KYIV – LYMAN, Ukraine — Covered head-to-toe in protective suits, forensic workers pulled several bodies wrapped in black plastic from a mass grave Tuesday in Ukraine’s devastated city of Lyman.
It was part of an arduous effort to piece together evidence of what happened under more than four months of Russian occupation.
Ten body bags lay beside a roughly 100-foot (30-meter) trench from which authorities said 32 bodies have been exhumed so far in the city in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region.
The bodies were Ukrainian soldiers who had been buried together in a mass grave, the head of the Donetsk region’s military administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said in Lyman on Tuesday.
Another 22 civilians have been exhumed from individual graves at the burial site, located on the edge of a cemetery in a forested area on the outskirts of Lyman. Further exhumations are planned.
The burial site was the second found in Lyman so far, Kyrylenko said, adding that initial investigations suggested the bodies had been buried by local residents and not by Russians.
“We have already found more than 50 bodies of soldiers and civilians,” he said.
More missiles, drones strike Ukraine, alarms keep up fear
Kremlin war hawks demand more devastating strikes on Ukraine
Analysts: Russian missiles seek to levy pain, could backfire
Russian troops carry out industrial-scale looting of Ukrainian historical treasures
Weather chief: Ukraine war may be ‘blessing’ for climate
Hong Kong nixes US sanctions on Russian-owned superyacht
Follow all AP stories on the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
PARIS — Ukraine’s president has urged the U.N. cultural agency to expel Russia because Russian military strikes have damaged hundreds of cultural sites around Ukraine.
In a speech Tuesday to UNESCO, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also announced that Ukraine has nominated the embattled Black Sea city of Odesa to be inscribed on the agency’s World Heritage list.
Zelenskyy said 540 “objects of cultural heritage, cultural institutions and religious buildings” in Ukraine have been damaged or destroyed since Russia invaded Feb. 24.
He asked: “Why are representatives of Russia still among you? What are they doing at UNESCO?”
Russia currently holds the rotating presidency of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which Zelenskyy said “devalues the institution itself -- its significance, its reputation.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met Tuesday in Washington with Ukraine’s finance minister, Sergii Marchenko, where she stressed the importance of providing financial assistance to “support you as you rebuild the prosperous and free Ukraine that your country has fought so hard to secure.”
Yellen said the U.S. had provided $13 billion in economic assistance grants to Ukraine.
“We are calling on our partners and allies to join us by swiftly disbursing their existing commitments to Ukraine and by stepping up in doing more -- both to help Ukraine continue its essential government services and to help Ukraine begin to build and recover," she said.
KYIV -- The Ukrainian General Staff says in the past day its forces have shot down 21 cruise missiles and 11 drones fired by Russia, including all eight Iranian-made drones targeting critical infrastructure in the Mykolaiv region.
MOSCOW — International Atomic Energy Association chief Rafael Mariano Grossi met Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, seeking to prevent a nuclear accident during the military conflict in Ukraine.
Grossi stressed the urgent need to establish a safety and security protection zone around the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant.
“Now more than ever, during these extremely difficult times, a protection zone must be established around the ZNPP. We can’t afford to lose any more time. The stakes are high. We must do everything in our power to help ensure that a nuclear accident does not happen during this tragic conflict,” he said.
Putin told Grossi he was glad to see him and was “happy to discuss all of the issues that are of mutual interest to us and perhaps even cause concern to some, and to us as well. He said those concerns involve "the situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.”
KYIV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged the West to impose even tougher sanctions on Russia’s energy sector to stop the flow of money from its oil and gas exports.
Speaking virtually to the leaders of the Group of Seven industrial powers on Tuesday, he said this would be a symmetrical response to Russia’s attacks on the “energy sector and energy stability of our countries.”
“Such steps can bring peace closer,” Zelenskyy said. “They will encourage the terrorist state to think about peace, about the unprofitability of war.”
The Ukrainian president repeated his insistence that no peace talks can be held with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
BERLIN -- Leaders of the Group of Seven industrial powers have pledged after a videoconference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that they “will stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes.”
The leaders said in a statement after Tuesday’s virtual meeting that they had reassured Zelenskyy they are “undeterred and steadfast in our commitment to providing the support Ukraine needs to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
They said they will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support to Kyiv, and that they are committed to supporting Ukraine in meeting its “winter preparedness needs.”
The G-7 leaders condemned this week’s barrage of Russian missile strikes against cities across Ukraine and said that “indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilian populations constitute a war crime.”
They said: “We will hold President (Vladimir) Putin and those responsible to account.”
The G-7 is made up of the U.S., Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Japan. Germany currently chairs the group.
BRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the 30-nation military alliance will hold a long-planned exercise next week to test the state of readiness of its nuclear capabilities.
Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels on Tuesday that “this is routine training that happens every year to keep our deterrence safe, secure and effective.”
The exercise, dubbed “Steadfast Noon,” is held annually and usually runs for about one week. It involves fighter jets capable of carrying nuclear warheads but doesn’t involve any live bombs. Conventional jets, and surveillance and refueling aircraft also routinely take part.
NATO as an organization does not possess any nuclear weapons. They remain under the control of three member countries -– the U.S., U.K. and France.
Asked whether it was the wrong time to be holding such an exercise, Stoltenberg said: “It would send a very wrong signal now if we suddenly cancelled a routine, long-time planned exercise because of the war in Ukraine.”
Stoltenberg said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear rhetoric over the war in Ukraine is “irresponsible.” He added: “Russia knows that a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought.”
GENEVA — The head of the U.N. weather agency says the war in Ukraine is accelerating the development of and investment in green energies over the longer term — even though fossil fuels are being used at a time of high demand now.
The comments from Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, came as the world is facing a shortfall in energy needs — prompted in part by economic sanctions against key oil and natural gas producer Russia — and prices for fossil fuels have risen.
That has led some countries to turn quickly to alternatives like coal. But rising prices for carbon-spewing fuels like oil, gas and coal have also made higher-priced renewable energies like solar, wind and hydrothermal more competitive in the energy marketplace.
KYIV, Ukraine -- Ukraine’s state nuclear operator is accusing Russian forces of abducting another senior official at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
Energoatom wrote on its Telegram channel Tuesday that Valeriy Martyniuk, the plant’s deputy director general for human resources, had been kidnapped. It wrote that “they keep holding him at an unknown location and (are) probably using methods of torture and intimidation.”
The plant has been held by Russian forces for months but operated by its Ukrainian staff. Reports of intimidation of the staff and abductions began trickling out over the summer.
Ukrainian authorities have said that the plant’s director, Ihor Murashov, was seized and blindfolded by Russian forces on his way home from work, then released in early October after being forced to make false statements on camera.
MOSCOW — The Kremlin is saying that the continuation of U.S. weapons supplies to Ukraine will extend the fighting and increase the damage to Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday that “the U.S. de facto has become deeply involved.”
Asked during a conference call with reporters about U.S. President Joe Biden telling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that Washington has agreed to his request to provide advanced air defense systems, Peskov said that it would only exacerbate Ukraine’s condition.
He said: “It will only drag the conflict out and make it more painful for the Ukrainian side, but it will not change our goals and the end result.”
CHISINAU, Moldova -- Moldova’s president has demanded that her country's borders be respected after three Russian missiles bound for Ukraine crossed its airspace.
President Maia Sandu said in a video address to the nation on Tuesday, a day after the incident, that “we respect territorial integrity and sovereignty of other countries and also demand that our borders be respected.”
Sandu said she would "do everything” to maintain peace in Moldova despite what she called “growing pressure” by pro-Russian political forces in the eastern European nation who she said had “promised to Moscow to overthrow our constitutional order and install a government that will allow Russia to use our country” in its war against Ukraine.
Moldova, a former Soviet republic located between Ukraine and Romania, has been a strong supporter of Kyiv during the war.
Russian troops have occupied its breakaway Transnistria region since 1991, when the region fought a brief war for independence from Moldova with Moscow’s support.
GENEVA — The U.N. human rights office says Russian missile strikes across Ukraine on Monday were “particularly shocking” and could amount to war crimes.
Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani of the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Russia Tuesday to “refrain from further escalation” and expressed concerns about strikes on civilian infrastructure, including residential buildings and energy facilities.
“Damage to key power stations and lines ahead of the upcoming winter raises further concerns for the protection of civilians and in particular the impact on vulnerable populations,” she told reporters at a U.N. briefing in Geneva on Tuesday. “Attacks targeting civilians and objects indispensable to the survival of civilians are prohibited under international humanitarian law.”
Shamdasani added: “We have to stress that intentionally directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects — that is objects which are not military objectives — amount to a war crime.”
KYIV, Ukraine -- The mayor of Lviv says Russian forces have struck an energy facility in the western city. About a third of the city remains without power and there are issues with water supplies.
Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said Tuesday afternoon that “numerous explosions are again heard in Lviv.” He didn't clarify what facility was attacked. It wasn’t immediately clear if there were any casualties.
Sadovyi asked city residents to stock up on water due to possible interruptions to water supplies.
KYIV, Ukraine -- The Kyiv region’s regional administration says that rolling power shutdowns following Monday’s Russian strikes on Ukraine may last for up to four hours each.
The capital’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said Tuesday that the strikes killed at least five people in the city and wounded 51. He vowed that “the evil will be avenged.”
The governor of the central Dnipropetrovsk region, Valentyn Reznichenko, said that Russian forces overnight continued to pound three districts around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is on the front line of the conflict. Those included Nikopol, a Ukranian-held city across the Dnieper River from the plant.
Vinnitsya governor Serhiy Borzov said the Ladyzhynska thermal power plant was attacked with two Shahed-136 drones. The plant’s administration said the strikes injured six people and damaged some equipment.
In Kryvyi Rih, Mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said that hundreds of miners stuck underground because of power blackouts were rescued by Tuesday morning. He said the rescue operation lasted all night and “all 854 miners were brought up to the surface.”
KYIV, Ukraine -- Officials in different parts of Ukraine have reported explosions, drone strikes and missile strikes by Russian forces.
Lviv governor Maksym Kozytskyi said three explosions shook two energy facilities in the region on Tuesday. He wrote on Telegram that it wasn’t immediately clear if there were any casualties there. There were reports of new power outages in Lviv only hours after it had been restored after Monday’s attacks.
In the central Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukrainian forces on Tuesday shot down four Russian missiles, according to the region’s governor Valentyn Reznichenko.
Four more Russian missiles were downed by Ukraine’s forces in the south, as well as five drones over the Mykolaiv and the Odesa regions, Operational Command South said. The governor of the southern Mykolaiv region, Vitaliy Kim, urged local residents on Tuesday not to leave shelters as “there are enough missiles still in the air.”
Another missile was shot down in the Kyiv region, governor Oleksii Kuleba said.
MOSCOW -- Russia’s foreign minister has rejected speculation about Moscow’s possible use of nuclear weapons, saying that it could do so only if Russia faces imminent demise.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday that Russia’s nuclear doctrine envisions “exclusively retaliatory measures intended to prevent the destruction of the Russian Federation as a result of direct nuclear strikes or the use of other weapons that raise the threat for the very existence of the Russian state.”
Speaking on Russian state television, Lavrov accused the West of spreading speculation about Russia’s alleged intentions to use nuclear weapons and urged the U.S. and its allies to “show the maximum responsibility in their public statements” on the subject.
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s State Emergency Service says that 12 S-300 missiles have slammed into public facilities in Zaporizhzhia, setting off a large fire in the area.
It says that one person was killed in the attack early Tuesday.
The S-300 was originally designed as a long-range surface-to-air missile. Russia has increasingly resorted to using repurposed versions of the weapon to strike targets on the ground.
PRAGUE — The presidents of NATO members in central and eastern Europe are condemning Monday's Russian strikes on Ukrainian cities and saying that they “constitute war crimes under international law.”
The presidents of the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Montenegro said in a statement that war crimes and crimes against humanity aren't subject to any statute of limitations and are covered by the “jurisdiction of courts all over the world.”
They demanded that Russia immediately stop attacking civilian targets and said that “We will not cease our efforts to bring to court persons responsible of yesterday’s crimes.” The presidents said that “any threats by Russian representatives to use nuclear weapons” are unacceptable.
KYIV, Ukraine — Air raid warnings throughout Ukraine have sent some residents back into shelters after months of relative calm in the capital and many other cities. That lull had led many Ukrainians to ignore the regular sirens, but Monday’s attacks gave them new urgency.
Besides the usual sirens, Kyiv residents were jolted early Tuesday by a new type of loud alarm that blared automatically from mobile phones. The caustic-sounding alert was accompanied by a text warning of the possibility of missile strikes.
The Ukrainian Air Force said Russian Tu-95 and Tu-160 bombers operating over the Caspian Sea launched missiles over Ukrainian territory around 7 a.m. Tuesday. It did not provide information about the targets.
It said four inbound missiles were shot down by the Ukrainian southern air command around 9 a.m.
The governor of the Vinnytsia region, Serhiy Borzov, said there was an air strike there in the morning. There was no word on casualties.
LONDON — The head of GCHQ, Britain’s electronic intelligence agency, says Russia is running short of weapons and its troops are “exhausted.”
Jeremy Fleming said Tuesday that “we believe Russia is running short of munitions.”
Fleming is due to give a public speech later, arguing that Russian President Vladimir Putin has made “strategic errors in judgment” throughout the war.
According to GCHQ, he will say that “we know – and Russian commanders on the ground know – that their supplies and munitions are running out.”
“Russia’s forces are exhausted. The use of prisoners to reinforce, and now the mobilization of tens of thousands of inexperienced conscripts, speaks of a desperate situation.”
GCHQ did not disclose the sources of its intelligence.
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s State Emergencies Service says that 19 people were killed and 105 others were wounded in Monday’s Russian missile strikes across Ukraine.
It said Tuesday that critical infrastructure facilities were hit in Kyiv and 12 other regions, and 301 cities and towns were without power.
Russia on Monday retaliated for an attack on a critical bridge by unleashing its most widespread strikes against Ukraine in months. They hit at least 14 regions, from Lviv in the west to Kharkiv in the east. Many of the attacks occurred far from the war’s front lines.