The Fort Worth Press - Alarm at civilian toll on Russian assault's 'cruellest day'

AED 3.673019
AFN 70.773788
ALL 93.373578
AMD 387.818602
ANG 1.801532
AOA 854.496773
ARS 908.737296
AUD 1.501175
AWG 1.8
AZN 1.701691
BAM 1.82201
BBD 2.018296
BDT 117.455807
BGN 1.82223
BHD 0.376877
BIF 2872.927147
BND 1.352618
BOB 6.907763
BRL 5.390703
BSD 0.999599
BTN 83.437826
BWP 13.544432
BYN 3.271067
BYR 19600
BZD 2.014943
CAD 1.364515
CDF 2860.000313
CHF 0.89189
CLF 0.034263
CLP 945.42017
CNY 7.258897
CNH 7.277229
COP 4088.5
CRC 522.349127
CUP 26.5
CVE 102.722115
CZK 23.163602
DJF 177.980865
DKK 6.94636
DOP 58.951762
DZD 134.576032
EGP 48.319279
ERN 15
ETB 57.684038
EUR 0.93127
FJD 2.2362
FKP 0.784602
GBP 0.78794
GEL 2.805022
GGP 0.784602
GHS 15.194284
GIP 0.784602
GMD 67.774954
GNF 8605.366126
GTQ 7.766619
GYD 209.133339
HKD 7.806815
HNL 24.726575
HRK 7.018438
HTG 132.506661
HUF 367.129498
IDR 16375
ILS 3.723855
IMP 0.784602
INR 83.46455
IQD 1310
IRR 42100.000162
ISK 138.859737
JEP 0.784602
JMD 155.838348
JOD 0.7087
JPY 159.380498
KES 129.449832
KGS 86.693503
KHR 4117.833386
KMF 459.250243
KPW 900.000131
KRW 1387.375014
KWD 0.30663
KYD 0.833093
KZT 465.719476
LAK 21983.509573
LBP 89521.870778
LKR 305.212652
LRD 194.022899
LSL 18.127451
LTL 2.95274
LVL 0.60489
LYD 4.855022
MAD 9.930153
MDL 17.904691
MGA 4478.209834
MKD 57.30986
MMK 3247.960992
MNT 3450.000098
MOP 8.038717
MRU 39.349869
MUR 46.999859
MVR 13.0415
MWK 1732.999815
MXN 17.913304
MYR 4.708501
MZN 63.69504
NAD 18.127451
NGN 1530.890285
NIO 36.798957
NOK 10.535195
NPR 133.503195
NZD 1.632935
OMR 0.384944
PAB 0.999599
PEN 3.803017
PGK 3.898754
PHP 58.703996
PKR 278.49532
PLN 3.99615
PYG 7529.135575
QAR 3.638987
RON 4.6355
RSD 109.037991
RUB 87.992643
RWF 1315
SAR 3.751386
SBD 8.454445
SCR 13.686113
SDG 601.000257
SEK 10.470362
SGD 1.35191
SHP 1.26345
SLE 22.847303
SLL 20969.501917
SOS 571.000263
SRD 30.665505
STD 20697.981008
SVC 8.74738
SYP 2512.530426
SZL 18.121349
THB 36.581032
TJS 10.705868
TMT 3.5
TND 3.134974
TOP 2.360299
TRY 32.935803
TTD 6.79182
TWD 32.3965
TZS 2624.999915
UAH 40.58309
UGX 3738.48318
UYU 39.471233
UZS 12620.350746
VEF 3622552.534434
VES 36.326846
VND 25447.5
VUV 118.721975
WST 2.800615
XAF 611.090719
XAG 0.033926
XAU 0.00043
XCD 2.70255
XDR 0.760187
XOF 611.085027
XPF 111.550062
YER 250.349782
ZAR 18.105102
ZMK 9001.201169
ZMW 25.465098
ZWL 321.999592








  • NGG




  • GSK




  • CMSC




  • VOD




  • SCS




  • BP




  • RELX




  • BTI




  • RIO




  • BCC




  • JRI




  • AZN




  • CMSD




  • BCE




Alarm at civilian toll on Russian assault's 'cruellest day'
Alarm at civilian toll on Russian assault's 'cruellest day'

Alarm at civilian toll on Russian assault's 'cruellest day'

The United States raised the alarm Wednesday over the "staggering" human cost of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, as the apparent deployment of cluster bombs and other treaty-violating weapons raised fears of a brutal escalation in the week-old conflict.

Text size:

The American warnings came as Russia revealed 498 of its troops had been killed in the assault on ex-Soviet Ukraine -- the first official death toll it has given and one Kyiv says is by far an undercount.

And they came on the eve of the resumption of ceasefire talks after a first round Monday failed to produce a breakthrough.

On the ground in Ukraine, Russia appeared despite determined resistance to be intensifying the offensive ordered seven days earlier by President Vladimir Putin -- in defiance of almost the entire international community.

"Today was the hardest, cruellest of the seven days of this war," said Vadym Boychenko, the mayor of the key southeastern port of Mariupol who said Russian forces pummelled the city for hours and were attempting to block civilians from leaving.

"Today they just wanted to destroy us all," he said in a video on Telegram, accusing Russian forces of shooting at residential buildings.

Boychenko said more of the city's vital infrastructure was damaged in the assault, leaving people without light, water or heating.

In Washington, top US diplomat Antony Blinken warned the human costs were already "staggering," accusing Russia of attacking places that "aren't military targets."

"Hundreds if not thousands of civilians have been killed or wounded," said the secretary of state, who will travel to eastern Europe next week to shore up support for Ukraine -- and for efforts to secure a ceasefire.

Kyiv is sending a delegation to the Thursday ceasefire talks, at an undisclosed location on the Belarus-Poland border, but has warned it would not accept "ultimatums."

- UN rebuke -

At the United Nations, the General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution Wednesday that "demands" Russia "immediately" withdraw from Ukraine, in a powerful rebuke of Moscow by a vast majority of the world's nations.

After more than two days of extraordinary debate, which saw the Ukrainian envoy accuse Russia of genocide, 141 out of 193 member states backed the non-binding resolution -- with only Eritrea, North Korea, Syria and Belarus joining Russia against.

At least 350 civilians including 14 children have so far been killed, Ukrainian authorities say, and hundreds of thousands have fled the country since the invasion began, triggering punishing Western sanctions intended to cripple Russia's economy.

The UN rights office, OHCHR, said it had registered 752 civilian casualties including 227 deaths -- but believes the reality is "considerably higher."

"The humanitarian consequences will only grow in the days ahead," Blinken warned.

At the UN, the US ambassador echoed Blinken's alarm about mounting civilian deaths -- accusing Moscow of moving cluster munitions and other arms banned under international conventions into its neighbour.

"It appears Russia is preparing to increase the brutality of its campaign against Ukraine," Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the General Assembly.

Russia said Wednesday it had captured the Black Sea port of Kherson, population 290,000, though the claim was not confirmed by mayor Igor Nikolayev who appealed online for permission to transport the dead and wounded out of the city and for food and medicine to be allowed in.

"Without all this, the city will die," he wrote.

AFP witnessed the aftermath of apparent Russian bombing on a market and a residential area in Zhytomyr in central Ukraine, and in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second biggest city.

"There is nowhere in Kharkiv where shells have not yet struck," said Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine's interior minister, after Russian airborne troops landed in the city before dawn.

Shelling in the northeastern city of 1.4 million a day earlier drew comparisons to the massacres of civilians in Sarajevo in the 1990s.

- 'Erase us all' -

As Russian artillery massed outside Kyiv, the former champion boxer turned city mayor Vitali Klitschko vowed to stand strong.

"The enemy is drawing up forces closer to the capital," he said. "Kyiv is holding and will hold. We are going to fight."

Residents have been hunkered down in Kyiv for a week and dozens of families were sheltering Wednesday in the Dorohozhychi metro station.

In a video address, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian forces wanted to "erase our country, erase us all".

Five people were killed in an attack a day earlier on the Kyiv television tower at Babi Yar, the site of a Nazi massacre in which over 33,000 people were killed -- most of them Jews.

The 44-year-old Zelensky, who is himself Jewish, urged Jewish people around the world to speak up.

"Nazism is born in silence. So, shout about killings of civilians. Shout about the murders of Ukrainians," he said.

- New US sanctions -

With the civilian toll mounting, opposition to the conflict is also growing within Russia.

Dozens of anti-war demonstrators were detained in Moscow and Saint Petersburg after jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny called Russians to the streets, dismissing Putin as "an insane little tsar".

Internationally, meanwhile, the United States announced a new set of sanctions, this time targeting Russian ally Belarus and Russia's defense industry.

Authoritarian Belarus and Russia are closely linked and Belarus has been used as a key staging ground for the invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

Western countries have already imposed heavy sanctions on Russia's economy and there have been international bans and boycotts against Russia in everything from finance to tech, from sports to the arts.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron said in an address to the nation Europe had entered a "new era," and would need to both invest in its defences and wean itself off reliance on Russian gas.

EU and NATO members have already sent arms and ammunition to Ukraine, although they have made clear that they will not send troops and the EU has dampened Zelensky's hopes of membership of the bloc.

- Chelsea for sale -

In its latest move to isolate Russia, the European Union banned broadcasts of Russian state media RT and Sputnik and excluded seven Russian banks from the global SWIFT bank messaging system.

In London, meanwhile, Chelsea's Russian owner Roman Abramovich said he had made the "incredibly difficult" decision to sell the Premier League club, pledging proceeds would go to Ukraine war victims.

Abramovich, alleged to have close links to Putin, has not been named on a British sanctions list targeting Russian banks, businesses and pro-Kremlin tycoons.