Russian forces try to encircle Kyiv, shell shopping mall; Ukraine refuses to surrender Mariupol

Heavy fighting is unfolding north of Kyivbut advancing Russian forces have stalled or been repulsed by Ukrainian resistance, according to an intelligence update Monday.

Forces invading from northeast of the capital stalled while those advancing from the northwest have been repulsed by “fierce” resistance, the UK Ministry of Defence said.

The bulk of the Russian forces is more than 15 miles from the center of Kyiv. Heavy shelling destroyed a large shopping mall in the capital early Monday, reducing it to rubble and reportedly killing at least eight people.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko imposed a new curfew that will begin Monday at 8 pm local time and end at 7 am on Wednesday.

“Despite the continued lack of progress, Kyiv remains Russia’s primary military objective and they are likely to prioritize attempting to encircle the city over the coming weeks,” the British agency tweeted.

Russian forces previously encircled the southern port of Mariupol and subjected it to fierce shelling. Ukraine refused Russia’s demands to surrender the city at dawn Monday.

Meanwhile, President Biden is scheduled to speak to counterparts in France, Germany, Italy and the UK by phone Monday to discuss their coordinated response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Mr. Biden will leave Wednesday for critical meetings in Belgium with NATO allies before a visit to Poland.

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