Wednesday, April 17

Russia-Ukraine conflict live updates: Putin orders nuclear deterrent forces on alert, Ukraine holds Kyiv invasion

U.S. to send additional $54M to victims of Ukraine invasion

U.S. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield says United Nations can isolate Russia

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Sunday Russia can be isolated by the United Nations and will be called out by the U.S. and its allies for invading Ukraine in upcoming meetings.

“We can isolate them in the United Nations, We can isolate them in U.N. specialized agencies, they are feeling that isolation,” said Thomas-Greenfield in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The U.N. Security Council will hold another meeting later Sunday, “in which we will make a decision to call for an emergency session of the General Assembly, which we plan to have on Monday,” she said, adding that Russia “will be called out and their aggressions will be brought to the attention of the world.”

“Then hopefully later in the week, we will have a vote possibly as early as Wednesday on a General Assembly resolution that the Russians cannot veto,” Thomas-Greenfield added.

‘Safer here’: Tears and hugs as families reunite at Polish train station

There’s no schedule, the border guards say, but all of the trains arriving at the Przemysl train station on Poland’s border with Ukraine are packed with hundreds of people trying to spot their relatives through the windows.    

Polish soldiers greet them as they dismount. Behind a fence some 10 feet away, anxious relatives look out to see if their loved ones are on board. 

Among them was Oksana, 40, who said she was waiting for her son Andri, 14.

“I think he’ll be safer here,” said Oksana, who did not wish to give her last name because she still had family in Ukraine and feared for their safety. 

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Her wait ended when she got a text from her cousin Olana, 42. Spotting them in the crowd she ran over to them and they hugged and cried. 

U.S. to send $54 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine

The United States will send nearly $54 million in additional humanitarian aid to Ukraine, the U.S. Agency for International Development said in a statement Sunday. 

USAID and the State Dept are issuing the funds to provide resources such as healthcare, safe drinking water and sanitation, among other things, the statement said.

“This includes critical emergency health supplies to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of people, as well as emergency food assistance to meet the immediate needs of 125,000 people,” it added. 

They will also deliver high thermal blankets this week to help more than 18,500 people, including those displaced from their homes, the disabled and older people, stay warm during the harsh winter, the statement said. 

Ukraine agrees to talks with Russia at Belarus border

Ukraine has agreed to talks with Russia at the Belarus border, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office confirmed Sunday.

In a statement on Telegram, Zelenskyy’s office said he had spoken with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in a phone call. The two world leaders agreed that a Ukrainian delegation would meet with Russian counterparts in talks at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River. 

Zelenskyy’s office said Lukashenko had agreed to ensure that all planes, helicopters and missiles stationed on Belarusian territory would remain on the ground during the Ukrainian delegation’s travel, as well as during the talks and during the delegation’s return.

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Putin orders nuclear deterrent forces to be on ‘high alert’

President Vladimir Putin has ordered nuclear deterrent forces to be on alert as international tension builds over Russia’s four-day-old invasion of Ukraine.

Putin said in a meeting of top officials on Sunday, that the move was in response to leading NATO powers making what he called “aggressive statements,” according to Tass, the state-owned Russian news agency.

The move is also a reaction to the West announcing hard-hitting financial sanctions against Russian businesses and key individuals, including Putin himself, the president said in televised comments.

Read more here.

There are ‘no Russian troops in the capital,’ Kyiv mayor says

There are “no Russian troops” in Kyiv and the Ukrainian capital “continues to defend itself,” the city’s mayor said Sunday.  

“Our military, law enforcement and territorial defense continue to detect and neutralize saboteurs,”  Vitali Klitschko said in a Telegram post and he warned that Russia was still shelling residential neighborhoods in the capital. 

Klitschko said there had also been clashes and shootings overnight, but Ukrainian forces had managed to destroy “several large sabotage groups.” 

A curfew imposed ordering people to stay indoors would remain in place until at least Monday morning, he said, adding, “do not go outside. You can leave only if, at the signal of the air alarm, you go to the shelter.”

Ukraine in full control of Kharkiv, country’s Parliament says

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, which was the site of fighting with Russia forces Sunday morning, is firmly in Ukrainian hands, according to the Ukrainian Parliament and a presidential advisor.

“Kharkiv is under our control! The Armed Forces of Ukraine, National Police, and Area Defence are working on elimination of the enemy forces from the city,” the Parliament said on its Telegram channel.

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It added that Chuhuiv was also under Ukraine’s control, while fighting continues in Lypetsk, Vovchansk, and Belgorod.

Presidential Advisor Oleksiy Arestovych said in a briefing Sunday: “The enemy is disorganized and now only a small part of its forces is engaged in tries to conduct reconnaissance.”

6 babies born in bomb shelters across Ukraine this weekend

Ukrainians have been sheltering in basements and subway stations for days now — and that includes heavily pregnant women. Across the country six babies were born in shelters since Friday, the country’s Parliament said on its Telegram channel.

One women gave birth in a Kyiv subway station; two women delivered their babies in a makeshift maternity ward in a shelter in Kherson; in a shelter in Kolomyya, in Ivano-Frankivksk Oblast, a baby girl was born; and on Sunday a set of twins were born in a Kyiv shelter. All the infants are healthy and their mothers doing well, the statement said.

“These are the faces of this war. This is the sign that life goes on and we are not giving up,” it added.

Lines form at ATMs as cash become scarce in Dnipro

DNIPRO, Ukraine — In the Ukrainian city of Dnipro access to money is becoming increasingly difficult and many people are roaming around trying to find ATMs. 

Lines form immediately when they are refilled. With withdrawals limited to 1,000 hryvnia or around $30, some are trying multiple transactions. But those who do are quickly and loudly reprimanded by the people behind.

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