Putin spokesperson claims Bucha atrocities were staged
The European Union has approved new sanctions against Russia, including an embargo on coal imports.
It comes in the wake of the US saying there is evidence of Russian troops engaging in torture and killings in war zones outside the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
The ban on coal imports will be the first EU sanctions targeting Russia’s energy industry over its war in Ukraine, an official said on condition of anonymity because the official announcement had not yet been made.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied that Russia was responsible for war crimes in a wide-ranging interview with Sky News.
He rejected suggestions that Vladimir Putin would appear in a war crimes court, saying: “We don’t see any possibility for that, we don’t consider it to be realistic.” But, I have admitted that the “significant losses of troops” is a “huge tragedy for us.”
EU hits Russia with new sanctions including coal import embargo
EU member countries have approved new sanctions on Russia, including an unprecedented embargo on coal imports.
It comes after the US alleged that there is evidence of Russian troops raping and torturing Ukrainian civilians.
The ban on coal imports will be the first EU sanctions targeting Moscow’s lucrative energy industry over the war, an official told the AP news agency on Thursday, ahead of the official announcement.
Full story here by Sam Hancock
Lamiat Sabin7 April 2022 20:20
More than 100 people kidnapped from Melitopol ‘for no reason’
Russian troops have abducted more than 100 people from Melitopol, according to the Ukrainian city’s mayor Ivan Fedorov.
He said in a video message shared on Facebook: “Today, the total number of citizens abducted by collaborators and occupying soldiers is more than 100 people.”
Russian soldiers had begun to abduct lecturers from the Melitopol Pedagogical University, he said.
According to a translation, Mr Fedorov said: “The occupiers continue to abduct Melitopol residents for no reason.
“After the failure of attempts to resume studies in schools, the invaders switched to kindergartens. I am sure that employees of preschool educational institutions will not collaborate with the occupiers.
“An attempt of collaborators to resume college education also failed. Out of the thousands of students, only a few attended. I thank the youth for their conscious position.”
Lamiat Sabin7 April 2022 20:00
‘One killed and 14 wounded by shelling of Kharkiv’ – official says
At least one person was killed and 14 wounded by shelling targeting Kharkiv, regional governor Oleh Synehubov said in a video address.
The Ukrainian military earlier said Russian troops were bombarding the city with shells and rockets.
Russia denies targeting civilians.
Lamiat Sabin7 April 2022 19:40
Russian diplomats ‘ordered to leave Montenegro’
Four Russian diplomats have reportedly been ordered to leave Montenegro over violations of diplomatic norms.
The diplomats have a week to leave the ex-Yugoslav republic, according to the newspaper Pobjeda- citing sources from Montenegro’s foreign ministry.
Montenegro already expelled one Russian diplomat in March, again citing violations of diplomatic norms.
North Macedonia and Slovenia, both ex-Yugoslav republics and Nato members, have also expelled a number of Russian diplomats.
Lamiat Sabin7 April 2022 19:28
‘Twenty-six bodies under two buildings in Kyiv town Borodianka’
Authorities in Ukraine have found 26 bodies under two destroyed buildings in the town of Borodianka, in the Kyiv region.
Ukraine’s prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova, in a televised briefing, did not say if the authorities had established the cause of death.
She accused Russian troops of carrying out air strikes on the town before they seized control of it.
“Borodianka is the worst in terms of destruction and in terms of the uncertainty about (the number of) victims,” Ms Venediktova said.
Russian denies targeting civilians.
Lamiat Sabin7 April 2022 19:03
Russia says suspension from UN Human Rights Council ‘illegal’
Russia has decided to give up its membership to the United Nations Human Rights Council after it was suspended.
It said that a vote today by UN member states to suspend it from the Council was illegal and politically motivated.
This was reported by the news agency RIA, which quoted Gennady Kuzmin, deputy Russian ambassador to the UN.
The UN General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from the Council by 93 votes to 24, with 58 countries abstaining.
Lamiat Sabin7 April 2022 18:40
Ukraine ‘using people as a shield’ – Kremlin spokesman Peskov
Vladimir Putin’s spokesman claimed in an interview with Sky News that the Ukrainian army is using “people as a shield”.
Dmitry Peskov also called the scenes of devastation from the city of Bucha, in the Kyiv province, as “fabricated and fake”.
Interviewer Mark Austin asked him: “Do you realize how grotesque that sounds?”
The Sky News presenter also asked the Kremlin official “how do you sleep at night” about the number of casualties in Ukraine.
Mr Peskov said: “It’s not about my sleep at night, actually. This is about Ukrainian military and Ukrainian personnel trying to use civil people as a shield. They are covering themselves with civilian people and not letting them flee the town.”
Mr Peskov also claimed that Kremlin forces were “never shelling civilian objects” during the invasion, adding: “They were just aiming and using high precision missiles to attack military infrastructure in Ukraine.”
Mr Peskov also claimed that the besieged Black Sea port city Mariupol is going to be “liberated from nationalistic battalions”.
He added: “And we hope it will happen sooner than later in the operation.”
Lamiat Sabin7 April 2022 18:20
‘More credible reports of Russian troops raping and torturing’ – US
There are more credible reports that Russian soldiers have tortured, raped, and killed people in Ukraine – the US said.
This is according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was speaking to reporters at Nato, after a meeting with foreign ministers.
He said that Washington will not let anything stand in the way of sending Ukraine the weapons it needs in its fight against Russia.
The US is “sustaining and building up pressure on the Kremlin and its neighbors,” Mr Blinken also said.
Lamiat Sabin7 April 2022 18:00
Australian officials including PM banned from Russia over sanctions
Hundreds of Australian government officials, including PM Scott Morrison, are now banned from entering Russia.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it had imposed entry bans on 228 Australian government members and MPs in response to sanctions imposed over Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Lamiat Sabin7 April 2022 17:41
UN votes to suspend Russia from Human Rights Council
The United Nations today voted to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council over its invasion of Ukraine.
A total of 93 votes were in favor and 24 votes were against the move. There were also 58 abstentions among the 193 members of the UN’s General Assembly.
Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsa, introduced the US-initiated resolution, saying: “Russia’s actions are beyond the pale.”
After the vote, Dmytro Kuleba – Ukraine’s foreign minister – said: “War criminals have no place in UN bodies aimed at protecting human rights. Grateful to all member states which… chose the right side of history”.
Read the full story here by holly bancroft
Lamiat Sabin7 April 2022 17:40