zone passing into the airspace of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization member.

Romania said it was investigating a drone crash on its territory. Another drone, suspected to be of Ukrainian origin, crashed days earlier in Croatia, prompting the government there to ask the French military to conduct a surveillance flight of its airspace. That flight showed nothing suspicious, the French military said.

Civilian casualties are likely to climb sharply, officials warn, as fighting moves further into cities from outlying suburbs, and Russian heavy weaponry is brought to bear on buildings to destroy Ukrainian resistance.

A still from footage released Monday by Ukraine’s Azov battalion shows destruction in the southeastern city of Mariupol.


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/Associated Press

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said there were plans to evacuate civilians through nine humanitarian corridors on Tuesday, including a humanitarian aid convoy heading to the besieged port city of Mariupol.

Civilians in the northeastern city of Izyum are trapped there without water or food, unable to leave because Russian forces control the road leading north to Kharkiv and are shelling the road going south. “Those who survived the shelling are dying of disease and lack of medicine,” said Deputy Major Volodymyr Matsokin. “There is no one to bury the dead.”

The national police said Russian forces on Monday fired mortars on a convoy of buses evacuating civilians from Hostomel, northwest of Kyiv. The driver of one of the buses was injured in the shelling, and a woman traveling in a civilian vehicle was killed. The rest made it to safety.

The number of people fleeing the fighting in Ukraine is now roughly 3 million, according to United Nations data.

Mr. Zelensky is scheduled to deliver a virtual address to members of Congress on Wednesday. The Ukrainian president has called for more assistance from Western allies, and many US lawmakers have pressed the Biden administration to take further action.

Residents of Odessa used sandbags to bolster the Ukrainian port city’s defenses Monday.


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NACHO TWELVE/REUTERS

Municipal services in Kyiv’s Obolon district on Monday removed a car destroyed by shelling.


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Maxym Marusenko/Zuma Press

The White House is discussing a possible trip by Mr. Biden to Europe in the coming weeks, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Armaments supplied to Ukraine by the US and its European allies—especially antitank and antiaircraft weapons—have played an important role in checking the advance of Russian ground troops, who have suffered heavy casualties in the north as they have tried to encircle Kyiv.

Early Tuesday local time, Mr. Zelensky, citing the heavy losses, urged Russian troops to stop fighting. “If you surrender to our forces, we will treat you the way people are supposed to be treated. As people, decently. In a way you were not treated in your army,” he said in a statement.

He thanked those Russians voicing their opposition to the war, singling out an antiwar protester who ran onto the set of an evening news program on Russian state television’s flagship Channel One on Monday holding a poster reading: “No war. Stop the war. Don’t believe propaganda. They lie to you here. Russians against war.” She yelled: “Stop the war, no to war” before the camera cut away.

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Tuesday said its forces seized “a stronghold of nationalists and foreign mercenaries” north of Kyiv, taking 10 Javelin missile systems and other weapons supplied by Western countries to Ukraine.

Russia’s ground offensives around Kyiv and the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv appear to be bogged down while Moscow’s troops switch to targeting civilian infrastructure and residential areas from afar. In the south, Russia has made a faster headway, helped by its prior military presence on the Crimean Peninsula it annexed in 2014 and by a more favorable terrain.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that it has taken control of the entire Kherson region in the south of Ukraine.

A woman cried as she was evacuated Monday in Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv.


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MARKO DHURICA/REUTERS

Write to Alan Cullison at alan.cullison@wsj.com and Isabel Coles at isabel.coles@wsj.com

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