Ukraine news – latest: Russia launches new assault on Donbas

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

Russia on Tuesday said a village in Belgorod province was struck by Ukraine, wounding one person, although it was not clear whether the strike was carried out by artillery, mortars or missiles.

Earlier this month, Russia had accused Ukraine of a helicopter attack on a fuel depot in Belgorod, as well as of shelling villages there several times.

Moscow, meanwhile, has launched an expected offensive aimed at taking control of eastern Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky said.

“The Russian troops have begun the battle for the Donbas, for which they have been preparing for a long time. A significant part of the entire Russian army is now concentrated on this offensive,” the Ukrainian president said in a video address on Monday night.

Ukrainian officials said earlier on Monday that Russia’s eastern offensive had begun with attacks on Kharkiv and targets in the Donbas further east.

Photographs coming out of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on Monday showed damage from shelling.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian minister said up to 30 per cent of his country’s physical infrastructure had been damaged or destroyed since the Russian invasion.


UK not looking to help Russia, minister says on prospect of prisoner swap

The UK is not going to be looking at how to help Russia, a senior minister said on Tuesday, when asked about the prospect of swapping pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk for two British fighters who were captured in Ukraine.

The Britons appeared on Russian state TV on Monday and asked to be exchanged for Mr Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is being held by the Ukrainian authorities.

Asked on Sky News whether a possible swap was something the government would get involved with, Northern Ireland minister Brandon Lewis said: “We’re actually going through the process of sanctioning people who are close to Putin regime, we’re not going to be looking at how we can help Russia.”

Mr Lewis said he did not want to comment on the specific situation of the two men, Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin.

“We always have responsibility for British citizens, which we take seriously. We’ve got to get the balance right in Ukraine and that’s why I say to anybody: do not travel illegally to Ukraine,” Mr Lewis said.

Read more about the two captured British fighters below:

joe middleton19 April 2022 07:58


Ukraine unable to secure humanitarian corridors for third successive day

Ukraine was for the third successive day unable to secure Russia’s agreement on establishing any humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians trapped in cities and towns, deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Tuesday.

In a post on Telegram, she said: “Today, 19 April, unfortunately there are no humanitarian corridors. Intense shelling continues in the Donbas.

“According to Mariupol: the Russians refuse to provide a corridor for civilians in the direction of Berdyansk.

“We continue difficult negotiations on the opening of humanitarian corridors in Kherson and Kharkiv regions.”

joe middleton19 April 2022 07:41


US looking to seize Russian oligarch superyacht docked in Fiji

The US is seeking to seize a superyacht suspected of belonging to a Russian oligarch that is docked in the Pacific island nation of Fiji, a restraining order filed on Tuesday by Fiji’s director of public prosecutions showed.

The luxury vessel the Amadea is widely believed to be owned by Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, sanctioned by the US and EU.

The vessel arrived in Fiji a week ago after leaving Mexico 18 days earlier and crossing the Pacific. Police are investigating.

Authorities in various countries have seized luxury vessels and villas owned by Russian billionaires in response to sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, which Russia calls a special military operation.

Fiji’s director of public prosecutions, Christopher Pryde, filed an application to the High Court seeking to prevent the Amadea from leaving Fiji.

The application requested “the motor yacht Amadea be restrained from leaving Fijian waters until the finalization of an application to register a warrant to seize the property and (ii) that a US warrant to seize the Amadea be registered”.

A superyacht agent in Fiji acting for the Amadea told Reuters Last week the vessel’s lawyers were contesting that Mr Kerimov was the owner. Registration records viewed by Reuters show the yacht is registered to a company in the Cayman islands.

joe middleton19 April 2022 07:25


World Bank to cut 2022 global growth forecast

The World Bank reduced its global forecast for 2022 by nearly a full percentage point, to 3.2 per cent from 4.1 per cent, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

David Malpass, president of the Washington-based lender, said that they were responding to the additional economic pressure by proposing a new, 15-month crisis financing target of $170bn, with a goal to commit about $50bn of this financing over the next three months.

“Over the next few weeks, I expect to discuss with our board, a new 15-month crisis response envelope of around $170bn to cover April 2022 through June 2023,” Mr Malpass said.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 April 2022 07:10


Russia ‘focusing to take full control’ of Donetsk, Luhansk regions

The Ukrainian military’s general staff said that Russian forces are focusing their efforts on taking full control over the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the east.

a statement issued on Tuesday, it noted that “the Russian military has continued to blockade and shell Mariupol and to deal missile strikes on other cities”.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 April 2022 06:57


Kin of Briton ‘captured by Russians’ want PoW rules to be applied

The family of a former British army soldier reportedly captured by Russian forces while fighting for Ukraine has called on his captors to uphold his rights.

The Briton, identified as Shaun Pinner, appeared on Russian state television Rossiya 24 asking to be exchanged for Vladimir Putin’s ally Viktor Medvedchuk. In a statement released by the foreign, commonwealth and development office (FCDO), Mr Pinner’s family explained how he became involved in the defense of Ukraine, which they said he considers “his adopted country”.

“In 2018 Shaun decided to relocate to Ukraine to use his previous experience and training within the Ukraine military,” the statement read.“Our family is currently working with the Foreign Office along with the family of Aiden Aslin, who is also being held by the Russian Army to ensure their rights as prisoners of war are upheld according to the Geneva Convention,” the family added.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 April 2022 06:48


UK to send armored missile launchers to Ukraine

Britain is expected to send armored missile launchers to Ukraine after Russia started its full-scale offensive to take control of the country’s east.

The defense ministry demonstrated the Stormer High Velocity Missile (HVM) launcher for Ukrainians on Salisbury Plain two weeks ago, according to The Sun. The 13-tonne vehicles can be flown to the war on C-17 transport plans in days, the paper said.

The Stormer is manufactured by BAE Systems, needs just three people to operate it and uses Starstreak missiles, which can be used to take down low-flying aircraft.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 April 2022 06:17


Six million people in Ukraine have limited access to drinking water

The UNICEF Ukraine on Monday said that over 50 days after Russia’s invasion, at least six million people in the war-torn country have limited access to drinking water.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 April 2022 06:01


Yellen to avoid Russian officials at global meetings

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen is likely to meet with Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shmyhal during this week’s big meetings of global economic leaders in Washington.

Russian finance officials are expected to attend several events virtually, senior treasury officials told the Associated Press.

Ms Yellen will participate if a Russian minister is there for a session or two, but will not attend every session, the official said.

On Tuesday, he will convene a panel of finance ministers, the international development banks and other institutions to talk about how they will use resources to address food insecurity.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 April 2022 05:39


Two British fighters captured by Russia ask to be exchanged for Putin ally

Two British fighters captured in Ukraine by Russian forces appeared on Russian state TV asking to be exchanged for an ally of Vladimir Putin known as the “Prince of Darkness”.

Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin both spoke separately after being prompted by an unidentified man in footage broadcast on the Rossiya 24 state TV channel.

The two men asked British prime minister Boris Johnson to help bring them home in exchange for Ukraine releasing pro-Russian politician and oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, whose close friend Mr Putin is godfather to his youngest daughter Daryna.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 April 2022 05:29

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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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