Ukraine news – latest: Mariupol defenders hold out, as Russian oligarch says war is ‘insane’

‘Bring my mother back home’, says daughter of captured Ukrainian paramedic

A Russian ultimatum to Ukrainian troops in Mariupol saying they must either surrender or die expired on Wednesday afternoon without any mass capitulation.

However, the commander of a unit thought to be holding out in the besieged city and his forces would be able to survive just days or hours.

Serhiy Volyna, who is defending the besieged city of Mariupol, said Vladimir Putin’s soldiers are outnumbering them ten to one and pleaded for help evacuating wounded civilians.

Elsewhere, Russian oligarch Oleg Tinkov, became the latest oligarch to publicly condemn Mr Putin’s “insane war.”

Meanwhile earlier on Wednesday, Ukrainian troops accused Russia of bombing a hospital sheltering up to 300 people in the besieged city of Mariupol.

The Russian military dropped heavy bombs on the steel plant and hit an “improvised hospital”, the deputy commander of the Azov regiment said.

The bombing of the hospital was also reported by Serhiy Taruta, the former governor of the Donetsk region. He said that the hospital shelters up to 300 people, including wounded troops, civilians and children.


Cryptocurrency firms in latest Russian sanctions targets

The US rolled out new sanctions on Wednesday against more than 40 individuals and entities accused of evading the ongoing wave of penalties imposed on Russia as punishment for invading Ukraine.

The sanctions include the first set of penalties against cryptocurrency mining firms in relation to the war.

The Treasury Department’s sanctions arm designated the commercial bank Transkapitalbank, which has operations in China and the Middle East.

eleanor sly21 April 2022 03:00


‘I was crying so much I wanted to turn back’: Aid workers describe heartbreaking conditions at Ukraine border

Daniel is just two months old. Tucked up in layers of blankets to shield him from the bitter cold, he is balanced in the arms of his mother, Diana, between his various belongings.

He whimpers and Diana pulls him close, kissing his face, trying to comfort him the only way she can. Diana’s other two children, Julia, five, and Anna, eight, walk alongside her.

They are some of the luckier ones. Diana was allowed to leave Ukraine with her husband de ella, and he has joined the family as they cross the border into Romania following an hours-long journey to escape their besieged homeland.

What it’s like at the Romanian-Ukraine border

Humanitarian organizations are assisting in the crisis in any way possible, with many working in border countries to meet refugees as they arrive, helping with essential provisions. Harriet Hall speaks to Katie Morrison from Plan International about the reality of their experience

eleanor sly21 April 2022 02:15


Russia’s Navalny accuses Le Pen of Kremlin ties before vote

Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny stepped abruptly into France’s tight presidential campaign Wednesday, urging voters to back incumbent Emmanuel Macron and alleging that far-right challenger Marine Le Pen is too closely linked to Russia.

Le Pen has faced scrutiny before over a 9 million euro loan that her party received in 2014 from the First Czech-Russian Bank.

Questions about Le Pen’s ties to Moscow arose during her presidential bid five years ago that she lost to Macron and they have emerged again amid Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. She noted she has condemned the Feb. 24 invasion “without ambiguity.”

Russia’s Navalny accuses Le Pen of Kremlin ties before vote

Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny waded into France’s tight presidential campaign, urging voters to back incumbent Emmanuel Macron on Sunday’s runoff and alleging that far-right challenger Marine Le Pen is too closely linked to Russia

eleanor sly21 April 2022 01:30


Ukrainian children are being separated from caregivers at US Border

After Iryna Merezhko persuaded her sister in Ukraine that her young nephew should join her in Los Angeles to wait out the war, she traveled halfway around the globe to pick him up.

“I told him it would be a California vacation,” she recalled. “We would go to Disneyland, Universal Studios, the beach.”

The boy, Ivan Yereshov, 14, made it with her to Tijuana, Mexico, early this month, joining thousands of Ukrainians waiting at the border for permission to enter the United States.

eleanor sly21 April 2022 00:45


Macron and Le Pen clash over Russia in TV debate

During a televised debate, French President Emmanuel Macron accused his far-right rival Marine Le Pen of being in thrall to Russian President Vladimir Putin over an old Russian bank loan to her party. The debate was broadcast on Wednesday evening, ahead of Sunday’s election.

The debate was full of appeals of “don’t interrupt me” and accusations that the other was not up to the job of leading France, Europe’s second-largest economy.

“Stop mixing everything up,” Mr Macron told Ms Le Pen during one exchange over France’s debt, which like others has increased due to pandemic support measures.

“Don’t read me,” Ms Le Pen replied.

Mr Macron also charged Ms Le Pen with harboring an undiminished desire to pull France out of the European Union (EU).

Ms Le Pen struck back and pledged to put money back in the pockets of millions of French who she said were made poorer during his five-year run as president of France.

eleanor sly21 April 2022 00:00


Ukraine can develop ‘maximum speed’ in joining the EU, Zelenskiy says

Ukraine can develop “maximum speed” in joining the EU, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said to his citizens in as part of a national address this evening.

Mr Zelenskiy spoke with the president of the European council, Charles Michel, after the meeting and said the pair discussed Ukraine’s movement towards European integration.

He said: “This is the historic moment when we can develop maximum speed in joining the European Union.

“We have already proven that the Ukrainian state and public institutions are effective enough to withstand even the test of war.

“We are already doing as much to protect freedom on the European continent as other nations have never done.

“And I see from all our friends in the European Union a willingness to help our movement as much as possible.”

eleanor sly20 April 2022 23:34


Russia forces will control Mariupol steelworks Thursday, says chechen chief Kadyrov

Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Russia’s republic of Chechnya, said that Russian forces would be in complete control of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol by Thursday.

“Before lunchtime, or after lunch, Azovstal will be completely under the control of the forces of the Russian Federation,” he said in an audio message posted online early on Thursday.

Forces from Chechnya have been fighting in Ukraine as part of Russia’s military operation.

eleanor sly20 April 2022 22:58


Negotiations with Russia doomed to fail, says Johnson

Boris Johnson has indicated that he believes negotiations with Russia to end Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine are doomed to fail.

The Prime Minister on Wednesday compared dealing with the Russian president to negotiate with a “crocodile when it’s got your leg in its jaws”.

Mr Johnson, speaking on a flight to India, said Mr Putin may only seek to negotiate in earnest if he manages to seize a significant portion of Ukraine.

eleanor sly20 April 2022 22:39


US working ‘around the clock’ to support Ukraine, says White House

The press secretary to the White House, Jen Psaki has said the US is “working around the clock to provide security assistance to Ukraine”.

At her media briefing on Wednesday afternoon, Ms Psaki: “We made a strategic decision given we’ve seen Russia reposition their troops and their military to the eastern part of Ukraine to fight a different kind of war on the ground, which will be more shooting back and forth through long range.

“We have been working with Ukrainians and the Ukrainian military to determine exactly the kind of security assistance they need for this stage of the war.

“That has included an increase in artillery and ammunition.”

eleanor sly20 April 2022 22:02


Russian oligarch criticizes Putin’s ‘insane war’

Russian oligarch Oleg Tinkov is one of Russia’s best known entrepreneurs and one of the most high profile Russians to publicly denounce the actions of Mr Putin.

In his post on Instagram, Mr Tinkov said that 90 per cent of Russians were against the war in Ukraine and added “morons in any country are 10 per cent”.

“I don’t see a SINGLE beneficiary of this insane war! Innocent people and soldiers are dying,” he added.

“Waking up with a hangover, the generals realized that they have a shit army.

“And how will the army be good, if everything else in the country is shitty and mired in nepotism, sycophancy and servility?”

He went on: “Kremlin officials are shocked that neither they or their children will be off to the Mediterranean in the summer. Businessmen are trying to save the rest of their property.”

Further into the post, Mr Tinkov switched to English, and appealed directly to the West.

He wrote: “Dear ‘collective West’ please give Mr Putin a clear exit to save his face and stop this massacre. Please be more rational and humanitarian.”

eleanor sly20 April 2022 21:39

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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