Ukraine: Boris Johnson walks through Kyiv with Zelensky
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The village is located near Kyiv and was occupied by Russian forces for weeks. Taras Didych, head of the Dmytrivka community that includes Buzova and several other nearby villages, told Ukrainian television that the bodies were found in a ditch close to a petrol station.
He said: “‘Now, we are returning to life, but during the occupation we had our ‘hotspots’, many civilians died.”
Another 50 bodies were found along the road near Buzova. The victims had been shot execution-style at close range.
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More than 50 bodies found near Buzova
More than 50 bodies were found along the road near Buzova.
The victims had been shot execution-style at close range.
Lyudmila Zakabluk told independt Russian TV channel Current Time: “Along all the road from Berezovka to Dmitrovka, more than 50 people died. They were shot at point blank range.
“There is a car, where a 17-year-old boy burnt to death – only his bones are left.”
Mortar fire destroys Russian truck in Mariupol – VIDEO
A Russian truck was struck with mortars fired by the Azov Regiment in Mariupol.
The far-right group have been defending the vital port city from the Russians, who have as yet failed to take full control.
The city has been almost flattened by Russian artillery shells and and bombs.
Many civilians have been killed during the Russian siege and onslaught.
The video was posted to social media channels.
Austrian Chancellor to fly to Moscow to meet Putin on Monday
The Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer will travel to Moscow on Monday to hold talks with Vladimir Putin.
Mr Nehammer has just returned from a meeting with Ukraine’s President Zelensky on Saturday.
A spokesman for Mr Nehammer said: “He is going there, having informed Berlin, Brussels and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.”
He added the Chancellor hoped to encourage dialogue between the two warring sides.
Injured Ukrainian troops could be sent to specialist centre in UK
SEVERELY injured Ukrainian soldiers may be offered world-beating specialist rehabilitation in Britain.
Senior commanders have written proposals suggesting that wounded troops could be treated at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre. The plan was last night being reviewed by ministers, with Defence Secretary BenWallace understood to be very supportive of the concept.
Around 50 to 70 Ukrainian soldiers are being transported by train to military hospitals every day. Most are believed to be suffering from blast injuries, including serious head injuries and lost limbs.
Though major hospitals, such as the ones in Dnipro, Mariupol, and Kyiv, have facilities for complex surgeries, providing cutting-edge prosthetics is much more challenging.
Stanford Hall, Leicestershire, is an award-winning centre used in the rehabilitation and therapy of soldiers for a wide range of conditions, including brain and spinal injuries, neurological disorders and amputations.
‘What victory is there?’ Pope Francis calls for ceasefire
“Today, there is a war,” Pope Francis wrote in a social media post after he called for a ceasefire in Ukraine speaking to crowds at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican today.
Celebrating Palm Sunday Mass, the Pope said the “folly of war” leads people to commit “senseless acts of cruelty”.
Without directly addressing Russia, he asked: “What victory is there in planting a flag on a pile of rubble?”
The pontiff said: “When we resort to violence … we lose sight of why we are in the world and even end up committing senseless acts of cruelty. We see this in the folly of war, where Christ is crucified yet another time.”
Dnipro airport destroyed by Russian attack
Valentyn Reznichenko, the head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional military administration, said the airport in the east-central Ukrainian city of Dnipro had been destroyed in a Russian strike.
The airport was previously hit by a missile on March 15, putting the runway out of use and damaging a terminal building.
Mr Reznichenko said: “And one more attack on the airport in Dnipro.
“There is nothing left of it already.
“The airport and the infrastructure nearby have been destroyed. But rockets keep flying.”
Mr Reznichenko said information about casualties was being clarified.
Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko said on Twitter the attack “leaves no infrastructure and destroys everything around the airport”.
She added: “Such a shame, as the airport was completely renovated just last year. All the investments and all the efforts completely wrecked.”
More on Chernobyl: Russian soldiers TOOK toxic materials
The State Agency for Managing the Exclusion Zone has claimed Russian soldiers had entered the storage area of the Ecocentre research base at Chernobyl — which fell into the hands of Vladimir Putin’s troops in the first week of Moscow’s invasion — and taken “133 sources with a total activity of about seven million becquerels”.
It is the equivalent of 1,534 pounds of radioactive waste with the presence of beta and gamma radiation, the agency wrote in a Facebook post.
It added: “Even a small part of this activity is deadly if handled unprofessionally.
“The degree of preservation and safety of calibration sources and sample radioactive solutions is impossible to be established, and the condition of the damaged will be determined after the appropriate inventory and measurements are carried out.”
The location of the stolen substances is “currently unknown”, it said.
It follows claims by Valeriy Simyonov, the chief safety engineer of the power plant, that a Russian soldier handled a source of cobalt-60 at a waste storage site with his bare hands.
Zelensky-Putin meeting possible – though only after Ukraine’s Donbas victory
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak has hinted at potential talks between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin – but first Kyiv must win Moscow’s major offensive in the Donbas region, where fighting is ramping up, he stressed.
Mr Podolyak said in televised remarks: “Ukraine is ready for big battles.
“Ukraine must win them, particularly in Donbas.
“And after that, Ukraine will get a more powerful negotiating position, from which it can dictate certain conditions. After that, the presidents will meet. That may take two or three weeks.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Thursday fighting in Donbas had “not reached its maximum scale” yet.
He told a news conference in Brussels: “The battle for Donbas will remind you of the Second World War, with large operations, manoeuvres, involvement of thousands of tanks, armoured vehicles, planes, artillery.
“This will not be a local operation based on what we see in Russia’s preparations,.
“Russia has its plan, we have ours, and the battlefield will decide the outcome.”
War crimes: Russia assaulted ‘a free democratic country’, says UK Policing Minister
Kit Malthouse, the UK’s Policing Minister, has appeared on Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme saying Britain could impose sanctions on Russian soldiers and generals suspected of committing war crimes in Ukraine.
Mr Malthouse said it was important that evidence of atrocities was gathered as “assiduously as possible” as the war, which has surpassed the six-week mark, continues.
He said: “While that is ongoing we can take action domestically around sanctions we are able to put on individuals, including combatants, leading generals and others involved in it, to signal our recognition of their part in this dreadful, dreadful assault upon a free democratic country.”
Several leaders have in recent days ramped up their condemnation of Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday’s missile strike on the Kramatorsk railway station, in eastern Ukraine, showed the “depths to which Putin’s once-vaunted army had sunk”.
The European Union dubbed the attack “despicable” while the White House describe the images from the scene as “horrific and devastating”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday went as far as to call the killings of civilians in Bucha a “real genocide”, which is widely regarded as the most serious crime against humanity.
Hundreds of civilians have been founded dead since Vladimir Putin’s forces withdrew from the town last week.
Loophole lets Russian trawlers access UK waters despite ban
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over six weeks ago, the UK has sought to limit Russia’s ability to access funding through sanctions and by blocking Kremlin-flagged ships’ access to UK ports and waters.
However, Russian trawlers are said to still be allowed access to a stretch of the ocean off the coast of Scotland that is jointly controlled by the UK and Faroe Island governments.
No10 officials know of at least six Russian trawlers to have recently entered the area to fish for whitefish using Faroe Island licences, the Telegraph reports.
A Whitehall source told the paper that ministers were concerned that allowing the boats into the waters during an upcoming fishing window would allow Russia to profit, with fears this could go into funding Putin’s “war machine”.
British officials are now said to be looking for the Faroe Islands to halt the approval of fishing licences to Russian trawlers, if not blocking access to the waters.
The estimated worth of the fish was put at £16million.
Russian strikes in Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv and Kharkiv regions
Russian forces have carried out missile strikes in Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv and Kharkiv regions, the Russian Ministry of Defense has today confirmed.
Russian defence ministry spokesman Maj Gen Igor Konashenkov said in a statement: “During the night in the village of Zvonetske — Dnipropetrovsk region — high-precision sea-based missiles destroyed the headquarters and base of the Dnipro nationalist battalion, where reinforcements from foreign mercenaries arrived the other day.
“High-precision air-launched missiles in the area of the settlement of Stara Bohdanivka, Mykolaiv region and at the Chuhuiv military airfield [in Kharkiv region] destroyed launchers of Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems identified by reconnaissance.”
It follows claims of shelling hitting a school and several apartment buildings in Luhansk and Dnipro.
In Dnipro, the regional capital of Dnipropetrovsk, infrastructure was destroyed, the head of the military administration, Valentyn Reznichenko, said as he recounted the noise of “sirens almost every hour”.
The shelling sparked a fire that was eventually put out.
One person was wounded.
Putin faces ‘99% chance of Russia economic destruction’
A currency expert has said Russian President Vladimir Putin has put himself in a “point of no return” following his invasion of Ukraine as the ruble faces a ticking time bomb before it collapses.
Patrick Reid, co-founder of financial consultancy the Adamis Principle, told Express.co.uk there is a 99 percent chance of the Russian economy being utterly “decimated” by the end of the year if Putin remains in power.
While the Russian ruble faced an initial fall after Western sanctions crippled the country’s economy, the latest reports indicate it has returned to pre-war levels, suggesting a surprise recovery.
Many commentators viewed this as a sign that Western sanctions were failing to have an impact.
However, Mr Reid argued the recovery is only the result of an emergency financial solution – one that will not last the rest of the year.
He added: “They have $600billion in reserve – but two-thirds of that is useless, because it’s in euro or dollar.
“So their actual net amount is $200billion, which, if they keep spending the same, gives them around four to five months to prop up their economy.”
‘Probably riding his bike’ Where was Joe Biden as Boris walked Kyiv?
A mocking foreign policy analyst said US President Joe Biden was “probably riding his bike” during Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to Kyiv yesterday.
Mr Johnson’s surprise appearance in the Ukrainian capital, which saw him pledge a major new boost of British arms and financial aid to help the war-torn country defend itself against Russia’s attacks, made space for US-critical watchers to question Washington’s performance in dealing with the Eastern European crisis.
Mr Biden’s approval rating has been below 50 percent since August and last month plunged to the lowest levels of his presidency, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found.
The war in Ukraine and other foreign conflicts were listed by respondents as key worries – but so were domestic issues such as the economy, which could put Democrats’ prospects in the midterm elections at stake.
Russian troops picked up radioactive items with BARE HANDS
Russian soldiers exposed themselves to potentially harmful doses of radiation while in action in the Red Forest, the most polluted area of Chernobyl’s exclusion zone, without protective equipment, officials say.
Drone footage filmed by the Ukrainian military and released on Telegram by Energoatom, the state-owned operator of the country’s nuclear power plants, shows Vladimir Putin’s forces dug trenches in the area of the site of the deadly 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
According to plant workers, thick radioactive dust kicked up by large Russian vehicles could have been inhaled by Putin’s troops.
Meanwhile, one soldier went as far as to handle a source of cobalt-60 at a waste storage site with his bare hands, Valeriy Simyonov, the chief safety engineer of the power plant, said.
He exposed himself to so much radiation in a few seconds that it went off the scales of a Geiger counter, Mr Simyonov said.
It was not clear what happened to the soldier.
Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko told CNN on a visit to the zone: “It’s crazy, really.
“I really have no idea why they did it.”
Chernobyl fell into the hands of Russian troops in the first week of Moscow’s invasion and came back under control of Kyiv last week, on March 31.
At least one soldier is said to have died.
Ukraine: Aerial footage appears to show Russian trenches
More than £8bn raised by ‘Stand Up For Ukraine’
“Stand Up For Ukraine”, a global fundraising event for Ukrainian refugees, has raised €10.1billion (£8.34bn, at the current exchange rate) for people fleeing bombs, inside and outside Ukraine.
The EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) has committed an additional billion euros.
The event, convened by the EU and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, was partnered by the Global Citizen movement.
Artists including Elton John, Alanis Morissette, Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox and Chris Rock joined the campaign, which formed a social media rally on Friday and a pledging conference on Saturday.
It comes as more than 4.4 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24.
About half have headed to neighbouring Poland.
‘Whole European project’ at stake, says Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned in his nightly address on Saturday “the whole European project is a target for Russia” and called on “all democracies, the whole civilized world” to impose an embargo on Russian oil as a first step in pushing Moscow toward a peace deal with Kyiv.
He said: “When tyranny launches aggression against everything that keeps peace in Europe, action must be taken immediately.”
His speech came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid a surprise visit to Kyiv, which gained Britain the praise of the Ukrainian president, and followed trips by other European leaders to the war-torn country.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was one of them.
Her visit saw her claim she believed war crimes had been committed by Russia by targeting civilians in Ukraine.
Referring to the town of Bucha, Ms Von der Leyen told reporters: “My instinct says: If this is not a war crime, what is a war crime, but I am a medical doctor by training and lawyers have to investigate carefully.”
She also pledged to make Ukraine’s bid for EU membership a speedy one. BACKGROUND
Handing Mr Zelensky a questionnaire that will serve as a starting point for a decision, she vowed: “It will not as usual be a matter of years to form this opinion but I think a matter of weeks.”
Russia in desperate bid for more troops as Putin rattled by ‘mounting losses’
Russian forces staring down heavy casualties are looking to “bolster” their numbers with fighters discharged from military service in the last decade, according to new UK intelligence.
Earlier this week, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov admitted that Russia had sustained “significant losses of troops” during the war so far.
Western countries estimate that between 7,000 and 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the fighting.
In an update from the UK Ministry of Defence, military intelligence shows that “in response to mounting losses, the Russian armed forces seek to bolster troop numbers with personnel discharged from military service since 2012”.
It states: “Efforts to generate more fighting power also include trying to recruit from the unrecognised Transnistria region of Moldova.”
Historic decision from Finland to come soon
Finland is preparing for a potentially historic decision “before midsummer” on whether to apply to join NATO as a deterrent against Russian aggression.
The Nordic nation shares an 830-mile border with Russia, and their relationship, which had been relatively balanced until the start of the full-scale war on February 24, is hanging by a thread.
The country of 5.5million has traditionally been militarily non-aligned. However, Moscow’s attack on Kyiv saw public support for joining NATO drastically shift from 30 to 60 percent, according to a series of polls.
Former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb told AFP: “Never underestimate the capacity of Finns to take rapid decisions when the world changes.”
Next week a government-commissioned national security review will be delivered to parliament, the Eduskunta, to help Finnish MPs better understand their options, before it is put to a vote.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin told a news conference on Friday: “We will have very careful discussions but not taking any more time than we have to.
“I think we will end the discussion before midsummer.”
Mr Stubb said he thought the application will be filed next month, in time for the summit of NATO countries to be held in Madrid in June.
NATO to establish permanent troop presence
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said a permanent troop presence on the alliance’s eastern border is in the works in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Sunday Telegraph quoted Mr Soltenberg as saying NATO is envisaging a “reset” that would shift the role of troops in eastern European member nations from serving as a “tripwire deterrence” in case of a Russian attack to becoming a fully-developed deterrent.
In an interview with the paper, the NATO chief acknowledged the US-led alliance was “in the midst of a very fundamental transformation” that will reflect “the long-term consequences” of Moscow’s actions.
He said: “What we see now is a new reality, a new normal for European security. Therefore, we have now asked our military commanders to provide options for what we call a reset, a longer-term adaptation of Nato.”
Mr Stoltenberg, who recently announced he would extend his term as head of the 30-member alliance by a year, said further decisions over the plans are expected at a summit of NATO countries to be held in Madrid in June.
ANOTHER Russian colonel dead in battle – ‘Really disruptive’
Another top Russian general has died in battle in Ukraine, Viségrad 24 reports.
Colonel Alexander Bespalov, the commander of the 59th Guards Tank Regiment, was reportedly killed in battle by Ukrainian defence forces.
It would add to the death of 16 among Vladimir Putin’s senior military figures, including five named colonels and four lieutenant colonels, confirmed by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence earlier this week.
As per local media reports, a funeral was held for Bespalov on Friday in the Russian city of Ozersk.
Though not independently verified, Col Bespalov’s death renews questions over the efficiency behind the Kremlin’s war strategy, which, Express.co.uk has been told, is “really disruptive” to Moscow’s goals. READ MORE
Mark Savchuk, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, said: “People like generals… they shouldn’t die, because they shouldn’t be at the frontline.”
The 32-year-old, speaking from a Kyiv basement in which he shelters with a group of friends, said this comes down to a “lack of preparation” by Moscow.
Describing Russia’s army as “an old doctrine”, he said general fighting close to the frontline means “the probability of a lucky strike is actually much higher than in a conventional army”.
April 10 intelligence update
Russia’s army is seeking to bolster troop numbers with personnel discharged from its military services a decade ago, the UK’s Ministry of Defence states in its latest intelligence update.
The alleged move comes amid mounting losses in combat and adds to efforts to recruit from the unrecognised Transnistria region of Moldova, the report claims.
Good morning, I’m Teresa Gottein Martinez and will be bringing you all the latest developments on the conflict in Ukraine. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.
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