Russia says it's ready for a second round of peace talks with Ukraine on Wednesday. "In the second half of the day, closer to evening, our delegation will be in place to await Ukrainian negotiators," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, per the AP. He said he would not announce the location ahead of time. The two sides last met for fruitless talks near the Belarus-Ukraine border on Sunday. Since then, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said Russia must "stop bombing people" in order for progress to be made. And the bombing continues. More:
- Heavy fire overnight: Russia appeared to escalate attacks on residential areas Tuesday night, including in the northwestern city of Zhytomyr, per the Washington Post. The latest intelligence assessment from the UK Defense Department, released Wednesday, says Russia has also continued heavy artillery and airstrikes on Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, and Chernihiv in the last 24 hours. It adds Russian forces are now in the city center of Kherson on the Black Sea.
- Russian tanks in Kherson: The Post confirmed a strike on an apartment building and "Russian tanks rolling into a residential area" in Kherson. "We are all waiting for a miracle. We need it," Mayor Igor Kolykhayev said in a Facebook message. Ukraine's Defense Ministry has said "the city is not captured totally."
- Holocaust memorial hit: Russia's Defense Ministry claimed Wednesday that the main TV tower in Kyiv had been disabled to prevent "information attacks." The missile strike also damaged the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial, which marks the spot where Nazis killed more than 33,000 Jews over two days in 1941, per the Post and AP. Footage showed "a gruesome scene of blown-out cars and buildings and several bodies on fire," per the Post. TV stations have since been restored.
- 'Orders to erase us': Zelensky, who is Jewish, referred to the damage to the Holocaust memorial in appealing to Jews around the world to protest Russia's invasion. "This is beyond humanity," he said, per the AP. "They have orders to erase our history, our country, and all of us." Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny similarly called on Russians around the world to take to the streets daily to protest "the aggressive war against Ukraine unleashed by our obviously insane czar," per Reuters.
- Change in tactics: Experts say Russia appears to be shifting tactics after dealing with logistical supply chain issues, low morale, and strong resistance. They will "carpet bomb cities, indiscriminately in some cases," British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Wednesday, per the Post. "That is the brutality I'm afraid we are witnessing and it's going to get worse." The Pentagon says Russia has transitioned to siege warfare in Kharkiv and Chernihiv, and may also do so in Kyiv.
- Other sites hit: Videos show an apparent attack on the five-story regional police and intelligence headquarters in Ukraine's second-largest city of Kharkiv, per the AP. A government official describes "a fierce firefight that repelled Russian 'sabotage and reconnaissance groups' from a military hospital," per the Post. Meanwhile, Russia claims to have seized Ukraine's largest nuclear power plant, the Zaporizhzhia plant in Enerhodar.
- Deaths: Zelensky claims 6,000 Russian soldiers have died in the invasion though "Russia has not released overall casualty numbers and the figure could not be confirmed," per the AP. The United Nations confirmed 136 civilian deaths as of Tuesday. Thirteen of the dead were children.
- More troops incoming: Russian soldiers may soon be getting a boost. Ukraine's Defense Ministry says it has evidence that Belarus is readying to send troops into Ukraine from the northern border. It describes "significant aircraft activity" and "movement of a column of vehicles with food and ammunition" near the border within the last 24 hours, per the AP.
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