War in Ukraine: latest news
- President Vladimir Zelensky said late Monday that Russia had started the “second phase of the offensive” in Ukraine in what he called the Battle of Donbas.
- At least six dead and eight wounded left a series of “powerful” Russian missile attacks on Kyiv, a city in western Ukraine, on Monday.
- The Russian central bank seems to recognize that the sanctions are beginning to affect the country’s economy and warned that international reserves will no longer be able to mitigate the effects.
- Zelensky said that he will not cede territory to Russia to end the war. Later, he denounced that Russian troops build “torture chambers” where they kidnap local officials.
- Ukrainian Prime Minister affirms that Mariupol “has not fallen” and that “they will fight to the end”. His statements come after the deadline given by Russia for the Ukrainian soldiers to surrender in that port city expired. In the evening, the Ukrainian authorities reported that the shelling of the steel plant that functions as a refuge for the forces resisting the invasion intensified.
9 Apr 2022 – 04:35 AM EDT
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So far we have told you the main news of Monday, April 18, about the war in Ukraine.
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18 Apr 2022 – 09:30 PM EDT
Russia intensifies shelling of shelter in Mariupol
Russia has started dropping bunker-busting bombs on the barracks set up at a Mariupol steel plant, where Ukrainians are meeting and refusing to surrender, the commander of the National Guard’s Azov Regiment said on Monday.
Denys Prokopenko, whose soldiers have resisted Russian forces in the southern Ukrainian port city, said in a video message that the bombs are falling despite civilians taking refuge in the plant’s tunnels.
“The Russian occupation forces and their proxy… know the civilians and continue to shoot at the factory voluntarily,” he said.
Russia estimated that 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers and some 400 foreign mercenaries are holed up in the steel plant. The United States said nearly a dozen Russian battalion tactical groups are involved in the battle.
With information from AP.
18 Apr 2022 – 05:05 PM EDT
Who is the Russian oligarch Ukraine wants to exchange for prisoners held by Russia
Last week the Ukrainian government announced the capture of tycoon and politician Viktor Medvedchuk, recaptured by the country’s special services after fleeing house arrest when Russia invaded.
Medvedchuk is considered the main ally of President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine, so President Volodymyr Zelensky suggested exchanging him for captured Ukrainian soldiers, something that Moscow rejected as “a foreign politician”, as the Kremlin spokesman said.
But this Monday, Russian state television broadcast a video of two prisoners, allegedly British citizens captured in fighting in Ukraine, asking Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be exchanged for Medvedchuk, while a video of the oligarch was broadcast from Kyiv in which he asks to be redeemed.
Who is Medvedchuk and why is he so important? In this note we tell you:
18 Apr 2022 – 04:14 PM EDT
Ukraine assures that a new Russian offensive has begun in the east of the country
President Vladimir Zelensky assures that what he calls the “second phase” of Russia’s offensive has begun in the eastern region of the country.
“Now we can confirm that the Russian troops have started the battle for Donbas, which they have been preparing for a long time. A large part of the Russian army is now engaged in this offensive,” the Ukrainian president said in a message posted on Telegram.
Zelensky confirmed what his chief of staff Andriy Yermak had reported shortly before, about the beginning of a new stage of Russian attacks against targets in the east of the country.
Secretary of the National Security Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov reported that Russia tried to break through the Ukrainian defenses “along almost the entire front line of the Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions.”
“They started their attempt to start the active phase,” Danilov added, in comments that were televised, saying the invaders had captured the city of Kreminna, but Ukrainian troops were “holding the line” in the other areas.
18 Apr 2022 – 03:28 PM EDT
Ukraine suspends humanitarian corridors again due to a lack of security
The Ukrainian authorities announced that this Monday, for the second consecutive day, humanitarian corridors will not be enabled for the evacuation of civilians from the combat zones, and accused Russia of “blocking” and bombing the convoys.
“For today, April 18, there will, unfortunately, be no humanitarian corridors,” even for the devastated city of Mariupol, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Telegram, AFP reported.
Negotiations with the Russian army are “long and complex”, especially about the city of Mariupol, largely under Russian control, and other locations where fighting is taking place, he said.
“Russian occupiers constantly block and shell humanitarian routes. Therefore, for security reasons, it has been decided not to open corridors,” he added.
Central Bank of Russia warns: “Living on reserves is over”
During a meeting with the State Duma (parliament) this Monday, the president of the Central Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiúllina, warned the legislators that “the period in which the economy has been able to live on reserves is over” and that The Russian economy “is entering a difficult period due to the structural changes associated with the sanctions “.
Nabiúllina stated that within this scenario, where inflation is expected “above our goal”, businessmen will have to look for “new business models” because the sanctions pose restrictions on imports and exports of Russian products.
According to the chief economist of the Russian Central Bank, the measures adopted by the West due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine mainly affected the financial markets, “but from now on they will begin to increasingly harm the sectors of the real economy”, manifesting itself in the scarcity of imported products and the difficulty in exporting.
18 Apr 2022 – 08:51 AM EDT
Prisoners from Russia and Ukraine ask to be exchanged
Russian state television broadcast a video on Monday of two prisoners, identified as British citizens Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, allegedly captured in fighting in Ukraine, asking Prime Minister Boris Johnson to negotiate their release.
The two men ask to be exchanged for Viktor Medvedchuk, a wealthy Ukrainian businessman close to Russian President Vladimir Putin who was detained in Ukraine.
They do not specify who is currently holding them, Russian forces or their separatist allies in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, AFP reported.
In turn, Ukraine’s security services released a video on Monday showing Medvedchuk asking to be exchanged for besieged soldiers and civilians in the city of Mariupol.
“I want to address Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to ask them to change me to Ukrainian defenders and residents of Mariupol,” the businessman said in a video in which he is dressed in black and looks directly into the camera.
18 April 2022 – 05:13 AM EDT
The organization denounces that Russian troops forcibly took 150 children from Mariupol
About 150 children were forcibly removed from Mariupol, a city heavily besieged by Russian troops, according to the Crimean Human Rights Group organization, quoted by Deutsche Welle.
The children were taken by the invading Russian troops “to occupied Donetsk and Russian Taganrog,” said Olha Skrypnyk, director of the Crimean Human Rights Group.
The group of minors includes a hundred who were injured and sick in the city hospital, the organization said.
Petro Andriushchenko, the adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, said the kidnapped children are not orphans and most of them were taken from hospitals without their parents. In addition, the occupants removed 16 children from a health center.
18 Apr 2022 – 04:51 AM EDT
At least seven dead and eight wounded in the Russian missile attack on Lviv
At least seven dead and eight wounded left a series of “powerful” Russian missile attacks on Monday in Kyiv, a large city in western Ukraine, local authorities reported as quoted by AFP.
The previous number of victims was six, but it has increased as rescuers have been removing the rubble and it could still increase.
“Among the victims is a child,” Governor Maksym Kozitsky said on Telegram, adding that the shelling had hit military infrastructure and a tire garage, causing fires.
“Five powerful missile attacks in one go on the civil infrastructure of the ancient European city of Lviv,” Mikhailo Podoliak, adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, announced on Twitter.
“The Russians continue to barbarously attack Ukrainian cities from the air, cynically declaring to the world their ‘right’ to… kill Ukrainians,” Podolak claimed.
The city’s mayor, Andriy Sadovy, confirmed the attack, saying on Telegram that rescue teams went to the scene.
The Ukrainian railway company stated on Telegram that “several missiles fell near the railway facilities”, without causing casualties and without hampering traffic.
18 Apr 2022 – 04:47 AM EDT
Attack on the kitchen of chef José Andrés in Ukraine leaves four chefs injured
18 Apr 2022 – 04:47 AM EDT
Ukrainian Prime Minister affirms that Mariupol “has not fallen” and that “they will fight to the end”
In an interview with ABC, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that the Ukrainian forces remaining in the port city of Mariupol are still fighting and will continue to defy Russia’s ultimatum to surrender.
“The city has not fallen,” Shmyhal said. On Sunday, Russia said it would guarantee the lives of Ukrainian soldiers who surrender, with the Kremlin adding that the only Ukrainian soldiers left in the city were in a giant steel mill.
Other Ukrainian officials have been reiterating the same message.
Shmuel told ABC’s “This Week” that although the city remains under Ukrainian control, its residents are suffering and will “fight to the end” anyway.
“They have no water, no food, no heat, no electricity,” Shmyhal said. “They ask all of our partners to support and help stop this humanitarian catastrophe.”
18 Apr 2022 – 04:46 AM EDT
Truckers from Russia and Belarus stand in a long queue at the EU border before sanctions start
A 60-mile-long queue of trucks has formed at the Poland-Belarus border as Russian and Belarusian drivers try to leave the European Union (EU) after the sanctions deadline.
Some truck drivers have been stuck in line for more than 30 hours.
The EU has banned trucks from Russia and Belarus from entering or staying in the bloc, except those carrying medicine, mail, or petroleum products as part of a series of sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Zelensky accuses Russian troops of building “torture chambers” where they kidnap local officials
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian troops in southern Ukraine have been torturing and kidnapping and called on the world on Sunday to respond. “Torture chambers are built there,” said the president.
“They kidnap representatives of local governments and anyone who is considered visible to local communities,” said the Ukrainian president, quoted by the AP.
Zelensky assured us that Russian troops have also stolen humanitarian aid that has been sent to Ukraine. In the occupied parts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, he claimed, the Russians are creating breakaway states and introducing the Russian currency, the ruble.
Heavy Russian shelling of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, has killed 18 people and injured 106 in the last four days alone, Zelenskyy said. “This is nothing more than deliberate terror. Mortars, artillery against common residential neighborhoods, against common civilians,” he described.