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AP
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France’s president has denounced Russia’s fiery airstrike on a crowded shopping mall in Ukraine as a “new war crime” and vowed the West’s support for Kyiv would not waver. Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that Moscow “cannot and should not win” the war. The strike killed at least 18 people in the central city of Kremenchuk. It came during an unusually intense barrage of Russian strikes across Ukraine that drew new attention to a war that some fear could fade from focus as it drags on. Also Tuesday, Turkey lifted its objections to Sweden and Finland joining NATO. And in a virtual address to the U.N. Security Council, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for Russia to be expelled from the United Nations.

AP
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Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has told The Associated Press that the West shouldn't underestimate Russia’s military capabilities in Ukraine and that President Vladimir Putin's forces are in it for the long haul. She also said Wednesday that Europe should ensure that officials in Moscow are prosecuted for war crimes and attempted genocide. She noted that Putin escaped punishment for annexing the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and supporting an insurgency in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region that killed over 14,000 people even before this year’s war began. Kallas praised the unity that Europe has shown in punishing Russia for the invasion. But it will be “more and more difficult over time” to hang together.

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President Joe Biden says the U.S. will send another $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine, the largest single tranche of weapons and equipment since the war began. The aid will include anti-ship missile launchers, howitzers and more rounds for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems. Those are all key weapons systems that Ukrainian leaders have urgently requested. The Russian military, meanwhile, said it used long-range missiles to destroy an arms depot in Ukraine's western Lviv region. The area is close to NATO member Poland. In Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, fighting raged Wednesday for the city of Sievierodonetsk, where a local official said Russian forces were making some advances.

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An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office says Russian troops have changed their tactics in the battle for Sievierodonetsk. Oleksiy Arestovych said Wednesday that Russian soldiers have retreated from the city and are now pounding it with artillery and airstrikes. As a result, he says, the city center is deserted. In his daily online interview, Arestovych says: “They retreated, our troops retreated, so the artillery hits an empty place. They are hitting hard without any particular success.”

Halina Feoktistova mourns the death of her son Volodymyr Feoktistov, 50, who was shot dead on March 4 by Russian soldiers, at a communal grave…