Ukraine war: Tens of thousands killed in Mariupol, says Zelenskyy

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Ukraine war: Tens of thousands killed in Mariupol, says Zelenskyy

In this satellite photo from Planet Labs PBC, a Ukrainian naval vessel and a nearby building burn in the besieged city of Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, April 6, 2022   —  

The war is now in its seventh week, with Russian forces now concentrating their offensive on eastern Ukraine, after retreating from the capital Kyiv.

Follow Monday’s events as they unfold in our blog below, or watch television coverage in the video player, above.


Monday’s key points:

    Ukraine’s president Zelenskyy says «tens of thousands of civilians» must have been killed in Mariupol.Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer will visit Moscow on Monday for talks with Vladimir Putin, the first EU leader to visit since the start of the war. In a video address, Zelenskyy says Ukrainians still want peace, despite the atrocities of war they have witnessed. Ukraine’s economy will shrink by 45.1% this year because of Russia’s invasion, says World BankRussia has appointed a new Ukraine war commander, General Alexander Dvornikov, a veteran of the Russian campaign in Syria. Britain’s Ministry of Defence says Russia needs to boost troop numbers with extra recruitment, due to mounting losses in the war. European Union foreign ministers meeting to weigh the effectiveness of the bloc’s response to Russia’s invasion.


Austrian Chancellor evokes ‘difficult’ discussion with Putin

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer was received by Vladimir Putin on Monday, a first for a European leader since the start of the intervention in Ukraine, according to a press release issued by his cabinet after the meeting.

“The discussion with President Putin was frank, open and difficult,” Nehammer said after the meeting, which lasted just over an hour and did not result in a handshake, according to Austrian press.

«I spoke about the serious war crimes in Bucha and other places, saying that all those responsible must be brought to justice,» added the Austrian Chancellor.

Bucha is a locality near Kyiv that has become a symbol of atrocities, where Karl Nehammer went this weekend like other Western officials. Moscow has firmly rejected any involvement.

«I made it clear to the Russian President the urgency of setting up humanitarian corridors to bring water and food and to evacuate women, children and the wounded from besieged cities,» the Chancellor said, insisting it was «not a friendly visit».



Many Ukrainian children lack food and water, UNICEF says

The UN children’s agency says nearly two-thirds of all Ukrainian children have fled their homes in the six weeks since Russia’s invasion, and the United Nations has verified that 142 children have been killed and 229 injured though these numbers are likely much higher.

Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF’s emergency programmes director who returned from Ukraine last week, told the UN Security Council on Monday that of the 3.2 million children estimated to have remained in their homes “nearly half may be at risk of not having enough food,” and attacks on water system infrastructure and power outages have left an estimated 1.4 million people in the country without access to water.

He said the situation is worse in cities like Mariupol and Kherson in the south, which have been besieged by Russian forces where children and their families have spent weeks without running water, sanitation or a regular supply of food.

“Hundreds of schools and educational facilities have been attacked or used for military purposes,” Fontaine said. “Others are serving as shelters for civilians.”

He said school closings are affecting the education of 5.7 million school-age children and 1.5 million students in higher education.



Warsaw seizes Russian compound, mayor says

The mayor of Warsaw Rafal Trzaskowski said the city took over a disputed compound administered by the Russian diplomatic mission. 

«It is extremely symbolic that we are closing this long process now, in the age of Russian aggression,» Trzaskowski tweeted.

Russia’s Embassy, which had the tall apartment blocks built in the 1970s, has been refusing court orders to pay lease or to hand it over. Once busy, the buildings became empty in the 1990s, after Poland shed its communist rule and dependence from Moscow and after the Soviet Union dissolved.

Ever since, Poland has been saying that lease on the plot of land had expired and demanded it be returned.

(with AP)


Russian invasion will shrink Ukraine’s economy by 45% this year, World Bank says

Ukraine’s economy is expected to shrink by 45% due to Russia’s war, the World Bank said, adding that the magnitude of the economic contraction would depend on the duration and intensity of the war.

«The Russian invasion is delivering a massive blow to Ukraine’s economy and it has inflicted enormous damage to infrastructure,” said Anna Bjerde, World Bank Vice President for the Europe and Central Asia region.

The World Bank said the region’s economy is now forecast to shrink by 4.1% whereas it had been expected to grow before the war.

16:08Do you think it’s a good idea for EU leaders to speak in person with Russian President Vladimir Putin?16:01

Hungary plans to pay for gas in roubles, says it doesn’t violate sanctions

Hungary’s foreign minister Peter Szijjarto said the country has a solution that «does not violate any sanctions» while securing Hungary’s gas supply after Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted gas payments be carried out in roubles.

Hungary plans to pay for Russian gas in euros through Gazprombank which will convert the payment into roubles, Szijjarto said.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban had said last week that Hungary was prepared to pay roubles for Russian gas, against the line from the European Union.

(with Reuters)


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Austrian Chancellor Nehammer meeting begins

The Austrian Chancellor travelled to Moscow on Monday for talks with the Russian president, the first such visit for an EU leader since the war began.



Croatian foreign ministry expels 24 employees of Russian embassy

The Croatian foreign ministry said that 24 staff at the Russian embassy in Zagreb would be expelled from the country.

The staff include 18 diplomats and 6 members of the administrative and technical staff of the Russian embassy.

Croatia’s foreign ministry said they had expressed «the strongest condemnation of the brutal aggression against Ukraine and numerous crimes committed» to the Russian ambassador who was summoned to the ministry.

Many EU countries have expelled Russian diplomats since the war in Ukraine began in late February, stating that they posed a threat to the countries’ national security.


Slovakia denies air defence is destroyed

Slovakia has denied its S-300 air defence missile system it transported to Ukraine has been destroyed by the Russian armed forces.

“Our S-300 system has not been destroyed,” Lubica Janikova, spokeswoman for Slovakia’s Prime Minister Eduard Heger said in a statement sent to The Associated Press.

She said any other claim is not true.

Earlier on Monday, the Russian military said it destroyed a shipment of air defence missile system provided by the West on the southern outskirts of the city of Dnipro.

The Russian side said Ukraine had received the air defence system from a European country that he didn’t name. Last week, Slovakia said it has handed over its Soviet-designed S-300 air defence systems to Ukraine, which has pleaded with the West to give it more weapons, including long-range air defence systems.



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