- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Tuesday and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday as he steps up efforts to end the fighting in Ukraine.
- Russia has admitted one sailor was killed and 27 are missing after the Moskva, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, was sunk last week.
- German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says NATO must avoid a direct military confrontation with Russia that could lead to a third world war.
- Zelenskyy says Ukraine’s allies are delivering the weapons it asked for to respond to Russia’s invasion.
- The Pentagon expects more than 20 nations to attend Ukraine talks it is hosting in Germany next week.
Here are all the latest updates:
Ukraine says will try to evacuate Mariupol civilians from noon
Ukraine will make a new attempt to evacuate civilians from Mariupol at noon, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says.
“Today we will again try to evacuate women, children and the elderly,” Vereshchuk said on Telegram, calling for people to gather on the motorway close to the Port City shopping centre in the city.
“If everything happens as planned, we will start the evacuation around noon.”
Russian shelling kills two in Popasna: Governor
Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai says two people were killed by Russian shelling in the city of Popasna.
“In addition to the fact that street fighting continues in the city for several weeks, the Russian army constantly fires at multistory residential buildings and private houses. Just yesterday, local residents withstood five enemy artillery attacks…. Not all survived,” Haidai said on the messaging app Telegram.
He added that some houses were also destroyed in Lysychansk and Novodruzhesk.
What is the US Magnitsky Act, and why does Putin hate it?
US will “absolutely” reopen embassy in Kyiv at some point: Ukrainian PM
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal says he expects the United States to eventually re-open its embassy in Kyiv, but stopped short of predicting when that will happen.
“It will happen, absolutely, but we will wait,” Shmyhal told reporters at a conclusion of a visit to Washington, when asked whether he had received assurances from Washington that it would re-open its embassy.
Britain announced on Friday it would reopen its embassy in Kyiv next week, joining other European countries that have announced such plans after Russian forces withdrew from the country’s north in the face of strong Ukrainian resistance.
UK says Russia has made ‘no major gains’ in last 24 hours
Britain’s defence ministry has released its latest intelligence update on the war in Ukraine.
It says Russian forces have made “no major gains” in the past 24 hours “despite increased activity”.
The assessment also questions Russia’s claims that it has control of Mariupol.
“Heavy fighting continues to take place frustrating Russian attempts to capture the city further slowing their desired progress in the Donbas,” it said.
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Despite increased activity, Russian forces have made no major gains in the last 24 hours as Ukrainian counter-attacks continue to hinder their efforts.
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) April 23, 2022
Zelenskyy says Russia has ambitions beyond Ukraine
Zelenskyy has used his nightly address to warn of Russian ambitions beyond Ukraine.
Referring to comments made by a senior Russian general saying that Moscow wants to control southern Ukraine to give it access to the separatist region of Transnistria in Moldova, Zelenskyy said the statement showed Russia would invade other countries too.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine was intended only as the beginning,” he said. “All nations that, like us, believe in the victory of life over death must fight with us. They have to help us, because we are the first on this path. Who is next?”
Moldova has already summoned the Russian ambassador over the comments, which were made by Major General Rustam Minnekaev who is deputy commander of Russia’s central military district.
You can read more on the Russian-backed region of Transnistria, here.
UN chief to visit Ukraine next week
The UN chief Antonio Guterres is to meet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv next week.
The UN says Guterres will arrive in Ukraine on Thursday and will also meet foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba.
Guterres will be in Moscow on Tuesday, where he will hold talks with Putin.
Russians seek to ‘starve out’ Azovstal plant holdouts in Mariupol: ISW
In its latest update on the war in Ukraine, the Institute for the Study of War says the Russians are seeking “to starve out” civilians and soldiers in the Azovstal steel plant.
The ISW said they were “unlikely” to allow the trapped civilians to leave.
#Mariupol Update:#Russian forces seek to starve out the remaining defenders and civilians in Azovstal and are unlikely to allow trapped civilians to leave.https://t.co/3ROWRmAWNP pic.twitter.com/FplQJnn0U0
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) April 22, 2022
Indonesia bans all palm oil exports
There is more risk to global food and consumer prices due to the continuing war in Ukraine.
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has announced the country will ban all exports of palm oil, the world’s most widely used vegetable oil and an ingredient in products from ice cream to shampoo.
Widodo says the move is to ensure supply of cooking oil at home becomes “abundant and affordable”. Indonesia is the world’s biggest producer of palm oil.
The war in Ukraine, one of the world’s biggest producers of wheat and sunflower oil, has pushed food prices to record highs. You can read more on the implications for food security of Russia’s advance in the east here.
Ukrainian PM sees war victory soon
Ukraine will be victorious very soon, the country’s prime minister has said, after the United Kingdom’s Boris Johnson said it remained a realistic possibility that Russia could still win.
“We are absolutely sure that Ukraine will win in this war and victory will be in [a] very short period,” Denys Shmyhal told CNN when asked about Johnson’s comment.
Zelenskyy warns residents against giving information to Russian forces
Zelenskyy has warned residents in the south of Ukraine to “be very careful” as Russian forces might attempt to register them to hold and falsify a “so-called referendum” on the status of the region.
“I urge residents in the southern regions of Ukraine – the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions – to be very careful about what information you give the invaders. If they ask you to fill out some questionnaires, put your passport details somewhere, then know that this is not to help you,” Zelenskyy said.
“This is actually in order to falsify a so-called ‘referendum’ on your land, if Moscow gives the order to organise such a show. This is possible. Be careful,” he said.
‘We hope for a resurrection’: Zelenskyy
During his daily address, Zelenskyy has reflected on the upcoming Orthodox Easter holiday, along with its symbolism of life and death.
“The 58th day of our defence is coming to an end. It ends on Good Friday, one of the most sorrowful days of the year for Christians. The day when death seems to have won. But … we hope for a resurrection,” he said.
“We believe in the victory, of life over death.”
Canada says it has provided heavy artillery to Ukraine forces
Canada says it has provided heavy artillery to Ukrainian security forces, following up on a pledge by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this week to send more artillery to Ukraine in the face of a Russian assault on the country’s east.
Canada has now delivered a number of M777 howitzers and associated ammunition to Ukrainian forces, the defence ministry said.
It added that it is finalising contracts for commercial pattern armoured vehicles that it will send to Ukraine as soon as possible.
Humanitarian corridor out of Mariupol might be opened on Saturday: Official
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said “there is a possibility” a humanitarian corridor out of the besieged port city of Mariupol could be opened up on Saturday.
“Watch the official announcements tomorrow morning. If all goes well, I will confirm,” she said in an online address to people waiting to be evacuated.
Ukrainian children delight in painting Easter eggs
Children in Kyiv, including evacuees from other parts of the country, are decorating traditional Ukrainian Easter eggs – but this year they have taken on a more patriotic tone.
“Many people are diverting from tradition a little, not drawing the usual images like stars, flowers,” said Mariya Poshyvailo, who works at the Ivan Honchar Museum (National Centre of Folk Culture).
“Instead, they want to draw something current, like Ukraine’s trident symbol, or write slogans like ‘Glory to Ukraine’, ‘Glory to the Heroes’. What is close to them.”
Zelenskyy says allies finally delivering weapons Kyiv asked for
Zelenskyy has said Ukraine’s allies were finally delivering the weapons that Kyiv had asked for, adding the arms would help save the lives of thousands of people.
Zelenskyy also said comments by a Russian commander about the need to link up with Moldova showed Moscow wanted to invade other countries.
Blinken, Ukrainian PM discussed additional ways US can help Ukraine
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal additional ways that the US can help Ukraine, State Department spokesman Ned Price has said in a statement.
“The Secretary expressed the United States’ steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and reinforced our determination to help Ukraine successfully defend itself against Russia’s brutal and unjustified war of aggression,” according to the statement.
Pentagon seeking information from US industry on Ukraine-ready systems
The Pentagon is looking for new avenues for US industry to accelerate production and build more capacity for proven, effective weapons that require minimal training and can be rapidly exported to Ukraine, according to a government website posting.
The Department of Defence posted a request for information on SAM.gov that had an initial response deadline of May 6.
It sought information on weapons or commercial capabilities related to air defence, anti-armour, anti-personnel, coastal defence, counter-battery, unmanned aerial systems, and communications like radios or satellite internet.
Russia confirms 1 dead, 27 missing in missile cruiser sinking: RIA
Russia’s defence ministry has confirmed for the first time that the crew of the missile cruiser Moskva suffered casualties when it sank last week, the RIA state news agency reported.
“One serviceman was killed, another 27 crew members went missing,” the ministry said, adding that “the remaining 396 members” had been evacuated.
Moscow had said the Moskva, the flagship of its Black Sea fleet, sank after a fire sparked an ammunition blast, while Ukraine said it hit the vessel with an anti-ship missile.
Russia opens criminal case against activist over ‘fake’ news on Ukraine
Russia has opened a criminal case against a prominent opposition activist on allegations of spreading false information about Moscow’s military campaign, his lawyer has said.
Vladimir Kara-Murza was detained outside his home in Moscow on April 11, hours after CNN aired an interview in which he criticised Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
“Vladimir Kara-Murza is now at the main investigation Department of Russia’s Investigative Committee,” Prokhorov wrote on Facebook. “A criminal case has been opened … for ‘public dissemination of deliberately false information about Russia’s armed forces.’” Prokhorov did not say when precisely the case had been opened.
Pentagon says more than 20 nations attending Ukraine talks in Germany
The US has said it expects more than 20 countries to attend Ukraine-focused defence talks it is hosting next week in Germany that will focus on Kyiv’s long-term needs.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby appeared to play down expectations of announcements about long-term assistance at the April 26 talks, saying: “We’re not going into this with a pre-cooked set of endings here.”
He added that about 40 nations were invited to attend the discussions, which were not being organised under the NATO umbrella and would include non-NATO nation states.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Read all the updates from Friday, April 22 here.
Source : Al Jazeera English