‘Bring my mother back home’, says daughter of captured Ukrainian paramedic
The long-besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol will fall to the Kremlin’s forces on Thursday, the leader of the Russian republic of Chechnya has said.
Ramzan Kadyrov, whose forces are fighting for Vladimir Putin, claimed Russia will finally succeed in capturing the Azovstal steelworks, Ukraine’s last foothold in the city, where hundreds of fighters and civilians remain.
“Before lunchtime, or after lunch, Azovstal will be completely under the control of the forces of the Russian Federation,” he said, two months into Russia’s relentless siege of the port city.
Meanwhile, the British prime minister Boris Johnson said peace talks between Ukraine and Russia are likely to fail because negotiating with Mr Putin is like dealing with “a crocodile when it’s got your leg in its jaws”.
“It is very hard to see how the Ukrainians can negotiate with Putin now given his manifest lack of good faith,” he said.
Elsewhere, US President Joe Biden will give more details on Thursday about his plans to provide roughly $2.6 billion of military assistance to Ukraine.
Putin cancels order to storm Mariupol’s Azovstal plant
Russian president Vladimir Putin has canceled plans for his troops to storm the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, instead opting for a blockade, it has emerged.
The Kremlin leader ordered the Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu to change the plan.
“There is no need to climb into these catacombs and crawl underground through these industrial facilities,” Mr Putin said. “Block off this industrial area so that a fly cannot not pass through.”
There are more than 2,000 Ukrainian fighters holed up in Azovstal, according to Mr Shoigu.
The Soviet plant has a warren of tunnels, where hundreds of underground Ukrainian civilians are thought to have taken shelter.
Rory Sullivan21 April 2022 08:43
World faces ‘human catastrophe’ over rising food prices due to Ukraine war, says World Bank
The world faces a “human catastrophe” as food prices rise sharply because of the Ukraine war, the president of the World Bank has said.
speaking to BBC, David Malpass said: “It’s a human catastrophe, meaning nutrition goes down. But then it also becomes a political challenge for governments who can’t do anything about it, they didn’t cause it and they see the prices going up.”
The World Bank predicts a 37 per cent spike in food prices, warning the poor will “eat less and have less money for anything else such as schooling”.
Rory Sullivan21 April 2022 08:31
Four evacuation buses left Mariupol yesterday
Four evacuation buses left Mariupol on Wednesday carrying citizens to safety, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister has said.
The citizens slept in the occupied city of Berdyansk and are now en route to Zaporizhzhia, Iryna Vereshchuk said, adding that more evacuations are expected today.
Rory Sullivan21 April 2022 08:13
Spanish PM arrives in Kyiv to express support for Ukraine
Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez has arrived in Kyiv to meet Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, his office has said.
Denmark’s leader Mette Frederiksen is also traveling to the Ukrainian capital, but it is unclear whether he has arrived yet.
The parties will discuss extra support for Ukraine and the prosecution of “war crimes and human rights violations”, according to the Danish government.
Rory Sullivan21 April 2022 08:05
Ukraine ready for ‘special round of negotiations’ on Mariupol
Ukraine has said it is willing to hold a “special round of negotiations” to ensure the safe passage of civilians and soldiers out of Mariupol.
Kyiv was ready for unconditional talks “to save our guys…military, civilians, children, the living and the wounded”, negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted on Wednesday evening.
His comments come as Ukrainian troops and civilians remain in the Azovstal steelworks, the only area of the port city not yet captured by Russia.
Ukraine has proposed swapping Russian prisoners of war to guarantee the evacuation of Ukrainians in Mariupol. It is not known how the Kremlin has responded to the offer.
Rory Sullivan21 April 2022 07:55
Mariupol to fall to Russia ‘before lunch’, Putin ally claims
Russia will capture Mariupol on Thursday, the leader of Chechnya has said.
Ramzan Kadyrov, an ally of Vladimir Putin, will finally succeed in capturing the Azovstal steelworks, the last Ukrainian foothold in the city.
“Before lunchtime, or after lunch, Azovstal will be completely under the control of the forces of the Russian Federation,” he claimed.
Rory Sullivan21 April 2022 07:35
Russian soldiers advancing towards Kramatorsk, says MoD
Russian forces are advancing towards the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, according to British military intelligence.
The city, which is located in the Donetsk region, is being hit by constant rocket attacks, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.
The MoD added that Moscow likely wants to see “significant” military successes ahead of the annual 9 May Victory Day celebrations, which mark the defeat of the Nazis in the Second World War.
Rory Sullivan21 April 2022 07:17
Djokovic slams Wimbledon ban on Russian and Belarusian players
World number one Novak Djokovic said Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from the tournament is “crazy”.
His comments came after Wimbledon announced on Wednesday it was barring all Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s championships following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Djokovic, who grew up in war-torn Serbia, said the athletes had nothing to do with the ongoing conflict.
“I will always condemn war, I will never support war being myself a child of war,” Djokovic told reporters at the Serbia Open, an ATP 250 event in Belgrade.
“I know how much emotional trauma it leaves. In Serbia we all know what happened in 1999. In the Balkans we have had many wars in recent history.
“However, I cannot support the decision of Wimbledon, I think it is crazy.
“When politics interferes with sport, the result is not good.”
namita singh21 April 2022 06:58
China’s Xi pushes back on sanctions, de-coupling
Without directly calling out the west’s punitive actions against Russia, China’s president Xi Jinping criticized the idea of unilateral sanctions and “long-arm jurisdiction” in a speech on Thursday.
China has repeatedly criticized the use of western sanctions, including those against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. But the Asian country has been careful about not providing any direct assistance to Moscow to avoid drawing sanctions on Beijing.
“China would like to put forward a global security initiative” that upholds “the principle of indivisibility of security,” said President Xi during a video address to the annual Boao Forum for Asia.
Warning that economic “de-coupling” and pressure tactics such as severe supply chains would not work, he added “we should uphold the principle of indivisibility of security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose the building of national security on the basis of insecurity in other countries.”
namita singh21 April 2022 06:57
Russia test launches intercontinental ballistic missile
Amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Moscow reported the first successful test launch of a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile, the Sarmat.
Boasting about the new addition to his arsenal, President Vladimir Putin said that it can overcome any missile defense system and make those who threaten Russia “think twice”.
The head of the Russian state aerospace agency called the launch out of northern Russia “a present to Nato”.
However, the Pentagon dismissed the test as “routine” and said it wasn’t considered a threat.
namita singh21 April 2022 06:29