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The presidents of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia say they are headed for Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Twitter posts by the leaders on Wednesday showed them standing outside a Ukrainian railroad passenger car, but did not give details about the trip.

“We are visiting Ukraine to show strong support to the Ukrainian people, will meet dear friend President Zelenskyy,“ Estonian President Alar Karis said in his post.

Polish President Andrzej Duda, Lithuania’s Gitanas Nauseda and Egils Levits of Latvia also are on the trip.

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:

— Ukraine probes claim poisonous substance dropped in Mariupol

— A look at Russia’s military objectives and challenges it faces

— ‘It’s not the end’: The children who survived Bucha’s horror

— Russian war worsens fertilizer crunch, risking food supplies

— Czechs provide free shooting training for local Ukrainians

— Go to https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine for more coverage

WASHINGTON — The United States and its allies are pushing ahead with sanctions aimed at forcing Vladimir Putin to spend Russia’s money propping up its economy rather than sustaining its “war machine” for the fight in Ukraine, a top Treasury Department official said Tuesday.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, one of the main U.S. coordinators on the Russian sanctions strategy, said in an interview with The Associated Press that the goal is to make Russia “less able to project power in the future.”

On the same day that inflation notched its steepest increase in decades, Adeyemo said reducing supply chain backlogs and managing the pandemic are key to bringing down soaring prices that he related to the ongoing land war in Ukraine, which has contributed to rising energy costs.

Adeyemo discussed the next steps the U.S. and its allies will take to inflict financial pain on Russia — and the complications the war has on rising costs to Americans back home.

Adeyemo said the U.S. and its allies will next target the supply chains that contribute to the construction of Russia’s war machine, which includes “everything from looking at ways to go after the military devices that have been built to use not only in Ukraine, but to project power elsewhere.”

KYIV, Ukraine — More than 720 people have been killed in Bucha and other Kyiv suburbs that were occupied by Russian troops and more than 200 are considered missing, the Interior Ministry said early Wednesday.

In Bucha alone, Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk said 403 bodies had been found and the toll could rise as minesweepers comb the area.

Ukraine’s prosecutor-general’s office said Tuesday it was also looking into events in the Brovary district, which lies to the northeast.

Authorities said the bodies of six civilians were found with gunshot wounds in a basement in the village of Shevchenkove and Russian forces are believed to be responsible.

Vladimir Putin vowed Tuesday that Russia’s bloody offensive in Ukraine would continue until its goals are fulfilled and insisted the campaign was going as planned, despite a major withdrawal in the face of stiff Ukrainian opposition and significant losses.

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is preparing yet another, more diverse, package of military support possibly totaling $750 million to be announced in coming days, a senior U.S. defense official said Tuesday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss plans not yet publicly announced.

The additional aid is a sign that the administration intends to continue expanding its support for Ukraine’s war effort.

Delivery is due to be completed this week of $800 million in military assistance approved by President Joe Biden just one month ago.

— reported by Associated Press writer Robert Burns.

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian officials say fugitive Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, who is both the former leader of a pro-Russian opposition party and a close associate of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, has been detained in a special operation carried out by the country’s SBU secret service.

In his nightly video address to the nation Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy proposed that Russia could win Medvedchuk’s freedom by trading Ukrainians now held in Russian prisons.

Ivan Bakanov, the head of Ukraine’s national security agency, said on the agency’s Telegram channel that Medvedchuk had been detained.

The statement came shortly after Zelenskyy posted on social media a photo of Medvedchuk sitting in handcuffs and wearing a camouflage uniform with a Ukrainian flag patch.

Medvedchuk was the former leader of the pro-Russian party Opposition Platform – For Life. He was being held under house arrest before the war began and disappeared shortly after hostilities broke out.

Putin is the godfather to Medvedchuk’s youngest daughter.

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to the world Tuesday to respond to Russia’s use of a poisonous substance in Mariupol.

“Given the repeated threats by Russian propagandists to use chemical weapons against the Mariupol defenders and given the repeated use by the Russian army, for example, of phosphorus munitions in Ukraine, the world must react now,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to the nation Tuesday.

Phosphorus munitions cause horrendous burns but are not classed as chemical weapons.

Zelenskyy said experts were still trying to determine what had been used in Mariupol.

Zelenskyy said in addition to the killings in Bucha, more evidence was appearing of the “inhuman cruelty” of Russian soldiers toward women and children in other Kyiv suburbs and other towns in the north and east.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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