Russia-Ukraine war latest news: battle rages for control of Mariupol; explosions reported in Kyiv – live | Russia


03.31

Battle ongoing for Mariupol

Home to 400,000 people before Russia’s invasion, Mariupol has been reduced to rubble. Thousands of civilians have died and tens of thousands remain trapped.

Ukrainian defence ministry spokesperson Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said in a briefing that the Russians had not completely captured it but added:

The situation in Mariupol is difficult and hard. Fighting is happening right now. The Russian army is constantly calling on additional units to storm the city.”

If Moscow captures Mariupol, it would be the first big city to fall.

A local resident crosses a damaged street in Mariupol, Ukraine.
A local resident crosses a damaged street in Mariupol, Ukraine. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

Russia’s defence ministry said it had captured the city’s Illich steelworks, but that report could not be confirmed. Ukrainian defenders are mainly believed to be holding out in Azovstal, another huge steelworks.

Both plants are owned by Metinvest – the empire of Ukraine’s richest businessman and backbone of Ukraine’s industrial east – which told Reuters on Friday it would never let its enterprises operate under Russian occupation.

You can read more here:

03.56

Stay or go?

The question was a difficult one for Ukrainian officials in occupied areas, when deciding whether to follow President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s lead after he made the decision to remain in Kyiv as Russia invaded.

Many local mayors and other officials remained in place, sometimes with deadly consequences, while others decided to flee.

In a few cases, mayors have expressed willingness to work with the Russians, and may face treason charges if Ukraine regains control over their towns.

In Melitopol, one of a string of cities in Ukraine’s south occupied by Russian troops without major battles in the first part of the invasion, the mayor, Ivan Fedorov, remained in place but refused to cooperate with the Russian military.

Eventually he was marched out of his temporary office with a bag on his head, held for six days and questioned by Russian security services, before being released as part of a prisoner exchange.

During occupation the main thing is to preserve life, and the people most in danger are the heads of the city. If the city is occupied, what should the mayor do, what should the team do? There was no single algorithm. Nobody gave us any orders. Everyone acted as they felt right.”

You can read more here:

03.31

Battle ongoing for Mariupol

Home to 400,000 people before Russia’s invasion, Mariupol has been reduced to rubble. Thousands of civilians have died and tens of thousands remain trapped.

Ukrainian defence ministry spokesperson Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said in a briefing that the Russians had not completely captured it but added:

The situation in Mariupol is difficult and hard. Fighting is happening right now. The Russian army is constantly calling on additional units to storm the city.”

If Moscow captures Mariupol, it would be the first big city to fall.

A local resident crosses a damaged street in Mariupol, Ukraine.
A local resident crosses a damaged street in Mariupol, Ukraine. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

Russia’s defence ministry said it had captured the city’s Illich steelworks, but that report could not be confirmed. Ukrainian defenders are mainly believed to be holding out in Azovstal, another huge steelworks.

Both plants are owned by Metinvest – the empire of Ukraine’s richest businessman and backbone of Ukraine’s industrial east – which told Reuters on Friday it would never let its enterprises operate under Russian occupation.

You can read more here:

03.15

Hello, this Geneva Abdul to take you through the next few hours of developments. Here’s the latest:

Nine humanitarian corridors have been agreed for Saturday, the Ukrainian deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk has announced.

Reuters reports evacuation plans include civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol by private cars. Five of the nine evacuation corridors were from the east, in Ukraine’s Luhansk region, which local officials have said is under heavy shelling.

02.59

Catch up

  • At least two Ukrainians were killed overnight in Russian airstrikes on cities in the east of the country. Officials reported fatalities in Poltava, Severodonetsk, and Lysychansk, local media reported.
  • Rescuers and medics are also on the scene of an airstrike on the outskirts of Kyiv. The city’s mayor said casualties were so far unknown. He urged people to heed air sirens.
  • The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, says 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, and about 10,000 injured in the conflict. This compared to an estimate 19,000-20,000 Russian soldiers killed, he told CNN in an interview.
  • The captain of the Russian warship Moskva was killed during the attack that sank it, Ukraine claimed. Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Kyiv’s ministry of internal affairs, said Anton Kuprin died during an explosion and fire onboard the ship.
  • Ukraine is now bracing for revenge attacks for its hand in sinking the Moskva.
  • US media has reported senior defence officials confirming the Russian warship, Moskva, was destroyed by Ukrainian missile strike.
  • Western intelligence corroborates Ukraine’s account that two of its missiles sunk the warship, though Russia has provided an alternative explanation. Russian strikes targeted the factory near Kyiv where the Ukrainian missiles used to sink the flagship are made.
  • Ukraine’s prime minister Denys Shmyhal and top finance officials will visit Washington next week, according to reports. The delegation, also including finance minister Serhiy Marchenko, and central bank governor Kyrylo Shevchenko, are expected to have bilateral meetings with finance officials from Group of Seven countries and others, and would take part in a World Bank-hosted roundtable on the Ukraine conflict on Thursday.
  • The German government says it plans to release more than a billion euros in military aid for Ukraine.
  • More than 900 civilian bodies have been discovered in the region surrounding Kyiv after the withdrawal of Russian forces, local police said. Almost all of them were shot dead, indicating execution during the Russian occupation, it was claimed. Their number was far greater than previously thought. In Kharkiv, officials also said that 10 people, including baby were killed and 35 wounded following Russian air strikes.
  • Zelenskiy, recently made a direct appeal to his US counterpart, Joe Biden, for Washington to designate Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism. The Washington Post first reported the news. It would be a rare and radical sanction. But Zelenskiy has been firm in putting pressure on the west to assist in Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s invasion.
  • In his latest address, Zelenskiy once again pushed for more weapons, and more sanctions – so the war could end sooner. Zelenskiy also spoke about a return to “normal life” in some parts of the country – or efforts to regain normality amid the tragedy. In parts of Ukraine, Zelenskiy noted that four-fifths of Ukranian enterprises have returned to work in safe areas.
  • Sweden and Finland said they were deliberating Nato membership. Tytti Tuppurainen, Finland’s minister for European affairs, said: “The people of Finland seem to have already made up their mind”. She added the decision was “highly likely” but “not made yet” pending discussions in parliament.

I’ll now hand over the blog to my colleague Geneva Abdul.

You can read our latest wrap here.

02.54

Information is slowly coming in about the overnight air strikes, with reports of two deaths and four people injured so far.

Luhansk governor Serhiy Gaidai says at least one person was killed at three wounded in the overnight strikes there.

“Evacuate, while it is still possible,” Gaidai said in a post on the Telegram messaging app, adding that busses were ready for those willing to be evacuated from the region.

He also said a gas pipeline was damaged in Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk, which was without gas and water.

In an overnight attack on a small village near Poltava, the capital of the central Ukraine Poltava region, at least one person died and one was injured, according to the region’s Governor Dmytro Lunin.

02.01

Eastern Ukraine casualties, strikes on Kyiv reported

There are initial reports of casualties from Russian shelling in the east of the country, and potential casualties in the capital city, Kyiv. It follows local media reports of explosions in Lviv and Kyiv early on Saturday morning.

Local media has reported casualties in Poltava, Severodonetsk, and Lysychansk due to Russian shelling, according to the Kyiv Independent. Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Haidai said one person was killed, three wounded, and a gas pipeline had burst due to Russian shelling overnight in Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.

It said UNIAN news agency, citing Poltava Oblast Governor Dmytro Lunin, had reported that one fatality due to shelling in the region.

The Guardian has not independently verified the reports.

Kyiv has also come under fire, the city’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said a few minute ago on his official Telegram channel.

“The explosions took place in Darnytskyi district on the outskirts of the city. Rescuers and medics are currently working on the site. Data on the victims are being clarified.

Once again, I appeal to everyone: please do not ignore the air alarms! And those Kyivites who left earlier and are already going to return to the capital, I ask you to refrain from this and stay in safer places.”

Air raid sirens are also again sounding in various cities and regions, including Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Donetsk, Kryvyi Rih and Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk.

01.44

Ukraine’s armed forces has released its latest update on operations and developments over the last day, and intelligence on Russian activity.

“The main efforts of the enemy are focused on the regrouping and strengthening of troops, continuing the partial blockade of the city of Kharkiv and its shelling with artillery,” it said.

The report, shared on official Telegram channels, said Ukrainian forces had repelled 10 Russian attacks in the Donetsk and Luhansk territories in the last 24 hours, destroying three tanks, an armoured personnel carrier, two cars and three artillery systems. It said one Russian armoured personnel carrier was also captured.

It warned of an increased threat of missile strikes on Ukrainian defence and logistical infrastructure from Russian warships in the Black Sea armed with missiles.

“In the waters of the Sea of Azov, the enemy’s naval group continues to carry out tasks to block the port of Mariupol and provide fire support in the coastal direction,” it said.

The Armed Forces briefing reported “no significant changes” in the situation at Severodonetsk, where yesterday the head of its Civil Military Administration Oleksandr Striuk had reported heavy fire and the destruction of about 70% of the city. Only around 20,000 residents of the total 135,000 remain in the city, he said.

According to the Armed Forces statement Russian activity has been most concentrated in the direction of Slobozhansky and Donetsk. The briefing reported continued fighting in Slobozhansky, including Russian ground troops, airborne troops, and coastal troops of the Baltic and Northern fleets.

Russian forces were attempting to take control of the Luhansk settlements of Popasna – where the report said Ukrainian forces had been under constant fire, and Rubizhne, as well as to establish full control over Mariupol, it said. There was continued shelling “in most directions”.

Up to 22 battalions were at Izyum city, it said, noting the deployment of additional units. Izyum, a city on the Donetsk river and gateway to the Donbas, was the site of heavy fighting during the invasion, and the briefing flagged the possibility of intensified fighting in Izyum and in Barvinkove as Russian troops pushed towards Slovyansk. It also warned of intensified hostilities in Avdiivka, about 130km north of Mariupol.

“The enemy is expected to continue fighting to reach the administrative borders of Kherson region and will try to resume the offensive,” it said.

01.29

Explosions have been heard in the capital, Kyiv and the western city of Lviv, in the early hours of Saturday, local media has reported.

Air raid sirens had been sounding across cities covering the breadth of the country in the pre-dawn hours. Alarms rang out in Kyiv, as well as in Rivne, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Volyn, Khmelnytsky, Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Dnipropetrovsk, Kryvyi Rih, Zaporizhzhia, Cherkasy, Donetsk, Odesa, Kharkiv, Poltava and Mykolaiv, according to official Ukrainian Telegram channels.

There has been no official confirmation of the explosions.

01.26

Ukraine’s prime minister Denys Shmyhal and top finance officials will visit Washington next week, according to report by Reuters and the AP, citing unnamed sources familiar with the situation.

The delegation, also including finance minister Serhiy Marchenko, and central bank governor Kyrylo Shevchenko, will be there at the same time as the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Reuters said.

Shmyhal, Marchenko and Shevchenko are expected to have bilateral meetings with finance officials from Group of Seven countries and others, the report said, and would take part in a World Bank-hosted roundtable on the Ukraine conflict on Thursday.

The event will be the first chance for key Ukrainian officials to meet in person with a host of financial officials from advanced economies since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

Thursday’s meeting will be more of a roundtable than a donors conference, although both the IMF and World Bank have set up separate accounts to be able to process and relay donations, and additional pledges are expected to be announced next week.

It will give officials a chance to discuss the physical devastation and economic consequences of the war, as well as the continued functioning of Ukraine’s banking and financial sector.

“Without support now, there will be no reconstruction in the future,” one of the sources said.

The World Bank had no immediate comment on the event.

01.26
  • The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, says 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, and about 10,000 injured in the conflict. This compared to an estimate 19,000-20,000 Russian soldiers killed, he told CNN in an interview.
  • US media has reported senior defence officials confirming the Russian warship, Moskva, was destroyed by Ukrainian missile strike.
  • The captain of the Russian warship Moskva was killed during the attack that sank it, Ukraine claimed. Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Kyiv’s ministry of internal affairs, said Anton Kuprin died during an explosion and fire onboard the ship.
  • Ukraine is now bracing for revenge attacks for its hand in sinking the Moskva. Western intelligence corroborates Ukraine’s account that two of its missiles sunk the warship, though Russia has provided an alternative explanation. Russian strikes targeted the factory near Kyiv where the Ukrainian missiles used to sink the flagship are made.
  • Ukraine’s prime minister Denys Shmyhal and top finance officials will visit Washington next week, according to reports. The delegation, also including finance minister Serhiy Marchenko, and central bank governor Kyrylo Shevchenko, are expected to have bilateral meetings with finance officials from Group of Seven countries and others, and would take part in a World Bank-hosted roundtable on the Ukraine conflict on Thursday.
  • The German government says it plans to release more than a billion euros in military aid for Ukraine.
  • More than 900 civilian bodies have been discovered in the region surrounding Kyiv after the withdrawal of Russian forces, local police said. Almost all of them were shot dead, indicating execution during the Russian occupation, it was claimed. Their number was far greater than previously thought. In Kharkiv, officials also said that 10 people, including baby were killed and 35 wounded following Russian air strikes.
  • Zelenskiy, recently made a direct appeal to his US counterpart, Joe Biden, for Washington to designate Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism. The Washington Post first reported the news. It would be a rare and radical sanction. But Zelenskiy has been firm in putting pressure on the west to assist in Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s invasion.
  • In his latest address, Zelenskiy once again pushed for more weapons, and more sanctions – so the war could end sooner. Zelenskiy also spoke about a return to “normal life” in some parts of the country – or efforts to regain normality amid the tragedy. In parts of Ukraine, Zelenskiy noted that four-fifths of Ukranian enterprises have returned to work in safe areas.
  • Sweden and Finland said they were deliberating Nato membership. Tytti Tuppurainen, Finland’s minister for European affairs, said: “The people of Finland seem to have already made up their mind”. She added the decision was “highly likely” but “not made yet” pending discussions in parliament.
  • Outgunned, outnumbered and surrounded by Russian forces, one of Europe’s biggest metallurgical plants has become Mariupol’s redoubt. The factory is “an enormous space” in which the Russians “simply can’t find” Ukrainian forces, Oleh Zhdanov – a military analyst based in Kyiv – told Reuters.
  • Russia threatened to intensify its attacks on Kyiv if Ukrainian forces carry out any operations on Russian territory. A spokesperson for Moscow’s defence ministry said: “The number and scale of missile strikes against targets in Kyiv will increase in response to the Kyiv nationalist regime committing any attacks of a terrorist nature or sabotage on Russian territory.”
  • Russia designated journalist and Youtuber Yury Dud and political analyst Ekaterina Schulmann as “foreign agents” today, a continuation of Russia’s crackdown on those critical of the Russian government within the country. Dud and Schulmann have both been publicly critical of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.



Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

close