© State Emergency Service of Ukraine
Fighting continued in Ukraine for a fifth day on Monday, with heavy Russian rocket fire reported in the northeastern city of Kharkiv.
Local Ukrainian authorities said Russian artillery hit residential districts of Kharkiv. Officials said at least 11 people were killed in Kharkiv, but at this point, nothing is confirmed. For their part, Russia denies that it is targeting residential areas.
Meanwhile, satellite images show a Russian military convoy north of Kyiv that is headed towards the city. Western media outlets are reporting that the convoy stretches 40 miles
, but that number is not confirmed. Earlier reports said the convoy was only 3.25 miles long.
The convoy reportedly came within 17 miles of Kyiv on Monday
, signaling that Russia could be preparing a major assault on the city.
Fighting has also continued near the southeastern port city of Mariupol
in the Donetsk oblast. A militia spokesperson for the breakaway Donetsk People's Republic said early Tuesday that the Ukrainian forces are preparing "preparing provocations" in Mariupol, signaling a possible escalation in the region.
Russia sent out a general warning to residents of Kiev that they were planning attacks on Ukrainian intel services infrastructure, urging
residents to leave those areas. Scott Ritter commented:
Russia apparently doesn't understand how war is supposed to work (at least according to the American playbook). One of the strikes targeted a TV communications tower in Kiev, resulting in several (apparently civilian) casualties.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian military continues to indiscriminately shell Donbass:
UPDATE (Mar. 2):
Russia claimed responsibility for the strike on the TV tower in Kiev, the justification being to combat "information attacks." Military spokesman Konashenkov also claimed
"the technological facilities of the Security Service of Ukraine and the 72nd Main Center for Psychological Operations were hit with high-precision weapons". For the first time they announced
casualty figures, admitting to 498 killed in action and 1597 wounded. They claim 2,870 Ukrainian troops killed, 3,700 wounded, and 572 captured (no number of Russian soldiers captured was shared). For reference, the Ukrainians claim they have killed 6,000+ Russian troops, but it is expected for them to greatly exaggerate Russian losses.
Ukraine has confirmed a second round of talks with Russia, which will begin today
. Meanwhile, Zelensky is demanding security guarantees
from NATO, which is treating him like a hot potato - not their problem! Though Kiev claims that Turkey
, for instance, has sent additional Turkish attack drones (the Turks haven't commented).
For additional updates, see: Ukraine Updates: Second round of peace talks conclude with agreement for civilian evacuation corridors, Russia says it won't stop fulfilling its military objectives