Russia invades Ukraine – live updates
The several countries in the west have have pledged further support to Ukraine, these include the United States, Canada, Britain, France and Germany.
“We will continue to provide them more ammunition, as we will provide them more military assistance,” said White House spokesperson Jen Psaki.
Russia’s fresh assault on eastern Ukraine has involved “non-stop bombardment of civilian districts” in the eastern Kharkiv since Sunday, the city’s mayor Igor Terekhov told CNN.
The new attack on the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine could last for “several months”, a senior UK national security official warned the British government.
The official made the warning to PM Boris Johnson, who then told the weekly Cabinet meeting at Downing Street that Ukraine’s position was “perilous” as Vladimir Putin was thought to be aiming for victory of some sort “regardless of the human cost”.
It comes after Putin’s forces inflicted a fresh assault on eastern Ukraine, where they have taken control of the city Kreminna.
“Kreminna is under the control of the ‘Orcs’ (Russians). They have entered the city,” regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said at a briefing.
“Our defenders had to withdraw. They have entrenched themselves in new positions and continue to fight the Russian army.”
Netflix subscribers, shares hit by withdrawal from Russia
Netflix suffered its first subscriber loss in more than a decade, weeks after it withdrew its services from Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
The streaming platform giant saw a decline of 200,000 subscribers during the January to March period. The drop stemmed in part from Netflix’s decision to suspend all services from Russia, resulting in a loss of 700,000 subscribers.
But Netflix acknowledged that its problems are deep-rooted, projecting a loss of another 2 million subscribers from April-June.
The announcement caused its shares to plunge 25 per cent.
Russia gives new surrender deadline to Ukrainians in Mariupol
Russia gave a fresh surrender deadline to Ukrainian fighters holding out in Mariupol as it pushed for a decisive win in its offensive in the east.
The renewed warning came as Moscow’s earlier ultimatum lapsed at midnight with not a single Ukrainian soldier laying down their weapon.
“Russia’s armed forces, based purely on humanitarian principles, again propose that the fighters of nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries cease their military operations from 1400 Moscow time on 20 April and lay down arms,” the Russian defence ministry said.
Russian troops, who have so far failed to capture any of Ukraine’s largest cities in the eight-week long war, are advancing in what Kyiv officials have called the Battle of the Donbas.
The invaders, backed by artillery and rocket barrages, were hitting the Azovstal steel plant, the main remaining stronghold in Mariupol, a presidential adviser said late on Tuesday.“
The world watches the murder of children online and remains silent,” adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter.
Earlier, the United States, Canada and Britain said they would send more artillery weaponry to the country.
Journalists reporting on the Ukraine crisis must collect evidence of potential war crimes
The body of a teenager, hands bound, shot in the back in the woods near a Russian trench.
An underground torture chamber where eight people say they were held and abused below a railway station. Shoppers ripped apart by banned cluster munitions as they bought supplies. Children shelled as they escaped a brutal siege.
Throughout the past six weeks I have spent in Ukraine, on almost every street in every town affected by the Russian invasion, I’ve stumbled across testimonies of likely violations of international law and possible war crimes. It’s bewildering.
Bel Trew writes:
Now, more than ever, we journalists need to think beyond the duties we have of striving to be part of a media that people can trust – and think about the bigger picture, writes Bel Trew
Greece impounds Russian oil tanker
Greece has impounded a Russian oil tanker off the island of Evia, the Greek coastguard said on Tuesday, as part of European Union sanctions imposed on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier this month, the EU banned Russian-flagged vessels from the 27-nation bloc’s ports, with some exemptions, as it adopted new sweeping sanctions against Russia for what the Kremlin describes as a “special military operation”.
The 115,500-deadweight tonnage Russian-flagged Pegas, with 19 Russian crew members on board, was seized near Karystos on the southern coast of Evia, which lies just off the Greek mainland near Athens.
The Russian embassy in Athens, the Greek capital, said on Twitter it was looking into the case and was in contact with Greek authorities.
“It has been seized as part of EU sanctions,” a Greek shipping ministry official said.
Nato isn’t ready for war with Russia, warns UK general
Nato is not ready for a war with Russia, a British general has warned.
Alliance countries have supported Ukraine with arms and financial aid since Russia’s invasion began but have been careful to avoid any actions that could draw them into the war.
General Sir Richard Barrons, head of Joint Forces Command from 2013-16, was asked in a hearing of the UK parliamentary defence committee on Tuesday at what point Nato would be left with no option but to fight Russia.
Liam James reports:
Alliance should focus on ‘resetting balance of power’, says General Barrons
Revealed: Hundreds of millions in UK taxpayers’ money handed to companies still operating in Russia
Hundreds of millions of pounds in UK taxpayers’ money is being handed to companies that are continuing to operate in Russia, The Independent can reveal.
The government has even signed multimillion-pound deals with these firms during the course of the war in Ukraine, it has emerged.
Britain has active contracts worth at least £294,803,502 with 15 multinationals that are still doing business in Russia, according to an analysis carried out by The Independent. Ministers have been urged to sever ties with these companies and cancel all recently signed contracts.
Samuel Lovett has more:
Exclusive: British government accused of indirectly helping to fund Putin’s war with £294m contracts
Montana GOP Senator Steve Daines says that Putin is ‘terrorist’ committing ‘war crimes’
Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines was in Eastern Europe last week when he accepted an offer to become the first US senator to visit Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion of the country nearly two months ago.
What Mr Daines saw there left a strong impression. Asked directly whether Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “terrorist” in an interview with Newsy’s Maritsa Georgiou on Tuesday, the Republican senator answered strongly in the affirmative.
“He is committing war crimes,” Mr Daines said. “He is committing atrocities. And he needs to held accountable for it.”
Abe Asher has more:
The Montanan was the first sitting senator to visit Ukraine since Russia invaded in February
Why is the UK’s emergency humanitarian aid to Ukraine taking so long?
There is always, it would seem, going to be something about a weapon of war that garners more attention than a food parcel.
So it is with the war in Ukraine, where the west is heartily congratulating itself for sending the Ukrainians what the military types call “lethal aid” rather than the stuff that saves lives in other ways, such as medicines, clean water, shelter and sustenance.
It is no surprise that politicians tend to want to associate themselves with the state-of-the-art missile systems, and neglect the awkward fact that some western nations are still buying Russian oil and gas, and failing to help the millions of displaced people and refugees inside, and fleeing from, Ukraine.
Sean O’Grady reports:
Help with military hardware is one thing – but Ukraine needs humantarian aid to deal with the longer-term fallout from war, writes Sean O’Grady
West pledges more support for Ukraine
The United States, Canada, Britain, France and Germany have pledged more support to Ukraine.
“We will continue to provide them more ammunition, as we will provide them more military assistance,” White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said, adding that new sanctions were being prepared.
“It is unfair that Ukraine still has to ask for [weapons] which have been sitting for years in the storage depots of our partners” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video address.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a four-day humanitarian pause in the fighting this coming weekend, when Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter, to allow civilians to escape and humanitarian aid to be delivered.
Russia says it launched what it calls a “special military operation” on 24 February to demilitarise and “denazify” Ukraine. Kyiv and its Western allies reject that as a false pretext.
Russia ‘offers Mariupol ceasefire’ for surrender
The Russian defence ministry has said that it will offer a ceasefire in Mariupol on Wednesday to allow Ukrainian defenders holed up in the Azovstal steelworks to lay down their arms, Reuters reports.
On Tuesday, Russian forces continued to shell the plant, where a “dwindling number” of Ukraine forces were continued to hold out.
The defence ministry said it would begin a ceasefire at 2pm Moscow time on Wednesday (11am GMT) to give the Ukrainian fighters the opportunity to surrender and leave unharmed.
Reuters noted that Russia claimed to have made the same offer on Tuesday, but “not a single Ukrainian soldier had accepted”.
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has promised that his forces in Mariupol will “fight to the end” and will ignore any surrender ultimatums from Russia.