Radio Free Europe

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Russian Forces Push Toward Kyiv As Zelenskiy Says Ukraine At 'Turning Point'.

A warehouse in Kvitneve, in the Kyiv region, burns after Russian shelling on March 12.

A warehouse in Kvitneve, in the Kyiv region, burns after Russian shelling on March 12.

Russian forces appeared to make progress in their slow fight toward Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, while tanks and artillery pounded places already under siege.

Air-raid sirens blared across several Ukrainian cities early on March 12 urging people to seek shelters, local media reported.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine had "already reached a strategic turning point.”

“It’s impossible to say how many days we will still need to free our land, but it is possible to say that we will do it," Zelenskiy said in a video message as the Russian invasion entered its third week.

In the southern port city of Mariupol, unceasing barrages into the city have thwarted repeated attempts to bring in food and water and evacuate trapped civilians.

Mariupol's death toll has passed 1,500 in 12 days of attacks, the mayor's office said. Shelling forced crews to stop digging trenches for mass graves, so the “dead aren't even being buried," the mayor said.

Live Briefing: Russia Invades Ukraine

RFE/RL's Ukraine Live Briefing gives you all of the latest on Russia's unprovoked invasion of its neighbor, how Kyiv is fighting back, the plight of civilians, and Western reaction . The Live Briefing presents the latest developments and analysis, updated throughout the day.

A deadly strike on a maternity hospital in the city this week sparked international outrage and war-crime allegations.

Ukrainian officials accused Russia damaging a cancer hospital and several residential buildings in the southern city of Mykolayiv with shelling from heavy artillery.

The hospital’s head doctor, Maksim Beznosenko, said several hundred patients were in the hospital during the attack but that no one was killed. The assault damaged the building and blew out windows.

Russian forces have stepped up their attacks on Mykolayiv, located 470 kilometers south of Kyiv, in an attempt to encircle the city.

The conflict has already sent 2.5 million people fleeing the country.

On the ground, the Kremlin’s forces appeared to be trying to regroup and regain momentum after tough resistance over the past two weeks. Britain’s Defense Ministry said Russia is trying to reset and "re-posture” its troops, gearing up for operations against Kyiv.

In a multifront attack on Kyiv, the Russians' push from the northeast appeared to be advancing, a U.S. defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to give the U.S. assessment of the fight.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden said that in unison with the G7 group of wealthy nations, Washington will revoke Russia's "permanent normal trade relations" status, commonly referred to as most-favored nation status, to punish President Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine.

"The free world is coming together to confront Putin," Biden said.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP

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