Monday, April 22

Russia-Ukraine war: what we know on day 69 of the invasion | Ukraine

  • Some of the first civilians to be evacuated from a giant steel plant in Mariupol reportedly arrived on Monday in the Ukrainian-held city of Zaporizhzhia after an overnight bus journey stymied by delays across the frontline. More than 100 civilians – mostly women, children and elderly people – were evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant, Ukraine’s military police said in a statement. Hundreds of people are believed to still be remained trapped in the last stronghold of resistance in the city.

  • A Russian rocket strike hit the Black Sea port city of Odessa in south-western Ukraine, causing deaths and injuries. The strike hit a strategically important bridge across the Dniester estuary. A 14-year-old boy was killed and a 17-year-old girl was wounded, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Monday. “How did these children and the dormitory threaten the Russian state?” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address of him.

  • Russian forces in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine – where the bulk of the fighting is taking place – are suffering from poor command and control, low morale, and less than ideal logistics, the US says. “We continue to see minimal, at best, progress by the Russians in the Donbas,” a senior US Defense Department official, has said.

  • The UN human rights office (OHCHR) has said that the death toll of civilians killed in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion has exceeded 3,000 people. Most of the victims were killed by explosive weapons with a wide impact area, such as missile strikes and airstrikes, the rights office said, without attributing responsibility.

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  • Russian troops are reportedly destroying historical tombs in Ukraine’s Kherson region, according to Ukrainian officials. Via Twitter, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that Russian troops were destroying 1,000-year-old Scythian tombs in Kherson by “arranging firing positions on them”.

  • Russia is planning to annex Donetsk and Luhansk after failing to gain Kyiv and overthrow the government there, the US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe told reporters. Russia might also consider doing the same in Kherson, where it is already imposing roubles as the official currency.

  • The director of the United Nations World Food Program in Germany has warned that millions of tonnes of grain is stuck in Ukraine due to seaports being blocked by Russian military action. Martin Frick said about 4.5m tonnes of grain in containers at Ukrainian ports could not be shifted due to unsafe or occupied sea routes, some of which had been mined, as well as inaccessible ports.

  • Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, was asked to address how Russia could say it needed to “denazify” the country when its president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, is Jewish, in an interview with Italian TV. Lavrov replied that Adolf Hitler “had Jewish blood” and that the “most rabid antisemites tend to be Jews” while defending Russia’s policy of “denazification” in Ukraine, the Kremlin’s term for a sweeping purge that Ukraine says is a pretext for “mass murder.”

  • Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Lavrov’s comments showed that “Russia has forgotten all the lessons of the second world war”. Israel has summoned the Russian ambassador and demanded an apology and world leaders condemned the remarks.

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  • Britain has said it will provide £300m ($375m) more in military aid to Ukraine, including electronic warfare equipment and a counter-battery radar system, on top of around £200m pounds of assistance so far, Reuters reports.

  • Boris Johnson will hail Ukraine’s resistance against tyranny as an exemplar for the world as he delivers a virtual address to the country’s parliament on Tuesday. Johnson will become the first world leader to address the Verkhovna Rada since the conflict began.

  • More than 70 of 90 M-777 howitzers the US planned to send are now in Ukrainian handsalong with over 140,000 155 mm rounds, a senior official with the US department of defense said.

  • The European commissioner for energy, has said that Russia’s demands for fuel payments to be made in roubles had to be rebuffed Despite the risks of an interruption to supply at a time without alternative gas supply. After a meeting of EU energy ministers, Kadri Simson said that all the energy ministers had accepted that paying in roubles through the mechanism set out by Russia would breach sanctions imposed by the bloc after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  • Germany said it was prepared to back an immediate EU embargo on Russian oil, a major shift from Moscow’s biggest energy customer that could let Europe impose such a ban within days. “We have managed to reach a situation where Germany is able to bear an oil embargo,” German economy minister Robert Habeck said Monday in Brussels, where he met with EU colleagues. “This means it won’t be without consequences.”

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  • Russia has rerouted internet traffic in the occupied Ukrainian region of Kherson through Russian communications infrastructurethe internet service disruption monitor NetBlocks said on Monday.

  • The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has banned Russian football clubs from participation in the 2022-23 seasons in the Champions League, Europa League and Uefa Nations League. Russia’s bid to host the Euro 2028 and Euro 2032 tournaments is also no longer eligible.


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