At least 13 people have been killed in a Russian attack on an industrial bakery in the town of Makariv, about 50 kilometres (31 miles) west of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Ukrainian authorities have said.
Local emergency services said that five people – out of the 30 believed to have been there at the time of the attack – were freed from under the rubble on Monday. Al Jazeera was not able to verify the reported attack.
The attack on the factory took place as the number of refugees fleeing across borders from the Russian assault on Ukraine passed 1.7 million, according to United Nations figures.
Russian forces pressed on with their seiges and bombing of Ukrainian cities on the 12th day of the war. In the encircled southern port city of Mariupol, hundreds of thousands of people remained trapped without food and water and are under regular bombardment.
“They’re bombing the life out of everything that is moving,” Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
“The bakery was eliminated. And this is happening in different cities,” he added, speaking on a zoom call with a Jewish group in the United States.
Moscow has described the land, sea and air assault as a “special military operation” targeting Ukraine’s military infrastructure.
Heavy Russian shelling flattened dozens of residential buildings and killed several people, including children, in the town of Zhytomyr on Friday. In Ukraine’s second city of Kharviv, houses and shops in residential districts were turned into rubble, even though no Ukrainian army positions or strategic infrastructure were located there, an Al Jazeera correspondent reported.
In the Ukrainian capital’s suburb of Irpin, US media outlets reported witnessing Russian forces firing on evacuees, killing a family of four. Reuters journalists in the town on Sunday witnessed residents running for their lives, carrying small children, pets and bags of belongings. Families dove for cover as explosions burst in the town and flames shot up into the sky.
The number of civilians killed in Ukraine cannot be independently identified. The United Nations said on Monday that at least 406 civilians have been killed, including 27 children, since Russia launched its military offensive.
The Ukrainian State Emergency Service reported on Wednesday that 2,000 people had died, but the figure has not been independently verified.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that as of Monday, at least nine people had died in 16 attacks on healthcare facilities since the start of the invasion.
A third round of talks between Russia and Ukraine on Monday made little progress towards easing the conflict.
A Ukrainian negotiator said that although small progress on agreeing on logistics for the evacuation of civilians had been made, things remained largely unchanged.
“As of now, there are no results that significantly improve the situation,” Mykhailo Podolyak said in a video statement, while Russian negotiator Vladimir Medinsky, told journalists the talks were “not easy”.
“We hope that from tomorrow these corridors will finally work,” he said.
A fourth round of talks will take place very soon, Russian negotiator Leonid Slutsky told Russian state television.
Previous attempts to evacuate civilians from besieged cities have failed as both sides traded blame for failing to respect previously agreed ceasefires. On Monday, Moscow announced new humanitarian corridors along roads leading to Russia or its ally Belarus – a move that Ukraine promptly slammed as “immoral”.