Fear for civilians as Russian column bears down on Kyiv

STORY: On the sixth day of its assault on its Western neighbor, Russia increased attacks on Ukraine’s cities.

A Russian armoured column bore down on the capital Kyiv with tanks, artillery and fuel trucks stretching for 40 miles (60 km) to the north of the city.

Nearly a week since Russian troops poured over the border, they have failed to capture a single major Ukrainian city after running into fierce resistance.

Yet rocket strikes on the centre of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, killed at least 10 people and wounded 35 on Tuesday (March 1).

Kharkiv, which is a mainly Russian-speaking city of 1.5 million people near the Russian border, has borne the brunt of attacks since Monday (February 28).

President Zelensky said the artillery barrages on the city amounted to state terrorism.

And addressed the European Parliament by video link a day after he signed an official request to join the European Union.

"Do prove that you will not let us go. Do prove that you are indeed Europeans and then life will win over death and light will win over darkness. Glory be to Ukraine."

In Moscow, the Kremlin maintained it would press ahead with what it calls its “special operation”, until it achieved its goals.

Russia claims to be protecting itself from threats created by the West, and states it is not occupying Ukraine's territory.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told a Geneva disarmament meeting via video link that Ukraine has been seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

Dozens of diplomats from the European Union, United States and Britain walked out of his speech.

Peace talks held on Monday (February 28) at the Belarus border failed to reach a breakthrough.

A second round of talks are planned for Wednesday (March 2).

Britain's defense ministry said in an intelligence update that the Russian advance on Kyiv had made little progress in the past 24 hours, probably due to logistical problems.

But it also warned of a shift in Russian tactics that could worsen the plight of civilians.