Tuesday: Russian strikes hit Kyiv residential area, some able to leave Mariupol

A series of Russian strikes hit a residential neighborhood of Ukraine’s capital on Tuesday, igniting a huge fire and frantic rescue effort in a 15-story Kyiv apartment building. At least one person was killed and others remain trapped inside.

The Ukrainian military said artillery strikes hit the Svyatoshynskyi district of western Kyiv, adjacent to the suburb of Irpin that has seen some of the worst battles of the war.

Flames shot out of the apartment building as firefighters rescued people from ladders. Smoke choked the air.

A firefighter at the scene confirmed one person died and that several have been rescued alive but others are still inside as rescuers try to reach them.

Russian forces also stepped up strikes overnight on the northwest suburbs of Irpin, Hostomel and Bucha, the head of the Kyiv region Oleksiy Kuleba said on Ukrainian television.

Russian forces also renewed efforts Tuesday to capture the important port city of Mariupol in the south, and unleashed new artillery strikes on downtown Kharkiv in the east, the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said on Facebook.

20,000 able to leave Mariupol

A senior Ukrainian official says about 20,000 people have managed to leave the besieged port city of Mariupol.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a deputy head of office of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the evacuees left Mariupol in private vehicles via a humanitarian corridor on Tuesday.

He said that 570 of some 4,000 vehicles that left the city have reached the city of Zaporizhzhia some 260 kilometers (160 miles) northwest while others will spend the night in various towns along the way.

Mariupol, a strategic port city of 430,000 on the Sea of Azov, has been besieged by Russian troops for more than 10 days, facing heavy shelling that has killed more than 2,300 people and left residents struggling for food, water, heat and medicine.

US official: Russia makes limited progress

Russian ground troops have made limited progress over the last 24 hours in their effort to seize major cities in Ukraine, a senior defense official said Tuesday.

And as deadly airstrikes continue, the U.S. has seen indications that Russia may believe it needs more troops and supplies than it has on hand in the country, and is considering ways to get resources brought in, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss U.S. military assessments.

The official did not elaborate on the indications, and said that as of Tuesday, however, there has been no actual movement of reinforcement troops currently in Russia going into Ukraine.

According to the official, Russian ground forces are still about 15-20 kilometers (9-12 miles) northwest of Kyiv and 20-30 kilometers (12-19 miles) east of the city, which is being increasingly hit by long-range strikes. The official said Ukrainian troops continue to put up stiff resistance in Kharkiv and other areas.

Russia has launched more than 950 missiles so far in the war, and both Russia and Ukraine still retain about 90% of their combat power, the official said.