Russia attacks are more brutal, Ukraine gathering war crimes evidence -ambassador

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Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova speaks to reporters about Russia's attack on Ukraine, at the Ukraine Embassy in Washington, U.S., February 24, 2022 REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The Russian assault on Ukraine was more brutal on Friday with attacks on civilian infrastructure and Kyiv, but Moscow's forces did not advance as planned and the capital remained firmly in Ukrainian control, Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova said.

Russia has deliberately targeted some of Ukraine's civilian infrastructure and hospitals, she said, and Ukrainian officials are gathering war crimes evidence to present to the International Criminal Court.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy remains in Kyiv and he held a "very productive" phone call with President Joe Biden on Friday, the ambassador told reporters.

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After weeks of warnings from Western leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin unleashed a three-pronged invasion of Ukraine from the north, east and south on Thursday, in the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two.

Russia has captured the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant, resulting in what Ukraine's nuclear agency said was higher but not critical radiation levels.

"We are particularly concerned by the situation in the Chernobyl power plant," where Russians took 92 personnel hostage and disrupted operations, Markarova said.

"All responsibility for the Chernobyl power plant now lies on the Russian forces and Russian army," she said.

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Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Jonathan Landay; Editing by Chris Reese and Cynthia Osterman

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