At least two people were killed after Russian strikes hit a residential building in Kyiv.
Russian forces stepped up strikes overnight on suburbs of Kyiv and renewed their efforts to capture the important port city of Mariupol in the south as Ukrainian and Russian negotiators prepared for more talks aimed at reaching a cease-fire.
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A series of Russian strikes hit a residential neighborhood of Kyiv, igniting a huge fire in an apartment building in the west of the Kyiv. At least two people were killed and 27 people were rescued from the building, Ukraine's emergency services said on Facebook.
The Ukrainian military said in a statement that artillery fire struck the residential area adjacent to the suburb of Irpin, which has seen some of the worst battles of the war.
Overnight and early morning strikes also hit Hostomel and Bucha, the head of the Kyiv region, Oleksiy Kuleba, said on Ukrainian television.
Russian forces also unleashed new artillery strikes on the eastern city of Kharkiv, the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said on Facebook. In Mariupol, where people have been left desperate for food, water, heat, and medicine, Ukrainian authorities reported severe aerial attacks on the city. The southeastern Ukrainian city with some 400,000 inhabitants has been besieged by Russian troops for days and cut off from the rest of the country. A convoy of about 160 civilian cars was allowed to leave the city along a designated humanitarian route on March 14, the city council said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said talks between Ukrainian and Russian delegations will continue on March 15. Speaking in a video address, Zelenskiy said that the Ukrainian delegation did good work during talks on March 14. He provided no further details.
WATCH: Thousands of people have fled the town of Irpin near the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, after civilian areas came under sustained Russian attack. RFE/RL spoke to some of the people who remain with no electricity or gas for heating and with corpses yet to be cleared from the streets.
The latest negotiations, the fourth round involving high-level officials, were held by video and were the first in a week. The talks ended with the two sides expressing some optimism. Previous discussions, held in person in Belarus, produced no lasting humanitarian routes or agreements to end the fighting. Zelenskiy said he spoke on March 14 to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who has sought to mediate a peaceful settlement. Bennett also spoke on March 14 with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Zelenskiy hailed a Russian state TV employee who interrupted the main evening news program on Russian Channel 1 by running into a studio with a poster against the war in Ukraine. The employee was later arrested by police. The Ukrainian president again addressed Russian soldiers, urging them to stop fighting and saying: “I’m offering you a chance to survive.”