Ukraine-Russia war LIVE – Shock move as Putin BANS Boris Johnson from entering country over war

IN A shock move today, Russia's President Vladimir Putin has banned Boris Johnson alongside 12 other British government members from entering his country.

Also banned from entering Russia are Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace alongside 10 others, including: Priti Patel, Rishi Sunak, Dominic Raab and Theresa May.

The ban was announced "in view of the unprecedented hostile action by the British government, in particular the imposition of sanctions against senior Russian officials".

Earlier this afternoon, a UK government spokesperson has said: "The UK and our international partners stand united in condemning the Russian government's reprehensible actions in Ukraine and calling for the Kremlin to stop the war. 

"We remain resolute in our support for Ukraine."

The news follows a new wave of Russian sanctions being rolled out by twisted Putin.

Follow our Russia-Ukraine live blog below for up-to-the-minute updates…

  • Milica Cosic

    Zelensky: ‘Elimination’ of Ukrainian military ‘will put an end to all negotiations'

    Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned talks with Russia will end if Ukrainian fighters are ‘eliminated’ in the port city of Mariupol.

    Speaking to the Ukrainska Pravda news website, Mr Zelensky said: “Mariupol could be like 10 Borodyankas.

    “I want to say that the elimination of our military, our guys, will put an end to all negotiations.

    “There is a dead end – because we do not trade our territories and our people. And the more places like Borodyanka there are, the harder it will be.”

  • Milica Cosic

    Spanish village changes its name to Ukraine

    A small village in southern Spain has changed its name to Ukraine in solidarity.

    A sign at the entrance to the village of Fuentes de Andalucia now welcomes visitors to Ukraine, Reuters reported.

    The country’s blue and yellow flag painted alongside has been painted alongside it.

    “The main objective is to raise awareness about the conflict in Ukraine but also about where countries are at war in current times, Francisco Martinez said.

  • Milica Cosic

    Russia plans to restrict Mariupol access from Monday

    There are reports that Mariupol will be completely closed for entry and exit from Monday.

    An adviser to the city's mayor, Petro Andryushchenko, said on Telegram earlier today that Russian forces plan to bar people from leaving or entering Mariupol starting from 18 April.

    “They ask for internal passes, and [those] who do not have these passes will go to ‘filtration’,” he said.

  • Milica Cosic

    Captured Ukrainian oppositionist's wife calls for exchange

    The wife of captured Ukrainian pro-Russian opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk has called on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to help arrange an exchange.

    She has asked this happen between her husband and British nationals in the Ukrainian military taken prisoner by Russia.

    "Mr prime minister, you have a great influence on President Zelensky," Oksana Marchenko said in an address on YouTube.

    "If you are not indifferent to the fate of your subjects, help their family and friends return [them], help me return Viktor."

    Oksana Marchenko, wife of arrested fugitive oligarch and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s close friend Viktor Medvedchuk, holds a press conference to call support from politicians for her husband’s release in MoscowCredit: Getty
  • Milica Cosic

    BREAKING: Second hero Brit fighter Shaun Pinner paraded by Russians

    A SECOND hero British fighter has been paraded by Russian forces after he was captured in Mariupol.

    In a chilling video the soldier can be seen identifying himself and explaining he was captured in the besieged city of Mariupol.

    He can be heard saying: "Hi I'm Shaun Pinner, I am a citizen of the UK, I was captured in Mariupol I am part of the 36 Brigade First Battalion Ukrainian Marines.

    "I was fighting in Mariupol for five-six weeks and now I'm in Donetsk People's Republic."

    He was previously videoed fighting alongside the Ukrainians at the start of the war.

    Russian propagandists claimed he had been killed in Mariupol at the end of last month but sources told The Sun he had been injured and was in a field hospital.

  • Milica Cosic

    Weapons from Europe taking 'too long'

    An advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said the transfer of weapons from European countries to Ukraine is taking "too long".

    In a social media post, Mykhailo Podolyak said that Ukraine had not yet received the weapons requested.

    He then continued to urge countries to send equipment "now".

  • Milica Cosic

    Scotland determined to take strongest possible action against Putin

    Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon, has also been banned from entering Russia in retaliation against Western sanctions.

    Now, Ms Sturgeon has responded by saying she is determined to "take the strongest possible action" to isolate Vladimir Putin's regime,and called him a "war criminal".

    She said: "Putin is a war criminal and I will not shy away from condemning him and his regime. 

    "Scotland is determined to take the strongest possible action to isolate and penalise his regime, and do everything possible to support the people of Ukraine.

    "We must make sure that those on the side of freedom and democracy work together to ensure Putin’s regime, and his network of oligarchs, are as isolated as possible. 

    "International condemnation – not just in words but in actions – against Russia must be as strong as possible.

    "It falls to every leader to choose a side in this unprovoked aggression. I am clear that I stand with Ukraine and against Putin. And Scotland is clear – we all stand with Ukraine."

  • Milica Cosic

    Russia says more than 20,000 of its troops have died

    The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the 2,100 soldier deaths on its Facebook page.

    This equates to at least 40 deaths for each day of the war.

  • Milica Cosic

    UN: Another 40,000 Ukrainians flee war

    Many of the nearly five million people who have fled Ukraine will not have homes to return to, the United Nations said today as another 40,000 fled the country in 24 hours.

    UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, said 4,836,445 million Ukrainians had left the country since the Russian invasion on February 24 — a number up 40,200 on Friday's total.

    The UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) says nearly 215,000 third-country nationals — largely students and migrant workers — have also escaped to neighbouring countries, meaning more than five million people in all have fled Ukraine since the war began.

    It is one of the fastest-growing displacement and humanitarian crises ever.

    "People's greatest wish is to go back home. But for so many, there is no home to return to since it's been destroyed or damaged, or is located in an area that is not safe," said Karolina Lindholm Billing, UNHCR's representative in Ukraine.

    "Housing is one of the areas of greatest concern. Although hundreds of thousands of people are now staying in temporary reception centres or with hosting families who have generously opened their homes… longer term solutions need to be found."

  • Milica Cosic

    Russians strike empty refinery in east

    Ukraine Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai said the Russian forces shelled an oil refinery in the city of Lysychansk this morning, and a large fire erupted on its territory.

    Haidai said it wasnt the first time the refinery was targeted and accused the Russians of trying to exhaust local emergency service.

    He underlined that there was no fuel at the refinery at the time of the attack and the remains of oil sludge were burning.

  • Milica Cosic

    UK 'remain resolute in support for Ukraine'

    Earlier we reported that Russia's foreign ministry had banned Prime Minister Boris Johnson alongside 12 other British government members from entering Russia.

    The ban was announced "in view of the unprecedented hostile action by the British government, in particular the imposition of sanctions against senior Russian officials".

    Now, a UK government spokesperson has said: "The UK and our international partners stand united in condemning the Russian government's reprehensible actions in Ukraine and calling for the Kremlin to stop the war. 

    "We remain resolute in our support for Ukraine."

  • Milica Cosic

    Ukraine ‘destroys four missiles fired from Belarus towards Lviv'

    It has been reported that Ukraine has destroyed four cruise missiles that Russia fired towards Lviv.

    The Russian aircraft that fired the missiles was taking off from an airfield in Belarus, according to the Facebook page of the Air Command West – of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).

    This was also announced by regional military governor Maksym Kozytsky.

    Mr Kozytsky said: “In the morning of April 16, missiles were fired at the Lviv region from Su-35 aircraft of the Russian occupiers.

    “Units of anti-aircraft missile forces Air Command West of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed four cruise missiles.”

  • Milica Cosic

    Round up of news this afternoon

    Welcome to our blog on the Russia Ukraine war. On the blog is Milica Cosic – who's bringing you the latest news and updates.

    If you're just joining or want a round up on the news so far, here's a small summary of what's happened this morning:

    • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and 12 other politicians are barred from entering Russia
    • The UN records 1,982 civilian deaths since the start of the war, but warns the figure is an underestimate
    • One person was been killed and several wounded in missile strikes that hit Ukraine’s capital Kyiv earlier today, the city’s mayor Vitali Klitschko says

    Missile strike in Kharkiv kills one person & leaves 18 wounded

    According to firefighters in Ukraine's region of Kharkiv, one person has died and 18 are wounded after a missile strike.

    The strike took place at an outdoor market earlier today, rescue workers added.

    UK Homes for Ukraine scheme 'bumpy'

    The UK's former housing minister, Robert Jenrick, has said the Homes for Ukraine scheme is "bumpy" and visas are taking too long to be processed.

    Mr Jenrick, told the Telegraph's Chopper's Politics podcast: "It has been a very difficult experience for them. Even the experience of coming here was traumatic.

    "They spent seven hours queuing at the Polish border before they were able to finally leave Ukraine, catch the flight to the UK, and the experiences which they've had and their relatives have had in different parts of the country over the last two or three months are really harrowing."

    Mr Jenrick went on to say the scheme as it stood now was "overly bureaucratic".

    He added: "Truth be told it has been a bumpy start to the scheme. It's taken too long to get visas, for us it took about three weeks to get all three visas approved.

    "And so there are people who are frustrated, it has tested the patience of sponsors and, more importantly, of the families and individuals themselves."

    • Milica Cosic

      '200 children killed during Russian invasion'

      Ukraine's prosecutor general office has released figures which show 200 children have died in Ukraine since Russian forces invaded the country.

      Another 360 children have been left injured amid the ongoing war, Ukrainian officials said.

    • Milica Cosic

      Ukriane: Russia has lost 20,100 troops during invasion

      Ukraine has provided its latest update on the number of losses Russia has suffered.

      It claims 20,100 Russian troops have been killed and 1,982 armoured personnel vehicles have been destroyed.

      Other military equipment that has been wiped out includes 145 helicopters, 762 tanks and 163 aircraft.

    • Milica Cosic

      Russia captures 700 Ukrainian servicemen

      About 700 Ukrainian servicemen are in Russian captivity, according to officials.

      Ukrainian deputy PM Iryna Vereshchuk said: “Regarding the military, we have, in principle, approximate parity: we have more than 700 of their prisoners, and they have approximately the same number.”

      Ms Vereshchuk continued to say: “Obviously, will repeat again and again… we will not exchanging soldiers for civilians, it is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions.

      “We will not violate international humanitarian law, and therefore we demand the release of civilians without any conditions and transfer to the Ukrainian side.”

    • Milica Cosic

      One dead after Russian strikes on Kyiv arms factory

      A military hardware factory in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv was hit by Russian strikes early this morning.

      Smoke rose from the area and there was a heavy police and military presence after Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko announced on social media that there had been explosions in the capital's Darnyrsky district.

      He said one person had been killed in the attack and several more were taken to hospital for treatment.

      "Our forces are doing everything possible to protect us, but the enemy is insidious and ruthless," he said.

    • Milica Cosic

      Russia to ‘add more British politicians to blacklist'

      The Kremlin will reportedly expand restrictions against British politicians over what Russia calls a “wave of anti-Russian hysteria”.

      The department said in a statement: “This list will be expanded shortly by including more of British politicians and members of the Parliament in it, who keep inflaming the anti-Russian hysteria, push the collective West towards the use of the language of threats with Moscow and are engaged in a dishonest encouragement of Kyiv’s Neo-Nazist regime.”

    • Milica Cosic

      Kyiv mayor warns more strikes likely

      Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said that one person died and several more were wounded on this mornings airstrikes on the Darnytski district of the capital.

      "Our air defense forces are doing everything they can to protect us, but the enemy is insidious and ruthless," Klitschko said on the Telegram messaging app.

      The attacks, which the Russian Defense Ministry said targeted an armored vehicle plant in the Ukrainian capital, was an explosive reminder to Ukrainians and their Western supporters that the whole country remains under threat despite Russian forces pivot to the east, where a new offensive is feared.

      Klitschko urged Ukrainians not to return to Kyiv just yet in televised remarks today, warning that strikes on the capital are likely continue and its suburbs are rigged with explosives.

      "Were not ruling out further strikes on the capital," Klitschko said.

      "We cant prohibit, we can only recommend. If you have the opportunity to stay a little bit longer in the cities where its safer, do it."

    • Milica Cosic

      Captured Brit hero will NOT be treated as Prisoner of War

      CAPTURED British hero Aiden Aslin will not be treated as a Prisoner of War, Russia warned last night.

      But Russia vowed to ignore the Geneva Convention on PoWs and insists he is "a mercenary".

      He was paraded on Russian TV on Thursday with a gash across his forehead and an eye half-closed.

      His interrogator on Rossiya 1, military reporter Andrey Rudenko, told viewers: "Aiden Aslin is a subject of Great Britain.

      "He is an English mercenary and fought on the side of the Nazis in Ukraine."

      In a chilling warning Rudenklo said: "I am sure that he will be able to shed light on the actions of Western intelligence agencies in Ukraine."

      The International Committee of the Red Cross said: "POWs must be treated with dignity and are absolutely protected against ill-treatment and exposure to public curiosity including images circulating publicly on social media."

      Brave Aiden, 28, surrendered after his unit ran out of food and ammunition in the besieged city of Mariupol
    • Milica Cosic

      'Mourning ceremony' held for the Moskva in Sevastopol

      A moving “mourning ceremony” was held for the Moskva and its sailors in Sevastopol, its homeport, as relatives of the crew defied the Russian orders.

      It was unofficial but there was no mention of the number who had died, yet it seemed clear from this sombre ceremony presided over by a priest that there had been a significant loss of life.

      A wreath was placed by a Black Fleet statue which read: “To the ship and the sailors”.

      It comes amid soaring fears that nukes might be on the sea bed after Ukraine's hit on the vessel.

      Anti-ship P-1000 "Vulkan" missiles, which are able to carry a nuclear warhead, were onboard the Moskva cruiser.

      Earlier today Kyiv sources claimed the ship's captain First Rank Captain Anton Kuprin, 44, went down with the ship after it was hammered by Neptune anti-ship missiles.

      He “died during an explosion and fire on board the former flagship of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation,” said Anton Gerashenko.

      The official added: “We do not mourn.”

      Other sources support the claim that Capt, Kuprin was killed.

    • Milica Cosic

      Russian warship Moskva ‘seen burning in satellite pic’

      A SATELLITE photo of Vladimir Putin's warship appears to show it burning after it was hit by a Ukrainian missile strike.

      The Russian vessel Moskva reportedly sank with its entire crew of 510 sailors on board, following a fire and an explosion, Ukraine has claimed.

      A satellite image appears to pinpoint the exact location of the ship after it was targeted.

      A total of 510 sailors were reportedly on the vessel that was blown up on Thursday- whose fate remains a mystery.

      Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to the Kyiv Interior Ministry, claimed that "the explosion was so strong that the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet sank in a matter of minutes".

      He claimed to have heard this from sources in Sevastopol, the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

      “Apparently, as a result of the fire, the warheads of the large P-1000 cruise missile – Vulkan – detonated. And there were 16 of them on board the cruiser.”

      As a result “all the crew of the cruiser Moskva died”.

      Satellite image of the Russian vessel after it was hitCredit: @CovertShores/Twitter
    • Milica Cosic

      Ukraine working with Turkey

      Ukraine is working with NATO member Turkey as much as possible for more support over Russia's invasion and understands the reality of Ankara's (Capital of Turkey) parallel ties to Moscow, a Ukrainian diplomat said.

      Ankara has criticised the invasion and sold drones to Kyiv despite Russian objections. But it has also opposed Western sanctions against Moscow and maintained a careful rhetoric by refraining from accusing either country over the conflict, even amid reports of war crimes in parts of Ukraine.

      "We would be happy if Turkey joined the sanctions" and cut flights from Russia.

      "But we understand this reality," the diplomat told foreign journalists on Friday on condition of anonymity.

      "…Instead of criticising Turkey we are working with the Turkish side as much as possible, and not demanding something that is improbable," the person added, noting that it was still the only country that had managed to bring together Russian and Ukrainian officials for peace talks.

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