Russia - Ukraine war | news summary for Sunday 3 April
Russia-Ukraine conflict: latest news
- Russian Defence Ministry denies war crimes committed in Bucha, describes images as "staged performance by Kyiv regime"
- International condemnation erupts over alleged war crimes in Bucha
- EU lining up more Ukraine support and more Russia sanctions
- Russia report that they have destroyed oil refinery in Odesa.
- The United States has sent Ukraine more than $1.4 billion in military support since Russian invasion began on 24 February.
- Ukrainian photojournalist Maks Levin was found dead in Kyiv after being reported missing.
- The Red Cross of Ukraine continue attempts to enter Mariupol after being denied access by Russian forces.
- Russia threatens tocall off negotiations after Ukraine is accused of an attack on a Russian fuel depot in their territory.
Background: Russia-Ukraine conflict
- State of the fighting: which armies control what areas?
- Hacking collective Anonymous continues to attack Russian companies.
- Western leaders are "weary" of Russian de-escalation messages
Russian troops have withdrawn from Sumy region, says governor
The governor of Ukraine's northern region of Sumy said on Monday Russian troops no longer occupied any towns or villages in the region and had mostly withdrawn, while Ukrainian troops were working to push out the remaining units. Speaking on national television, Governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyy said Russian troops had abandoned a lot of equipment in the region, which lies on Ukraine's border with Belarus.
Zelenskyy invites Angela Merkel to look at mass graves in Bucha
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has told former German Chancellor Angela Merkel that she is welcome to visit Bucha and see for herself the mass graves where hundreds of civilians have been buried - reportedly after being massacred by Russian troops in an act of genocide.
Zelenskyy singled out Merkel and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy for blocking Ukraine's entry to NATO 14 years ago. At a NATO summit in April 2008, Merkel and Sarkozy opposed efforts by Poland and the Baltic states to set a specific timetable for eventual Ukrainian membership in the alliance.
In his address to the outside world on Sunday, Zelenskyy said, "Under optimistic diplomatic statements that Ukraine could become a member of NATO, then, in 2008, refusal to accept Ukraine into the alliance was hidden. The absurd fear of some politicians towards Russia was hidden. They thought that by refusing Ukraine, they would be able to appease Russia, to convince it to respect Ukraine and live normally next to us. I invite Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy to visit Bucha and see what the policy of concessions to Russia has led to in 14 years. To see with their own eyes the tortured Ukrainian men and women".
Russian forces refocus their offensive into the Donbas region
Russian forces continue to consolidate and reorganise as they refocus their offensive into the Donbas region in the east of Ukraine, British military intelligence said on Monday. Russian troops, including mercenaries from the Russian state-linked Wagner private military company, are being moved into the area, the Ministry of Defence tweeted in a regular daily bulletin.
Russia claims Bucha footage was "ordered" to blame Russia
Russia's foreign ministry said that footage of dead civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha had been "ordered" by the United States as part of a plot to blame Russia.
"Who are the masters of provocation? Of course the United States and NATO," ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview on state television late on Sunday. Zakharova said the immediate Western outcry over the images of dead civilians indicated the story had been part of a plan to sully Russia's reputation.
"In this case, it seems to me that the fact that these statements (about Russia) were made in the first minutes after these materials appeared leaves no doubt as to who 'ordered' this story."
Zelenskyy makes appeal for support in Grammy video appearance
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared in a video broadcast on Sunsay's Grammy Awards in the United States and appealed to viewers to support Ukrainians however they can.
"What is more opposite to music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people," said Zelenskyy in the video that aired ahead of a performance by American singer John Legend and Ukranian poet Lyuba Yakimchuck. "Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today, to tell our story. Support us in any way you can. Any, but not silence," said a hoarse Zelenskyy, in English.
Explosions heard in Ukraine's city of Kherson - local media
A series of explosions were heard in the occupied southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, local media reported.
There was no official information about the attack. There were also unconfirmed media reports about blasts in Ukraine's western city of Ternopil.
US embassy in Kyiv calls images coming out of Bucha 'horrific,' vows action
The images coming out of the Ukrainian town of Bucha and other areas vacated by Russian President Valdimir Putin's forces are "horrific," the U.S. embassy in Kyiv said on Twitter, vowing action.
"The U.S. government is committed to pursuing accountability using every tool available. We can not stand quiet, the world needs to know what happened, and we all must act," it said.
Ukraine on Sunday accused Russian forces of carrying out a "massacre" in the town of Bucha. Russia's defence ministry denied the Ukrainian allegations.
Pope pays tribute to journalists killed in Ukraine conflict
Pope Francis paid tribute on Sunday to journalists killed during the Ukraine war saying he hoped God would reward them for serving the common good whatever side they were on.
Speaking to journalists aboard the plane returning from Malta, Francis also repeated that he was ready to make a trip to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, but added that he had yet to decide if it would be feasible.
"I would like to express my condolences for your fallen colleagues, whatever side they were from," he said. "Your job is a job for the common good. They have fallen in service of the common good of information. Let's not forget that they were courageous. I pray for them, I pray that the Lord rewards their work."
At least six journalists have now died since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in late February.
Ukrainian mayor shows dead bodies amid battle-scarred city of Bucha
The mayor of a recently liberated Ukrainian city accused Russian troops on Sunday of deliberately killing civilians during their month-long occupation of his town, allegations that Russia's defence ministry denied.
The mayor of Bucha, Anatoliy Fedoruk, showed a Reuters team two corpses with white cloth tied around their arms which he said was what residents were forced to wear by fighters from Chechnya, a region in southern Russia that has deployed troops to Ukraine to support Russian forces.
One corpse had his hands bound by the white cloth, and appeared to have been shot in the mouth.
Russia's defence ministry issued a statement on Sunday saying that all photographs and videos published by the Ukrainian authorities alleging "crimes" by Russian troops in Bucha were a "provocation."
Bucha lies 37 km (23 miles) northwest of Kyiv city and this weekend when journalists visited and the authorities began making allegations of atrocities, it was a scene of shattered buildings and streets strewn with corpses.
"Any war has some rules of engagement for civilians. The Russians have demonstrated that they were consciously killing civilians," Fedoruk said.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a Putin ally, said in a statement on Feb. 26 that Chechen forces would be fighting in Ukraine as part of Russia's special military operation, which was launched two days earlier.
Reuters was unable to determine if they operated in Bucha. A spokesman for Kadyrov did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Zelenskyy: "This is genocide"
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of carrying out a genocide in his country, in an interview on Sunday with CBS's "Face the Nation" news program.
"Indeed, this is genocide. The elimination of the whole nation and the people," Zelenskiy said, speaking through a translator.
"We are the citizens of Ukraine and we don't want to be subdued to the policy of Russian Federation. This is the reason we are being destroyed and exterminated."
Ukraine says shelling continued night and day in Donetsk region
The governor of Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region said on Sunday that shelling had continued throughout the night and day, and described the situation in the region as "turbulent".
Ukraine's military has said it believes that Russia has pulled forces from the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions to move them to Ukraine's eastern region of Donbas for a new attack aiming to occupy all of both the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
As Russia has moved its troops eastwards and away from Kyiv, evidence has emerged of multiple atrocities committed on the civilian population in Ukraine. Towns that have been occupied since the first week of the war are for the first time having light shone upon them, and it is not a pleasant sight. Mass graves and dead civilians have been found in abundance. Journalists from AFP and the BBC have been able to access the towns and verify the discoveries.
Russia denies killing civilians in Bucha
Russia on Sunday denied Ukrainian allegations that it had killed civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, describing footage and photographs of dead bodies as a "provocation" and a "staged performance" by Kyiv.
Ukraine has accused the Russian military of massacring residents of Bucha, a town northwest of the capital Kyiv, an area Ukrainian troops said they recaptured on Saturday.
"All the photos and videos published by the Kyiv regime, allegedly testifying to the 'crimes' of Russian servicemen in the city of Bucha, Kyiv region, are another provocation," Russia's defence ministry said in a statement.
It called the footage "another staged performance by the Kyiv regime for the Western media."
Images of dead civilians strewn across the town prompted Western countries to call for those responsible for war crimes in Ukraine to be punished.
The Russian defence ministry said that all Russian military units had left Bucha on March 30, and that civilians had been free to move around the town or evacuate while it was under Russian control.
"During the time that Russian armed forces were in control of this settlement, not a single local resident suffered from any violent actions," it said.
Russia must pay for 'war crimes' in Bucha, Germany says
Germany's Foreign Minister said on Sunday Russia must pay for its "war crimes" in the Ukrainian town of Bucha just outside the capital in the form of more severe sanctions, denouncing Russian President Vladimir Putin's "uninhibited violence".
The mayor of Bucha said on Saturday that 300 residents had been killed during a month-long occupation by the Russian army. Victims were seen by Reuters in a mass grave and still lying on the streets.
"The images from Bucha are unbearable, Putin's uninhibited violence is extinguishing innocent families and knows no boundaries," Baerbock wrote on Twitter.
"Those responsible for these war crimes must be made accountable. We will tighten the sanctions against Russia and will assist Ukraine even more in defending itself."
The Russian defence ministry in Moscow did not immediately reply to a request for comment when asked on Sunday about bodies found in Bucha.
Russia has previously denied targeting civilians and rejected allegations of war crimes in what it calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine.
In a statement on Sunday German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for international organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to be allowed access to the affected areas to independently document what he described as atrocities.
Scholz also called on Russia to finally agree to a ceasefire and put a stop to this "terrible, meaningless and unjustifiable war".
Ukraine demands "devastating" sanctions over alleged massacre
Ukraine's foreign minister called on the G7 on Sunday to impose "devastating" new sanctions on Moscow and accused Russia of carrying out a deliberate "massacre" in the town of Bucha outside Kyiv.
Ukraine said on Saturday its forces had retaken all areas around Kyiv and the mayor in Bucha, a liberated town 37 km (23 miles) northwest of the capital, said that 300 residents had been killed by the Russian army.
"We are still gathering and looking for bodies, but the number has already gone into the hundreds," Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, according to his ministry.
"Dead bodies lie on the streets. They killed civilians while staying there and when they were leaving these villages and towns," Kuleba said.
Russia has so far not commented publicly on the allegations. Moscow has previously denied Ukrainian allegations that it has targeted civilians or carried out possible war crimes.
Kuleba called on the International Criminal Court to visit Bucha and other towns around Kyiv as soon as possible to gather evidence.
"I urge the International Criminal Court and international organisations to send their missions to Bucha and other liberated towns and villages of the Kyiv region, in cooperation with Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, to thoroughly collect all evidence of Russian war crimes," the ministry quoted him as saying.
"If I used to say that I will make every effort to bring the perpetrators to justice, now I am convinced that this is a matter of my life, which I will do until my last breath, until they are all held accountable," he said.
Blinken: war criminals will be held accountable
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said images of dead Ukrainian civilians found in the town of Bucha after Russian troops left were a "punch in the gut" and those responsible for any war crimes must be held accountable.
Blinken's comments in a CNN interview on Sunday came a day after Ukrainian forces moved into the town near Kyiv and found what officials and witnesses said were the bodies of nearly 300 civilians killed by Russian troops.
"We can't help but see these images as a punch in the gut," Blinken said, before noting that President Joe Biden's administration has said it believes Russian forces have committed war crimes and that it is helping collect evidence.
"There needs to be accountability," he said. "But I think the most important thing is we can't become numb to this. We can't normalize this. This is the reality of what's going on every single day as long as Russia's brutality against Ukraine continues."
Blinken side-stepped a question of whether the United States believes Russian troops have committed genocide.
"We will look hard and document everything we see, put it together to make sure that the relevant institutions and organizations are looking at this, including the State Department," he said.
Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool via REUTERS
Questions over sanctioned superyacht docking
Global Ports Holdings PLC said earlier today that it had not been involved in granting permission for a superyacht believed to be owned by a person subject to UK sanctions to dock at Turkey's Bodrum cruise port.
The company did not name the yacht or the individual concerned but said Turkish authorities are responsible for granting permission for ships to enter port, adding that "GPH must comply with such a decision as long as the decision is legal under the applicable laws".
Turkey's ministry of foreign affairs could not immediately be contacted for comment.
The 140-metre (460-foot) yacht Solaris linked to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich docked in Bodrum on March 21 after skirting the waters of European Union countries which have sanctioned the oligarch over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
A representative for Global Ports could not immediately respond to a Reuters request for more details about the yacht or its ownership.
Caution | graphic video from Kyiv
The following video shows horrific footage of dead bodies lying in the streets.
If this doesn't make you angry about what has been happening...
Breaking: EU targets new Russian sanctions
Charles Michel has said that the European Union is assisting Ukraine and NGO’s in gathering of necessary evidence for pursuit in international courts.
And he stated that further EU sanctions and support are on their way.
Humanitarian aid mission led by Greece
Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will land in Odesa on Sunday, leading a humanitarian aid mission into the southern port city of Ukraine, the foreign ministry said. The humanitarian aid will be handed to the city's municipal authorities.
Dendias, 62, also plans to set up a continuous mechanism of distributing aid from Greece and to reopen Greece's consulate in the city, the foreign ministry said.
Missiles struck Odesa in the early hours of Sunday, the city council said in an online post.
Dendias said last month he planned to lead a humanitarian aid mission to the besieged city of Mariupol in Ukraine, where thousands of ethnic Greeks live, but intense fighting there meant the destination was subsequently changed to Odesa.
At least 10 ethnic Greeks have been killed and several have been wounded since Russia started attacking Mariupol. More than 150 Greek citizens, vessel crews and ethnic Greeks have been evacuated from the region, according to the Greek government.
Ukraine's troops have retaken more than 30 towns and villages around Kyiv, Ukrainian officials said on Saturday, claiming complete control of the capital region for the first time since Russia launched its invasion.
Russia has depicted its drawdown of forces near Kyiv as a goodwill gesture in peace talks. Ukraine and its allies say Russia was forced to shift its focus to east Ukraine after suffering heavy losses.
China continues to reject Russian sanctions
China rejected speculation it might try to circumvent international sanctions against Russia, while complaining that the measures have damaged normal trade relations with its key diplomatic partner.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin made the remarks in response to a question about a Bloomberg News report that Chinese diplomats are seeking details about complying with sanctions. Wang reiterated that China would take necessary measures to safeguard what it see as its legitimate rights and interests.
Russia say its troops has destroyed Odesa oil refinery
The Russian defence ministry said missile strikes by its military destroyed an oil refinery and three fuel storage facilities in near the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odesa on Sunday.
The ministry said the facilities were used by Ukraine to supply its troops near the city of Mykolaiv.
Lithuanian film director Kvedaravicius killed in Ukraine's Mariupol - reports
Lithuanian film director Mantas Kvedaravicius was killed on Saturday in Ukraine's Mariupol, where he had long documented the besieged port city, according to colleagues and a media report.
"Our friend Artdocfest participant, Lithuanian documentary writer Mantas Kvedaravicius, was murdered today in Mariupol, with a camera in his hands, in this shitty war of evil, against the whole world," the Russian film director Vitaly Mansky, the founder of a festival of documentary movies Artdocfest, said on Facebook.
Russian 'war crimes': a story told
Halyna Tovkach, 55, is searching for the body of her husband, Oleg, 62. His death, she says, is part of a war crime in which Russian soldiers also killed two young boys and their mother.
The incident is said to have happened at 7.15 on the morning of 5 March in Bucha, a town north-west of Kyiv, when two families who were neighbours on Ivana Rudenka street tried to escape their hell.
It is, Halyna said, a story she wants the world to hear.
Serbians in Russia-linked election
Serbians will vote today in presidential and parliamentary elections that pit incumbent President Aleksandar Vucic and his Progressive Party (SNS) against an opposition pledging to fight corruption and improve environmental protection.
Vucic is running for a second five-year term on a promise of peace and stability at the time of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has put Serbia under pressure from the West to choose between its traditional ties with Moscow and aspirations to join the European Union.
Polls show Vucic, a conservative, on course to win in the first round, ahead of Zdravko Ponos, a retired army general who is the candidate for the pro-European and centrist Alliance for Victory coalition.
A poll by Faktor Plus pollster published in the Blic daily on Wednesday saw the SNS winning with 53.6% of the vote. The Alliance for Victory was second with 13.7 % and Vucic's coalition partner, the Socialists, third with 10.2%. A grouping of environmentalists would get 4.7% of votes, above the 3% threshold required to win seats in parliament, the poll showed.
The opposition largely boycotted a parliamentary election last year, allowing SNS and its allies to secure 188 seats in the 250-seat parliament.
More anti-missle systems needed - Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that Russian forces aimed to seize the east and south of the country and complained Western nations had not provided Kyiv with enough anti-missile systems.
In a late night video address on Saturday, Zelenskyy also praised forces defending the besieged port of Mariupol, saying their resistance was allowing other cities to gain valuable time.
Meanwhile, the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said the intensity of Russian air and missile strikes had diminished, adding that Moscow continued to withdraw units through the north of Ukraine.
In a Facebook post, the general staff also said retreating Russian forces were deploying mines on roads and in some settlements.
Russia-Ukraine: fighting the misinformation war
Tim Harford draws five lessons from the disinformation and misinformation linked to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
'First, we should recognise that a lot of disinformation is absurdly simple. For many decades, people have fretted about “damned lies and statistics”, fearing that cleverly manipulated data was the ultimate weapon of disinformation.
'More recently there has been something of a panic about “deepfake” video technology. But it doesn’t take a master of video effects to fool us. For a receptive or distracted audience, a simple lie will do. A lot of the disinformation that is circulating is kindergarten-level stuff: clips from computer games or relabelled footage.
UkraineFacts.org, a collaboration between fact-checking organisations, has hundreds of examples, including video of paratroopers filmed years ago in North Carolina, a photo of a Soviet-era missile taken in a museum, and footage from the movie Deep Impact. The camera may not be lying, but the caption is.'
Check out the rest of his piece for the FT.
Russia invasion impacts global energy
Gas and fuel prices have been rocketing after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This has had a significant impact globally and has forced countries, including South Africa, to review their energy needs and strategy.
The Southern African Biogas Industry Association estimates that the country’s biogas industry is valued at between R52-billion and R250-billion.
Barriers to entry, lack of finance and government red tape have made it much harder for market entrants to make inroads in the sector.
The horror trail left by Russian retreat
Following on from the previous post, local officials gave Reuters reporters access to the area, and a policeman led the way through streets now patrolled by Ukrainian tanks to the road where the bodies lay. It was not clear why they had not yet been buried.
Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk said more than 300 residents of the town had been killed, and a mass grave at one church ground was still open, with hands and feet poking through the red clay heaped on top.
Several streets were strewn with the mangled wrecks of burned-out Russian tanks and armoured vehicles. Unexploded rockets lay on the road and, in one spot, an unexploded mortar shell poked out of the tarmac.
A column of Ukrainian tanks patrolled, flying blue and yellow national flags. One resident who had survived the ordeal hugged a soldier, and gave the military battle-cry: "Glory to Ukraine, glory to the heroes!"
Mariya Zhelezova, 74, worked as a cleaner at an airplane factory whose poor health stopped her leaving before the Russians came. Walking with her 50-year-old daughter Iryna, she tearfully recalled brushes with death.
"The first time, I went out of the room and a bullet broke the glass, the window, and got stuck in the dresser," she said.
"The second time, shattered glass almost got into my leg.
"The third time, I was walking and didn’t know he was standing with a rifle and the bullets went right past me. When I got home, I couldn’t speak."
She removed a white cloth armband that she said residents had been ordered to wear.
"We don’t want them to come back," she said. "I had a dream today - that they left, and didn’t come back."
The Kremlin and the Russian defence ministry in Moscow did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
Russia retreat, leaving dead bodies and destruction
Dead civilians still lay scattered over the streets of the Ukrainian country town of Bucha on Saturday, three days after the invading Russian army pulled back from its abortive advance on Kyiv to the southeast. The smell of explosives still hung in the cold, dank air, mingling with the stench of death.
Sixty-six-year-old Vasily, who gave no surname, looked at the sprawled remains of more than a dozen civilians dotted along the road outside his house, his face disfigured with grief.
Residents said they had been killed by the Russian troops during their month-long occupation.
To Vasily's left, one man lay against a grass verge next to his bicycle, his face sallow and eyes sunken. Another lay in the middle of the road, a few metres from his front door. Vasily said it was his son's godfather, a lifelong friend.
Bucha's still-unburied dead wore no uniforms. They were civilians with bikes, their stiff hands still gripping bags of shopping. Some had clearly been dead for many days, if not weeks.
For the most part, they were whole, and it was unclear whether they had been killed by shrapnel, a blast or a bullet - but one had the top of his head missing.
"The bastards!" Vasily said, weeping with rage in a thick coat and woollen hat. "I’m sorry. The tank behind me was shooting. Dogs!"
"We were sitting in the cellar for two weeks. There was food but no light, no heating to warm up. "We put the water on candles to warm it ... We slept in felt boots."
Ukraine-Russia consultation on draft treaty documents - Interfax
A Ukrainian negotiator has said that Russia had indicated that draft peace treaty documents were at an advanced enough stage to allow for direct consultations between the two nations' leaders, Interfax Ukraine reported.
The agency quoted David Arakhamia as telling Ukrainian television that Russia accepted Ukraine's overall position with the exception of its stance on Crimea.
Turkey likely venue for Russia-Ukraine negotiation
The venue for a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy would most likely be Turkey, Interfax Ukraine cited a Ukrainian negotiator as saying on Saturday.
It said David Arakhamia told Ukrainian television that a time and a place for a meeting were not known.
Both sides have described the negotiations in recent days as difficult. The talks are a combination of face-to-face sessions in Turkey and virtual meetings.
Arakhamia said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had called Putin and Zelenskyy on Friday "and seemed to confirm from his side that they are ready to arrange a meeting in the near future".
He added: "Neither the date or place are known but we think it would most likely be in Istanbul or Ankara."
Kremlin says talks with Ukraine not easy
Russia's talks with Ukraine have not been easy, but the main thing is that they are continuing, RIA news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying yesterday.
He also said Russia would like to continue talks with Ukraine in neighbouring Belarus but Kyiv opposed the idea.
Russia and Ukraine held several rounds of talks in Belarus last month before their delegation met in Istanbul last week.
RIA said Peskov had been speaking in an interview with Belarus television
Air strike damages airfield and fuel depot in Ukraine's Poltava region
A Russian air strike damaged an airfield runway and fuel depot near the city of Myrhorod in Ukraine's central-eastern Poltava region on Saturday, Governor Dmytro Lunin said in an online post.
Further 4,217 people evacuated from Ukraine front line
A total of 4,217 people were evacuated on Saturday from areas in Ukraine on the front line of its war with Russia, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on national television.
Pentagon confirms further financial support for Ukraine
Through USAI, DoD will provide up to $300 million in security assistance to bolster Ukraine's capacity to defend itself.
This decision underscores the United States' unwavering commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in support of its heroic efforts to repel Russia's war of choice.
The United States also continues to work with its Allies and partners to identify and provide to the Ukrainians additional capabilities.
The United States will continue to utilize all available tools to support Ukraine's Armed Forces in the face of Russian aggression.
Ukrainian forces regain complete control of Kyiv region - CNN
For weeks the capital city of Kyiv was the focus of prolonged Russian attacks with the Kremlin attempting to surround the city.
Areas around the capital were controlled for weeks by the Russian invasion forces but after being forced to withdraw ftroops from the region this week, Russia appears to have lost that presence in the outskirts of Kyiv.
Zelenskyy discusses security support with European allies
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy continues to call on Western powers to offer significant defensive and military support to aid his country's attempts to repell the Russian invasion. Earlier today he spoke to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson about the continued support and has outlined the need for further assistance from overseas.
German outlet Süddeutsche Zeitung has claimed that weaponry worth roughly €300 million could “be delivered to Ukraine in the short term” and would include weapons provided directly by German industry.
Death toll for Russian attack in Mykolaiv rises
Earlier this week the Russian military launched an attack on the headquarters of the regional administration of Mykolaiv, destroying the office block and causing dozens of deaths. As the emergency services continue to scour the rubble, the death toll has risen to 36.
The office of Governor Vitaliy Kim was completely destroyed in the attack and Kim himself only survived having accidentally overslept that morning, ensuring that he was not in the building at the time.
Zelenskyy responds to reported attack on oil depot
Answering questions from international reporters, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy failed to deny that his military had launched the attack which struck a oil depot in the Russian city of Belgorod on Friday.
Belgorod is only around ten miles from the Ukrainian border and Zelenskyy states that Ukrainian intelligence had found that Russian troops were ammassing weaponry near the site, making it a legitimate military target in the context of the ongoing invasion.
He did not, however, explicitly confirm that it was the result of a Ukrainian attack.
Russia-Ukraine conflict: live blog
Hello and welcome to out daily live blog on Sunday 3 April 2022. We'll bring you all the latest on the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
With his military chiefs reportedly afraid of revealing their failings, rumours that President Putin has been misinformed are circling just as the Russian leader signs an order to conscript over 100,000 soldiers. These soldiers will need to be trained meaning that there will be delays before they can be sent to the battlefield.
Russian forces returned Chernobyl to Ukrainian hands after various soldiers experienced radiation poisoning after digging trenches in the area.
Negotiators from Russia and Ukraine have been meeting in Istanbul for peace talks which have yet to yield an end to the conflict. The diplomatic discussions have been questioned by Russia after an attack on a fuel depot that the Kremlin is blaming on Ukrainian forces.