Mariupol on the edge of the abyss; Zelensky calls for help

Mariupol has not surrendered to the Russians, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Sunday.

He spoke on ABC News’ “This Week” hours after a Russian deadline for surrender in the beleaguered city. Shmyhal said only Kherson fell under Russian control.

The Russian military said it would spare the lives of Ukrainian troops in the besieged city of Mariupol if they surrendered at 6 a.m. Moscow time on Sunday. Describing conditions there as “hopeless”, the Defense Ministry offered the ceasefire “on purely human principles”, Russian news agency Tass reported.

“Anyone who continues to resist will be destroyed,” said Major General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry. claim that could not be independently verified.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Saturday that the situation in Mariupol was “inhumane”, after six weeks of resistance against relentless Russian forces.

The Ukrainians defending the port city face a shortage of weapons and supplies, and the situation for the remaining civilians has long since turned dire. Zelenskyy said Russia is “deliberately trying to destroy everyone in it”, and said the fate of the city will be key to whether negotiations can end the fighting.

Zelenskyy said he met with British and Swedish leaders on Saturday to discuss how to help the forces defending Mariupol.

“Either our partners give Ukraine all the necessary heavy weapons, planes, and without exaggeration immediately, so that we can reduce the pressure of the occupiers on Mariupol and break the blockade,” he said in his video speech. night to the nation. “Or we do it through negotiations, in which the role of our partners should be decisive.”

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Latest developments:

►Italy is banning all Russian ships from entering its ports from Sunday, as part of expanded EU sanctions announced earlier this month. Ships already in Italian ports must leave immediately “after completing their commercial activity”, according to a notice sent to port authorities across the country.

►Russian forces shelled an oil refinery in the Ukrainian city of Lysychansk on Saturday and a major fire broke out, a regional governor reported.

► British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and 12 other British officials are banned from entering Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Saturday, citing “unprecedented hostile actions” by the British government.

Anglican Archbishop calls for ceasefire as Orthodox Holy Week begins

LONDON — In his Easter sermon, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby called on Russia to declare a ceasefire and withdraw to Ukraine.

The Anglican Church leader said Easter was a time of peace and not ‘blood and iron’.

Noting that in the Eastern Orthodox Church followed by many in Russia and Ukraine, Sunday marks the start of Holy Week – the week before Easter – he said “let this be the time for the ceasefire, of the withdrawal and the engagement of talks”.

Welby said that God “hears the cry of mothers in Ukraine, he sees the fear of boys too young to become soldiers, and he knows the vulnerability of orphans and refugees.”

– Associated press

Pope’s Easter message focuses on armed conflict around the world

VATICAN CITY — In an Easter Sunday message to the world but heavily focused on Ukraine, Pope Francis raised two concerns — the risk of nuclear war and the fact that other armed conflicts around the globe will go unnoticed.

In a speech from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, the pope quoted a statement by scientists from the 1950s in which they posed the question: “Should the human race be ended, or should humanity renounce the war?

The pope has repeatedly made anguished calls for a ceasefire and negotiations to end the war in Ukraine. In his Easter message, Francis lamented that “so many of our brothers and sisters had to lock themselves in to be safe from the bombardments.”

He expressed the hope that the war in Europe “will also make us more concerned about other situations of conflict, suffering and grief” in situations “that we cannot ignore and that we do not want to forget”. Among the places he cited are Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. He pointed the finger at Yemen, victim of a conflict “forgotten by all, with continual victims”.

– Associated press

Members of the Ukrainian military walk amid debris after a shopping center and surrounding buildings were hit by a Russian missile strike on April 16, 2022 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. After the withdrawal of Russian forces from areas around kyiv, recent reports point to a new offensive as Russian forces have regrouped in the east of the country, raising fears of an escalation in violence.

Austrian leader: Putin ‘thinks he’s winning the war’

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer met Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, the first EU leader to do so since the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Nehammer, who visited Ukraine and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ahead of the Moscow trip, told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” in an interview that aired Sunday that it was a “straightforward and tough” conversation. including a discussion of “war crimes”. witness in Bucha, Ukraine.

The Austrian leader recounted that Putin said he “would cooperate with an international investigation, on the one hand, and on the other hand he told me that he did not trust the Western world”.

“So it was a difficult discussion between us. But I tried to convince him that, for example, the war in the former Yugoslavia showed us that an international investigation is useful to prosecute war criminals”, Nehammer said.

Nehammer, who said his country is now home to 58,000 Ukrainian refugees, said Putin was using ‘his own war logic’ but understood ‘what is happening in Ukraine’ and ‘believes he is winning the war “.

– Katie Wadington

Ukrainians attempt to evacuate amid continued Russian shelling

Russian shelling made it difficult to evacuate Ukrainians along humanitarian corridors on Saturday, according to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.

Vereshchuk said 1,449 Ukrainians were able to evacuate on Saturday. She said 1,381 people traveled to the Zaporizhzhia region using their own transport, including 170 people from the besieged city of Mariupol. But it was impossible for people to evacuate Lysychansk in eastern Ukraine due to “dense and massive shelling”, Vereshchuk said.

Russian forces continued their attacks in many parts of Ukraine over the weekend, increasing the number of dead and injured.

For Ukrainians, the agreed humanitarian corridors can be a lifeline out of dangerous areas. These are specific routes where it is agreed to stop fighting to allow the arrival of aid and the departure of evacuated civilians, but Ukrainian officials said Russian forces have continued there on numerous occasions since the establishment. hallways.

–Jeanine Santucci

A mother hugs her daughter as she waits for a bus to flee the city of Sloviansk in Donetsk district to Rivne in western Ukraine on Saturday, April 16, 2022. ( AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) ORG XMIT: XPG101

Russia continued to beat Kyiv and other Ukrainian regions over the weekend

Russia has pledged to renew its attacks on military targets in the capital kyiv, but Ukrainian officials said attacks were seen in several areas on Friday and Saturday, killing at least half a dozen and injuring dozens others.

The Russian bombardment of towns around Ukraine on Saturday included an explosion in Kharkiv that destroyed a community kitchen set up by celebrity chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen. Associated Press reporters at the scene saw the immediate aftermath of the apparent missile attack. Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said three people were killed and 34 injured by missile strikes in that city alone on Saturday.

Mariupol on the edge of the abyss; Zelensky calls for help

One person was killed and several injured in a missile strike that hit the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, early on Saturday. The southern Mykolaiv region was beaten on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s airstrikes left five people dead and 15 injured, according to the presidential office. The president of the regional legislature, Hanna Zamazeyeva, said on Saturday that 39 people had been injured in the past 24 hours.

Ukraine’s presidential office reported on Saturday that missile strikes and shelling took place in eight regions: Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkiv in the east, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava and Kirovohrad in central Ukraine and Mykolaiv and Kherson in the south.

–Jeanine Santucci

Ukraine: Over 700 soldiers, 1,000 civilians held captive by Russia

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in televised remarks on Saturday that 700 Ukrainian soldiers and more than 1,000 civilians – more than half of them women – are currently being held by the Russians.

Vereshchuk said kyiv intends to swap the captive soldiers, since Ukraine holds roughly the same number of Russian soldiers but demands the release of the civilians “without any conditions”.

– The Associated Press

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