Ukraine news – latest: Mariupol defenders hold out, as Russian oligarch says war is ‘insane’

‘Bring my mother back home’, says daughter of captured Ukrainian paramedic

A Russian ultimatum to Ukrainian troops in Mariupol saying they must either surrender or die expired on Wednesday afternoon without any mass capitulation.

However, the commander of a unit thought to be holding out in the besieged city and his forces would be able to survive just days or hours.

Serhiy Volyna, who is defending the besieged city of Mariupol, said Vladimir Putin’s soldiers are outnumbering them ten to one and pleaded for help evacuating wounded civilians.

Elsewhere, Russian oligarch Oleg Tinkov, became the latest oligarch to publicly condemn Mr Putin’s “insane war.”

Meanwhile earlier on Wednesday, Ukrainian troops accused Russia of bombing a hospital sheltering up to 300 people in the besieged city of Mariupol.

The Russian military dropped heavy bombs on the steel plant and hit an “improvised hospital”, the deputy commander of the Azov regiment said.

The bombing of the hospital was also reported by Serhiy Taruta, the former governor of the Donetsk region. He said that the hospital shelters up to 300 people, including wounded troops, civilians and children.


Putin tests new nuclear-capable intercontinental missile saying it will make Russia’s enemies ‘think twice’

Russia announced the first test launch of its new, nuclear-capable Sarmat inercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system on Wednesday.

The rocket, launched on Wednesday from a facility in northern Russia towards a firing range in the east, should give the country’s enemies pause, according to Russia president Vladimir Putin.

Speaking on Russian television, he said the weapon will “make those who, in the heat of frantic, aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country, think twice.”

Eleanor Sly20 April 2022 20:55


Journalists reporting on the Ukraine crisis must collect evidence of potential war crimes

A body of a teenager, hands bound, shot in the back in the woods near a Russian trench. An underground torture chamber where eight people say they were held and abused below a railway station.

Shoppers ripped apart by banned cluster munitions as they bought supplies. Children shelled as they escaped a brutal siege.

Throughout the past six weeks I have spent in Ukraine, on almost every street in every town affected by the Russian invasion, I’ve stumbled across testimonies of likely violations of international law and possible war crimes. It’s bewildering.

Eleanor Sly20 April 2022 20:25


Two children who fled Ukraine start their first day at school in the UK

Two Ukrainian children who fled the war-torn city of Kharkiv with their family have started their first day at school in the UK.

Alikhan Yusupov, 10, and 11-year-old relative Miroslava Starkova arrived in the village of Caldecote, eight miles west of Cambridge, last month and are living at a home donated by a businessman.

Valeriia Starkova, 37, said she was “very emotional” to walk her son Alikhan and her half-sister Miroslava – Alikhan’s aunt – to their first day at Caldecote Primary School.

Eleanor Sly20 April 2022 20:00


Some refugees returned to Ukraine due to visa delays , claims Holyrood minister

There is anecdotal evidence some refugees have had to return to Ukraine due to the delays they have experienced in the UK immigration system, a Scottish Government minister has said.

Neil Gray, the minister with special responsibility for Ukrainian refugees arriving in Scotland, said the war shows little sign of abating and more than five million people have now fled the country.

He updated MSPs on the situation on Wednesday, repeating his criticism of the UK Government’s speed in approving visas under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Eleanor Sly20 April 2022 19:35


Head of Ukraine’s Orthodox church calls on faithful to forgo night Easter services

The head of Ukraine’s Orthodox church has asked clergy and the faithful to forgo night Easter services in areas of the country affected by fighting.

This is due to fears that Russian bombardments will continue during the Orthodox Easter period.

Speaking in a televised address, Metropolitan Epifaniy said that he had little faith that a pause in shelling by Russian troops, proposed by the Ukrainian association of churches and religious communities for the duration of the Orthodox Christian Easter festivities, would in fact hold.

“It is hard to believe this will really happen, because the enemy is trying to completely destroy us,” he said.

The Orthodox Easter service begins late on Saturday into Sunday morning, when a traditional feast starts. Both the Ukrainian and Russian population are predominantly Orthodox Christians.

Eleanor Sly20 April 2022 19:10


Fewer people evacuated than planned from Mariupol, said regional governor

Fewer buses than planned were able to reach civilians in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol on Wednesday and not very many people were evacuated, the regional governor said.

Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko spoke after Mariupol’s mayor said on Wednesday morning that he hoped 90 buses would be able to enter the city and take out around 6,000 trapped women, children and elderly people.

“People of course gathered at the agreed meeting points, but few of them got onto the buses,” he said, providing no figures.

Eleanor Sly20 April 2022 18:50


US starts training of some Ukrainian troops on howitzer artillery

The United States military has begun training a small number of Ukrainian troops on how to use howitzer artillery, a senior US defence official said on Wednesday.

They added that the training was being conducted outside of Ukraine and would take around one week.

“It’s a smallish number of Ukrainians, a little bit more than 50,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Eleanor Sly20 April 2022 18:30


War in Ukraine is a ‘gold rush’ for Western arms makers, experts say

Western arms manufacturers are racing to cash in on the billions of dollars of sales in a “gold rush” created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the likely increased militarisation of Europe that will follow, say industry experts.

Already, the US and other Western nations are providing large sums to help Ukraine defend itself in the short term, and making it easier to obtain weapons such as Stinger, Javelin and Stormer missile systems.

Companies such as Raytheon Technologies have seen their share price increase by up to 15 per cent in the last six months, as it and other giant arms makers attend classified meetings with the Pentagon to assess how they can benefit from the wish of Ukraine and its charismatic president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to arm itself against the Russian invasion.

Eleanor Sly20 April 2022 18:10


Pentagon says Russia notified US ahead of “routine” ICBM test-launch

Russia did properly notified the United States ahead of its test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. It added that it saw the test as routine and did not see it as a threat to the United States.

Russia said earlier on Wednesday it had conducted a first test launch of its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, a new addition to its nuclear arsenal.

President Vladimir Putin said that it would give Moscow’s enemies something to think about.

Eleanor Sly20 April 2022 17:51


US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen joins Ukraine walkout of G20 meeting as Russian official starts speaking

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen joined Ukraine’s walkout of a G-20 meeting when Russian officials began to speak, according to a report.

Eleanor Sly20 April 2022 17:38

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