Ukraine war’s first month: Get the latest, and see the impact in 50 heart-wrenching images

The Ukrainian capital of Kyiv was the scene Wednesday of unrelenting bombardment, with firefighters battling to extinguish fires in residential buildings targeted across the city.

Workers rushed to try to save the capital’s artistic patrimony, covering a statue of Italian poet and philosopher Dante Alighieri with sandbags to protect it from potential damage from shelling.

Faced with the onslaught, some turned to religious observance for comfort: A man lit a candle on a cross lighting up an artist’s co-living studio space being used as a bomb shelter. A religious icon with the image known as “St. Javelin,” depicting a saint holding a javelin, was pasted on a wall in the space, also used to support volunteer Ukrainian forces.

And even in faraway, Odesa, mostly spared so far of the Russian onslaught, people were preparing for what they feared would soon come to the architectural treasure as volunteers loaded sandbags to defend the city.

Meanwhile, a senior Russian official says the country’s nuclear arsenal should help deter the West from intervening in the war in Ukraine.

Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the state corporation Roscosmos, noted in televised remarks Wednesday that the Russian nuclear stockpiles include tactical nuclear weapons along with the nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Rogozin pointed at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s warning to other countries not to meddle with the Russian action in Ukraine. “The Russian Federation is capable of physically destroying any aggressor or any aggressor group within minutes at any distance,” Rogozin said.