Russia - Ukraine war live updates today: Boris Johnson meets Zelenskyy, humanitarian corridors set up in east Ukraine
Russian invasion of Ukraine - live updates
- Russian President Putin appoints new overall Ukraine war commander
- Kramatorsk death toll has risen to 57, says Donetsk governor
- UK PM Johnson's Kyiv visit "very timely and very important", says senior Zelenskyy adviser
- More humanitarian corridors set up in eastern Ukraine
- Ukraine GDP to drop by 45.1% this year, World Bank forecasts
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UK says Russian shelling continues in Donetsk and Luhansk
Russian shelling has continued in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, with Ukrainian forces repulsing several assaults resulting in the destruction of Russian tanks, vehicles and artillery equipment, the UK's Ministry of Defence tweeted in a regular bulletin on Monday.
Russian forces prior use of phosphorous munitions in the Donetsk region also raises the possibility of their future employment in Mariupol as fighting for the city intensifies, British military intelligence said. The report said that Russia's continued reliance on unguided bombs decreases their ability to discriminate when targeting and conducting strikes and greatly increased the risk of further civilian casualties.
Gazprom continues gas exports to Europe via Ukraine
Russian state-owned gas producer Gazprom continued to supply natural gas to Europe via Ukraine on Monday in line with requests from European consumers, the Interfax news agency reported. Requests stood at 95 million cubic metres for 11 April, Interfax reported, citing Ukraine's gas pipeline operator.
When the Russian army announced last week that they would be repositioned to the east of Ukraine, opportunities arrived for the Ukrainian army to liberate numerous towns, especially around Kyiv. What celebrations could be had were short-lived, however, as soldiers found dozens of civilians executed in the streets.
The town which appears to have taken the brunt of this is Bucha, some 23 miles northwest of Kyiv. After examination by local experts, it is now estimated that more than 300 civilians had been killed by the Russian army in the town. Read more.
President Biden speaks with Prime Minister Modi of India about Ukraine
President Biden will continue our close consultations on the consequences of Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine and mitigating its destabilizing impact on global food supply and commodity markets. Biden last spoke to Prime Minister Modi with other Quad Leaders in March.
Ukraine GDP to halve this year due to war - World Bank
Ukraine's economic output will likely contract by a staggering 45.1% this year as Russia's invasion has shuttered businesses, slashed exports and rendered economic activity impossible in large swaths of the country, the World Bank said on Sunday in a new report.
The World Bank also forecast Russia's 2022 GDP output to fall 11.2% due to punishing financial sanctions imposed by the United States and its Western allies on Russia's banks, state-owned enterprises and other institutions.
Austrian chancellor to meet Putin on Monday
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer says he is to sit down with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. "I will meet Vladimir Putin in Moscow tomorrow," Nehammer tweeted on Sunday. "We are militarily neutral, but have a clear position on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. He has to stop! We need humanitarian corridors, a ceasefire & full investigation of war crimes."
Kramatorsk death toll has risen to 57 - Ukraine official
Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of the Donetsk region, says the death toll from the missile strike on the Kramatorsk train station has risen to 57. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for a "firm global response" to the attack, which he has described as a war crime. Russia denies responsibility for the strike.
Reuters IAEA says Ukraine carried out first staff rotations at Chernobyl
Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Sunday that it had carried out the first staff rotation at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in three weeks, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said, adding the agency would send a mission there soon to assist in returning in to normality.
Russian forces occupied the defunct power station north of Kyiv soon after invading Ukraine in February, but Ukraine's state nuclear energy company, Energoatom, said in early April they had left the plant and were heading towards the border with Belarus.
The IAEA on Sunday said Ukraine had provided the agency with more information about damage to the site's analytical laboratories for radiation monitoring, saying the premises were "destroyed and the analytical instruments stolen, broken or otherwise disabled". An associated information and communication centre was also damaged and the automated transmission of radiation monitoring data disabled, the Ukrainians reported.
"While it is very positive that Ukrainian authorities are gradually restoring regulatory control of the Chornobyl site, it is clear that a lot of work remains to return the site to normality," Gossi said in the statement.
"As soon as it is possible, I will head an IAEA mission to Chornobyl to conduct a radiological assessment there, resume remote safeguards monitoring of the facility and its nuclear material and deliver equipment." Gossi said he was in close consultation with Ukraine regarding arranging a visit, which was expected to take place "soon".
As with all conflicts, those suffering the most are the civilians in the crossfire. Here are the definitions of some of the most vulnerable that need support.
Putin appoints new Ukraine war commander
Vladimir Putin has appointed General Alexander Dvornikov as Russia’s new Ukraine war commander, according to reports citing an anonymous US official.
Speaking to CNN show the State of the Union, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Dvornikov, 60, "has a resume that includes brutality against civilians in other theaters in Syria."
Johnson's Kyiv visit "very timely" - senior Zelenskyy adviser
Ihor Zhovka, a senior adviser to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, says UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's surprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday was "very timely", and came after he was invited by Zelenskyy.
"Any visit that is happening now to the Ukraine is done on the invitation of the president of the Ukraine. Prime Minister Johnson received this invitation and he agreed," Zhovka told the BBC on Sunday.
"It might be a surprise for you but it is not a surprise for us. We were preparing for a while. This visit was very timely and very important in terms of war."
Biden to speak to Modi as US warns India on imports of Russian energy
President Joe Biden will virtually meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, the White House said, at a time when the United States has made clear it does not want to see an uptick in Russian energy imports by India.
"President Biden will continue our close consultations on the consequences of Russia's brutal war against Ukraine and mitigating its destabilizing impact on global food supply and commodity markets," Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on Sunday.
Daleep Singh, US Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics, who visited India recently, said the United States will not set any "red line" for India on its energy imports from Russia but does not want to see a "rapid acceleration" in purchases.
Lured by steep discounts following Western sanctions on Russian entities, India has bought at least 13 million barrels of Russian crude oil since the country invaded Ukraine in late February. That compared with some 16 million barrels for the whole of last year, data compiled by Reuters shows.
"Strategic mistake" not to let Ukraine into NATO in 2008 - foreign minister
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said Germany and France made a “strategic mistake” when they refused to allow Ukraine to join NATO in 2008.
“If we were a member of NATO, this war wouldn’t take place,” Kuleba told an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.
“A strategic mistake that was made in 2008 by Germany and France, who rejected the efforts of the United States and other allies to bring Ukraine in, is something that we’re paying for.
“It’s not Germany or France that are paying the costs for this mistake, it’s Ukraine.”
Anti-war protests held in London, New York and Hanover
Around 600 pro-Russian protesters in a 350-car motorcade set off on a demonstration in Hanover in the north of Germany on Sunday, where there was also a counter-demonstration of around 700 people supporting Ukraine in the city centre, local police said.
The motorcade, flying Russian and also a few German flags, is protesting against discrimination in Germany towards Russians following the Ukraine invasion. Police said fences had been put up to separate the pro-Russian protesters from the counter-demonstration and they added that the protests had been peaceful so far. Around 235,000 Russian citizens live in Germany, according to government statistics from late 2020. About 135,000 Ukrainians lived in Germany before Russia's invasion, based on the statistics, but around an additional 300,000 have arrived since the invasion.
'Stop the War' protests also took place in New York and London on Sunday.
Zelenskyy discussed extra Russia sanctions with Germany's Olaf Scholz
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Sunday he had held spoken on the phone with German chancellor Olaf Scholz on the possibility of additional sanctions on Russia, as well as fresh defence and financial support for his country. He made the statement on Twitter.
Separately, Zelenskyy's office said in a statement the president had held a conference call with Ukrainian officials during which Kyiv's proposals for a sixth package of European Union sanctions had been developed.
Slovakia could sell howitzers to Ukraine
Slovakia could sell Ukraine some of its Zuzana self-propelled howitzers, Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said on Sunday. "I can confirm that we are in talks (about the sale)," Nad said in a televised debate. He did not give further details.
The Zuzana 2 howitzer, a modernised version of an older model, is using 155-mm rounds and has an effective range of 40 km to more than 50 km (30 miles) depending on ammunition type.
German arms maker offers weapons to Ukraine
Ukraine has received an offer of a sizeable shipment of self-propelled howitzer weapons from a German armaments company, a German government source said on Sunday.
German weekly Welt am Sonntag had reported on Saturday that armaments manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann offered 100 howitzers, a type of artillery weapon, to Ukraine, quoting anonymous government sources in Kyiv. 'This offer exists,' the German source told Reuters, without providing further details.
The Welt am Sonntag report said that the manufacturer did not currently have the weaponry ready for delivery and so had suggested that Germany's military offer 100 of its own howitzers to Kyiv and the manufacturer would then deliver the new weapons to Germany's army once ready - likely from the second half of 2024.
Russian forces destroy Ukrainian military convoy
Russian helicopters have destroyed a convoy of Ukraine's armoured vehicles and anti-aircraft warfare, the news agency Interfax reported on Sunday, citing Russia's defence ministry. 'Attack helicopters KA-52 ... destroyed weapons and military equipment of the armed forces of Ukraine,' the agency cited the ministry as saying in a statement.
Ukrainian military officials were not immediately available for comment. The news agency said the ministry published video footage of attack KA-52 helicopters flying at extremely low altitude, launching missiles and firing from guns at ground targets. The location and the timing of the attack was not specified.
Ukraine agrees nine humanitarian corridors from the east
Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that Kyiv had agreed the use of nine humanitarian corridors to help people to escape heavy fighting in the east of the country, including in private cars from Mariupol. "All the routes for the humanitarian corridors in the Luhansk region will work as long as there is a ceasefire by the occupying Russian troops," Vereshchuk said in a statement on her Telegram channel, referring to separatist-controlled Luhansk.
Russian forces continue to use IEDs to inflict casualties, says UK intelligence
Russian forces continue to use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to inflict casualties, lower morale, and restrict Ukrainian freedom of movement, according to British military intelligence on Saturday.
"Russian forces also continue to attack infrastructure targets with a high risk of collateral harm to civilians," the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
Russia's departure from northern Ukraine leaves evidence of the disproportionate targeting of non-combatants, the statement said.
Russia has denied targeting civilians in what it calls a "special operation" to demilitarise and "denazify" its southern neighbor.
Zelenskyy committed to diplomacy despite Russian atrocities
In an interview with AP, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that he remains committed to a "diplomatic solution" to the war with Russia, despite the atrocities committed by the invading forces.
“No one wants to negotiate with a person or people who tortured this nation. It’s all understandable. And as a man, as a father, I understand this very well,” Zelenskyy said.
However, “we don’t want to lose opportunities, if we have them, for a diplomatic solution.”
UK says Russia seeks to bolster armed forces after losses mount
British military intelligence said on Sunday that Russian armed forces was seeking to strengthen troop numbers with personnel discharged from military service since 2012, as losses mount from its invasion of Ukraine. The Russian forces' efforts to boost their fighting power also includes trying to recruit from the unrecognised Transnistria region of Moldova, the Ministry of Defence said in a regular bulletin on Twitter.
Ukrainian anthem sung on opening day at Yankee Stadium
Ukrainian girl Yulia Holiyat, aged 11, sang her country's national anthem at Yankee Stadium on Friday, before the New York Yankees' opening day win over the Boston Red Sox.
Johnson visits Zelenskyy in "show of solidarity with Ukrainian people"
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday "in a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people", a Downing Street spokesperson said.
Johnson's visit to Kyiv was to "discuss the UK's long-term support to Ukraine" and "set out a new package of financial and military aid", the spokesperson added.
Johnson's visit had begun with a one-on-one meeting with Zelenskyy, Andriy Sybiha, deputy head of the Ukraine president's office, said on Facebook.
Johnson's trip to the Ukrainian capital was not announced in advance, and comes as Russia is amassing troops in the east of the country.
"The UK will send more defensive weapons to Ukraine and will work with G7 partners to target every pillar of the Russian economy to ensure Putin fails," Johnson tweeted earlier on Saturday.
Russia confirms prisoner exchange with Ukraine on Saturday
Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova confirmed on Sunday that Russia and Ukraine carried out a prisoner exchange on Saturday. Moskalkova said that among those exchanged to Russia, there were four employees of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom and soldiers. "Early this morning they landed on the Russian soil," Moskalkova said in an online post.
Russia-Ukraine war, live updates: welcome
Good morning and welcome to AS USA's daily live blog on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which is now into day 46.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a suprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday to meet Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Johnson said that countries supporting Ukraine would continue to tighten the economic sanctions on Moscow.. On Sunday, more humanitarian corridors were established to help evacuate people from the eastern parts of the country which is being shelled by Russian forces.