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Russia-Ukraine War News Highlights: Zelenskyy has met Boris Johnson in Kyiv, says Ukrainian official

Russia-Ukraine War News, Ukraine Russia News Today, 9 Apr: Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence on Saturday accused Russian forces of leaving behind ‘tormented bodies’ in the town of Makariv in the Kyiv region.

By: Express Web Desk |
Updated: April 10, 2022 7:56:02 am
Boris Johnson, ZelenskyyUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Twitter/@UkrEmbLondon)

Russia Ukraine War Crisis Highlights: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has met British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Kyiv on Saturday, a senior official on Zelenskyy’s staff said, Reuters reported. “Right now, a visit of Boris Johnson in Kyiv started from one-on-one meeting with President Zelenskyy,” Andriy Sybiha, deputy head of Ukraine’s president office, said on Facebook.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence on Saturday accused Russian forces of leaving behind ‘tormented bodies’ in the town of Makariv in the Kyiv region. It said that as Ukrainian rescuers are advancing in areas liberated by Russian forces, new “war crimes are [being] uncovered”. “The town of Makariv in the Kyiv region is half-ruined. 132 tormented bodies of tortured, murdered citizens have already been found,” it said.

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Meanwhile, a missile hit a train station in eastern Ukraine where thousands had gathered Friday, killing at least 52 and wounding dozens more in an attack on a crowd of mostly women and children trying to flee a new, looming Russian offensive, Ukrainian authorities said. Pavlo Kyrylenko, the regional governor of Donetsk, in the Donbas, said five children were among those killed. Photos from the station in Kramatorsk showed the dead covered with tarps, and the remnants of a rocket with the words “For the children” painted on it in Russian.

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Russia-Ukraine War News News Updates: Ukraine demands tough global response to train station missile strike; Russia relaxes rules on foreign exchange buying as rouble rallies.

22:25 (IST)09 Apr 2022
Global donors pledge 9.1 billion euros to support Ukrainian refugees

Donors including the Canadian government and the European Commission on Saturday pledged a combined 9.1 billion euros in donations, loans and grants to support refugees fleeing the war following Russia's invasion.

The fundraising event in Warsaw, Poland, yielded 1.8 billion euros to support internally displaced people inside Ukraine, and 7.3 billion euros for refugees who have fled the country to neighbouring states. Governments, companies and individuals together pledged 4.1 billion euros in donations, which will be distributed largely via the Ukrainian authorities or the United Nations. The remaining 5 billion euros were loans and grants from EU financial institutions - including a 4 billion euro programme to help provide housing, education and healthcare for refugees arriving in EU countries.

"We stand by your side, be it now in the times of war, be it with the refugees, but most importantly after this war has been won by Ukraine, for the time for reconstruction and rebuilding the country," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who visited Kyiv on Friday and co-hosted the event with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Reuters)

22:23 (IST)09 Apr 2022
Russia-Ukraine war: What you need to know right now

Ukraine is ready for a tough battle with Russian forces amassing in the east of the country, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, a day after a missile attack in the east that officials said killed more than 50 civilians trying to evacuate.

*Zelenskiy met Prime Minister Boris Johnson, one of his staunchest backers, in Kyiv on Saturday, with the British leader using the visit to set out a new financial and military aid package for Ukraine.

* Johnson was the latest foreign leader to visit Kyiv after Russian forces pulled back from the outskirts of the capital last week.

* Donors including the Canadian government and the European Commission pledged a combined 9.1 billion euros in donations, loans and grants to support refugees fleeing the war.

* British military intelligence said Russian operations continue to focus on the Donbas region, Mariupol and Mykolaiv, supported by continued cruise missile launches by Russian naval forces.

* Russian forces have destroyed an ammunition depot at the Myrhorod Air Base in central-eastern Ukraine, Interfax news agency reported, quoting Russia's Defence Ministry.

* More people need to evacuate from the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine as shelling has increased in recent days and more Russian forces have been arriving, Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said.

* European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Russian forces appeared to have committed war crimes by targeting civilians in Ukraine, but she said lawyers must investigate the alleged incidents.

* S&P lowered Russia's foreign currency ratings to "selective default" on increased risks that Moscow will not be able and willing to honor its commitments to foreign debtholders.

* The United States on Friday broadened its export curbs against Russia and Belarus, restricting access to imports of items such as fertilizer and pipe valves as it seeks to ratchet up pressure on Moscow and Minsk.

20:39 (IST)09 Apr 2022
European Commission to pledge 1 billion euros to support Ukraine

The European Commission will pledge 1 billion euros to support Ukraine and countries receiving refugees fleeing the war following Russia's invasion, the president of the EU's executive, Ursula von der Leyen, said on Saturday.

"Six hundred million of those will go to Ukraine, to the Ukrainian authorities and partially to the United Nations," von der Leyen said at a fundraising event for Ukraine in Waraw, Poland.

"And 400 million euros will go to the frontline states that are doing such an outstanding job and helping the refugees that are coming," she said. (Reuters)

19:59 (IST)09 Apr 2022
Ukraine President Zelenskiy meets British PM Johnson in Kyiv, says Ukrainian official

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was meeting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Kyiv on Saturday, a senior official on Zelenskiy's staff said."Right now a visit of Boris Johnson in Kyiv started from one-on-one meeting with President Zelenskiy," Andriy Sybiha, deputy head of Ukraine's president office, said on Facebook. (Reuters)

19:19 (IST)09 Apr 2022
Russia stages war games in in Kaliningrad enclave, Interfax reports

Russia staged war games on Saturday in Kaliningrad - an enclave on the Baltic Sea sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania - Interfax news agency cited the Baltic Fleet Command as saying, days after a senior official warned European countries against any potential action against Kaliningrad.

"Up to 1,000 military personnel...and more than 60 military equipment units were involved in the control checks," Interfax news quoted the Russian Baltic Fleet Command's press service as saying.

Separately, 20 Su-27 fighters and Su-24 front-line naval aviation bombers conducted planned combat training overnight, simulating attacks on low-speed air and ground targets, command posts and military equipment in Kaliningrad, Interfax said. It did not give a reason for the exercises or say when they had been planned.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko warned European countries on Wednesday against any potential action against the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, saying "this would be playing with fire”. (Reuters)

18:55 (IST)09 Apr 2022
Italy to reopen embassy in Kyiv

Italy's foreign minister has reportedly told staff that Italy will reopen its embassy in the Ukrainian capital after Easter.

News agency ANSA quoted Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on Saturday as telling his ministry's crisis unit that Italy “will be among the first to return” to Kyiv. He called it “another gesture to demonstrate support for the Ukrainian population, a concrete way to affirm that diplomacy must prevail”. Di Maio said the return would be coordinated with other European Union nations.

The EU itself announced the return of its ambassador on Friday. On Saturday, EU ambassador Matti Maasikas tweeted a picture of an EU flag atop a flagpole with the words “First things first”. (AP)

18:54 (IST)09 Apr 2022

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18:36 (IST)09 Apr 2022
Russia-Ukraine war: What you need to know right now

Ukraine called on civilians in the eastern Luhansk region to flee from Russian shelling after officials said more than 50 civilians trying to evacuate by rail from a neighbouring region were killed in a missile attack on Friday.

* British military intelligence said Russian operations continue to focus on the Donbas region, Mariupol and Mykolaiv, supported by continued cruise missile launches by Russian naval forces.

* Russian forces have destroyed an ammunition depot at the Myrhorod Air Base in central-eastern Ukraine, Interfax news agency reported, quoting Russia's Defence Ministry.

* The Kremlin said on Friday the "special operation" in Ukraine could end in the "foreseeable future" with its aims being achieved by the Russian military and peace negotiators.

* More people need to evacuate from the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine as shelling has increased in recent days and more Russian forces have been arriving, Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said.

* Ten humanitarian corridors to evacuate people from besieged regions have been agreed for Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

* European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Russian forces appeared to have committed war crimes by targeting civilians in Ukraine, but she said lawyers must investigate the alleged incidents.

* S&P lowered Russia's foreign currency ratings to "selective default" on increased risks that Moscow will not be able and willing to honor its commitments to foreign debtholders.

18:04 (IST)09 Apr 2022
Russian forces left behind 132 tortured bodies in Makariv town, says Ukraine

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence has accused Russian forces of leaving behind ‘tormented bodies’ in the town of Makariv in the Kyiv region. It said that as Ukrainian rescuers are advancing in areas liberated by Russian forces, new “war crimes are [being] uncovered”. “The town of Makariv in the Kyiv region is half-ruined. 132 tormented bodies of tortured, murdered citizens have already been found,” it said.

16:49 (IST)09 Apr 2022
Civilian deaths in Ukraine’s Bucha were war crimes, Germany’s Scholz says

The perpetrators of civilian killings in the Ukrainian town of Bucha were guilty of war crimes and must be held accountable, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Saturday.

'This is something we cannot forget,' Scholz said, referring to the deaths of civilians in the town to the northwest of Kyiv. 'We cannot overlook that this is a crime. These are war crimes we will not accept... those who did this must be held accountable.'  Read more

16:28 (IST)09 Apr 2022
YouTube blocks Russian parliament channel, drawing ire from officials

YouTube has blocked Duma TV which broadcasts from Russia's lower house of parliament, drawing an angry response from officials who said the world's most popular streaming service could face restrictions in response. On Saturday, a message on YouTube said the Duma channel had been "terminated for a violation of YouTube's Terms of Service".

YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc's, has been under pressure from Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor and officials were quick to respond."From the look of it, YouTube has signed its own warrant. Save content, transfer (it) to Russian platforms. And hurry up," foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on the Telegram messaging service. The communications watchdog said it had requested Google restore access to the Duma channel immediately.

"The American IT company adheres to a pronounced anti-Russian position in the information war unleashed by the West against our country," Roskomnadzor said.Google did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment. (Reuters)

15:08 (IST)09 Apr 2022
Ukraine urges civilians to flee as rail attack toll rises

Ukraine on Saturday called on civilians in the eastern Luhansk region to flee from Russian shelling after officials said more than 50 civilians trying to evacuate by rail from a neighbouring region were killed in a missile attack.

Air raid sirens rang out across much of the east of Ukraine on Saturday morning, officials said, as Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai urged people in a televised address to leave as Russia was amassing forces for an offensive.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called for a "firm global response" to Friday's missile attack on a train station crowded with women, children and the elderly in Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region. The city mayor, who estimated 4,000 people were gathered there at the time, said at least 52 died.

Russia's defence ministry denied responsibility for the attack, saying in a statement the missiles that struck the station were used only by Ukraine's military and that Russia's armed forces had no targets assigned in Kramatorsk on Friday. All statements by the Ukrainian authorities on the attack were "provocations," it said. (Reuters)

14:43 (IST)09 Apr 2022
Evacuation routes to open in eastern Ukraine

As reported earlier in this blog, 10 humanitarian corridors for civilian evacuations are to open in Ukraine's east on Saturday, according to Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.

The corridors will allow residents to leave a number cities in the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia.

Those in Mariupol, Enerhodar, Tokmak, Berdyansk and Melitopol will be able to evacuate to the city of Zaporizhzhia, while those in Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Popasna, Girske and Rubizhne can evacuate to the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. (AP)

14:26 (IST)09 Apr 2022
Ukraine top developments: Train station missile strike kills 52

Hours after around 52 people were killed in a missile strike on a railway station in eastern Ukraine, the country’s President Volodomyr Zelenskyy called for a “firm, global response” to the incident.

The railway station in Kramatorsk was hit by two rockets, resulting in several civilian deaths. (Twitter/Oleksandra Matviichuk)

“Like the massacre in Bucha, like 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 said in his latest late-night address. “All the efforts of the world will be aimed to establish 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.”

13:55 (IST)09 Apr 2022
Air ammunition depot in Ukraine's Poltava region destroyed, says Russia

Russian defence ministry says Russian forces have destroyed air ammunition depot in Ukraine's Poltava region, reports Russian news agency IFAX. (Reuters)

13:41 (IST)09 Apr 2022
A round-up of the key developments so far today

➡️ Britain's defence ministry said that Russian forces are targeting civilians, a day after a missile attack on a train station crowded with women, children and the elderly killed at least 52 people, according to Ukrainian officials.

➡️ Ukraine said the station in the city of Kramatorsk was hit by a Tochka U short-range ballistic missile containing cluster munitions, which explode mid-air, spraying lethal bomblets. The city mayor estimated about 4,000 people were at the station.

Russian military vehicles with a "V" symbol are parked at the apartment complex on Vodoprovidna Street, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Bucha, Ukraine, in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters on April 6, 2022. (Oleksii Tarasevich/Handout via Reuters)

➡️ Russia's defence ministry was quoted by RIA news agency as saying the missiles said to have struck the station were used only by Ukraine's military and that Russia's armed forces had no targets assigned in Kramatorsk on Friday.

➡️ Ukraine now expects an attempt by Russian forces to gain full control of Donetsk and neighbouring Luhansk in the east, both partly held by Moscow-backed separatists since 2014.

With Russian hopes for storming Kyiv and other major cities in northern Ukraine dashed by stiff resistance, Moscow has refocused its efforts on the country’s east, seeking to make gains there and use them to dictate its terms in talks on ending the conflict. (AP, File)

➡️ The Kremlin said the "special operation" in Ukraine could end in the "foreseeable future" with its aims being achieved by the Russian military and peace negotiators.

➡️ Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned of a war that could last months or even years.

13:36 (IST)09 Apr 2022
Sweden Democrats leader wants party to change on Nato membership if Finland applies to join alliance

The leader of Sweden's second-biggest opposition party will, should neighbour Finland apply to join Nato, suggest that his party change its stance towards favouring a Swedish membership, he told daily Svenska Dagbladet.

A change of stance by the Sweden Democrats party would mean a swing to a parliamentary majority in favour of long-neutral Sweden joining the alliance.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has prompted the two countries to consider joining, although Sweden is more hesitant than Finland which has a 1,300 km border with Russia. The Finnish government has said it would clarify next steps in the coming weeks regarding a possible decision to seek membership. (Reuters)

12:56 (IST)09 Apr 2022
Russian blunders in Chernobyl: ‘They came and did whatever they wanted.’

As the staging ground for an assault on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, one of the most toxic places on Earth, was probably not the best choice. But that did not seem to bother the Russian generals who took over the site in the early stages of the war.

Widespread destruction and debris in Bucha, Ukraine, on April 3, 2022.

“We told them not to do it, that it was dangerous, but they ignored us,” Valeriy Simyonov, chief safety engineer for the Chernobyl nuclear site, said in an interview.

Apparently undeterred by safety concerns, the Russian forces tramped about the grounds with bulldozers and tanks, digging trenches and bunkers — and exposing themselves to potentially harmful doses of radiation lingering beneath the surface. (Read more)

12:41 (IST)09 Apr 2022
Ukraine seeks tough reply after missile kills 52 at station

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he wants a tough global response to Russia after its forces fired a missile at a crowded train station, killing at least 52 people.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Володимир Зеленський (@zelenskiy_official)

Zelenskyy's voice rose in anger during his nightly address late Friday, when he said the strike on the Kramatorsk train station, where 4,000 people were trying to flee a looming Russian offensive in the east, amounted to another war crime.

Russia denied it was responsible for the strike. Among those killed were children, and dozens of people were severely injured. (AP)

12:11 (IST)09 Apr 2022
More evacuations needed from Ukraine's Luhansk as shelling increases: governor

More evacuations are needed from the Luhansk region in Ukraine as shelling has increased in recent days and more Russian forces have been arriving, Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said on Saturday.

He said that some 30% of people still remain in settlements across the region and have been asked to evacuate.

"They (Russia) are amassing forces for an offensive and we see the number of shelling has increased," Gaidai told the public television broadcaster. (Reuters)

Burned column of military vehicles are seen on a highway, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv region, Ukraine, April 5, 2022. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)

The Biden administration on Thursday announced it is levying sanctions against Russia's largest military shipbuilding and diamond mining companies. The move blocks their access to the US financial system as the United States looks to exact more economic pain on President Vladimir Putin for the invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine-Russia conflict: India has chosen side of peace, Jaishankar says in Lok Sabha

A DAY after India, in its statement at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting, “unequivocally condemned” the civilian killings in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, the government told Lok Sabha on Wednesday that it supports the call for an “independent investigation” into the deaths. Countering criticism on the Centre’s stand, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India is “strongly against” the conflict, and “if it has chosen a side, it is a side of peace, and for an immediate end to violence”.

Replying to the discussion on the situation in Ukraine, Jaishankar said: “We are strongly against the conflict, we believe that no solution can be arrived at by shedding blood and at the cost of innocent lives. In this day and age, dialogue and diplomacy are the right answers to any disputes”.

Stating that India was “deeply disturbed” by the Bucha killings, he said: “We strongly condemn the killings that have taken place there. This is an extremely serious matter and we support the call for an independent investigation.”

Russia vs the West: A clash of civilisations

One of the world’s most derided visions of international affairs is Samuel Huntington’s infamous “Clash of Civilisations”. Huntington saw the state of the post-Cold War conflict as chiefly being between civilisational complexes that had shared history, geographic contiguity and a common culture. He argued that the primary axis of future conflict would be cultural fault lines between civilisations rather than between political ideologies.

Huntington mapped civilisations largely in line with geographically clustered ethno-religious groupings. For example, he predicted (in 1993) that the Islamic world would be the Western culture’s chief antagonist, the likelihood of a Sino-Islamic alliance, and positioned India (“Hindu” culture) and Russia (“Orthodox” culture) as “swing civilisations”. It is particularly interesting to dust off Huntington’s pages and revisit his predictions regarding Russia and India. Most importantly, he also identified Ukraine as a unique “cleft” between civilisations due to the linguistic and religious divide between western and eastern Ukraine.

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