Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Reuters

April 8 (Reuters) – Russia gave the most sombre assessment so far of its invasion of Ukraine, describing the “tragedy” of mounting troop losses and the economic hit from sanctions, as Ukrainians were evacuated from eastern cities before an anticipated major offensive.

FIGHTING

* More than 30 people were killed and over 100 wounded in a Russian rocket strike on a railway station in eastern Ukraine on Friday as civilians tried to evacuate to safer parts of the country, the state railway company said.

* British military intelligence said Russian forces were shelling cities in the east and south and had advanced further south from the city of Izium, which is under their control. Reuters could not immediately verify the report.

* The governor of Ukraine’s eastern region of Luhansk said on Friday Russia was accumulating forces in the country’s east but had not broken through Ukrainian defences.

* Capturing Mariupol is still the main focus of Russian troops and Russian battalions are blockading and bombarding the northeastern city of Kharkiv, the Ukrainian military said.

* Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia had sustained “significant losses” in Ukraine. 

* The United States will send new weapon systems to Ukraine, after NATO foreign ministers agreed to accelerate arms deliveries. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned of a war that could last months or even years.

CASUALTIES OF CONFLICT

* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the situation in Borodyanka, a town northwest of Kyiv, was “significantly more dreadful” than in Bucha, where Ukraine and the West say Russian troops killed civilians in what amounted to war crimes. He did not cite any evidence. Moscow denies targeting civilians.

* Video from Borodianka showed search and rescue teams using heavy equipment to dig through the rubble of a building that collapsed. Hundreds of people were feared buried.

Local residents walk past a destroyed building in Mariupol
Local residents walk past a building destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 3, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
A view shows an armoured convoy of pro-Russian troops near Mariupol
A view shows an armoured convoy of pro-Russian troops during Ukraine-Russia conflict on a road near the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 3, 2022. Picture taken April 3, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
Local resident Yekaterina Lanina cooks pancakes outside an apartment building in Mariupol
Local resident Yekaterina Lanina, 34, cooks pancakes outside an apartment building during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 3, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
Local residents draw water from a well near the building of a destroyed theatre in Mariupol
Local residents draw water from a well near the building of a theatre destroyed in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol Ukraine April 3, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
A Ukrainian service member inspects a compound of the Antonov airfield in the settlement of Hostomel
A Ukrainian service member inspects a compound of the Antonov airfield, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in the settlement of Hostomel, in Kyiv region, Ukraine April 3, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
The remains of cars are seen in front of a destroyed apartment building in Mariupol
The remains of cars are seen in front of an apartment building destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 3, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
A soldier takes a photograph of his comrade as he poses beside a destroyed Russian tank and armoured vehicles, amid Russia's invasion on Ukraine in Bucha, in Kyiv region
A soldier takes a photograph of his comrade as he poses beside a destroyed Russian tank and armoured vehicles, amid Russia’s invasion on Ukraine in Bucha, in Kyiv region, Ukraine April 2, 2022. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
A general view of destroyed Russian tanks and vehicles, in Dmytrivka village
A general view of destroyed Russian tanks and vehicles, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Dmytrivka village, west of Kyiv, Ukraine April 1, 2022. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Serhii Lahovskyi hugs Ludmyla Verginska as they mourn their common friend, who according to residents was killed by Russian Soldiers, in Bucha
Serhii Lahovskyi, 26, hugs Ludmyla Verginska, 51, as they mourn their common friend Ihor Lytvynenko, who according to residents was killed by Russian Soldiers, after they found him beside a building’s basement, following his burial at the garden of a residential building, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Bucha, Ukraine April 5, 2022. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
A woman carries her cat as she walks past buildings that were destroyed by Russian shelling
A woman carries her cat as she walks past buildings that were destroyed by Russian shelling, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in Borodyanka, in the Kyiv region, Ukraine, April 5, 2022. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Russia's invasion on Ukraine continues
Oleksii Shcherbo, 98, walks past his burnt out house and destroyed Russian tank, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in the village of Sloboda, outside Chernihiv, Ukraine, April 5, 2022. REUTERS/Marko Djurica TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Russia's invasion on Ukraine continues
Women walk after receiving humanitarian aid, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in the village of Sloboda, outside Chernihiv, Ukraine, April 5, 2022. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
A tank of pro-Russian troops drives in a street in Mariupol
A tank of pro-Russian troops drives along a road near burnt-out residential buildings in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 5, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

* A social media video verified by Reuters and geolocated to an area west of Kyiv appears to show Ukrainian forces shooting and killing a captured and badly wounded Russian soldier. 

HUMANITARIAN CRISIS

* Ukraine said it aimed to establish up to 10 humanitarian corridors to evacuate trapped civilians on Friday, but civilians trying to flee besieged Mariupol will have to use private vehicles.

* At least 160,000 civilians remain trapped in Mariupol without power and with little food or running water, the city mayor said, putting the civilian death toll in the city at about 5,000. Reuters was not able to verify the numbers.

DIPLOMACY, ECONOMY

* The United Nations General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council and voiced grave concern at the continuing human rights and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Russia called the move illegal. 

* Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said Kyiv presented Moscow with a draft peace deal that contained “unacceptable” elements that deviated from a previous proposal.

* Ukraine and Russia are “constantly” holding peace talks online but the mood has been affected by events including the deaths of civilians in Bucha, Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak said on Friday.

* European Union envoys reached a political deal on Thursday to ban imports of Russian coal which will immediately prevent the signing of new contracts with a phase-out of existing contracts until mid-August. 

QUOTES

* “I think the deal that Ukraine is offering is fair. You give us weapons, we sacrifice our lives, and the war is contained in Ukraine,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.

* “The whole world is not comfortable. Do you think that anyone should be comfortable with this crisis?” Zhang Jun, the United Nations ambassador of Russia’s strategic partner China, in response to remarks by his U.S counterpart.

Compiled by Michael Perry, Frank Jack Daniel, Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Mark Heinrich

SOURCE: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-russia-what-you-need-know-right-now-2022-03-29/

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