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Ukrainian officials begin urging evacuations amid reports of new attacks in east

Washington Post Pentagon and national security reporter Karoun Demirjian explains the difficulties of deciding which weapons to send Ukraine. (Video: Joshua Carroll/The Washington Post)
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Officials in Ukraine began urging people living in the eastern part of the country to evacuate Wednesday as new attacks on civilians were reported in areas where Russia is expected to step up offensives after withdrawing from Kyiv.

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A 10-story building in Severodonetsk caught on fire amid mass shelling and at least five civilians died in the Donetsk region, local officials said. In a television broadcast, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said, “You have to evacuate, if this is possible. And this is possible.”

The attacks came as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded a tougher E.U. response Wednesday and criticized leaders who “still think war crimes are not as horrific as financial losses.” The Biden administration announced new sanctions that will target two of Russia’s largest banks and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s adult daughters. NATO foreign ministers are gathering in Brussels for discussions on Ukraine.

Here’s what to know

  • The U.S. Justice Department has indicted Konstantin Malofeyev, the first criminal charges against an oligarch since the invasion of Ukraine began.
  • The Red Cross said it was “impossible to enter” the southern port of Mariupol after its team tried over five days to reach thousands of people trapped in the devastated city.
  • Greece and Norway said Wednesday that they would expel Russian diplomats, and Moscow vowed to retaliate — the latest sign of a tit-for-tat downgrading of diplomatic relations between Russia and its European neighbors.
  • The Kremlin described the withdrawal of troops from around Kyiv as “a gesture of goodwill” for negotiations, while its forces shifted to eastern Ukraine, where officials reported intensifying attacks.
  • The Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel for updates.