Russia-Ukraine war: Russian deadline for Mariupol defenders to ‘surrender or die’ passes – live | Russia


Lorenzo Tondo

Another missile attack in the early hours of Sunday damaged infrastructure in the city of Brovary, near Kyiv, Igor Sapozhko, mayor of Brovary said in an online post.

It is the third consecutive day of attacks in the capital after 2 weeks of relative calm.

On Friday, Russian forces destroyed a plant which allegedly produced one of the missiles used to sink the Moskva warship in the Black Sea.

Then, on Saturday, Russian rockets allegedly hit a military hardware factory in the capital’s Darnytskyi district.

The sudden development of events is linked to the destruction of the jewel of the Russian fleet by Ukrainian forces during a combat operation in the Black Sea on Wednesday – a blow to Vladimir Putin’s war plans and his military’s prestige.


Many of the nearly 5 million people who have fled Ukraine will not have homes to return to, the United Nations warned.

When, at the end of January, Poland’s deputy interior minister, Maciej Wąsik, said his country had “to be prepared for a wave of up to a million people” in the event of a major Russian invasion of Ukraine, many thought he was exaggerating.

After 53 days from the Russian invasion, according to UNHCR, almost 5 million Ukrainians have left the country. About 90% of those who fled are women and children, after the government introduced martial law banning men aged 18-60 from leaving.

Early in April, UNHCR reported that more than 7 million people were internally displaced in the country.

Bohdan lysun and his black cat Crowley late at night at the Przemyśl train station.
Bohdan lysun and his black cat Crowley late at night at the Przemyśl train station. Photograph: Amy Katz/Zuma Press Wire/Rex/Shutterstock

Poland remains the main destination for Ukrainian refugees, with the country having received approximately 2.69 million refugees, followed by Romania with about 720,000 people.

Last week the UK home secretary, Priti Patel, apologised for the time it had taken for Ukrainian refugees to arrive in the UK under two visa schemes, after new figures showed just 12,000 had so far reached Britain.


Ukraine and Russia have failed to agree on Sunday about humanitarian convoys for the evacuation of civilians from war-affected areas, according to Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk.

“We have not been able to agree … about ceasefires on evacuation routes. That is why, unfortunately, we are not opening humanitarian corridors today,” she said on her Telegram account.

Vereshchuk also said that the Ukrainian authorities had asked for humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians and wounded Ukrainian troops from the besieged port of Mariupol, Reuters reported.


Russia says ammunition factory near Kyiv ‘destroyed’

Russian armed forces destroyed an ammunition factory near Kyiv, Russian defence ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said on Sunday.

“Overnight, high-precision air-launched missiles destroyed an ammunition factory near the town of Brovary in Kyiv region,” Konashenkov said, as reported by the Reuters news agency.

Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
Igor Konashenkov. Photograph: Russian defence ministry/AFP/Getty Images


Bulgaria has banned Russian-flagged ships from entering its Black Sea ports as part of expanded EU sanctions, the country’s maritime administration announced on its website on Sunday.

“All vessels registered under Russian flag, as well as all vessels that have switched their Russian flag, or flag or maritime register registration to any other state whatsoever after 24 February, are forbidden access to Bulgarian maritime and river ports,” the authority said.

Exceptions will be made only for ships in distress or seeking humanitarian assistance, or ships transporting energy products, food and pharmaceuticals to EU countries.


Isobel Koshiw

The city of Kramatorsk feels empty. Only a handful of supermarkets, restaurants and hotels are still open. Windows along the main streets are boarded up. Many residents have moved out of their apartment blocks and into houses in neighbouring villages, where they judge it will be safer.

The few locals walking around behave as if they can’t hear the sirens blaring and appear not to flinch from the occasional thunder of incoming shells.

Russia’s war in Ukraine is moving into a new phase centred on the Donbas region in the east, and most of its citizens are not taking any chances. Regional mayors told the Observer they estimated that about 70% of the population had left since Russia’s offensive began in February.

Ukrainian-controlled Donbas is surrounded by Russian forces from the north, east and south. Ukraine’s authorities believe Russian forces are aiming to encircle the territory by cutting off their supply lines from the west.

Russian-backed forces have held about a third of the region since 2014. Russia had hoped and possibly expected that its attempts to gain more territory would be popular with the mainly Russian-speaking population. But eight years of conflict, and particularly the last eight weeks, have taken their toll.


Thanks all for following, I will now be handing over the blog to my colleague Tom Ambrose in London.


A missile attack in early hours of Sunday damaged infrastructure in the city of Brovary, near Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, Igor Sapozhko, mayor of Brovary said in an online post.

There were no details on the extent of the destruction and potential casualties.


The Ukrainians teaching in a war zone: bombed-out schools, evacuations and board games

Yulia Kuryliuk, a teacher in a village near Lviv, woke on 24 February to find her country at war and gathered her sixth-grade class on Zoom. Two children tearfully asked when the fighting would end. She didn’t have an answer, but she led her students through breathing exercises to manage anxiety and encouraged them to hug a relative, pet, or stuffed animal for comfort.

With Ukraine’s education system upended by the war, teachers are helping provide stability for their students, along with other forms of emergency support such as evacuation and humanitarian aid. While the ministry of education and science declared a two-week break after Russia’s full-scale invasion began, lessons have now resumed where possible, though they are frequently interrupted by the wail of air raid sirens.


‘I feel really lost but not lonely’: a Kherson mother’s diary of flight from a war zone

Olha spent weeks living under Russian occupation in her home town of Kherson, southern Ukraine. Now she tells her story of fleeing the violence and travelling across Europe with two children and a cat in tow.

Groups of people who wanted to leave Kherson appeared on Telegram. People shared information and exchanged ideas. The first message in our group from anyone who had escaped came from a girl called Alinka. Her boyfriend took her out along a country road. It gave us a ray of hope.


Russia’s demand that Ukrainian forces in Mariupol surrender by 3am GMT passed without immediate signs of a response, as Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned that peace talks would be scrapped if the city’s remaining defenders were killed.

As air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine, including in the Kyiv region, early on Sunday, Russia said its troops had cleared most of the besieged city, with only a small contingent of Ukrainian fighters remaining in the giant Azovstal steelworks in the south-eastern port, as missiles hit Kyiv and other cities.

If it falls, it would be Russia’s first seizure of a major city.

Ukraine’s president said in a video address: “The situation in Mariupol remains as severe as possible. Just inhuman … Russia is deliberately trying to destroy everyone who is there.” He added: The elimination of our troops, of our men [in Mariupol] will put an end to any negotiations”, and called on the west to immediately provide heavy weapons.


While life seemed to be slowly returning to the streets of Kyiv, a fresh series of Russian airstrikes came as a reminder this weekend that the war in the Ukrainian capital is far from over.

Following two weeks of relative calm, on Friday the Russian forces destroyed a plant which allegedly produced one of the missiles used to sink the Moskva warship in the Black Sea. The attack was the most significant revenge strike by the Kremlin after the sinking of Russia’s flagship vessel.

Then, on Saturday, Russian rockets allegedly hit a military hardware factory in the capital’s Darnytskyi district. “They are making us pay for destroying the Moskva,” Andrei Sizov, the 47-year-old owner of a nearby wood workshop.


Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who met with Vladimir Putin this past week in Moscow — the first European leader to do so since the invasion began Feb. 24 — said the Russian president is “in his own war logic” on Ukraine.

In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Nehammer said he thinks Putin believes he is winning the war and “we have to look in his eyes and we have to confront him with that, what we see in Ukraine.’’

Nehammer said he confronted Putin with what he saw during a visit to the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, where more than 350 bodies have been found along with evidence of killings and torture under Russian occupation, and “it was not a friendly conversation.”


The UK government’s latest intelligence update this morning says:

  • Russian forces continue to redeploy combat and support equipment from Belarus towards eastern Ukraine. This includes locations close to Kharkiv and Severdonetsk.
  • Russian artillery continues to strike Ukrainian positions throughout the east of the country where Russia plans to renew its offensive activity
  • Though Russia’s operational focus has shifted to eastern Ukraine, Russia’s ultimate objective remains the same. It is committed to compelling Ukraine to abandon its Euro-Atlantic orientation and asserting its own regional dominance


Russia told Ukrainian forces fighting in Mariupol to lay down arms on Sunday morning to save their lives, but there were no immediate reports of activity two hours after the ultimatum took effect at 3am GMT in the strategic southeastern port.

Russia’s defence ministry claimed it had all but taken control of Mariupol, aside from a few Ukrainian defenders left in a steel plant, but the claim could not be independently verified. It would be the first major city to have fallen to Russian forces since the invasion which began on 24 February


For a comprehensive visual guide on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, look no further than this excellent interactive piece prepared by my colleagues earlier this week


Good morning from Delhi and happy Easter to those who celebrate. Hannah Ellis-Petersen here on the live blog for the next few hours following the developments in Ukraine. Here is a summary of today’s events so far:

  • The 3am GMT deadline set by Moscow for Ukrainian soldiers in the besieged city of Mariupol to “surrender or die” has passed, with no reports yet from the Ukrainian or Russian sides if the city has fallen fully to Russian control. On Saturday, the Russian defence ministry said it had cleared urban areas of Ukrainian forces, and the remaining defenders were trapped in a steelworks.
  • The Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy described the situation in Mariupol as “inhuman” and called on the west to prove more arms. “The successes of our military on the battlefield are really significant, historically significant. But they are still not enough to clean our land of the occupiers,” he said.
  • Russian forces have renewed missile strikes on Kyiv and intensified shelling of Kharkiv, in an apparent strategy to hobble Ukraine’s defences ahead of an expected full-scale Russian assault in the east. Explosions were heard in the early hours on Sunday in Kyiv. Russia had warned it would step up its missile bombardment following the sinking of its battleship Moskva.
  • Russian air defence units have reportedly brought down a military transport plane carrying Western arms outside Odesa.
  • The Ukraine president warned that the world “needs to prepare” for the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons. On Saturday, the mayor of Trostianets, a city in Ukraine’s northern Sumy region, claimed that authorities have found the remains of chemical weapons including Sarin in the village of Bilka, which had been occupied by the Russians. The allegation has not been verified.
  • Russia’s foreign ministry barred entry to the country for Johnson and other British government politicians and members in response to the government’s “hostile action” including sanctions. The Kremlin said it would expand restrictions against British politicians over what it calls a “wave of anti-Russian hysteria.”

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