Russia nears Ukrainian capital of Kyiv

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – Russian troops are bearing down on Ukraine’s capital, with gunfire and explosions resonating ever closer to the government quarter.

The invasion of a democratic country has fueled fears of wider war in Europe and triggered worldwide efforts to make Russia stop.

Amid growing casualties from the deadly warfare were increasing signs that Vladimir Putin’s Russia may be seeking to overthrow Ukraine’s government. It is his boldest effort yet to redraw the world map and revive Moscow’s Cold War-era influence.

The U.S. and other global powers slapped ever-tougher sanctions on Russia as the invasion reverberated through the world’s economy and energy supplies.

U.N. officials said they were preparing for millions to flee Ukraine.