Russia has widened its attacks to more Ukrainian cities.
Lutsk, in the far west near the Polish border, the western city of Ivano-Frankivsk, and Dnipro in central Ukraine are being subjected to devastating blows, Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podoliak wrote on Twitter.
Three airstrikes in early morning on Friday in civilian areas of Dnipro resulted in the death of one person, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine said in an official Telegram channel.
Ukrainian MP Inna Sovsun tweeted that one person was killed in airstrike in Lutsk.
Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and six were injured in a Russian attack on the city, BBC reported, quoting the head of the regional administration, Yuriy Pohulyayko.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Russian forces have killed more Ukrainian civilians than soldiers in the two weeks since the invasion began. In an intelligence update issued on Friday, Britain’s Ministry of Defense warned that Russian forces could be preparing for a fresh attack against Kiev in a few days.
The Russian forces have moved about five kilometers closer to Kyiv and are now about 40 kilometers east of the city, according to the United States.
Peace talks between the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia in the Turkish city of Antalya for a ceasefire did not yield any major breakthrough.
As the war rages, Ukraine’s Minister of Reintegration Iryna Vereshchuk said the government is trying to open new evacuation corridors in several regions on Friday. About 100,000 people were evacuated through corridors from Ukraine over the past two days, according to President Volodymyr Zelensky.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said that the number of refugees who have fled the war has mounted to 2.5 million. An estimated one million others are displaced inside Ukraine. At least 12 million people are in need of humanitarian aid across Ukraine.
The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet on Friday as requested by Russia to discuss its allegation that the United States is developing chemical weapons in Ukraine. But both Zelensky and the Pentagon roundly rejected the claims.
The United States is not assisting Ukraine with biological weapons in its war with Russia and there are no indications that biological weapons are being used by Ukraine, a senior defense official said at a press briefing at the Pentagon Thursday.
There are five biological research laboratories in Kyiv. Their work focuses on diagnostics, therapeutics, treatments, prevention and vaccines, not on military use as the Russians and Chinese accuse, he told reporters. “There are no DOD bio-weapon labs in Ukraine or anywhere else in the world,” he added.
Meanwhile, the White House said President Joe Biden is set to announce actions “to continue to hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine” at 10:15 AM Friday.
During her trip to Poland, US Vice President Kamala Harris announced $53 million additional Funding for humanitarian needs in Ukraine and Eastern Europe.
She has left for Romania in her latest push to reassure U.S. allies, the White House said.
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