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Russia-Ukraine latest news: Zelensky offers to swap Putin ally for war prisoners as Biden accuses Putin of committing ‘genocide’

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Inside the Mariupol theatre where hundreds were killed by Russian shelling

Joe Biden has accused Russia’s president Vladimir Putin of committing a “genocide” in Ukraine.

The US president on Tuesday was speaking in Iowa, where he declared that American consumers should not have to suffer the economic effects of the actions of “a dictator [who] declares war and commits genocide half the world away”.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s secret services announced that they have captured Viktor Medvedchuk, a pro-Russia politician and close friend of Putin, following his escape from house arrest.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky, in his Wednesday address, proposed releasing Medvedchuk to Russia in “exchange” for Ukrainian soldiers captured by Russian forces.

Elsewhere, the mayor of Mariupol said on Tuesday that an estimated 21,000 civilian residents of the southern Ukrainian city had been killed since the start of Russia’s invasion on 24 February.

Also, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that the massacre in Bucha last week which saw “hundreds” of civilians killed, was a “special British operation.”

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More than 200 people added to Britain’s sanctions list

The British government had added another 206 individuals to its sanctions list in response to Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.

The list can be found here.

Lamiat Sabin13 April 2022 12:01

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Zelensky claims Russia is using chemical weapons in Ukraine

Russia has been using white phosphorous bombs in Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky said.

The Ukrainian president made the claim about use of chemical weapons in an address to Estonia’s parliament. He did not provide evidence and Reuters reported that it has not been able to independently verify his claim.

Lamiat Sabin13 April 2022 11:40

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Watch: Military vehicles in Russia moving towards Finland border

Video footage appears to show Russia moving military equipment towards its border with Finland.

Russian military vehicles spotted near Finland border

The footage has been verified by Sky News.

It comes as Finnish PM Sanna Marin said Finland’s possible Nato membership would be discussed “within the coming weeks”.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov warned on Monday that expansion of Nato would “not bring stability” to Europe.

Lamiat Sabin13 April 2022 11:20

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‘No information’ on Russia report of Ukraine’s surrending soldiers

We reported earlier that Russia’s defence ministry said 1,026 Ukrainian soldiers of the 36th Marine Brigade surrendered in the besieged city Mariupol.

But Ukraine said it has no information about the surrender reported by Russian news agency TASS.

Ukrainian defence ministry spokesperson Oleksandr Motuzyanyk has said, in response to a request for comment on the Russian report: “I don’t have information.”

Lamiat Sabin13 April 2022 11:00

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One civilian killed by Russian shelling in Luhansk, governor says

One civilian was killed by Russian shelling in the Luhansk region over the past 24 hours, regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said.

Russia has denied targeting civilians since it invaded Ukraine on 24 February.

Read the full story here:

Lamiat Sabin13 April 2022 10:40

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‘Seven people including two-year-old killed in Kharkiv’ – governor

At least seven people – including a toddler – were killed and 22 wounded by shelling in Kharkiv over the past 24 hours.

This is according to Oleh Synegubov, the governor of the region in Ukraine’s northeast.

Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine

(Google Maps)

In an online post, Mr Synegubov said a two-year-old boy was among those killed in the 53 artillery or rocket strikes he said Russian forces had carried out.

Reuters could not independently verify the information. Since the beginning of the invasion, Russia has targeting civilians.

Lamiat Sabin13 April 2022 10:20

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Heads of four eastern European countries travel to Kyiv

The presidents of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia said they are heading to Kyiv to meet Volodymyr Zelensky.

Estonian president Alar Karis tweeted: “We are visiting Ukraine to show strong support to the Ukrainian people, will meet dear friend President Zelensky.”

Polish president Andrzej Duda, Lithuania’s Gitanas Nauseda, and Latvia’s Egils Levits also are on the trip.

Lamiat Sabin13 April 2022 10:00

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At least 100,000 people in Mariupol awaiting evacuation – mayor

More than 100,000 people are awaiting evacuation in Mariupol, the besieged city’s mayor Vadym Boichenko said.

A woman pulls her bags past damaged housing in Mariupol

(Alexei Alexandrov/AP)

It came as Ukraine’s deputy PM Iryna Vereshchuk saud no humanitarian corridors in Ukraine will be opened today.

She said the reason for no evacuations is because Russian forces had violated a ceasefire – in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine – and had blocked buses from evacuating people in Zaporizhzhia.

Lamiat Sabin13 April 2022 09:40

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‘We’ll find Russian troops involved in violent crimes’ – Zelensky

Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Ukraine would find all Russians involved in crimes – such as rape – against Ukrainian civilians.

The president of Ukraine, in his video message last night, said: “There is more and more evidence and other official data of the investigation about the terrible crimes of the occupiers in those areas where, unfortunately, they were able to enter.”

(Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

He contined: “About the inhuman cruelty of the Russian military towards women and children. About multiple rapes.

“Not all serial rapists reached the level of cruelty that Russian soldiers did. Of course, we will establish the full truth about all these monsters. No matter how much time and effort it would take, we will find everyone.

“And let [Viktor] Medvedchuk be a good example for you. Even the former oligarch did not escape. Let alone much simpler criminals from the Russian hinterland. We will get everyone.”

Lamiat Sabin13 April 2022 09:20

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Russia says 1,026 Ukrainian marines surrendered in Mariupol

Russia’s defence ministry said that 1,026 Ukrainian soldiers of the 36th Marine Brigade surrendered in the city of Mariupol, the TASS news agency reported.

Lamiat Sabin13 April 2022 09:00

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