Newsdeck

Austrian head of state to visit Putin

Nehammer met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a meeting with Russian Security Council permanent members via a videoconference at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia, 07 April 2022. (Photo: EPA-EFE/MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK)

KYIV/BUZOVA, Ukraine, April 10 (Reuters) - Russian forces pounded targets in eastern Ukraine with missiles and artillery on Sunday as Austria's leader planned to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Washington pledged to give Ukraine "the weapons it needs" to defend itself against a new Russian offensive.

  • Russian rockets destroy Dnipro airport
  • Austria’s Nehammer to meet Putin in Moscow on Monday
  • Washington commits to providing weapons to Ukraine
  • Nine trains laid on for evacuation in east, governor says

By Elizabeth Piper and Zohra Bensemra

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said he would meet with Putin on Monday in Moscow for the Russian leader’s first face-to-face meeting with a European Union counterpart since Russia’s invasion began on Feb. 24. Read full story

“We are militarily neutral, but (have) a clear position on the Russian war of aggression against #Ukraine,” Nehammer wrote of Austria on Twitter. “It must stop! It needs humanitarian corridors, ceasefire & full investigation of war crimes.”

Nehammer met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv on Saturday – the same day as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who promised to give Ukraine 120 armoured vehicles and anti-ship missile systems. Read full story

Russia has failed to take any major cities since it launched its invasion on Feb. 24, but Ukraine says it has been gathering its forces in the east for a major assault and has urged people to flee.

Russian forces fired rockets into Ukraine’s Luhansk and Dnipropetrovsk regions on Sunday, officials said. Missiles completely destroyed the airport in the city of Dnipro, said Valentyn Reznichenko, governor of the central Dnipropetrovsk region.

Russia’s defence ministry said high-precision missiles had destroyed the headquarters of Ukraine’s Dnipro battalion in the town of Zvonetsky. Read full story

Reuters could not immediately confirm the reports.

 

WEAPONS APPEALS

Since Russia invaded, Zelenskiy has appealed to Western powers to provide more defence help, and to punish Moscow with tougher sanctions, including embargoes on Russian energy exports.

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan told ABC News: “We’re going to get Ukraine the weapons it needs to beat back the Russians to stop them from taking more cities and towns.” Read full story

In excerpts from an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” Zelenskiy said he had confidence in his own armed forces but “unfortunately I don’t have the confidence that we will be receiving everything we need” from the United States.

Zelenskiy said earlier on Twitter he had spoken on the phone with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz about additional sanctions, as well as more defence and financial support for his country. Zelenskiy also discussed with Ukrainian officials Kyiv’s proposals for a new package of EU sanctions, his office said.

In a video address late on Saturday, Zelenskiy renewed his appeal for a total ban on Russian energy products and more weapons for Ukraine.

The EU on Friday banned Russian coal imports among other products, but has yet to touch oil and gas imports from Russia. Read full story

 

NEW SANCTIONS

Mounting civilian casualties have triggered widespread international condemnation and new sanctions.

A grave with at least two civilian bodies has been found in Buzova village near Kyiv, said Taras Didych, head of the Dmytrivka community that includes Buzova, the latest such reported discovery since Russian forces withdrew from areas north of the capital to focus on the east of the country.

Sullivan said on Sunday he expected Russia’s newly appointed general overseeing Ukraine, Aleksandr Dvornikov, to authorise more brutality against the Ukrainian civilian population. He did not cite any evidence. Read full story

Moscow has rejected accusations of war crimes by Ukraine and Western countries.

Moscow has repeatedly denied targeting civilians in what it calls a “special operation” to demilitarise and “denazify” its southern neighbour. Ukraine and Western nations have dismissed this as a baseless pretext for war.

Russia’s invasion has forced about a quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million people from their homes, turned cities into rubble and killed or injured thousands.

 

HEAVY SHELLING

Some cities in the east were under heavy shelling, with tens of thousands of people unable to evacuate.

Calls by Ukrainian officials for civilians to flee gained more urgency after a missile strike hit a train station on Friday in the city of Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region, that was full of people trying to leave.

Ukrainian officials said on Sunday that the death toll from the strike rose to 57, while 109 were wounded. Russia has denied responsibility, saying the missiles used in the attack were only used by Ukraine’s military.

Reuters was unable to verify the details of the attack.

Residents of the region of Luhansk would have nine trains on Sunday to get out on, the region’s governor, Serhiy Gaidai, wrote on the Telegram message service.

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, said 2,824 people were evacuated on Sunday through humanitarian corridors, including 213 from Mariupol, which has been under siege for weeks.

In a Palm Sunday homily, Pope Francis called for an Easter truce in Ukraine and, in an apparent reference to Russia, questioned the value of planting a victory flag “on a heap of rubble”. Read full story

At a sermon in Moscow, Patriarch Kirill, the head of Russia’s Orthodox Church and a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, called on people to rally around the authorities. Read full story

 

(Reporting by Reuters bureausWriting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, Michael Perry, Tomasz Janowski and David LawderEditing by Robert Birsel, Frances Kerry and Matthew Lewis)

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Typical Russian denials out of the communist playbook ie it is not them causing these civilian casualties – never them!! Lie, deny, confuse, obfuscate etc. Nothing but sheer propaganda.

    There is a word (maskirovka – part of long-standing Russian military strategy meaning “ the use of tactical deception and disguise”. In other words, misinformation and deniability – this is precisely at play since day 1 with Putin and his cronies.

    They went into Ukraine to de-nazify it. What an absurdity! If there are any Nazis around it is the evil Putin, the Fuhrer, and his depraved inner circle. The similarities between Putin and Hitler are stark.

    1. They are certainly not from the top draw ie. Hitler was a lowly corporal and Putin a KGB thug.
    2. Both blame others for all the evils in the world. Hitler – being stabbed in the back towards the end of WW1 by Jews and Bolsheviks. Putin – by the West and all the previous satellite countries that were only kept under domination by the barrel of a gun.
    3. They both harbour pathological hatred of the above and twist history to suit themselves.
    4. Both wanted to restore and expand their empires. Hitler by Lebensraum and uniting all German speaking peoples and Putin by restoring the old Russian empire and keeping democracy at bay, lest it gets too close to Russia and the population wants it.
    5. They are both monsters and mass-murderers, and have huge fragile false chauvinist egos.

    Putin and the Kremlin are the real Nazis!

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