Satellite images appear to show mass graves in Manhush, outside Mariupol
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has warned that Russia’s invasion of his country was just the beginning and that Moscow has ambitions to invade other countries.
Zelensky’s comments came as Russian state media claimed that the sinking of the Black Sea warship Moscow left one sailor dead and 27 missing.
The RIA news agency cited the Russian defense ministry, which also said that 396 members of the crew have been rescued.
Moscow claims the Black Sea flagship sank last week after a fire lead to an ammunition explosion but Ukraine said it took down the ship using missiles. The US has rejected Russia’s account, citing military intelligence.
Earlier, Vladimir Putin had a 90-minute phone call with European Council president Charles Michel in which he reportedly said he was prepared to hold direct peace talks with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky if they can produce concrete results. Mr Zelensky yesterday ruled out traveling to Moscow for peace talks.
Meanwhile, a Russian military official was quoted by Russian state media as saying Moscow intends to take full control of Donbas and southern Ukraine in order to form a land corridor with routes to Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula which Russia annexed in 2014, and a breakaway region of Moldova.
Blinken discussed further help for Ukraine with PM
US secretary of state Antony Blinken discussed with Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shmyhal on Friday additional ways that the United States can help Ukraine, state department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.
Mr Price said: “The secretary expressed the United States’ steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and reinforced our determination to help Ukraine successfully defend itself against Russia’s brutal and unjustified war of aggression.
“I have reviewed the extensive US security, humanitarian, and economic assistance provided to Ukraine and the increasing sanctions to impose costs on Russia and reduce its ability to wage war.
“Prime minister Shmyhal and the secretary discussed Ukraine’s most pressing needs, the humanitarian crisis caused by the Kremlin’s war, and additional ways the United States can assist Ukraine.”
The US this week announced a $500m (£375m) financial support package for the running of Ukraine’s government in addition to a further $800m (£600m) of military support.
Liam James23 April 2022 04:00
Russia claims one sailor dead and 27 missing following sinking of Black Sea warship ‘Moskva’
Russian state media has claimed that one sailor has died and that 27 are missing after the sinking of the Black Sea warship Moscow (Gustaf Kilander writes).
The RIA agency cited the Russian defense ministry, which also said that 396 members of the crew have been rescued.
While Moscow claims the Black Sea flagship sank last week after a fire led to an ammunition explosion, Ukraine has said that it took down the ship using missiles.
Christo Grozev, a Bulgarian investigative journalist and lead Russia investigator at Bellingcat, shared his skepticism of the Russian defense ministry’s claim.
“Russia’s MoD claims only one person died on board the sunk Moscow cruiser, with 27 ‘missing’ (is there another word for missing in the sea??) and 396 ‘evacuated to Sevastopol’. So they’re saying essentially 28 killed and 396 saved. Highly unlikely given the damage,” he tweeted.
Liam James23 April 2022 03:00
Zelensky says allies finally delivering requested weapons
Volodymyr Zelenskiy said allies were finally delivering the weapons that Kyiv had asked for, adding the arms would help save the lives of thousands of people.
In a late night video address, Zelenskiy also said comments earlier in the day by a Russian commander about the need to link up with Moldova showed Moscow wanted to invade other countries.
Western countries have begun lining up heavy artillery and armored vehicles to send in aid for Ukraine as the embattled country faces an assault from Russia in the more open terrain of the Donbas where longer range weapons will prove essential for defence.
Liam James23 April 2022 02:00
#ICYMI Russia could still win in Ukraine, west warns as officials prepare for months more fighting
Russia could still claim victory in Ukraine despite failing in its original objectives for its invasion, western officials said.
The west is preparing to support Ukraine for many months to come, even for the rest of the year, as Vladimir Putin continues to “redefine” what would be a “win” for him, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
When the Russian president’s troops invaded Ukraine on 24 February, their aim was to seize Kyiv. But they failed to achieve that goal and recently refocused efforts on the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, after having suffered set-backs in the form of huge logistical challenges and strong Ukrainian resistance.
Russia is set to mark Victory Day on 9 May, when it commemorates the surrender of Nazi Germany, and the date is seen as significant with analysts suggesting Mr Putin may make an announcement about the Ukraine war then.
Liam James23 April 2022 01:20
Key points from Friday
- A Russian general said Moscow now aims to take control of all of southern and eastern Ukraine
- Russia claimed the sinking of its Black Sea flagship Moscow last week left one sailor dead and 27 missing
- A safe route for civilians out of Mariupol may finally open on Saturday, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister said
- Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of being ‘inconsistent’ in negotiations
- Western officials said Russia could still claim victory in Ukraine despite failing in its original objectives
- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is set to meet Vladimir Putin on Tuesday
Liam James23 April 2022 00:00
Safe route out of Mariupol ‘may be opened on Saturday’
Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk on Friday said “there is a possibility” a humanitarian corridor out of the besieged port city of Mariupol could be opened up on Saturday.
“Watch the official announcements tomorrow morning. If all goes well, I will confirm,” she said in an online address to people waiting to be evacuated.
More than 100,000 people – down from a pre-war population of about 430,000 – are believed trapped in the city with little food, water or heat, and more than 20,000 civilians have been killed in the nearly two-month siege, according to Ukrainian authorities .
Repeated attempts to evacuate civilians from the city have failed because of what the Ukrainians said was continued Russian shelling
Around 1,000 civilians are thought to be hiding in the Azovstal steel plant, the last foothold of Ukrainian resistance in the ruined city.
An estimated 2,000 Ukrainian troops are also holed up in the vast industrial complex that Vladimir Putin yesterday ordered his forced to blockade.
Russia has faced new accusations of war crimes after satellite imagery revealed what appeared to be hundreds of mass graves near Mariupol which the city’s mayor said were being used to bury civilians.
Liam James22 April 2022 23:11
Russia moved units from Mariupol, says Ukraine
Russia shifted a dozen crack military units from the shattered port of Mariupol to eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian authorities said.
Some 12 to 14 of Russia’s elite military units have left Mariupol and begun moving to the east to take part in the fighting in the area Russia has declared the new, main theater of war, said Oleksy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council .
“It will now be difficult for our forces, because our guys in Mariupol were taking (those units) on themselves. It is their courage and feat,” he said.
The Kremlin has thrown over 100,000 troops and mercenaries from Syria and Libya into the fight in Ukraine and is deploying more forces in the country every day, Mr Danilov said.
“We have a difficult situation, but our army is defending our state,” he said.
Numerous cities and villages came under bombardment in the Donbas as well as in the Kharkiv region just to the northwest, and in the south, authorities said.
Liam James22 April 2022 22:15
OnlyFans stops supporting Russian accounts amid payment problems
OnlyFans said it has temporarily stopped services for Russian accounts.
The subscription platform – best known for allowing users to pay for access to adult and sexual content, though used by other creators too – said that it was having problems processing payments on behalf of those accounts.
Until now, UK-based OnlyFans has been one of only a few notable Western tech companies that have continued operating in Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.
And the latest restrictions appear to be driven by technical issues rather than a policy decision to leave the country.
Liam James22 April 2022 21:45
UK offers tanks to Poland in bid to help Ukraine as Boris Johnson reopens Kyiv embassy
Britain could send tanks to Poland so that Warsaw can supply Ukraine with its own Soviet-era armored vehicles, Boris Johnson said on Friday as a Russian general said Moscow wanted full control of southern Ukraine (Andrew Woodcock writes).
The prime minister set out plans for a new long-term “security guarantee” for Ukraine after the end of the war, which would stop short of Nato membership, but be tough enough to deter Moscow from a repeat invasion.
The guarantee would “make sure their territory is so fortified as to be impregnable”, said the PM.
But it would not replicate Nato’s Article 5 principle, that an attack on one member is an attack on all, depriving Kyiv of the shield of Western military engagement in the event of any future assault.
Liam James22 April 2022 21:20
‘Moskva’ sinking left one soldier dead and 27 missing – Russian media
Russian state media reports that one sailor died and 27 more are missing after the Russian missile cruiser Moscow sank last week, while 396 other crew members were rescued.
Moscow says the Moscow, the flagship of its Black Sea fleet, sank last week after a fire sparked an ammunition blast. Ukraine says it hit the vessel with an anti-ship missile.
The Russian state-owned RIA agency today quoted the Russian defense ministry as saying: “As a result of a fire on April 13, the Moskva missile cruiser was seriously damaged due to the detonation of ammunition.
“Attempts by the crew to extinguish the fire did not lead to results. During the fight for the ship’s damage, one serviceman was killed, another 27 crew members were missing.”
Independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta Europe earlier reported that at least 40 people were killed and others are still missing.
Sinking of Moscowcrucial warship came as a massive blow to the Russian military, which has been struggling against fierce Ukrainian resistance throughout the invasion.
Liam James22 April 2022 20:50