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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Russia-Ukraine War News Highlights: Russia plans to seize land, destroy Ukraine’s armed forces says Defence Ministry

Russia-Ukraine War Highlights News, Ukraine Russia Updates, World War 3 News, 19 Apr: Lviv mayor Andriy Sadoviy said there had been five missile strikes on the city.

By: Express Web Desk |
Updated: April 20, 2022 7:48:28 am
Burned vehicles are seen at the destroyed part of the Illich Iron & Steel Works Metallurgical Plant, as smoke rises from the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal during heavy fighting, in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, April 18, 2022. (AP)

Russia Ukraine War Crisis Highlights: In its new offensive, Russia aims to seize the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine, create a land link between the region and Crimea, and destroy all of Ukraine’s armed forces, said Ukraine’s defence ministry on Tuesday.

Russian forces took control of Kreminna city in eastern Ukraine and Ukrainian troops withdrew from the city, the regional governor said on Tuesday as reported by Reuters. “Kreminna is under the control of the ‘Orcs’ (Russians). They have entered the city,” Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of the Luhansk region said.

Russia-backed separatist forces are trying to storm the Azovstal metallurgical plant in the besieged Ukrainian port of Mariupol, the RIA news agency quoted separatist spokesperson Eduard Basurin as saying on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Ukraine was for the third successive day unable to secure Russia’s agreement to establish any humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians trapped in cities and towns, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

Live Blog

Russia Ukraine War Highlights: Russia's bombardment of cities around Ukraine included an explosion in Kharkiv that destroyed a community kitchen. Follow this space for the latest updates.

07:47 (IST)20 Apr 2022
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22:25 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Mariupol may fall within days, European official says

The Ukrainian port city of Mariupol could fall to Russian forces within days, a European official said on Tuesday, saying it may suffer more than the town of Bucha, where Russian forces have been accused of atrocities that the Kremlin has denied.

"At the end of the day, we do expect a complete destruction of the city and many civilian casualties in Mariupol," said the European official who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the topic.

"My fear is that it is going to be worse than Bucha. And by May 9, (Russian President Vladimir) Putin could declare he liberated the city of Mariupol ... So, I guess Mariupol will be controlled in the coming days," the European official told U.S. reporters.

Local authorities say thousands of people have been killed in the siege of Mariupol and Russia has given the last Ukrainian defenders at a steel works an ultimatum to surrender or die. Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Moscow denies targeting civilians in what it calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine, which it claims is aimed at demilitarizing Ukraine and rooting out dangerous nationalists. Kyiv and the West dismiss Russia's stance as a pretext for an unprovoked invasion. (Reuters)

21:54 (IST)19 Apr 2022
World Bank, IMF leaders to meet with Ukraine ministers to discuss further aid

World Bank President David Malpass will host a meeting on Thursday with Ukraine's prime minister and finance minister to discuss needed assistance beyond the initial funding provided through the bank and the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank said on Tuesday.

The meeting will include Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, Malpass told an event at the IMF meetings.

Malpass said that Ukraine's debt burden "has to be worked through and reduced substantially" given the pressures from Russia's invasion. (Reuters)

21:21 (IST)19 Apr 2022
UN chief calls for four-day humanitarian pause in fighting in Ukraine

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for a four-day Orthodox Easter humanitarian pause in fighting in Ukraine to allow for the safe passage of civilians to leave areas of conflict and the delivery of humanitarian aid to hard-hit areas.

Guterres said the United Nations was submitting detailed plans to the parties and was ready to send humanitarian aid convoys to Mariupol, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk beginning on Holy Thursday and running through Sunday, the date of Orthodox Easter, which is celebrated by most Ukrainians and Russians.

'Humanitarian needs are dire. People do not have food, water, supplies to treat the sick or wounded or simply to live day-to-day,' Guterres told reporters at the United Nations in New York.

Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, the biggest attack on a European state since 1945, has killed or wounded thousands. More than 12 million people need humanitarian assistance in the country today, Guterres said.

Humanitarian ceasefires between Ukrainian and Russian forces in Ukraine are not on the horizon right now, but may be possible in a couple of weeks, the U.N. aid chief, Martin Griffiths, said on Monday. (Reuters)

20:28 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Meta appeals against ban in Russia for "extremist" activity - Interfax

Meta has filed an appeal against a Russian court ruling that banned it from operating in Russia on the grounds of "extremist activity", Interfax news agency said on Tuesday.

Meta's Facebook and Instagram social networks have been blocked in Russia, but its WhatsApp messaging service was not affected by the March 21 Moscow court ruling. (Reuters)

20:27 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Canada imposes new sanctions on 14 close associates of Russian govt

Canada imposed new sanctions on 14 close associates of the Russian government including Russian President Vladimir Putin's two daughters and oligarchs and family members, a statement said. (Reuters)

20:20 (IST)19 Apr 2022
For Russian diplomats, disinformation is part of the job

As governments and social media companies have moved to suppress Russia's state media and the disinformation it spreads about the war in Ukraine, the Kremlin's diplomats are stepping up to do the dirty work.

Russian embassies and consulates around the world are prolifically using Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to deflect blame for atrocities while seeking to undermine the international coalition supporting Ukraine.

Tech companies have responded by adding more labels to Russia's diplomatic accounts and by removing the accounts from its recommendations and search results. But the accounts are still active and are disseminating disinformation and propaganda in nearly every nation, in part because their diplomatic status gives them an added layer of protection from moderation. (AP)

20:08 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Biden, allies hold video call on Ukraine

US President Joe Biden consulted with US allies on Tuesday on the latest developments on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the White House said.

The video call began at 9:57 AM EDT (1357 GMT), with Biden speaking from the White House Situation Room.

The purpose of the call was "to discuss our continued support for Ukraine and efforts to hold Russia accountable as part of our close coordination," the White House said.

Joining Biden on the call were Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Polish President Andrzej Duda, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (Reuters)

20:00 (IST)19 Apr 2022
IMF cuts global growth forecast due to “seismic waves” from Russia’s war in Ukraine

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday slashed its forecast for global economic growth by nearly a full percentage point, citing Russia’s war in Ukraine, and warning that inflation was now a “clear and present danger” for many countries.

The war is expected to slow growth and further increase inflation, the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook, while warning that its forecast was marked by “unusually high uncertainty.”

Further sanctions on Russian energy and a widening of the war, a sharper-than-forecast deceleration in China and a renewed flare-up of the pandemic could further slow growth and boost inflation, while rising prices could trigger social unrest. (Read More)

19:29 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Russia launches 'Battle of Donbas' all-out assault on east Ukraine

Russia launched its long-awaited all-out assault on east Ukraine on Tuesday, seizing its first town after unleashing thousands of troops in what Ukraine has described as the Battle of the Donbas, a campaign to take two provinces.

Ukrainian officials insisted their troops would withstand the new assault, which they said began overnight with massive Russian artillery and rocket barrages and attempts to advance across almost the entire stretch of the eastern front.

In the first big reported success of Russia's new assault, Ukraine said the Russians had seized Kreminna, a frontline town of 18,000 people in Luhansk, one of the two Donbas provinces.

Russian forces were attacking "on all sides", authorities were trying to evacuate civilians and it was impossible to tally the civilian dead, Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said. (Reuters)

18:57 (IST)19 Apr 2022
UK targets Moscow bourse to try to curb investments in Russia

Britain said on Tuesday it planned to revoke the Moscow Stock Exchange's (MOEX) status as a recognised stock exchange in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a move that would remove some tax relief for new investors.

Britain and other Western allies are searching for new ways to increase pressure on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, targeting wealthy elites and key industries as well as trying to cut off access to the international financial system.

"Revoking Moscow Stock Exchange's recognised status sends a clear message – there is no case for new investments in Russia," Britain's Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Lucy Frazer, said in a statement. (Reuters)

18:29 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Kyiv says Russia aims to grab land, destroy Ukraine's armed forces in new offensive

The aim of Russia's new offensive in eastern Ukraine is to seize all of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, establish a land link between those territories and Crimea, and destroy Ukraine's armed forces, Ukraine's defence ministry said on Tuesday. (Reuters)

18:03 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Ukraine swaps prisoners of war with Russia, receives 60 soldiers and 16 civilians

Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna said on Tuesday that Ukraine swapped prisoners of war with Russia and received 60 soldiers and 16 civilians, Reuters reported.

18:01 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Russia expels Dutch and Belgian diplomats in tit-for-tat moves

Moscow is expelling 15 Dutch diplomats after the Netherlands last month told 18 Russian diplomats to leave, Russia's foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry said in a separate statement that Russia was also expelling some Belgian diplomats in a retaliatory move.
European countries have kicked out more than 300 Russian embassy staff since Moscow sent its troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24. Russia has stepped up its response in the past week by expelling diplomats from the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and the European Union, as well as the Dutch and Belgians. (Reuters)

16:59 (IST)19 Apr 2022
UK PM Johnson to speak with US and other world leaders about Ukraine

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will speak to US President Joe Biden and other world leaders later on Tuesday to discuss toughening sanctions against Russia and further support for Ukraine, Johnson's spokesman said. (Reuters)

16:31 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Ukraine grain storage shortage adds to farmers' woes

Ukraine has insufficient storage capacity even for its reduced 2022 grain harvest, the United Nations' World Food Programme said on Tuesday, with the country struggling to export existing stocks during the invasion by Russia.

Jakob Kern, the World Food Programme's emergency coordinator in Ukraine, cited estimates that 20% of planted areas in Ukraine will not be harvested in July and that the spring planting area will be about a third smaller than usual.

Ukraine is the world's fifth-biggest exporter of wheat and in the top three for maize, barley and sunflower seeds. Wheat production in 2021 was about 40 million tonnes, with another 50 million tonnes for the other three commodities. (Reuters)

15:49 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Russian forces seize city of Kreminna in east Ukraine, regional governor says

Russian forces have taken control of the city of Kreminna in eastern Ukraine and Ukrainian troops have withdrawn from the city, the regional governor said on Tuesday.

"Kreminna is under the control of the 'Orcs' (Russians). They have entered the city," Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of the Luhansk region, told a briefing. (Reuters)

15:43 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Greece seizes Russian tanker as part of EU sanctions

Greece has seized a Russian oil tanker off the island of Evia as part of European Union sanctions imposed on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, the Greek coast guard said on Tuesday.

Earlier this month the EU banned Russian-flagged vessels from the 27-nation bloc's ports, with some exemptions, as it adopted new sweeping sanctions against Russia.

The Russian-flagged Pegas, with 19 Russian crew members on board, was seized near Karystos on the southern coast of Evia, which lies just off the Greek mainland near the capital Athens. (Reuters)

15:42 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Russia accuses West of trying to prolong Ukraine conflict with arms supplies - TASS

The United States and other Western countries are doing everything to drag out Russia's military operation in Ukraine, the TASS news agency quoted Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying on Tuesday.

"The increasing volume of foreign arms supplies clearly demonstrates their intentions to provoke the Kyiv regime to fight to the last Ukrainian standing," Shoigu was cited as saying. (Reuters)

15:16 (IST)19 Apr 2022
Spain's PM Sanchez to visit Ukraine in coming days

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will travel to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv to meet President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in the coming days, a government source said on Tuesday.

Sanchez follows the footsteps of several other European leaders, including European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, and British and Czech premiers, who have travelled to Ukraine since Russia's invasion of the country in a show of support for its president and people.

Sanchez said on Monday Spain would reopen its embassy in Kyiv, which has been closed since Feb. 24. (Reuters)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrives to take part in a global event titled 'Stand Up For Ukraine' at the Palace on the Isle in Royal Lazienki Park in Warsaw, Poland. (Reuters)

Pope Francis invoked "gestures of peace in these days marked by the horror of war" in an Easter vigil homily in St. Peter's Basilica attended by the mayor of the occupied Ukrainian city of Melitopol and three Ukrainian lawmakers. Francis did not refer directly to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but he has called for an Easter truce in order to reach a negotiated peace.

That call appeared in vain, as Russia resumed missile and rocket attacks on Kyiv, western Ukraine and beyond in a stark reminder that the whole country remains under threat.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian president's office reported missile strikes and shelling over the past 24 hours in eight regions across the country. The governor of the Lviv region in western Ukraine - long considered a safe zone - reported airstrikes on the region by Russian Su-35 aircraft that took off from neighboring Belarus.

On Saturday, an explosion believed to be caused by a missile sent emergency workers scrambling near an outdoor market in Kharkiv, according to AP journalists at the scene. One person was killed, and at least 18 people were wounded, according to rescue workers.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who met with Vladimir Putin this past week in Moscow - the first European leader to do so since the invasion began February 24 - said the Russian president is "in his own war logic" on Ukraine.

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