February 24, 2024

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Russia will be beaten, Ukrainians say as Zelensky warns ‘terror’ will never be forgotten

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Almost all Ukrainians believe that Russia will be forced to abandon its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, a poll suggests.

A massive 93 per cent of Ukrainians said they believe Ukraine will be victorious, according to a new poll by Ukrainian survey group ‘Rating’.

This level of faith is the highest amid Vladimir Putin’s invasion so far, the group said.

Earlier, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia’s brutality in the Black Sea port city of Mariupol would be remembered for “centuries”.

Several thousand residents were forcefully deported to Russian territory over the last week, Mariupol city’s council said.

“The occupiers illegally took people from the Livoberezhniy district, and from the shelter in the sports club building where more than a thousand people (mostly women and children) were hiding from the constant bombing,” the council said.

Also, an art school where 400 people were sheltering was bombed on Saturday – the council said. No mention of casualties has been made, but the building was destroyed and people were buried under rubble.

Key Points

  • Almost all Ukrainians believe Russia will be defeated – poll

  • Zelensky calls siege of Mariupol ‘terror that will be remembered for centuries’

  • Mariupol art school sheltering 400 people ‘bombed by Russia’

  • Several thousands of Mariupol residents ‘abducted and taken to Russia’

  • Civilians fleeing Mariupol ‘starving to death’ amid critical food shortage

  • ‘Massacre’ in Ukraine ‘senseless’ and ‘repugnant’ – Pope Francis

  • Russia killed 115 children during invasion, Ukraine says

  • Eleven ‘pro-Russia’ parties banned in Ukraine

Watch live as Zelensky addresses Israel’s parliament in video call

16:12 , Sam Hancock

Failure on Putin to talk ‘will mean WWIII’ – Zelensky warns

16:10 , Lamiat Sabin

Ukraine is ready to negotiate with Vladimir Putin, president Volodymyr Zelensky said in warning that failure to engage in talks could result in the Third World War.

Putin at a ‘unity’ rally in Moscow earlier this week (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Putin at a ‘unity’ rally in Moscow earlier this week (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

In an interview with CNN, he said: “I am ready to negotiate with him. I have been ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations we will not be able to end this war.

“I think that we should use any format, any chance, to be able to negotiate, an opportunity to talk to Putin. But if these attempts fail, it will mean that this is the Third World War.”

He stressed that Ukraine will make “no compromises” related to “territorial integrity and our sovereignty”.

Kharkiv civilians survey damage to their homes – pictures

15:50 , Lamiat Sabin

Residents of Ukraine’s second-largest city are pictured today amid the destruction of their homes caused by Russian invaders.

 (Andrew Marienko/AP)

(Andrew Marienko/AP)

Like much of southern and eastern Ukraine, Kharkiv – in the north-east – has sustained severe damage and bloodshed since 24 February.

 (Andrew Marienko/AP)

(Andrew Marienko/AP)

Pictures show the devastating impact missiles have had on people’s homes, with interiors and structures battered by explosions.

 (Andrew Marienko/AP)

(Andrew Marienko/AP)

Walls, ceilings, cupboards, appliances and belongings are smashed and broken, largely on the floors in piles of rubble.

Other pictures show structures completely ruined, such as these that show the caved-in ceiling of a building in construction.

 (Andrew Marienko/AP)

(Andrew Marienko/AP)

 (Andrew Marienko/AP)

(Andrew Marienko/AP)

Joe Biden not planning to visit Ukraine in next Europe trip

15:40 , Lamiat Sabin

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that details of Joe Biden’s trip to Europe will be announced later today.

“But there are no plans to travel into Ukraine,” she said.

Eleven ‘pro-Russia’ parties banned in Ukraine

15:20 , Lamiat Sabin

Eleven Ukrainian political parties have been suspended because of their alleged links with Russia.

Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine’s national security and defence council took the decision to ban the parties from any political activity.

Most of the parties are small, but one – Opposition Platform for Life – has 44 seats in the 450-seat Ukrainian parliament.

Volodymyr Zelensky (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

Volodymyr Zelensky (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

MrZelensky said: “The activities of those politicians aimed at division or collusion will not succeed, but will receive a harsh response.

“Therefore, the national security and defence council decided, given the full-scale war unleashed by Russia, and the political ties that a number of political structures have with this state, to suspend any activity of a number of political parties for the period of martial law.”

The parties are: Opposition Platform for Life, Shariy’s Party, Nashi, Opposition Bloc, Left Opposition, Union of Left Forces, Derzhava, Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, Socialist Party of Ukraine, the Socialists, and Volodymyr Saldo’s Bloc.

Mother and son reunited in Lviv rail station – pictures

15:00 , Lamiat Sabin

A mother embraces her teenage son as he joins her in the relative safety of Lviv, after escaping the beseiged city of Mariupol.

 (Bernat Armangue/AP)

(Bernat Armangue/AP)

The poignant image is one of many showing Ukrainians, with just their loved ones and personal belongings, seeking sanctuary away from combat zones created by the Russian invasion.

 (Bernat Armangue/AP)

(Bernat Armangue/AP)

 (Bernat Armangue/AP)

(Bernat Armangue/AP)

Gathered on the platform are people from Mariupol – which has seen some of the worst devastation amid Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukrainians – and Zaporizhzhia.

 (Bernat Armangue/AP)

(Bernat Armangue/AP)

Lviv is one of the main hubs for Ukrainians on their way to Poland, where most refugees have fled to, as it is situated close to the border.

‘Russia’s losses preventing significant attacks today’ – Ukraine

14:35 , Lamiat Sabin

Russian forces’ losses have prevented the troops from launching any significant attacks today, according to Ukraine.

Russian invaders have not launched any significant offensives over the past day, the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in its daily update.

Vladimir Putin’s troops are struggling with loss of soldiers, damaged equipment, and logistical issues.

Russia’s 331nd paratrooper platoon, that was engaged in conflict near Kyiv, has only one soldier left – and he’s in hospital, Ukraine said.

Ukraine’s army posted photos of yet another destroyed Russian military vehicle – which it said could be used to “replenish scrap metal reserves”.

Central European countries ‘worried over ability to host refugees’

14:20 , Lamiat Sabin

Czech Republic is concerned over whether it can “provide comfortable living conditions” to Ukrainian refugees.

Many other central European countries – such as Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary – are also reaching capacity to host some of the millions of refugees who have fled Ukraine during Russia’s invasion, a Czech official said.

Many of the refugees are staying in makeshift accommodation in sports halls and campsites.

Bedspaces laid out in a sports hall in Poland (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

Bedspaces laid out in a sports hall in Poland (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

Czech interior minister Vit Rakusan said the government would seek to extend a state of emergency to deal with the influx of people.

Officials are trying to relocate new arrivals to cities outside Prague to ease pressure on the capital, he said.

During a television debate, Mr Rakusan said: “The Czech Republic is balancing on the edge of capacities where we are able to provide comfortable living conditions.

“Living in gyms, sleeping bags, or campsites is not good for life.”

ICYMI: Turkey says Russia and Ukraine closer to peace deal

14:02 , Holly Bancroft

Turkey’s foreign minister has said that Russia and Ukraine were getting closer to an agreement on “critical” issues.

Mevlut Cavusoglu said that he was hopeful for a ceasefire if the sides don’t take a step back from the progress they have made toward an agreement.

Archive photo of  Mevlut Cavusoglu (Getty)

Archive photo of Mevlut Cavusoglu (Getty)

Mr Cavusoglu told Turkish media that there had been “rapprochement in the positions of both sides on important subjects, critical subjects.

“We can say we are hopeful for a ceasefire if the sides do not take a step back from the current positions,” he said.

Trucks queue 45 miles as protesters block trade route to Belarus

13:50 , Holly Bancroft

Officials in Poland have said that trucks headed to Belarus are backed up for 25 miles while they wait to reach the border.

Protesters are blocking the road at the Koroszczyn border point and calling for a ban on trade with Russian and its ally Belarus.

The protesters have been blocking access to the crossing – on and off – for some two weeks.

Some 950 trucks were waiting to cross into Belarus early Sunday, according to a spokesperson for the local tax office. The waiting time is 32 hours, he said.

 (AFP via Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

Ukraine claims death of a sixth Russian general

13:37 , Holly Bancroft

Advisor to the Ukrainian president, Myhailo Podolyak, has claimed that a sixth Russian general has been killed.

In a post on social media, he said: “High mortality of RF senior officers is striking. Already 6 generals killed: Maj Gens Tushayev, Gerasimov, Kolesnikov, Sukhovestsky, Mityaev & Lt Gen Mordvichev.

“Dozens of colonels and other officers. RF army is fully unprepared and fights only with numbers and cruise missiles.”

Ten million people have fled their homes in Ukraine – UN

13:24 , Holly Bancroft

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has said that 10 million people have now fled their homes in Ukraine.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Grandi said: “Among the responsibilities of those who wage war, everywhere in the world, is the suffering inflicted on civilians who are forced to flee their homes.

“The war in Ukraine is so devastating that 10 million have fled – either displaced inside the country, or as refugees abroad.”

‘Massacre’ in Ukraine ‘senseless’ and ‘repugnant’ – Pope Francis

13:00 , Lamiat Sabin

Pope Francis has denounced Russia’s “repugnant war” against Ukraine as “cruel and sacrilegious inhumanity.”

His comments appear to be his strongest condemnation of Russia’s invasion since it was launched on 24 February – but, as typical of pontiffs, he stopped short of naming Russia as the aggressor.

Pope Francis at his window overlooking St. Peter’s Square (Andrew Medichini/AP)

Pope Francis at his window overlooking St. Peter’s Square (Andrew Medichini/AP)

In Vatican City, he told thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square that every day brings more atrocities in what is a “senseless massacre.”

He said: “There is no justification for this … Again this week, missiles, bombs, rained down on the elderly, children and pregnant mothers.”

The pope said: “I feel great pain for those who don’t even have the chance to escape.”

He added, before leading a moment of silent prayer: “Above all, defenseless life should get respected and protected, not eliminated.”

Dozens attend pro-Putin rally in Lebanon – pictures

12:20 , Lamiat Sabin

Dozens of people attended a pro-Russia rally in Lebanon today holding Russian and Syrian flags.

 (Bilal Hussein/AP)

(Bilal Hussein/AP)

Some of the attendees wore t-shirts or held banners with Vladimir Putin’s face printed on them.

 (Bilal Hussein/AP)

(Bilal Hussein/AP)

Lebanese, Syrians and Russians gathered outside the United Nations’ offices in Beirut to show support for Putin amid his brutal invasion of Ukraine.

 (Bilal Hussein/AP)

(Bilal Hussein/AP)

In 2015, Russian troops had joined Syria’s civil war and helped tip the balance of power in Syrian president Bashar Assad’s favour.

Almost all Ukrainians believe Russia will be defeated – poll

12:00 , Lamiat Sabin

A massive 93 per cent of Ukrainians believe Ukraine will defeat Russia, according to a new poll.

This level of faith expressed by Ukraine’s civilians is the highest relating to this question so far, the survey suggests.

Independence square in Kyiv during the Maidan Revolution (Getty)

Independence square in Kyiv during the Maidan Revolution (Getty)

There are almost no people who do not believe in a Ukrainian victory, the polling group known as ‘Rating’ said.

Just 17 per cent were unable to answer the question, it added.

Nearly half of respondents said they hope a victory will be won over the next few weeks.

Almost a quarter believe that the war will last several months. Only 12 per cent said they expect it to last more than six months.

Calls for bigger sanctions as ‘majority of Russia backs war on EU’

11:40 , Lamiat Sabin

A Ukrainian former minister is calling for stricter sanctions against Russia, and cited a poll that suggests the vast majority of Russians support the idea of attacking European Union countries.

A huge 86.6 per cent of Russians polled have said they would support Vladimir Putin if he decided to invade Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and others – according to the survey results released earlier this week.

More than 75 per cent of Russians would approve of invading Poland, the results also suggest.

Volodymyr Ogrysko, former foreign affairs minister for Ukraine, said the West should impose harsher sanctions against Russian individuals and sanctions.

He tweeted: “Dear Europeans, according to some pools 86,6% of Russists (Russia + faschists) support the possible military attack against some EU countries (former ‘socialist’ countries).

“Their barbarism should not be forgiven, their crazy plans should be stopped. Sanctions MUST be strengthened!”

Protests around the world, and Putin toilet paper – in pictures

11:20 , Lamiat Sabin

Demonstrations against Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine have continued this weekend across the globe.

The protests have taken place in countries including South Korea, the US, and European nations.

In Los Angeles, California, rolls of toilet paper – with Vladimir Putin’s mugshot printed on the sheets – were brought to a rally.

Rolls of Putin toilet paper in Los Angeles (Damian Dovarganes/AP)

Rolls of Putin toilet paper in Los Angeles (Damian Dovarganes/AP)

South Koreans in Seoul protest near the Russian embassy (Ahn Young-joon/AP)

South Koreans in Seoul protest near the Russian embassy (Ahn Young-joon/AP)

Greek protesters at central Syntagma square in Athens (Yorgos Karahalis/AP)

Greek protesters at central Syntagma square in Athens (Yorgos Karahalis/AP)

Young Romanians in Bucharest hold a Ukraine flag (Andreea Alexandru/AP)

Young Romanians in Bucharest hold a Ukraine flag (Andreea Alexandru/AP)

China says abstentions of UN anti-invasion vote ‘responsible’

10:50 , Lamiat Sabin

China defended its decision – and those of other countries including Algeria – to abstain from voting on a United Nations motion earlier this momth that opposed the invasion of Ukraine.

Archive photo of Wang Yi (NurPhoto/Rex)

Archive photo of Wang Yi (NurPhoto/Rex)

Foreign ministers Wang Yi and Ramtane Lamamra met at a press conference today where a journalist asked them about the invasion by Russia, a strong ally to China and Algeria.

The Chinese official said, according to a report by China’s embassy in the UK: “China, Algeria and quite a number of countries abstained in the voting.

“Abstention is also an attitude. It is to give peace a chance and shows disapproval of using war and sanctions to address disputes, and it is a responsible attitude.

“At the same time, we are of the view that the Ukraine issue has not come to this point by accident. It is the result of the confluence of various factors and an eruption of the tensions that have built up over the years.

“What lies at the heart is the issue of European security, and Nato’s move of expanding eastward without limit merits reflection.”

About 14,700 Russian soldiers killed in invasion – Ukraine army

10:40 , Lamiat Sabin

Approximately 14,700 Russian troops have been killed since the start of the invasion as of today, Ukraine’s army said.

Russia also lost 476 tanks, 1,487 armored combat vehicles, 230 artillery systems, 74 multiple launch rocket systems, and 44 air defense systems.

Ninety-six aircraft, 118 helicopters, 947 vehicles, 3 ships/boats, 60 tanks with fuel and lubricants, 21 unmanned aerial vehicles of the operational-tactical level and 12 units of special equipment have also been destroyed by defence forces, Ukraine said.

This was announced by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on social media.

It added: “The data is being specified. The calculation is complicated by the high intensity of hostilities.”

Russia ‘terrorises Ukrainians to comply’ in appalling conditions

10:30 , Lamiat Sabin

Russian troops are using terrorist methods and are creating desperate conditions for Ukrainians to get them to comply with the invasion, Ukraine’s military said.

Vladimir Putin’s army is creating humanitarian crises in temporarily-occupied territories “to impose a brutal administrative and police regime”, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).

The AFU wrote on social media today: “So, last night to the Kherson area from the city of Apostolove of Dnipropetrovsk region 14 trucks with foodstuff and medicines of the first necessity had been moved.

“The Russian occupiers did not give access to humanitarian convoy for moving without reason. In this way occupiers try to force the local population to collaborate.”

The trucks contained food, medicine and hygiene products – Ukraine’s parliament tweeted.

Ukrainians kneel to pay respects to fallen local soldier

10:20 , Lamiat Sabin

Many hundreds of Ukrainian civilians have mourned the death of a local soldier by kneeling on the sides of a road as his body was transported for burial.

Residents of an unspecified place in Ukraine kneel on the ground – holding candles and making the religious gesture of making the sign of the cross – while the soldier’s body passes by in a vehicle, a video shows.

The footage was posted today by Ukraine’s ministry of foreign affairs, but was first shared on social media earlier this week.

Russia ‘smashes’ house with Grad multiple rocket launchers

10:10 , Lamiat Sabin

Russian invaders “smashed” a house and damaged a gas pipeline with Grad multiple rocket launchers, officials said.

On Saturday night, Russia’s troops shelled the village of Velyka Kostromka in Dnipropetrovsk region, said Oleksandr Vilkul – head of the military administration of Kryvy Rih.

He said in a video message: “They smashed one house, a street and a gas pipeline were slightly damaged, but thank God, no casualties. Our fire service extinguished everything.”

Location of Velyka Kostromka, in the Dnipropetrovsk region (Google Maps)

Location of Velyka Kostromka, in the Dnipropetrovsk region (Google Maps)

Shelling kills two children and adult in Rubizhne

09:50 , Lamiat Sabin

Two children and an adult were killed when the city of Rubizhne in the Luhansk region of Ukraine was shelled by Russian troops, an official said.

In the past 24 hours, 24 facilities in Rubizhne and Severodonetsk have been damaged or destroyed by 19 “powerful fires” sparked by Russian projectiles, head of Luhansk regional military administration Serhiy Haidai has said.

“During the shelling in Rubizhne, three people were killed, two of them were children, two (one child) were injured,” the press service of the administration quoted Mr Haidai as saying on Sunday.

Over the past day, 24 houses in Rubizhne and nearby Severodonetsk were destroyed, which seven people were saved from, according to the military.

Some 30 facilities were damaged, including 12 multi-apartment and 12 private residential buildings, an educational institution in Rubizhne, warehouses, utility buildings, and infrastructure facilities.

Ukrainian national channels to be combined amid martial law

09:33 , Lamiat Sabin

Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a decree that rolls all state-run TV channels into one platform.

The Ukrainian president said it’s important that the country has a “unified information policy” under martial law, according to his office.

Archive photo of Volodymr Zelensky (AFP/Getty)

Archive photo of Volodymr Zelensky (AFP/Getty)

A date for when the move would be completed by was not given.

Fears of attack on northwest Ukraine from inside Belarus

09:20 , Lamiat Sabin

There is a high risk of an attack being launched from inside Belarus on western Ukraine, the office of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said citing the military.

The officials have said that the attack could be launched on Ukraine’s Volyn region, the country’s most northwestern province, but they did not clarify whether it would be likely launched by Russian or Belarusian troops.

In the Volyn region, Kovel is the westernmost town and the last station in Ukraine on the rail line running from Kyiv to Polish capital Warsaw.

Peace talks ‘close to agreement on critical issues’ – Turkey

09:10 , Lamiat Sabin

Russian and Ukrainian diplomats in ceasefire negotiations are closer to agreeing on “critical” issues, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reportedly said.

File photo of Mevlut Cavusoglu (Getty)

File photo of Mevlut Cavusoglu (Getty)

He told Hurriyet on Sunday that both parties to the ongoing peace talks, being held in Belarus, have nearly agreed on some subjects.

Mr Cavusoglu hopes for a ceasefire if the sides do not undo their progress so far, he said.

Russia killed 115 children during invasion, Ukraine says

09:00 , Lamiat Sabin

The Russian invasion has killed 115 children, Ukrainian parliament said.

It added: “More than 140 young Ukrainians were injured.

“These numbers are not figures but the scale of grief and the broken destinies of hundreds of Ukrainian families.”

Cruise and Kinzhal missiles fired at Ukraine, Russia admits

08:50 , Lamiat Sabin

Russia admits to firing cruise and Kinzhal hypersonic missiles within the last 24 hours.

Defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Russia had carried out strikes against Ukraine’s military infrastructure on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Ukraine was hit by cruise missiles from ships in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, and by Kinzhal missiles from Crimean airspace, the Russian defence ministry said.

Archive photo of Igor Konashenkov (Reuters)

Archive photo of Igor Konashenkov (Reuters)

“Kalibr cruise missiles were launched from the waters of the Black Sea against the Nizhyn plant that repairs Ukrainian armoured vehicles damaged in fighting,” Mr Konashenkov said.

Russia also hit a Ukrainian military preparation centre where foreign fighters joining Kyiv’s forces were based, he said.

Child, 9, among five people killed in shelling of Kharkiv

08:30 , Lamiat Sabin

A nine-year-old child and a man were killed by Russia shelling the industrial area of Kharkiv Tractor Plant, an official said.

They were among five people killed, as attacks on the city continued late on Saturday, the Interfax news agency reported.

Location of Kharkiv Tractor Plant (Google Maps)

Location of Kharkiv Tractor Plant (Google Maps)

Oleh Synehubov, head of the regional military administration, said on Telegram: “As a result of the last shelling in Kharkiv, in the area of Kharkiv Tractor Plant, civilians were killed, a man and a nine-year-old child. We offer sincere condolences to the relatives.”

In some areas, Ukrainian soldiers had launched a counterattack that destroyed Russian columns of tanks – he added.

Seven humanitarian corridors to open on Sunday

08:10 , Lamiat Sabin

Seven humanitarian corridors will open today to enable civilians to leave conflict zones, Ukrainian deputy PM Iryna Vereshchuk said.

Refugees inside an indoor sports stadium in the Polish village Medyka (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

Refugees inside an indoor sports stadium in the Polish village Medyka (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

Ukraine has evacuated a total of 190,000 people from such areas since the Russian invasion began on 24 February, she said on Saturday.

But some of the evacuation efforts have been blocked or frustrated by Russian troops, Ukraine has said.

‘Cruise missiles fired at Ukraine from Russian ships’

07:50 , Lamiat Sabin

Russian ships fired cruise missiles at Ukraine, the Interfax news agency reported.

The vessels were situated in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, according to the report.

Cruise missiles are highly-precise missiles that can travel long distances at subsonic speeds.

Archive photo of a long-range Kalibr cruise missile launched by a Russian Navy ship (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

Archive photo of a long-range Kalibr cruise missile launched by a Russian Navy ship (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

That’s all the details we have, but there will be an update once there is more information.

Mariupol art school sheltering 400 people ‘bombed by Russia’

07:30 , Lamiat Sabin

An art school where 400 people had been sheltering inside in Mariupol was bombed by Russian forces, the city’s council said.

Those inside were largely women, children, and elderly people, according to the council.

No mention of casualties was made about the attack on the art school that happened on Saturday.

But the building was destroyed and there were victims under the rubble, the council said.

Zelensky calls Russian siege of Mariupol a ‘terror that will be remembered for centuries’

06:57 , Vishwam Sankaran

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that Russia was committing war crimes in its siege of the port city of Mariupol, and that it would be remembered for “centuries to come” for the violence unleashed on its civilians.

“To do this to a peaceful city, what the occupiers did, is a terror that will be remembered for centuries to come,” Mr Zelensky said in a video address to the nation.

The city council said in a statement on Telegram that over the last week, several thousand Mariupol residents were deported into Russian territory.

“It is known that the captured Mariupol residents were taken to filtration camps, where the occupiers checked people’s phones and documents. After the inspection, some Mariupol residents were redirected to remote cities in Russia, the fate of others remains unknown,” a statement from the Mariupol City Council noted.

The Ukrainian president said peace talks with Russia were needed although they were “not easy and pleasant.”

Australia promises further $30m support for Ukraine, bans Aluminium export to Russia

06:32 , Vishwam Sankaran

Australia has announced an additional $30m in emergency humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, focused on protecting women and children.

“This contribution will focus on protecting women, children, the elderly and the disabled, and takes the total we have so far committed to $65 million,” the country’s top ministers noted in a joint statement.

The country has also imposed an immediate ban on Australian exports of alumina and aluminium ores to Russia.

According to Australia’s foreign ministry, Russia relies on Australia for nearly 20 per cent of its alumina needs – a mineral that is vital for auto, aerospace, packaging, machinery and construction sectors, and a critical input into armaments industries.

“Overnight, I have imposed an immediate ban on Australian exports of alumina & aluminium ores (including bauxite) to Russia under Australia’s autonomous sanctions against Russia. This will limit Russia’s capacity to produce aluminium – a critical export for Russia,” Marise Payne, Australia’s foreign minister and minister for women, tweeted on Sunday.

“Australia will continue to impose high costs on Russia. We have so far imposed a total of 476 sanctions on 443 individuals, including many oligarchs close to President Putin, and 33 entities, including most of Russia’s banking sector and all entities responsible for Russia’s sovereign debt,” the joint statement noted.

Russia has failed to gain control of Ukrainian air space, UK intelligence says

06:16 , Vishwam Sankaran

The Ukrainian Air Force is continuing to “effectively defend” the country’s air space against invading Russian forces, according to the UK government’s defence intelligence update late on Saturday.

“Russia has failed to gain control of the air and is largely relying on stand-off weapons launched from the relative safety of Russian airspace to strike targets within Ukraine,” the UK defence ministry tweeted from its official account.

Russia’s “continued failure” to gain control of Ukrainian air space has “significantly blunted” their operational progress, it said.

At least 20 surrogate babies stuck in Kyiv bomb shelter

05:50 , Vishwam Sankaran

In Kyiv, at least 20 babies born to surrogate mothers are stuck at a makeshift bomb shelter, waiting for their parents to travel to the besieged city and take them home.

Before Russia’s invasion began on 24 February, Ukraine was home to a thriving surrogacy industry, as one of the few countries where foreigners could get Ukrainian women to carry their pregnancies.

But now, the babies – some just a few days old – are sheltering underground along with the surrogacy centre’s nurses as the war rages on in the capital.

The parents of these babies live in Europe, Latin America, and China, according to the Associated Press, which visited the shelter.

“Now we are staying here to preserve our and the babies’ lives. We are hiding here from the bombing and this horrible misery,” said Lyudmilia Yashchenko, a 51-year-old nurse.

While the nurses say food and baby supplies are available at the shelter, they are left waiting for the infants to be picked up, and for the war to end.

Switzerland calls Russia’s war in Ukraine ‘devastating madness’

05:03 , Vishwam Sankaran

Swiss president Ignazio Cassis said on Saturday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is driven by “devastating madness” and that Switzerland is prepared to pay the price for defending freedom and democracy.

Mr Cassis said Switzerland has decided to impose the same sanctions on Russia as the European Union, and could not remain neutral in the “confrontation between democracy and barbarism”.

He added that the country was prepared to take an economic hit.

“We must valiantly and tirelessly defend freedom and democracy. This has a price. A price that Switzerland is ready to assume”, he wrote in the Swiss French-language newspaper Le Temps.

Civilians fleeing Mariupol ‘starving to death’

04:32 , Vishwam Sankaran

Ukraine says thousands of its civilians fleeing the besieged city of Mariupol to the suburbs are dying of hunger.

“Right now, thousands of Mariupol residents who managed to escape from Russian bombs are starving to death in the occupied Mangushi and Melekin. This is a crime against humanity!” Donetsk military-civil administration head Pavlo Kyrylenko said.

The military-civil administration head reportedly said the Russian occupying forces do not agree on a “green corridor” for the fleeing civilians to provide food, water and safe passage.

“We demand from the occupation administration to follow the rules of warfare and provide civilians with water and food, as well as to enable them to leave the combat zone!” Mr Kyrylenko said.

Russian invasion has led to at least 2,246 civilian casualties, UN says

04:04 , Vishwam Sankaran

In its latest update of civilian casualties, the UN noted on Saturday that 847 people have been killed and 1,399 injured since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on 24 February.

There have been 968 casualties in the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk, and 1,278 reported casualties in other regions under Ukrainian government control, the report noted.

“Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes,” the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said.

The actual figures could be considerably higher since officials have not been able to verify information in places witnessing intense battles, the UN agency noted.

Russia conscripting civilians in Ukraine’s separatist regions

03:37 , Vishwam Sankaran

Ukraine says Russia is conscripting civilians living in the occupied separatist regions of Donbas to deploy on the front lines of the war.

“This is a gross violation of international law, including Geneva Convention. Russian officials’ list of war crimes continues to expand. They will be held accountable,” Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s foreign ministry, tweeted.

The rebel-occupied regions in eastern Ukraine of Donetsk and Luhansk were declared “independent entities” by Russian president Vladimir Putin last month, before he ordered an invasion to — in his terms — protect them from Kyiv.

In the days leading up to the war, Russian-backed militants in the area reportedly escalated hostilities in Donbas as the west warned that Russia was preparing a pretext to invade.

Speaking to a local resident, the Kyiv Independent reported that civilians from occupied parts of the region are being forced to fight in front-line positions.

West must never ‘renormalise’ ties with Putin, says Johnson

03:00 , Liam James

Western nations must never “renormalise” relations with Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson has said, warning that Russia’s war in Ukraine has created a moment of choice for the world between freedom and oppression (Andrew Woodcock writes).

Victory for the Russian leader would usher in a “new age of intimidation” across eastern Europe and give a green light to autocrats around the globe, he said.

Addressing the Conservative spring conference in Blackpool on Saturday, Mr Johnson described the war as a “turning point for the world”.

West must never ‘renormalise’ ties with Putin, says Johnson

Mariupol residents ‘abducted and taken to Russia’

02:58 , Vishwam Sankaran

Thousands of residents of the besieged city of Mariupol in Ukraine are reportedly being taken against their will to Russia, the city council said on Saturday.

“It is known that the captured Mariupol residents were taken to filtration camps, where the occupiers checked people’s phones and documents. After the inspection, some Mariupol residents were redirected to remote cities in Russia, the fate of others remains unknown,” a statement from the Mariupol City Council noted.

Russian forces reportedly took people from the Livoberezhny district and from a shelter where more than a thousand people, “mostly women and children,” were hiding from the bombing.

“What the occupiers are doing today is familiar to the older generation, who saw the horrific events of World War II, when the Nazis forcibly captured people,” Mariupol mayor Vadym Boychenko said.

“It is difficult to imagine that in the 21st century people will be forcibly deported to another country. Not only are Russian troops destroying our peaceful Mariupol, they have gone even further and started deporting Mariupol residents,” Mr Boychenko added.

Ukraine accuses Russia of halting Mariupol buses

02:26 , Vishwam Sankaran

Russian forces have reportedly halted buses travelling to evacuate citizens from the besieged city of Mariupol.

The Berdyansk City Council posted on Facebook that a bus convoy headed from the region of Zaporizhzhia was stopped by Russian troops 3km from the city.

The bus convoy was reportedly not allowed to enter the city limits and its drivers were not permitted to spend the night.

“In this regard, all previously announced evacuation plans remain in question,” the city council noted.

US floats missile plan to Turkey

02:15 , Liam James

The United States has informally raised with Turkey the unlikely possibility of sending its Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems to Ukraine to help it fight invading Russian forces, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

US officials have floated the suggestion over the past month with their Turkish counterparts but no specific or formal request was made, the sources told Reuters. They said it also came up briefly during Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s visit to Turkey earlier this month.

The Biden administration has been asking allies who have been using Russian made equipment and systems including S-300s and S-400s to consider transferring them to Ukraine as it tries to fend off a Russian invasion that began on 24 February.

The idea, which analysts said was sure to be shot down by Turkey, was part of a wider discussion between Sherman and Turkish officials about how the United States and its allies can do more to support Ukraine and on how to improve bilateral ties.

The Turkish authorities have not commented on any US suggestion or proposal relating to the transfer to Ukraine of Ankara’s S-400 systems, which have been a point of long-standing contention between the two Nato allies.

Turkish foreign ministry officials were not immediately available for comment.

Reuters

Watch: The civilians defending Ukraine

01:45 , Liam James

As war rages on in Ukraine, a soaring number of men and women are signing up to support the country’s war effort by training for combat, defending territory, and providing protection for those fleeing Russia’s advance.

Bel Trew reports from the heart of the conflict, talking to the people who make up Ukraine’s civilian army.

Ukraine has ‘defeated initial Russian campaign’, says ISW

01:15 , Liam James

Russia has failed in its initial invasion plan, according to independent observers.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said Russia’s first plan was to take several cities around the country including Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa to force a regime change in Ukraine.

It is now very unlikely to be successful in this aim though Moscow will continue to send reinforcements to troops around the major cities in order to support this strategy, the ISW said.

Ukraine: 562 Russian prisoners of war detained

00:30 , Liam James

A total of 562 Russian prisoners of war are detained by Ukraine, according to its government.

The number was announced by deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk.

She said: “At present, we officially have 562 war prisoners of Russia.”

All prisoners of war are treated according to the Geneva convention, Ukrainian prosecutor general Irina Venediktova said earlier today.

The captured Russian troops are being held in camps where medical care is available, she said.

Boris Johnson urges China to condemn Putin

Saturday 19 March 2022 23:16 , Liam James

Boris Johnson has urged China to get off the fence and join in global condemnation of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The prime minister said he believed some in Xi Jinping’s administration were having “second thoughts” about the neutral stance adopted by Beijing following Russia’s actions against its neighbour.

Despite Mr Johnson’s suggestion of a possible shift in attitude, there was fresh criticism of Nato on Saturday from China as Russian forces continued their bombardment of Ukrainian towns and cities.

Mr Johnson used a Sunday Times interview to urge China and other neutral nations to line up against Russia.

He said: “As time goes on, and as the number of Russian atrocities mounts up, I think it becomes steadily more difficult and politically embarrassing for people either actively or passively to condone Putin’s invasion.

“There are considerable dilemmas now for people who thought they could sit this one out, who thought they could sit on the fence.

“And, yes, I think that in Beijing you are starting to see some second thoughts.”

 (News UK)

(News UK)

Kyiv residents defiant amid destruction and death

Saturday 19 March 2022 22:57 , Liam James

Latest dispatch from Kim Sengupta in Ukraine:

The attack was one of the latest barrages Kyiv has suffered daily since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began on 24 February. And residential areas have been hit with increasing frequency, resulting in mounting civilian casualties.

Five apartment blocks suffered substantial damage in an attack in the district of Podil on Friday morning. Waves from the blast shattered windows in homes and shops three streets along. One body has been found so far, say the authorities, while several people were injured. Residents claim the death count is much higher and that some residents suffered such severe injuries that they were unlikely to survive.

“I saw four bodies being taken out with my own eyes,” said Viochoslav Shmerkechuk. “And a lot of people wounded. Every one of these buildings has been affected, so it should not come as a surprise that the casualties would be high.”

Mr Shmerkechuk said his apartment suffered some damage, pointing to broken windows and scorched walls. But the five members of his family were all safe. “That is the most important thing now, to stay alive until this is all over,” he said. “We have lived here for 33 years and intend to continue living here.”

Full story here:

‘We’ll rebuild again’: Kyiv residents defiant amid destruction and death

Boris Johnson a ‘national embarrassment’ for comparing Brexit with Ukraine

Saturday 19 March 2022 22:38 , Liam James

Boris Johnson has sparked outrage by comparing the struggle of Ukrainians fighting the Russian invasion to British people voting for Brexit.

In his speech to the Conservative spring conference in Blackpool, Mr Johnson said it is the “instinct of the people of this country, like the people of Ukraine, to choose freedom”, with the Brexit vote a “famous recent example”.

The comparison was criticised by Tory peer Lord Barwell, who pointed out Ukraine is seeking to join the European Union.

Former European Council president, Donald Tusk, said the prime minister’s words “offend Ukrainians, the British and common sense”.

Guy Verhofstadt, former Belgian prime minister and EU Brexit negotiator, said the comparison was “insane”.

Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Ed Davey, said Mr Johnson “is a national embarrassment”, adding: “To compare a referendum to women and children fleeing Putin’s bombs is an insult to every Ukrainian.

“He is no Churchill. He is Basil Fawlty.”

Punk trio revise London Calling for Ukraine war

Saturday 19 March 2022 22:19 , Liam James

Ukrainian punk band Beton have reimagined The Clash’s hit single London Calling as an “anthem” of “solidarity and hope” during the Russian invasion.

The trio – Bohdan Hrynko, Oleg Hula and Andriy Zholob – recorded the new version, titled Kyiv Calling, on Thursday and Friday this week in a music studio in the city of Lviv.

The song features the lines “come out of neutrality, you boys and girls” and “phony Putinmania has bitten the dust.”

The track was mixed and mastered by producer Danny Saber, one of the last people to work with Joe Strummer, lead singer of The Clash before his death in 2002.

Proceeds from the song will go to the Free Ukraine Resistance Movement (Furm) – a citizen-led network bringing together 30 non-governmental organisations from across the country.

Ostap Kryvdyk, international secretary of Furm, said: “Furm calls on the world to listen to the call from Kyiv. For us the music of the Clash is the music of freedom. We must stop the new iron curtain falling.

“London Calling was the call sign of the resistance of Britain when it stood alone against the Nazis.

“We want Kyiv Calling to be the symbol of resistance to the new aggressor in Europe. No surrender. No compromise peace.”

Pope visits Ukrainian children escaped from Russian invasion at Rome hospital

Saturday 19 March 2022 22:00 , Liam James

Pope Francis has paid a visit to some of the Ukrainian children who escaped the Russian invasion and are currently being treated at the Vatican’s pediatric hospital in Rome.

The Vatican says the Bambino Gesu hospital is currently tending to 19 Ukrainian refugees, and that overall some 50 have passed through in recent weeks.

Some were suffering oncological, neurological and other problems before the war and fled in the early days. Others are being treated for wounds incurred as a result of the invasion.

Ukraine evacuated 6,623 from besieged cities today, official says

Saturday 19 March 2022 21:40 , Liam James

A total of 6,623 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors today, a senior Ukrainian official said, many fewer than managed to escape yesterday.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president’s office, said in an online post that 4,128 people had left the besieged city of Mariupol, after several earlier attempts that Ukraine claimed were hampered by Russia.

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said 190,000 civilians had been evacuated in total.

On Friday, Mr Tymoshenko said 9,145 people had managed to leave cities across the country during the day.

Russian troops have launched missile attacks on cities across Ukraine to try and win control of territory. Ukraine and Russia have negotiated humanitarian corridors to allow safe routes for residents to flee the cities and for aid to reach those who stay put.

Pictures show rescue mission in Mykolaiv

Saturday 19 March 2022 21:17 , Liam James

Rescuers can be seen helping soldiers and searching through the debris at a barracks hit by a Russian air strike in Mykolaiv.

Rescuers carry a Ukrainian soldier saved after 30 hours from debris of the barracks hit by Russian rockets in Mykolaiv (AFP/Getty)

Rescuers carry a Ukrainian soldier saved after 30 hours from debris of the barracks hit by Russian rockets in Mykolaiv (AFP/Getty)

Ukrainian soldiers search for bodies in the debris at the barracks (AFP/Getty)

Ukrainian soldiers search for bodies in the debris at the barracks (AFP/Getty)

Rescuers lift a Ukrainian soldier from the debris (AFP/Getty)

Rescuers lift a Ukrainian soldier from the debris (AFP/Getty)

A man helping Ukrainian soldiers in the search pauses (AFP/Getty)

A man helping Ukrainian soldiers in the search pauses (AFP/Getty)

International students stranded and “forgotten” in Kherson

Saturday 19 March 2022 20:48 , Liam James

Dozens of African and Middle Eastern citizens remain stranded in Kherson as Russian army forces took control of the city, in the south of Ukraine, nearly two weeks ago (Nadine White writes).

Among them are families, graduates and students with many located at or near university premises of Kherson State University and Kherson State Maritime Academy.

The estimated number of Black people stuck in the city is up to 150 and predominantly nationals of Ukraine, Cameroon, Nigeria and Gabon, according to research by Korrine Sky, and Francklin Momo Nanfack who are both international students of universities in the eastern European country.

Students from Syria, Palestine, Algeria and Egypt are also stranded in Kherson, data has shown.

Kherson: International students stranded and “forgotten” as Russia invades city

Zelensky: Talk peace now or Russia will suffer for generations

Saturday 19 March 2022 20:19 , Liam James

Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia would “several generations” to recover from its losses in the war if it does not end soon.

Russian forces have taken heavy losses and their advance has been stunted for much of the three week war.

The Ukrainian president today called for peace talks with Moscow as Kyiv claimed 14,000 Russian troops had been killed since the invasion began. Moscow gave a figure of 500 two weeks ago and has given no update since.

“Picture for yourself that in that stadium in Moscow there are 14,000 dead bodies and tens of thousands more injured and maimed,” the Ukrainian leader said, standing outside the presidential office in the capital, Kyiv.

“Those are the Russian costs throughout the invasion.”

Negotiations to end the war appeared to progress this week as Mr Zelensky suggested Ukraine should not expect to become part of Nato – a fear of Russia’s.

But peace still seems a distant prospect as Russia demands Ukrainian neutrality, a price Kyiv says it is only willing to pay in exchange for security guarantees that are as yet undefined.

It is also unclear what will come of Ukrainian territory under Russian occupation.

Rescue work continues at Mykolaiv barracks

Saturday 19 March 2022 20:00 , Liam James

Rescue work is ongoing at the site of a Russian air strike on a facility where Ukrainian soldiers had been sleeping, the governor of Ukraine’s southern region of Mykolaiv said today.

Speaking on national television, Governor Vitaliy Kim said the attack took place on Friday but gave no further detail about the location or the number of possible casualties.

Local media reported the strike hit a barracks in the regional capital.

Witnesses reported seeing dozens of bodies pulled from the rubble and one serviceman told AFP at least 200 soldiers were sleeping in the facility in the southern city of Mykolaiv when it was hit.

Private jet grounded in UK over suspected Russia links

Saturday 19 March 2022 19:41 , Liam James

A private jet trying to take off from London has been grounded while suspected links to Russia are investigated.

The Cessna aircraft was blocked from taking off from London Biggin Hill Airport while it is investigated to see whether it falls foul of sanctions banning all Russian-linked aircraft.

The notice to airmen (Notam) grounding the flight was issued this morning and relates to a Cessna Citation Latitude 680A owned by Brooker Holdings Ltd.

It is a criminal offence for planes owned, operated or chartered by Russians, including private jets, to fly or land in the UK under a law change in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

What is a Kinzhal missile? The hypersonic weapon Russia says it used for the first time in Ukraine

Saturday 19 March 2022 19:16 , Liam James

Russia’s military has claimed to have fired a hypersonic ballistic missile to destroy a large weapons depot in Ukraine (Zaina Alibhai writes).

Hypersonic missiles are thought to be the next generation of arms as they can travel at exceptionally high speeds, more than five times the speed of sound.

Until recently, hypersonic missiles have remained a closely guarded secret however President Vladimir Putin has made no secret of Russia’s investment in the weapons which he insists were only created in response to the US deployment of a strategic missile defence system.

The Kinzhal missiles are part of an array of “invincible” weapons unveiled by Russia four years ago, alongside Zirkon and Avangrad, which has both higher speed and range.

Carried by MiG-31K fighter jets, it can fly at 10 times the speed of sound – 7,672 mph – and can hit a target some 1,250 miles away.

For comparison, the US Tomahawk cruise missile – a subsonic long range missile system – can travel at around 550 mph.

Kinzhal missile? The hypersonic weapon Russia used for ‘the first time’ in Ukraine

Russians blocked at US border, Ukrainians admitted

Saturday 19 March 2022 18:47 , Liam James

About three dozen would-be asylum seekers from Russia found themselves blocked from entering the US on Friday while a group of Ukrainians flashed passports and were escorted across the border.

The Russians – 34 as of Friday – had been camped several days at the busiest US border crossing with Mexico, two days after city of Tijuana officials gently urged them to leave.

Days earlier, some Russians were being admitted to the US at the San Ysidro crossing, while some Ukrainians were blocked. But by Friday, Russians were denied while Ukrainians were admitted after short waits.

Erika Pinheiro, litigation and policy director for advocacy group Al Otro Lado, said the US began admitting all Ukrainians on humanitarian parole for one year on around Tuesday, while at the same time blocking all Russians. There was no official announcement.

A Homeland Security Department memo dated 11 March but not publicly released until Thursday told border officials that Ukrainians may be exempt from sweeping asylum limits designed to prevent spread of Covid-19. It says decisions are to be made case-by-case for Ukrainians but makes no mention of Russians.

“The Department of Homeland Security recognises that the unjustified Russian war of aggression in Ukraine has created a humanitarian crisis,” the memo states.

AP

US javelins to reach Ukraine in days, says Kyiv security chief

Saturday 19 March 2022 18:27 , Liam James

Ukraine will receive a new shipment of US weapons within days, including Javelin and Stinger missiles, Oleksiy Danilov, Ukraine’s national security council secretary, said today.

“The [weapons] will be on the territory of our country in the nearest future. We are talking about days,” Mr Danilov said.

Ukraine’s allies have delivered planeloads of weapons shipments to bolster its military against the Russian invasion. Russia has criticised such deliveries from Nato member states.

The UK also plans to send Javelin missiles to Ukraine. Defence secretary Ben Wallace this week announced Britain would supply a “small consignment” of the anti-tank missiles along with Starstreak anti-aircraft weapons – similar to the US Stinger missiles.

British NLAW short-range anti-tank weapons have already arrived in Ukraine and are reported to have been used in combat.

‘Sometimes yellow is just yellow’: Russia denies cosmonauts dressed to support Ukraine

Saturday 19 March 2022 18:07 , Liam James

Russia’s space agency has dismissed reports that their cosmonauts chose to wear yellow suits with a blue trim in support of Ukraine when they joined the International Space Station (ISS), saying: “Sometimes yellow is just yellow” (Holly Bancroft writes).

The three Russian cosmonauts arrived on the ISS in brand new yellow jumpsuits, a departure from their traditional dark blue colour.

Denis Matveyev, Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Korsakov were welcomed on board by their fellow American, Russian and German crew members.

In a press conference live-streamed by Nasa, the American space agency, and the Russian agency Roscosmos, Mr Artemyev joked: “We had accumulated a lot of yellow material so we needed to use it. That’s why we had to wear yellow.”

He said: “It became our turn to pick a colour”.

‘Sometimes yellow is just yellow’: Russia says cosmonauts didn’t wear Ukraine colours

Gordon Brown and Sir John Major want Putin to face Nuremberg-style trial

Saturday 19 March 2022 17:48 , Liam James

Gordon Brown and Sir John Major are among those calling for the creation of a new international tribunal to investigate Vladimir Putin and his underlings for their attacks in Ukraine.

The former prime ministers have joined a campaign aiming to put the Russian president on trial along with those who helped plan his invasion of 24 February.

Launched with a website and a target of two million petition signatures, the campaign – already backed by 740,000 people around the globe – seeks to gain public support for a special tribunal modelled on the Nuremberg trials.

The proposal already has more than 140 signatories, including both former prime ministers, Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Koleba, former prosecutor for the Nuremberg Military Tribunals Benjamin Ferencz, Helena Kennedy QC and former president of the European Court of Human Rights Sir Nicolas Bratza.

Russia already faces questions over war crimes as prosecutors for the International Criminal Court investigate the situation in Ukraine.

Protesters condemn Nestle at anti-war protest

Saturday 19 March 2022 17:25 , Liam James

Swiss protesters calling for an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine condemned Nestle for refusing to stop doing business in Russia.

Anti-war protesters marched on the parliament in Bern with banners denouncing the Swiss food giant which said it would continue to sell “essentials” in Russia.

Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shmyal said on Thursday he spoke to Nestle CEO Mark Schneider about the effect of the company’s approach.

Mr Shmyal said: “Unfortunately, he shows no understanding. Paying taxes to the budget of a terrorist country means killing defenseless children and mothers.

“Hope that Nestle will change its mind soon.”

Many other large companies have ended operations in Russia in opposition to the war. Those that have continued business have faced fierce criticism.

Protesters hold a banner against Swiss food giant Nestle during a protest outside Swiss parliament (AFP/Getty)

Protesters hold a banner against Swiss food giant Nestle during a protest outside Swiss parliament (AFP/Getty)

Banners against Swiss food giant Nestle are seen during a protest outside Swiss parliament in Bern (AFP/Getty)

Banners against Swiss food giant Nestle are seen during a protest outside Swiss parliament in Bern (AFP/Getty)

Unexploded bombs will take years to clear, says Ukraine minister

Saturday 19 March 2022 17:07 , Liam James

It will take years to defuse the unexploded ordnance scattered across Ukraine after the Russian invasion ends, Ukrainian interior minister Denys Monastyrsky said.

“A huge number of shells and mines have been fired at Ukraine, and a large part haven’t exploded. They remain under the rubble and pose a real threat,” Mr Monastyrsky said in an interview with the Associated Press in Kyiv.

“It will take years, not months, to defuse them.”

As well as unexploded Russian ordnance, Ukrainian troops have planted land mines at bridges, airports and other key locations to block Russian access.“We won’t be able to remove the mines from all that territory, so I asked our international partners and colleagues from the European Union and the United States to prepare groups of experts to demine the areas of combat and facilities that came under shelling,” Mr Monastyrsky said.He noted that his ministry’s demining equipment was left in the isolated city of Mariupol.“We lost 200 pieces of equipment there,” he said.

Putin could use women refugees from Ukraine to launch terror attack on UK, Priti Patel warns

Saturday 19 March 2022 16:41 , Liam James

Russia could smuggle female agents into the UK among Ukrainian refugees to carry out biological or chemical terror attacks, home secretary Priti Patel has claimed (Andrew Woodcock writes).

Defending the UK’s decision – alone among European nations – to demand visas from Ukrainians fleeing war, Ms Patel said that a handful of individuals infiltrated by Vladimir Putin into the flood of innocent refugees could “wreak utter havoc” in the UK.

And with the majority of refugees made up of women and children as men stay in Ukraine to fight, she warned it would be “naïve and misguided” to think that only men were capable of unleashing terror attacks on British soil.

In a speech to the Conservative spring conference in Blackpool, Ms Patel said the security checks conducted as part of the refugee visa application process would help avoid a repeat of the Novichok nerve agent attack in Salisbury, which killed British citizen Dawn Sturgess in 2018.

Ms Patel told activists that calls for the UK to follow the EU in offering visa-free access to Ukrainians seeking sanctuary had “grown louder in recent weeks”.

Putin could use women refugees from Ukraine for terror attack on UK, Patel warns

Ukraine: 190,000 evacuees but Mariupol route partially blocked

Saturday 19 March 2022 16:20 , Lamiat Sabin

Ukraine has evacuated 190,000 civilians from conflict zones areas via humanitarian corridors since the start of Russia’s invasion.

This is according to Ukrainian deputy PM Iryna Vereshchuk, who said Russian troops did not allow buses to pass through to Mariupol and that the humanitarian corridor there was only partially functional.

Ekaterina Mosha from Mykolaiv with her grandson Dmitrii in Moldova (Sergei Grits/AP)

Ekaterina Mosha from Mykolaiv with her grandson Dmitrii in Moldova (Sergei Grits/AP)

Corridors in the Kyiv and Luhansk regions – out of 10 evacuation routes planned for today to help people reach safer countries – were functioning, she said.

‘Switzerland should freeze oligarch assets’ – Zelensky tells rally

Saturday 19 March 2022 16:10 , Lamiat Sabin

Volodymyr Zelensky called on the Swiss government to freeze the bank accounts of all Russian oligarchs.

The Ukrainian president addressed anti-war protesters in the Swiss city Bern in a live-stream dubbed in German.

He said: “In your banks are the funds of the people who unleashed this war. Help to fight this. So that their funds are frozen … It would be good to take away those privileges from them.”

The protesters could be heard applauding him in a televised report by Swiss channel SRF.

Mr Zelensky criticised the Swiss multinational food conglomerate Nestle for having not yet cut business ties with Russia, SRF also reported.

Russia says ‘Ukraine flag’ space suits suggestion ‘crazy’

Saturday 19 March 2022 16:00 , Lamiat Sabin

The idea that cosmonauts wore yellow space suits to side with Ukraine has been dismissed as “crazy” by Russia.

Three Russian cosmonauts – Denis Matveyev, Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Kosakov – wore yellow jumpsuits with patches of blue when they blasted off from Earth on Friday.

Denis Matveyev, Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Kosakov (Roscosmos/AP)

Denis Matveyev, Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Kosakov (Roscosmos/AP)

The three are the first new arrivals to the International Space Station (ISS) since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Mr Artemyev was asked about the suits, and he said: “It became our turn to pick a colour.”

He joked: “We had accumulated a lot of yellow material so we needed to use it. That’s why we had to wear yellow.”

The cosmonauts’ employer Roscosmos said of the uniforms: “Sometimes yellow is just yellow.

“The flight suits of the new crew are made in the colours of the emblem of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, which all three cosmonauts graduated from … To see the Ukrainian flag everywhere and in everything is crazy.”

People defiant to rebuild Kyiv amid destruction

Saturday 19 March 2022 15:51 , Lamiat Sabin

Kyiv residents are intending to rebuild their city after it came under heavy bombardment during the Russian invasion.

Kim Sengupta is in the Ukrainian capital where he spoke to civilians driven to help their city rise out of the ashes, after Russian troops unleashed destruction and death in attempts to seize the capital.

Read his latest dispatch in full here

‘We’ll rebuild again’: Kyiv residents defiant amid destruction and death

‘Five Russian generals killed in war so far’ – Ukraine

Saturday 19 March 2022 15:43 , Lamiat Sabin

Five Russian generals have been killed during the invasion of Ukraine, according to Ukrainian officials.

Lieutenant-General Andrei Mordvichev reportedly died when Ukraine’s forces hit an airfield near Kherson.

The full story here by Holly Bancroft

Fifth Russian general killed as ‘planes and helicopters shot down’, Ukraine claims

China should make ‘right decision and oppose war’

Saturday 19 March 2022 15:24 , Lamiat Sabin

China should do the “right” thing and condemn Russia’s “barbarianism” against Ukraine, a ceasefire negotiator said.

Mykhailo Podolyak is a diplomat on the Ukrainian team of negotiators involved in ongoing peace talks with their Russian counterparts in Belarus.

He is also an adviser to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff.

Mr Podolyak said: “China could become an important part of the global security system if it takes the right decision to support the coalition of civilised nations and condemn Russia‘s barbarism.”

‘Putin will inspire leaders to launch wars’ – Zelensky

Saturday 19 March 2022 15:00 , Lamiat Sabin

Volodymyr Zelensky is warning that Vladimir Putin will inspire the launching of more wars if he is not stopped.

The Ukrainian president suggested that Putin would inspire aggressive leaders to take their nations into war if Russia is allowed to continue its onslaught on Ukraine.

He said: “If Russia is not stopped now, if Russia is not punished now, other aggressors in the world will start other wars.

“In different regions of the world. On different continents. Wherever a state dreams of conquering its neighbours.”

Luxembourg PM speaks to Putin and calls for ceasefire

Saturday 19 March 2022 14:46 , Lamiat Sabin

Luxembourg’s PM Xavier Bettel spoke to Vladimir Putin today, he said while lamenting the “intolerable” images of besieged Ukrainian city Mariupol.

The Black Sea port city has come under heavy bombardment by Russian forces over the past several weeks, including on a children’s and maternity hospital as well as a theatre being used as a bomb shelter.

Mr Bettel said: “Just spoke to Vladimir Putin again. Since our last exchange, the situation on the ground has worsened, especially in the city of Mariupol.

“The images that reach us are intolerable. The goal needs to remain de-escalation, adoption of ceasefire & furthering negotiation processes.”

‘Stop issuing visas to Russians,’ Ukraine tells nations

Saturday 19 March 2022 14:20 , Lamiat Sabin

Ukraine has called on other countries to stop issuing visas to Russians.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted: “Make Russians Feel the Cost of War!

“Russians are still trying to escape abroad instead of standing up against the Kremlin regime.

“The democratic world should stop issuing visas and hosting Russians.”

Ukraine: 562 Russian prisoners of war detained

Saturday 19 March 2022 14:00 , Lamiat Sabin

A total of 562 Russian prisoners of war are detained by Ukraine, according to its government.

The number was announced by deputy PM Iryna Vereshchuk.

She said during a television interview: “At present, we officially have 562 war prisoners of Russia.”

All prisoners of war are treated according to the Geneva convention, Ukrainian prosecutor general Irina Venediktova said earlier today.

The captured Russian troops are being held in camps where medical care is available, she said.

Two children and woman killed in Luhansk shelling

Saturday 19 March 2022 13:45 , Lamiat Sabin

Three people – two children and a woman – have been killed as a result of a residential building, reportedly a house, being shelled in the Luhansk region of Ukraine.

One child was saved by emergency responders that worked to pull bodies out of the rubble in the city Rubizhne.

Rubizhne in eastern Ukraine (Google Maps)

Rubizhne in eastern Ukraine (Google Maps)

The State Emergency Service said: “From under the rubble, they first pulled out two children with no signs of life, the rescuers did cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but, unfortunately, upon arrival, emergency medical workers stated the death of the children.

“Rescuers continued to dismantle the rubble and found a woman and one child. At present, medical workers have declared the death of a woman. The child was saved, his condition is stable, satisfactory.”

Also, this week, shelling in Rubizhne killed three other people. A boarding school has also been destroyed.

Russian cosmonauts arrive at the International Space Station in Ukrainian colours

Saturday 19 March 2022 13:15 , Holly Bancroft

Russian cosmonauts arrived at the International Space Station wearing the colours of the Ukrainian flag, in what appears to be a statement against the invasion.

Denis Matveyev, Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Kosakov all wore striking yellow jumpsuits with patches of blue. They are the first new arrivals to the ISS since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Their arrival was live-streamed by both Nasa, the American space agency, and the Russian agency Roscosmos.

When Mr Artemyev was asked about the suits, he replied: “It became our turn to pick a colour.”

He joked: “We had accumulated a lot of yellow material so we needed to use it. That’s why we had to wear yellow.”

 (Nasa)

(Nasa)

Putin ‘in better shape than ever’, leader of Belarus claims

Saturday 19 March 2022 12:57 , Holly Bancroft

Russian president Vladimir Putin is healthy, sane and “in better shape than ever”, his close ally president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has said.

In an interview with the Japanese television channel TBS, Mr Lukashenko claimed that he was “absolutely privy to all of [Putin’s] details, as far as possible, both state and personal.”

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

He added: “Putin is absolutely fit, he’s in better shape than ever… This is a completely sane, healthy person, physically healthy – he’s an athlete.

“As they say here – he’ll catch a cold at all our funerals.”

Mr Lukashenko also bemoaned the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, saying: “While the USSR existed, the world was multipolar and one pole balanced the other,” he said. “Now the reason for what’s happening in the world is unipolarity – the monopolisation of our planet by the United States of America.”

Boris Johnson: Putin is scared of a free press and free elections

Saturday 19 March 2022 12:45 , Holly Bancroft

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has said that Russian president Vladimir Putin has made a “catastrophic mistake” in invading Ukraine.

Mr Johnson added that he didn’t think “democratic freedoms are going to sprout any time soon in the Kremlin.”

He said: “With every day that Ukraine’s heroic resistance continues, it is clear that Putin has made a catastrophic mistake.

“You have to ask yourself why he did it – why did he decide to invade this totally innocent country?

“He didn’t really believe that Ukraine was going to join Nato any time soon, he knew perfectly well there was no plan to put missiles on Ukrainian soil.

“He didn’t really believe the semi-mystical guff he wrote about the origins of the Russian people…. Nostradamus meets Russian Wikipedia. That wasn’t what it was about.

“I think he was frightened of Ukraine for an entirely different reason.

“He was frightened of Ukraine because in Ukraine they have a free press and in Ukraine they have free elections.”

 (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Boris Johnson: It’s time to take back control of our energy supplies.

Saturday 19 March 2022 12:30 , Holly Bancroft

UK prime minister Boris Johnson is addressing the Conservative party conference. He told the party faithful that “we must take the bold steps necessary to end our dependence on Putin’s oil and gas.”

He added: “In the immortal phrase it is time to take back control of our energy supplies.

“We will make use of our own naturally occurring hydro-carbons.. That doesn’t mean that we will abandon our net-zero project.

“We will make big bets on nuclear power; not just the big projects but the smaller nuclear reactors”.

Mr Johnson also said he would invest further in off-shore wind. He said that international investors were yearning to make “colossal” investments in England’s “green power”.

 (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Russia ‘causing global famine’ by bombing crops – MP

Saturday 19 March 2022 12:20 , Lamiat Sabin

Vladimir Putin’s invasion “is causing global famine” as Ukraine’s crops and agricultural facilities are being destroyed, a Ukrainian MP said.

Putin and his forces will be responsible for any future rises in costs of some groceries, she added.

Ms Vasylenko tweeted: “Ukraine is top producer of sunflower oil, grain and tomatoes.

“The world must prepare for a shortage of this produce in harvest year 2022. Thank Russia and Putin’s soldiers.”

More refugees reach Moldova – pictures

Saturday 19 March 2022 12:06 , Lamiat Sabin

More Ukrainian refugees – mainly women, children, and elderly people – have reached Moldova today.

Pictures also show Ukrainians with their pets and belongings arriving at the border crossing in Palanca.

At least 16,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Moldova – one of Europe’s poorest nations – since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.

 (Sergei Grits/AP)

(Sergei Grits/AP)

 (Sergei Grits/AP)

(Sergei Grits/AP)

 (Sergei Grits/AP)

(Sergei Grits/AP)

Cosmonauts say ‘no hidden signs’ in uniforms with Ukraine flag colours

Saturday 19 March 2022 23:16 , Liam James

The three Russian cosmonauts who were thought by some to be protesting against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine when they arrived at the International Space Station wearing the colours of the Ukraine flag denied they intended to make a political statement.

Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev said each crew picks the colours about six months before launch because the suits need to be individually sewn. And since all three graduated from Bauman Moscow State Technical University, they chose the colours of their alma mater.“There is no need to look for any hidden signs or symbols in our uniform,” Artemyev said on the Telegram channel of Russian space agency Roscosmos.

“A colour is simply a colour. It is not in any way connected to Ukraine. Otherwise, we would have to recognise its rights to the yellow sun in the blue sky.“These days, even though we are in space, we are together with our president and our people!”Roscosmos’s press service said: “Sometimes yellow is just yellow.”

China-Russia relations ‘will get stronger’ – Lavrov

Saturday 19 March 2022 11:42 , Lamiat Sabin

China and Russia will only grow closer as a result of the latter’s invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin said.

The neighbouring nuclear powers – part of the Brics alliance – have similiar positions on the West.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping in Beijing on 4 February 2022 (Alexei Druzhinin/AP)

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping in Beijing on 4 February 2022 (Alexei Druzhinin/AP)

China has bankrolled Russia when the latter was sanctioned by western nations after its ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Russia has also asked China for weapons such as armed drones.

Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said: “This cooperation will get stronger, because at a time when the West is blatantly undermining all the foundations on which the international system is based, of course we – as two great powers – need to think how to carry on in this world.”

‘EU should ban all trade with Russia’ – Poland’s PM

Saturday 19 March 2022 11:20 , Lamiat Sabin

Poland has asked the EU to totally ban trade with Russia.

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish PM, called on the bloc to impose stricter sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

Poland called on the EU to be tougher on Russia (AFP via Getty Images)

Poland called on the EU to be tougher on Russia (AFP via Getty Images)

He said: “Poland is proposing to add a trade blockade to this package of sanctions as soon as possible, (including) both of its seaports… but also a ban on land trade.

“Fully cutting off Russia’s trade would further force Russia to consider whether it would be better to stop this cruel war.”

Earlier this week, EU member states agreed on a fourth package of sanctions against Russia – but details of the plan have yet to be revealed.

Civilians to be evacuated via 10 ‘corridors’ in Ukraine

Saturday 19 March 2022 11:01 , Lamiat Sabin

Ukrainian civilians hope to be evacuated today from a number of conflict hotspots via 10 humanitarian corridors.

In the Donetsk region, a route has been opened from the besieged city Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia.

A number of humanitarian corridors have also been agreed for the Kyiv and Luhansk regions.

Evacuees fleeing Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, via a humanitarian corridor (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images)

Evacuees fleeing Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, via a humanitarian corridor (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images)

Ukrainian deputy PM Iryna Vereshchuk said: “Residents of settlements, please be careful. Because it is extremely difficult to open the corridors, the enemy insidiously breaks our agreements.

“Please, if there is an opportunity, use it today.”

Ukrainian officials “continue to work on new routes for humanitarian corridors” – she added.

Also, 14 trucks are scheduled to deliver humanitarian aid to Kherson.

Kherson civilians sing to drown out USSR anthem

Saturday 19 March 2022 10:40 , Lamiat Sabin

Ukrainian civilians have sung the Ukrainian national anthem to drown out the sound of the USSR anthem that was being played by Russian occupiers.

The protest took place on Friday in Kherson, a city in southern Ukraine that is largely controlled by Russian troops.

The siege of Kherson would contribute to turning Ukraine effectively into a landlocked country if Russia succeeds in attempts to capture the Black Sea port cities Odesa and Mariupol.

‘Russia deploys hypersonic missiles’ – Konashenkov

Saturday 19 March 2022 10:20 , Lamiat Sabin

We reported earlier that Russia has admitted to deploying hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) missiles to destroy a large weapons depot in western Ukraine.

The underground missiles and armament storage site in the Ivano-Frankivsk region was destroyed by the missiles – that were reportedly deployed for the first time during Russia’s invasion.

It was Igor Konashenkov, a Russian defence ministry spokesman, that confirmed at a briefing that the missiles had hit the underground depot.

Reuters news agency said it was not able to independently verify his statements.

The office of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

More on this developing story here:

Russia fires ‘unstoppable’ hypersonic missiles at Ukraine for first time

Journalist Victoria Roshchyna ‘captured by Russia’

Saturday 19 March 2022 10:00 , Lamiat Sabin

A Ukrainian journalist has been captured by Russian troops, her employer has claimed.

Victoria Roshchyna has been “held captive by the Russian occupiers” after she was reporting from combat zones in eastern and southern Ukraine – Hromadske, a Ukrainian digital broadcasting network, said.

The company tweeted that staff have not been able to contact Ms Roshchyna since 12 March.

It said: “On March 16, we learned that the day before (probably March 15), Victoria Roshchyna was detained by the Russian FSB. Currently, we do not know where she is.

“We call on the Ukrainian and international community to help us to find and release Victoria Roshchyna, Hromadske journalist”.

Protesters in Poland block lorries en route to Russia

Saturday 19 March 2022 09:30 , Lamiat Sabin

A protest planned for today and tomorrow will see more trucks delivering goods to Russia blocked.

The action will take place from 9am local time at the Kukuryki border crossing between Poland and Belarus.

The activists are demanding that the EU closes a loophole that allows sanctioned Russia to receive goods via road through Poland.

Similar actions in the recent past has caused traffic jams of lorries 28km-long, according to reports.

David Cameron on drive to Poland to deliver aid

Saturday 19 March 2022 09:20 , Lamiat Sabin

David Cameron has been en route to Poland to deliver aid to Ukrainian refugees.

The former UK prime minister tweeted a photo of himself in the driver’s seat of what appears to be a small lorry.

He was helping deliver food to the Red Cross that was collected by the charity Chippy Larder, which organises donations for families in need in his town of Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire.

Read the full report by Emily Atkinson here

David Cameron driving to Poland with aid delivery for Ukrainian refugees

Ukraine: ‘Russia has lost about 14,400 soldiers’

Saturday 19 March 2022 09:10 , Lamiat Sabin

More than 14,000 Russian troops have died while invading Ukraine, the Armed Forces of Ukraine said.

Some 14,400 troops, 1,470 armoured vehicles, 914 vehicles, 466 tanks, 213 artillery systems, 115 helicopters, and 95 aircraft have been destroyed – it claimed.

Russians blasted into space dressed in colours of Ukraine flag

Saturday 19 March 2022 09:00 , Lamiat Sabin

Three Russian cosmonauts have boarded the International Space Station (ISS) wearing spacesuits in the yellow and blue hues of the Ukrainian flag.

The cosmonauts – Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov – are part of Russian space corporation Roscosmos.

On Friday night, they blasted off from the Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan and later boarded the ISS, where seven other cosmonauts – four Americans, two other Russians, and one German, have been staying.

When asked about the uniform, commander Mr Artemyev joked: “It became our turn to pick a color. But in fact, we had accumulated a lot of yellow material so we needed to use it. So that’s why we had to wear yellow.”

The three cosmonauts are expected to be on their expedition for six-and-a-half months.

Ukraine-Russia peace talks ‘could take weeks to conclude’

Saturday 19 March 2022 08:40 , Lamiat Sabin

Ceasefire negotiations could continue for several more weeks, according to a Ukrainian official.

Russian diplomats’ positions became more “adequate” but discussions about security demands, withdrawal of troops and a ceasefire “may take longer” to agree on.

This is according to Mykhailo Podolyak – a Ukrainian negotiator and an adviser of president Volodymyr Zelensky – as cited by The Kyiv Independent.

Russia claims UN delegates ‘blackmailed’ into opposing war

Saturday 19 March 2022 08:20 , Lamiat Sabin

Russia has claimed that a number of United Nations delegates had been “blackmailed” to vote against the invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this month, 141 delegates voted in favour of a motion that called on Russia to withdraw its troops and stop the war. Five voted against the motion, while 35 abstained from voting.

Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov told RT – a channel whose broadcasting licence was recently revoked in the UK – that “he knows for sure” some delegates were under “unprecedented” pressure to oppose the invasion.

The officials were told that their US bank accounts and children’s education overseas would be in jeopardy if they did not vote against the invasion, he claimed.

The only countries to vote with Russia were Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea. Cuba had backed Moscow with words – but abstained from the vote.

Russia ‘fired hypersonic missiles at Ukraine weapons depot’

Saturday 19 March 2022 07:50 , Lamiat Sabin

Hypersonic missiles have been used to target a large underground depot for missiles and aircraft ammunition in western Ukraine, Russia reportedly admitted today.

The depot is located in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, and the reported use of such missiles would be the first since Russia invaded Ukraine last month.

Red pin marks the location of the Ivano-Frankivsk region (Google Maps)

Red pin marks the location of the Ivano-Frankivsk region (Google Maps)

Hypersonic missiles can be detected but are too fast to be struck defence systems used by the US, experts at MIT and the University of Colorado said – according to website Airforce Mag.

Russia’s defence ministry said it had also destroyed Ukrainian military radio and reconnaissance centres near the port city of Odesa using a coastal missile system, Interfax news agency also reported.

Reuters said it was not able to independently verify the ministry’s statements.

Child death toll rises to 112 – Ukrainian officials

Saturday 19 March 2022 07:30 , Lamiat Sabin

Some 112 children have been killed and 140 children wounded in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office released the figures this morning on Telegram.

Reuters said it could not immediately verify the information.

Yesterday, the number of children’s deaths was reported as 109.

Activists had lined up empty prams and baby-carriers in Lviv to commemorate the young lives lost.

The empty prams in Rynok Square, in the city of Lviv

The empty prams in Rynok Square, in the city of Lviv

Humanitarian corridor agreed in Luhansk

Saturday 19 March 2022 07:11 , Vishwam Sankaran

A humanitarian corridor for evacuations will be opened on Saturday morning in Ukraine’s Luhansk region, local governor Serhiy Gaiday said on Telegram.

“The humanitarian corridor has been agreed at a high level. I hope the agreements from the Russians will be respected,” Serhiy Gaiday, head of Luhansk Regional State Administration, said.

UNIAN, a Kyiv-based Ukrainian news agency, reported that the local authorities are waiting for the “silence regime” to be established at 9am local time to begin the evacuation of the region’s residents.

He said evacuation by bus is expected from the regions of Severodonetsk, Rubizhne, Popasna, Lysychansk, adding that there will be an evacuation train from Novozolotarivka at about 2pm local time.

Kyiv petting zoo requests humanitarian corridor

Saturday 19 March 2022 06:54 , Vishwam Sankaran

A petting zoo near Kyiv has reportedly requested a humanitarian corridor to rescue animals.

The Park XII Months zoo, located about 25km north of the Ukrainian capital city, asked for assistance to evacuate their animals or bring food for those that are difficult to transport.

Some animals in the zoo have reportedly died due to hunger and cold.

The owner of the park, Mykhailo Pinchuk, said in a video posted on Facebook that there is no electricity, gas or diesel in the zoo.

“We need green corridors to bring in diesel, heat, and feed them. We can’t take out rhinos and giraffes, big animals, we don’t even have medicine to put them to sleep. We need to negotiate green corridors,” Mr Pinchuk said.

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent’s website

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