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Monday, December 05, 2022

Live updates: Russia pounds military range in Ukraine’s west

The latest developments on the Russia-Ukraine war,

LVIV, Ukraine — Russian forces carried out an air strike on a military range near Lviv in western Ukraine, expanding its offensive closer to the border with Poland.

The Russian military on Sunday morning fired eight rockets at the Yaroviv military range 30 kilometers northwest of Lviv, the Lviv regional administration said, without offering any details about possible casualties.

The Yaroviv military range, also known as the Yaroviv International Peacekeeping and Security Center, is located 35 kilometers from Ukraine’s border with Poland.

Since 2015, the US has regularly sent instructors to the Yaroviv military range to train Ukraine’s military. The range has also hosted international NATO drills.

On Friday, Russian forces shelled two airfields in the western cities of Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk, firing more than 10 cruise missiles from Tu-95MS strategic bombers, the Ukrainian General Staff said.

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LVIV, Ukraine – Russia is trying to create new “pseudo-republics” in Ukraine to break his country apart, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address to the nation Saturday.

Zelenskyy called on Ukraine’s regions, including Kherson, which was captured by Russian forces, not to repeat the experience of Donetsk and Luhansk. Pro-Russian separatists began fighting Ukrainian forces in those eastern regions in 2014.

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“The occupiers on the territory of the Kherson region are trying to repeat the sad experience of the formation of pseudo-republics,” Zelenskyy said. “They are blackmailing local leaders, putting pressure on deputies, looking for someone to bribe.”

City council members in Kherson, a southern city of 290,000, on Saturday rejected plans for a new pseudo-republic, Zelenskyy said.

Russia recognized the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic before invading Ukraine in February. Moscow said it had to protect the separatist regions, and is demanding that Ukraine recognize their independence too.

“Ukraine will stand this test. We need time and strength to break the war machine that has come to our land,” Zelenskyy said.

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ZAHONY, Hungary — Klara Uliganich is returning home to Ukraine after spending nearly three weeks in Hungary as a refugee.

The pensioner says she will go back to her home in Uzhhorod, a city in western Ukraine.

“I got a feeling, it’s hard to put it into words,” she said of her decision while waiting at the railway station in the Hungarian border town of Zahony. “I was born there, that’s my home.”

Her family didn’t want her to return, but she said she was determined to go back.

“I can’t live my life shaking in fear just because the Russians are coming,” she said. “If they come, I’ll be a refugee again, that’s it.”

Hungary, a country of around 10 million people, has taken in around 235,000 refugees from Ukraine as of Saturday, the second-highest number of any other country after Poland, which has received more than 1.5 million refugees.

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KYIV, Ukraine — Seven Ukrainian civilians, including a child, died when Russia shelled a humanitarian convoy of refugees and forced them to turn back, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense said.

The seven were among hundreds of people who tried to flee the village of Peremoha, 20 kilometers (12 miles) northeast of Kyiv. An unknown number of people were wounded in the shelling, the report added.

Moscow has said it would establish humanitarian corridors out of conflict zones, but Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of disrupting those paths and firing on civilians.

On Saturday, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said just nine of 14 agreed-upon corridors were open on Saturday, and that about 13,000 people were evacuated on them around the country.

At least 2.5 million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion 17 days ago, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.

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WARSAW, Poland – Yulia Kalachemkov is staying at a refugee center in Warsaw with her children. They are among the people fleeing Ukraine, which the United Nations refugee agency says numbers at least 2.5 million.

Her young daughter has epilepsy and her 11-year-old autistic son Nikita is recovering from an operation on his feet that were deformed at birth.

She said it was a struggle to flee her home country and get to Poland’s capital.

“It was just so hard trying to hold my children’s hands in case they fell and try to carry the luggage,” Kalachemkov told Sky News.

At a nearby bus station, a Ukrainian woman who fled her home in Kyiv briefly crossed paths with her parents, who were heading back into Ukraine after a vacation in Cuba.

“It’s the most horrible thing,” said Katarina, identified only by her first name in Sky News video. “Anything could happen. It could be the last time I see my parents.”

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Sergiy Stakhovsky is a recently retired professional tennis player from Ukraine who has left his wife and three young children at home in Hungary to go back to his birthplace to help how he can during Russia’s invasion.

Stakhovsky said in a video interview with the Associated Press that he would never have imagined he would be in his home city with a gun in his hands.

He earned more than $5 million in prize money in tennis and upset Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2013. Stakhovsky’s last match came in Australian Open qualifying in January.

Russia began attacking Ukraine on Feb. 24, and a few days later, he arrived in Kyiv.

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MEDYKA, Poland — About 60 child cancer patients from Ukraine boarded a medical train in a Polish town Saturday, bound for hospitals in Warsaw and elsewhere.

Medical workers carried some young patients in their arms, on stretchers and in a wheelchair at a station in Medyka, near the Ukrainian border.

“Some of them will require oxygen, will require some form of intensive care,” and some have COVID-19 and have to be kept separate from others,” said Dominik Daszuta, an anesthesiologist from Warsaw Hospital. He said the train has transported 120 children with cancer so far.

The United Nations refugee agency says at least 2.5 million people have fled Ukraine in the two weeks since Russia invaded it.

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