Fighting escalates across Ukraine | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News

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Intense fighting is ongoing across Ukraine. Russian forces attack the capital as they attack towns and military bases across the country. The health minister says 198 Ukrainians have been killed and that number is likely to rise.

Fighting intensifies around Kiev and the city of Kharkiv, in the northeast of the country.

Ukrainian media say Russian army blew up a pipeline in Kharkiv.

A Ukrainian government organization posted images on social media showing flames and smoke rising and spreading across the night sky, indicating the scale of the explosion.

So far, no injuries from the blast have been reported.

In the city of Lviv near the Polish border, residents flee to basements every time an air defense siren goes off.

A senior US defense official estimates that more than 50% of Russian combat power deployed along Ukraine’s borders has entered Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden has indicated that he will not send US forces to Ukraine to counter the Russian invasion.

Biden said: “You have two options, start World War III, physically go to war in Russia, or make sure that a country that acts so contrary to international law ends up paying the price for doing so. “

In an interview with a political host on YouTube, Biden also said NATO is more unified than ever, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is having the opposite effect he wants.

The White House has announced plans of up to $350 million in military aid to Ukraine.

Germany has reversed its position and will now send 500 surface-to-air missiles to support the Ukrainian army.

The United States, along with its allies, has called for an emergency special session of the 193-member United Nations General Assembly. The UN Security Council will meet on Sunday to vote on the request.

The UN said on Saturday that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke by phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

António Guterres reportedly told Zelenskyy that the international body would step up its humanitarian efforts for Ukraine and that on Tuesday he would call on the international community to contribute financially to that end.

The UN stressed that it would focus on providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine, while calling on Russia to resolve the issue peacefully through dialogue.

Zelenskyy tweeted after the call that he was asking Guterres to strip Russia of its vote on the Security Council.

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