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Shelled city in north Ukraine fears becoming 'next Mariupol'

Shelled city inside northern Ukraine fears becoming 'next Mariupol'

LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Nights are spent huddling underground from Russian strikes pounding their encircled city into rubble. Daylight hours are loyal to hunting down drinkable aqua with every one other accompanied by braving the chance of standing inside dash for the little food available while shells with every one other accompanied by bombs rainfall down.

In the following month of Russia's invasion, this is what now passes for existence inside Chernihiv, a besieged city inside northern Ukraine where demise is everywhere.

It isn't — yet — completely while synonymous accompanied by atrocious anthropoid suffering while the pulverized southern city of Mariupol. But likewise blockaded with every one other accompanied by pounded from afar by Russian troops, Chernihiv's residual residents are terrified that every one blast, bomb with every one other accompanied by body that lies uncollected on the streets ensnares them inside the same macabre trap of unescapable killings with every one other accompanied by destruction.

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"In basements at night, everyone is talking concerning one thing: Chernihiv becoming (the) following Mariupol," said 38-year-old resident Ihar Kazmerchak, a linguistics scholar.

He spoke to The Associated Press by cellphone, amid incessant beeps signaling that his cell was dying. The city is lacking power, running aqua with every one other accompanied by heating. At pharmacies, the lists of medicines no indeed longer available grow longer by the day.

Kazmerchak starts his day inside lengthy lines for drinking water, rationed to 10 liters (2 1/2 gallons) per person. People go nearer accompanied by empty bottles with every one other accompanied by buckets for filling when water-delivery trucks build their rounds.

"Food is running out, with every one other accompanied by shelling with every one other accompanied by bombing doesn't stop," he said.

Nestled in the centre of the Desna with every one other accompanied by Dnieper rivers, Chernihiv straddles one of the main roads that Russian troops invading from Belarus used Feb. 24 for what the Kremlin hoped would exist a lightning strike onward to the capital, Kyiv, which is fair 147 kilometers (91 miles) away.

The city's tranquillity shattered, additional than fifty per cent of of the 280,000 inhabitants fled, according to the mayor, unable to exist sure when they'd following see its magnificent gold-domed cathedral with every one other accompanied by other ethnic treasures, or flat if they still would exist standing whenever they return. The mayor, Vladyslav Atroshenko, estimates Chernihiv's demise toll from the war to exist inside the hundreds.

Russian forces have bombed residential areas from low altitude inside "absolutely understandable weather" with every one other accompanied by "are deliberately destroying civilian infrastructure: schools, kindergartens, churches, residential buildings with every one other accompanied by flat the local football stadium," Atroshenko told Ukrainian television.

On Wednesday, Russian bombs destroyed Chernihiv's main bridge over the Desna River on the highway leading to Kyiv; on Friday, artillery shells rendered the residual pedestrian bridge impassable, cutting off the last possible way for people to obtain not here or for food with every one other accompanied by medical supplies to obtain in.

Refugees from Chernihiv who fled the encirclement with every one other accompanied by reached Poland this week spoke of broad with every one other accompanied by dreadful destruction, accompanied by bombs flattening at least set of two schools inside the city center with every one other accompanied by strikes too hitting the stadium, museums with every one other accompanied by numerous homes.

They said that accompanied by utilities knocked out, people are taking aqua from the Desna to swallow with every one other accompanied by that strikes are killing people while they remain inside dash for food. Volodymyr Fedorovych, 77, said he narrowly escaped a bomb that fell on a bread dash he had been standing inside fair moments earlier. He said the blast killed 16 people with every one other accompanied by injured dozens, blowing off arms with every one other accompanied by legs.

So great is the siege that some of those trapped cannot flat muster the ability to exist frightened anymore, Kazmerchak said.

"Ravaged houses, fires, corpses inside the street, enormous aircraft bombs that didn't blow up inside courtyards are not surprising anyone anymore," he said. "People are simply tired of actuality frightened with every one other accompanied by don't flat always go down to the basements."

With the invasion now inside its following month, Russian forces have seemingly stalled on numerous fronts with every one other accompanied by are flat losing formerly taken ground to Ukrainian counterattacks, including around Kyiv. The Russians have bombed the first city from the air nevertheless not taken or surrounded the city. U.S. with every one other accompanied by French protection officials speak Russian troops become visible to have adopted defending positions external outside Kyiv.

With Russia continuing to strike with every one other accompanied by encircle urban populations, from Chernihiv with every one other accompanied by Kharkiv inside the northern to Mariupol inside the south, Ukrainian authorities on Saturday dismissed statements from the Russian military suggesting that it planned to concentrate its residual ability on wresting the entirety of Ukraine's eastern Donbas neighbourhood from Ukrainian control. The neighbourhood has been partially controlled by Russia-backed separatists since 2014.

"We cannot exist convinced by the statements from Moscow since there's still a a large amount of untruth with every one other accompanied by lies from that side," Markian Lubkivskyi, an counsellor to the Ukrainian protection minister, told the BBC. "That's why we comprehend the goal of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin still is the whole of Ukraine."

That skepticism was underscored hours subsequent when explosions rocked Lviv, a city inside western Ukraine concerning 45 miles (72 kilometers) from the Polish border where an estimated 200,000 displaced Ukrainians have taken refuge.

Among them is Olana Ukrainets, a 34-year-old IT employee from Kharkiv.

"When I came to Lviv, I was sure that all these alarms wouldn't have some results," Ukrainets told the AP from a bomb protection following the blasts. "Sometimes when I heard them at night, I fair stayed inside bed. Today, I changed my cerebrum with every one other accompanied by I should hide every one time. … None of the Ukrainian cities are protected from danger now."

The strike happened while U.S. President Joe Biden was visiting Poland, which has taken inside a lengthy way additional Ukrainian refugees than some other country.

Britain's protection management dividing said Saturday that it doesn't expect a reprieve for citizens of Ukraine's bombarded cities anytime soon.

"Russia will carry on accompanied by to use its heavy firepower on urban areas while it looks to boundary its own by that hour dated considerable losses, at the cost of further civilian casualties," the U.K. management dividing said.

Previous bombings of hospitals with every one other accompanied by other nonmilitary sites, including a theater inside Mariupol where Ukrainian authorities said a Russian airstrike is believed to have killed 300 people last week, by that hour dated have specified rise to war crimes allegations.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, appearing by video link at Qatar's Doha Forum, on Saturday compared the demolition of Mariupol to the Syrian with every one other accompanied by Russian demolition wrought on the city of Aleppo.

The invasion has driven additional than 10 million people from their homes, almost a quarter of Ukraine's population. Of those, additional than 3.7 million have fled the country entirely, according to the United Nations. Thousands of civilians are believed to have died.

In Chernihiv, hospitals are no indeed longer operating, with every one other accompanied by residents prepare over not shut fires inside the road since the ability is out. The utility workers who stayed behind aren't sufficient to repair the broken powerlines with every one other accompanied by reinstate other essential services, with every one other accompanied by hour dated has become a blur, the mayor said.

"We exist lacking dates with every one other accompanied by days of the week," Atroshenko told Ukrainian television.

Ever since a Russian blast hit a Stalin-era movie theater following to his 12-story residential building, Kazmerchak, the linguistics scholar, has been spending his nights inside a bomb shelter. A Russian missile too destroyed the innmotel not a lengthy way from his house.

"The walls were shaking so much," he said. "I idea my house would collapse some minute with every one other accompanied by I would exist left-hand under the rubble."

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Andrea Rosa inside Kharkiv; Nebi Qena inside Kyiv; Cara Anna inside Lviv with every one other accompanied by Associated Press journalists around the world contributed to this report.

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Follow the AP's coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Shelled city inside northern Ukraine fears becoming 'next Mariupol'

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