Putin spokesperson claims Bucha atrocities were staged
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said everyone behind Friday’s attack on Kramatorsk train station will be held accountable.
“This is another war crime of Russia, for which everyone involved will be held accountable,” he said. “We expect a firm, global response to this war crime.”
Meanwhile, the death toll of the airstrikes on the railway station in Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine has hit 52, including five children, according to the region’s governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.
In total, 98 people – 36 men, 16 children, and four women – were taken to hospital, he said, after the attack on the station that has been used to evacuate civilians from areas under Russian bombardment.
Ukraine’s prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova described the attack as a “crime against humanity”, while the Kremlin claimed that the casualties were a “huge tragedy” for Russia.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin’s two daughters are among the 217 individuals that the European Union today agreed to impose sanctions on, while Russia’s assault on Ukraine continued for the 45th day.
Ukrainian journalist describes Kramatorsk train attack
A Ukrainian journalist, who was present at the Kramatorsk train station when he was attacked, has described scenes of chaos and confusion in the aftermath.
Alex Merkulov’s footage for Ukraine’s Donetchina TV from the ground shows crowds trying to push in and out of the station when it came under attack from Russian forces. At least 52 people were killed in the attack on Friday.
He said: “One was on the street where people were queuing up to board the train and to be evacuated, and the other one was the waiting area in the train station itself where people were divided and organized into several groups.”
He continued: “Because all of these people, they come from areas that have been in the combat action for eight years already, they know what to do as soon as there is an explosion. So the moment the explosion went bang, everybody was on the floor.
“Although the explosion itself didn’t seem to be that hard, the wave was unbelievable. It’s as if something just hit you on your head. And your legs couldn’t keep you any longer. You couldn’t stand on them,” he continued.
“And you understand that something terrible happened but you’re not aware of what it is. And you’re afraid to look up, but you know you have to do something.”
Maroosha Muzaffar9 April 2022 05:00
Japan bans coal imports from Russia after expelling eight diplomats
Japan said on Friday that it would ban coal imports from Russia and expelled eight diplomats following “outrageous” actions against civilians by the Russian forces in Ukraine.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said: “Russia has repeatedly violated international humanitarian law by killing civilians and attacking nuclear power plants. These are unforgivable war crimes.”
“With decisive measures and support that meets the Ukrainian people’s needs, we will make it clear that the international community will never accept Russia’s outrage and Japan stands together with Ukraine,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Japan’s foreign ministry had announced that it was expelling eight diplomats and trade representatives as part of its condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
“We call on Russian troops to immediately withdraw. Its propaganda that denies killing civilians and says these incidents are faked by the West are completely unacceptable,” foreign press secretary Hikariko Ono had said.
Maroosha Muzaffar9 April 2022 04:40
US rejects Russia’s denial of train station attack
The US said it is not buying “the denial by the Russians that they weren’t responsible” for the Kramatorsk train station attack, in which at least 50 people were killed.
A senior defense official in Washington said the US believed Russian forces had used a short-range ballistic missile in the train station attack, according to Reuters.
Russia has denied the attack — which has drawn global condemnation — and instead said that the missiles used to attack the train station were fired by the Ukrainian military as Russian forces had no targets assigned in Kramatorsk on Friday.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said that “this is another war crime of Russia, for which everyone involved will be held accountable”.
Maroosha Muzaffar9 April 2022 04:20
EU leaders react sharply to Kramatorsk train station attack
Josep Borrell, EU’s foreign policy chief, “strongly condemned” the Kramatorsk train station attack in which more than 50 people, including five children, died.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, who visited Ukraine on Friday with Mr Borrell and other European leaders, also condemned the train station attack and said that it was “despicable”.
“I am appalled by the loss of life and I will personally offer my condolences to President [Zelensky],” she wrote on Twitter. “My thoughts are with the families of the victims.”
Maroosha Muzaffar9 April 2022 04:00
Russian forces behind Kramatorsk train station attack will be held accountable, Zelensky says
Volodymyr Zelensky said everyone behind the attack on the Kramatorsk train station — in which more than 50 people died — will be held accountable.
“This is another war crime of Russia, for which everyone involved will be held accountable,” he said.
I have added that “we expect a firm, global response to this war crime.”
He added: “Like the massacres in Bucha, as well as many other Russian war crimes, the missile strike on Kramatorsk must be one of the charges at the tribunal, which is bound to happen.”
He continued: “All the efforts of the world will be aimed at establishing every minute: who did what, who gave orders. Where did the rocket come from, who was carrying it, who gave the order and how the strike was coordinated. Responsibility is unavoidable.”
Maroosha Muzaffar9 April 2022 03:40
Major Ukrainian says 132 civilians killed by Russian forces in Makariv, near Kyiv
Russian forces have killed 132 people in Makariv in the Kyiv region, the town’s mayor said on Friday.
Major Vadym Tokar said local officials collected the bodies and that all infrastructure in Makariv has been destroyed by Russian forces. He added that apartment complexes and other buildings were bombed and a hospital destroyed.
“[For] more than a month now we are without electricity, water, gas, without telephone lines. We don’t even have essential goods at home,” he said, according to local media.
“Our deforested areas are heavily littered with mines, and so we will work first on demining these areas before we can begin the full-fledged restoration of our infrastructure,” he added.
Before the invasion, about 15,000 people lived in Makariv but now fewer than 1,000 remain, the largest added.
Maroosha Muzaffar9 April 2022 03:21
UK councils report worrying rise in homeless Ukrainian refugees
Local authorities in the UK are seeing a “concerning increase” in Ukrainian refugees arriving and becoming homeless due to relationship breakdowns with their sponsors and problems accessing accommodation.
Ukrainian families who arrived under the family visa scheme are struggling to access cash while they wait for benefits, and some are being put in hotels because their relatives are unable or unwilling to house them.
And dozens of matches under the separate Homes for Ukraine scheme are understood to have broken down, with local authorities having to put families in emergency accommodation while they wait to find a new sponsor.
Councils are calling for a way to get refugees whose matches have broken down back on the database so that they can be matched quickly with sponsors in the local area who have homes ready and waiting.
They are also exploring with the Government the possibility of matching people who cannot stay with their family sponsor with sponsors registered under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Local Government Association (LGA) chairman Cllr James Jamieson said the rise in such homelessness is “concerning” and that councils need to be told in advance who is arriving under the family scheme and given funding so they can support them.
Jemma Crew9 April 2022 03:00
Kramatorsk train station attack another war crime, says Zelensky
Volodymyr Zelensky has denounced the missile strike on the train station in Kramatorsk as another Russian war crime.
The death toll of the airstrike on a railway station in eastern Ukraine has hit 50, including five children, according to the region’s governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.
Ukrainian president Mr Zelensky said in his nightly video address: “Like the massacres in Bucha, like many other Russian war crimes, the missile attack on Kramatorsk should be one of the charges at the tribunal that must be held.”
Mr Zelensky said that great efforts would be taken “to establish every minute of who did what, who gave what orders, where the missile came from, who transported it, who gave the command and how this strike was agreed” so that those behind the attack would be held responsible.
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova described the attack as a “crime against humanity”, while the Kremlin claimed that the casualties were a “huge tragedy” for Russia.
Lamiat Sabin9 April 2022 02:00
New raft of EU sanctions against Russia ‘not enough’ – Zelensky
Volodymyr Zelensky thanked European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen for the fifth raft of sanctions against Russia.
But the Ukrainian president said the sanctions are not enough when compared to the scale of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Mr Zelensky said on a joint briefing with Ms von der Leyen, who is in Kyiv: “I am personally grateful to Ursula von der Leyen for the fifth sanctions package, but I think that this is not enough.
They [the Russians] took a lot of things from us. They took both territories and people from us.”
On Friday, the EU sanctioned 217 more Russian individuals and 18 more entities, including Vladimir Putin’s two daughters
Earlier, we reported that the European Union has agreed to freeze the assets of more than 200 high-ranking Russians.
They include Herman Gref, who is the boss of Russia’s top lender Sberbank, Vladimir Putin’s two daughters Katerina Tikhonova and Maria Vorontsova. Altogether, EU sanctions now apply to 1,091 individuals and 80 entities.
Lamiat Sabin9 April 2022 01:00
US releases list of weapons it has armed Ukraine with
The US has released a list of all of the weapons it has provided Ukrainians since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The memo, sent by the US Department of Defense and circulated by the White House, counts at least 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, more than 5,000 Javelin anti-tank weapons, more than 7,000 small arms and more than 50 million rounds of ammunition.
The US has also reportedly sent 45,000 sets of body armor and helmets as well as laser guided rocket systems, night vision and thermal imaging devices, and numerous other items to aid in Ukraine’s defence.
Ukrainian officials have been appealing to the US for providing more military aid, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Read the full story here by Graig Graziosi
Lamiat Sabin9 April 2022 00:01