Western leaders condemn ‘unconscionable’ attack on Kramatorsk railway station which killed 52
Putin spokesperson claims Bucha atrocities were staged
Ukraine has imprisoned Russian pilots “who had maps with civilian targets to bomb”, and has intercepted recordings of soldiers telling their parents “about what they stole and who they abducted”, Volodymyr Zelensky has claimed.
Describing Friday’s attack on Kramatorsk train station as “another war crime of Russia”, the Ukrainian president warned that “everyone involved will be held accountable”, adding: “We expect a firm, global response to this war crime.”
The railway station had been used to evacuate civilians from areas under Russian bombardment, and the death toll of the airstrikes has hit 52, including five children, according to the region’s governor. In total, 98 people – 36 men, 16 children, and four women – were taken to hospital, Pavlo Kyrylenko said.
It came investigators exhumed bodies from a mass grave in Bucha, near Kyiv, where evidence of dozens of brutal killings emerged following the withdrawal of Russian forces.
Meanwhile, a western official claimed Vladimir Putin has reorganised his military leadership in Ukraine, with General Alexander Dvornikov placed in charge of the invasion.
Luhansk governor calls for more evacuations amid heavier Russian shelling
More people need to evacuate from Luhansk as shelling has increased in recent days and more Russian forces have been arriving, the eastern Ukrainian region’s governor has warned.
Some 30 per cent of residents still remain in cities and villages across the region and have been asked to evacuate, Serhiy Gaidai said on Saturday, warning that Russia is “amassing forces for an offensive and we see the number of shelling has increased”.
Ukraine has increasingly been warning that Russia plans intensified attacks in the country’s east and south after withdrawing its troops from areas to the north of the capital, Kyiv.
The US said this week that Moscow probably plans to deploy tens of thousands of soldiers in eastern Ukraine.
Andy Gregory9 April 2022 08:37
10 humanitarian corridors planned, including for Mariupol, Ukraine’s deputy PM says
Ten humanitarian corridors to evacuate people today from Ukraine’s besieged regions have been agreed, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister has said.
The planned corridors include one for people evacuating by private transport from the city of Mariupol, Iryna Vereshchuk said.
Multiple attempts to agree safe passage for buses to take supplies to Mariupol and bring out civilians have failed, with each side blaming the other.
Andy Gregory9 April 2022 08:23
Russian pilots ‘had maps with civilian targets to bomb’, Zelensky alleges
Ukraine has imprisoned pilots who “had maps with civilian targets to bomb”, Volodymyr Zelensky has alleged.
The Ukrainian president made the claim when asked to detail what evidence Kyiv has of war crimes, also claiming that Ukraine has intercepted communications showing “Russian soldiers talking to their parents about what they stole and who they abducted”.
“There are also investigations being conducted based on the remains of the dead,” Mr Zelensky told CBS’s 60 Minutes show.
Asked whether Vladimir Putin should be prosecuted for war crimes, Mr Zelensky said: “I think everyone who made a decision, who issued an order, who fulfilled an order, everyone who is relevant to this, I believe they are guilty.”
Andy Gregory9 April 2022 08:12
Russia believed to have changed military leadership in Ukraine
Russia is reorganising its senior military leadership in Ukraine, BBC News has reported.
General Alexander Dvornikov, who led Russia’s invasion in Syria, is now expected to lead the Ukrainian invasion.
“That particular commander has a lot of experience of Russian operations in Syria. So we would expect the overall command and control to improve,” a source said.
The change in military leadership, the report said, is in an attempt to improve coordination between various military units in Ukraine.
Maroosha Muzaffar9 April 2022 07:40
Finland and Sweden could join Nato, prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Senior officials have said that Finland and Sweden could join the Nato in a move that is bound to irk Russia.
Nato officials were quoted as saying by CNN that discussions about Sweden and Finland joining the Nato alliance have gotten “extremely serious since Russia’s invasion”.
A former Finnish prime minister said the move to join “was pretty much a done deal on the 24th of February when Russia invaded”.
“If you look at public opinion in Finland and Sweden, and how their views have changed dramatically over the past six weeks, I think it’s another example of how this has been a strategic failure,” one senior US State Department official said this week.
Maroosha Muzaffar9 April 2022 07:20
Photos on Day 44: Train station attack, mass graves
On Friday, Russian forces attacked the Kramatorsk train station, in which more than 50 people — including five children — were killed. The Ukrainian president said that the Russian forces shall be held accountable for this “war crime.”
Several world leaders also condemned the “deliberate slaughter” of civilians in Ukraine.
See photos of the Kramatorsk train station here:
A body lay covered at a train station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, on Friday after a missile hit. On the platform was a bloodied stuffed horse, left behind after an attack that killed at least 50 people and wounded dozens more.
Maroosha Muzaffar9 April 2022 07:00
S&P lowers Russia’s foreign currency rating to ‘selective default’
S&P lowered Russia’s foreign currency ratings to “selective default” on increased risks that “Moscow will not be able and willing to honour its commitments to foreign debtholders,” Reuters reported.
On Saturday, S&P said in a statement that it understood that Russia had made coupon and principal payments on dollar-denominated Eurobonds in rubles on Monday.
“We currently don’t expect that investors will be able to convert those ruble payments into dollars equivalent to the originally due amounts, or that the government will convert those payments within a 30-day grace period,” the statement said.
Maroosha Muzaffar9 April 2022 06:40
Biden signs bills increasing sanctions on Russia and Belarus
Joe Biden on Friday signed into law a bill to suspend normal trade relations with Russia amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
This comes after the US, Japan and other G7 nations agreed to take steps to strip Russia of its “most-favoured nation” status in the World Trade Organisation.
One bill suspends normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus. The other prohibits energy imports from Russia, including oil, coal and natural gas, it was reported.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki had said on Thursday that the president would sign the bills, saying the sanctions were “something the President supports” and “had called for”.
Maroosha Muzaffar9 April 2022 06:21
Zelensky says ‘goal is to be in the European Union’ after meeting European Commission officials
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the European Union for the “political, financial and military support of Ukraine” amidst the Russian invasion and called on the EU to “continue to impose sanctions” on Russia.
After meeting president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, Josep Borrell, in Kyiv on Friday, Mr Zelensky said: “The goal is to be in the European Union. The most important thing is that we share the same values. And it is for them that we fight – for freedom, for the rights of our people.”
He added: “I know for sure that we will win and it will all work. And at this distance, right here, near us are the countries of the European Union and the EU leadership. And this financial support is very important today when the economy is not working yet.”
Maroosha Muzaffar9 April 2022 06:00
Russia under self-imposed pressure to win by 9 May, say European officials
Russia is feeling the “self-imposed pressure” to achieve some sort of victory in Ukraine before 9 May, when Russia celebrates Victory Day over Germany in the Second World War, according to two European officials.
“Consolidating and trying to at least have something to talk about is clearly in their interest,” one of the officials said.
The second official said that Russia’s bid to have some sort of victory before 9 May could lead to “military disaster as a consequence”.
The official said the timeline could force the Russian military to commit more atrocities. “The stench of these war crimes is going to hang over these Russian armed forces for many years,” the official added.
Maroosha Muzaffar9 April 2022 05:40
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