Russia confirms Kiev attack during UN chief visit

Russia pounds targets from practically one end of Ukraine to the other, including the capital Kiev where the UN chief toured, as fierce fighting stretches to the 65th day.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is assisted by bodyguards during his visit to Borodyanka, close to Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, April 28, 2022.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is assisted by bodyguards during his visit to Borodyanka, close to Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Russia confirms Kiev attack during UN chief visit

Russia has confirmed that it carried out an air strike on Kiev during a visit by the UN’s secretary general, the first such attack on the Ukrainian capital in nearly two weeks, and in which a journalist also died.

Vera Gyrych, a producer for the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, was killed when a Russian missile hit the building where she lived, the media group said.

Russia’s Defence Ministry said it had deployed “high-precision, long-range air-based weapons” that “destroyed the production buildings of the Artyom missile and space enterprise in Kiev”.

Zelenskyy: Russia wants Donbass to be destroyed

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of trying to destroy Donbass and all who live there.

“The constant brutal bombardments, the constant Russian strikes on infrastructure and residential areas show that Russia wants to empty this territory of all people. Therefore, the defense of our land, the defense of our people, is literally a fight for life,” he said in his nightly video address to the nation.

He said the cities and towns of Donbass will survive only if Ukraine remains standing. “If the Russian invaders are able to realize their plans even partially, then they have enough artillery and aircraft to turn the entire Donbass into stones. As they did with Mariupol.”

US military contractor killed in Ukraine

The US Defense Department warns Americans against going to fight in Ukraine after a former marine was killed.

Willy Joseph Cancel’s mother, Rebecca Cabrera, told CNN her 22-year-old son died while working with a private military contractor, having travelled to Ukraine in mid-March.

Pentagon: US trains Ukrainian forces in Germany

The US has begun training Ukrainian forces on new military systems at American military installations in Germany, the Pentagon announced.

Ukrainian forces are being trained on howitzer artillery, radar systems and armored vehicles the US is supplying to Kiev amid its effort to defend against an over two-month long Russian offensive.

Defense Department spokesman John Kirby thanked Germany for its support, and said the training in Germany and elsewhere “is in direct support of recent US security assistance packages that are designed to help Ukraine win their battles today, and build strength for tomorrow.”

Zelenskyy sees big risk that Russia talks will end

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said there is a big risk that peace talks with Moscow would end and blamed public anger over what he said are atrocities by Russian troops, Interfax Ukraine has reported.

“People (Ukrainians) want to kill them. When that kind of attitude exists, it’s hard to talk about things,” Interfax quoted him as telling Polish journalists on Friday.

US rejects ‘business as usual’ with Putin after G20 invitation 

The United States has said that the world cannot deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin as before after Indonesia invited him – as well as Ukraine’s leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy – to November’s Group of 20 summit. 

President Joe Biden “has expressed publicly his opposition to President Putin attending the G20. We have welcomed the Ukrainians attending,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. 

“We have conveyed our view that we don’t think they should be a part of it publicly and privately,” she said.

Russians ‘behind schedule’ in Donbass: Pentagon

The Russian campaign to seize control of the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine is moving slowly and behind schedule, a Pentagon official has said.

Stiff resistance from Ukrainian troops and caution after Russia’s failure to capture Kiev have led to “slow and uneven progress” in Donbass, the official told reporters.

“We believe that essentially what they’re doing is continuing to set conditions for a sustained and larger and longer offensive,” the official said.

Ukrainian forces retake village near Kharkiv

Hundreds of people have been evacuated to Kharkiv from the nearby village of Ruska Lozava which had been under Russian occupation for more than a month.

Almost half the village has escaped on buses, in shrapnel-ridden cars or on foot after fierce battles saw Russian troops pushed back and Ukrainian forces take full control of the village, according to the Kharkiv regional governor.

A video posted by the Azov battalion shows troops raising the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag over the government building in the centre of the village although fighting continues on the outskirts.

Britain to send war crimes investigators to Ukraine

Britain will send a team of war crimes investigators to Ukraine to help experts probing alleged atrocities committed by Russia, the UK’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said.

Truss said Britain would send a team to the country in May to work with the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is spearheading an active war crimes probe.

“We will be sending in a British evidence-collecting team working with Ukrainian authorities working with the ICC,” Truss said on a visit to the court in The Hague.

Ukraine seeks urgent WHO meeting 

Ukraine, backed by dozens of other countries, has written to the World Health Organization’s regional chief calling for an urgent meeting on the impact of Russian onslaught on health and healthcare, a letter obtained by Reuters showed.

The letter, sent this week by Ukraine’s diplomatic mission in Geneva, Switzerland, where the WHO is headquartered, is signed by some 38 other members of the agency’s European region, including France, Germany and Britain.

Addressed to Europe regional director Hans Kluge, it urged him to convene a meeting “no later than 9 May” and referred to attacks on health facilities, disrupted vaccination campaigns and concerns about the risk of radiological and chemical events.

Spanish ship in Poland with arms for Ukraine

The Spanish government has that its largest shipment of military equipment to Ukraine so far is on track for delivery after a ship carrying 200 tons of material has docked at a port in Poland.

Spain’s defence ministry confirmed the ship’s arrival in Poland. Spanish newspaper El País, citing Polish port authorities, said the vessel had docked at the port of Gdynia, where the material would be unloaded and transported some 700 kilometres (435 miles) to a logistics base in Ukraine.

The shipment includes 30 trucks, several special heavy transport vehicles and 10 smaller vehicles that will be used to transfer the military material to Ukraine, according to Spain’s prime minister.

NATO plans troop exercises to deter Russia

Tens of thousands of troops from NATO and other north Atlantic nations will take part in a series of military exercises across Europe in the coming weeks as western countries seek to deter Russian aggression.

The exercises, backed by aircraft, tanks, artillery and armoured assault vehicles, will take place in Finland, Poland, North Macedonia and along the Estonian-Latvian border. They will include troops from NATO and the Joint Expeditionary Force, which includes non-NATO members Finland and Sweden.

“The scale of the deployment, coupled with the professionalism, training and agility of the British Army, will deter aggression at a scale not seen in Europe this century,” Lt. Gen. Ralph Wooddisse, commander of the UK’s field army, said in a statement.

Sweden to boost military on Gotland amid Russia fears

Sweden’s government has said it had put aside up to 1.6 billion Swedish crowns ($163 million) to strengthen its military infrastructure on the strategically important island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea amid increased tensions with nearby Russia.

Sweden has been rebuilding its military over the last decade, particularly since Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

“The aim is to be able to house many more conscripts and to make operations more effective, and in that way contribute to greater capacity … on Gotland,” Financial Markets Minister Max Elger told reporters. 

Relatives: Former US Marine killed fighting in Ukraine 

A former US Marine has been killed fighting against Russia alongside Ukrainian forces, relatives have said. 

Rebecca Cabrera tells CNN her son, 22-year-old Willy Joseph Cancel, was killed on Monday while working for a military contracting company that sent him to Ukraine. His widow, Brittany Cancel, tells Fox News he leaves behind a young son and that she sees her husband as a hero. 

“My husband did die in Ukraine,” Brittany Cancel said. “He went there wanting to help people, he had always felt that that was his main mission in life.”

Ukraine hopes to evacuate civilians holed up in Mariupol steel works

Ukraine has said plans have been in place to evacuate civilians from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the southern city of Mariupol where Ukrainian forces and civilians are encircled by Russian troops.

“An operation to evacuate civilians from the Azovstal factory is planned for today,” the Ukrainian presidency said in a statement without giving details.

Russia last week said it had gained full control of the strategic port city, except for the huge Azovstal industrial area. Moscow did not immediately comment on the Ukrainian presidency’s remarks.

Ukraine claims nearly 23,000 Russian troops killed in action

Ukraine has claimed that Russia has lost nearly 23,000 troops since the beginning of the conflict.

Ukrainian forces have destroyed 189 Russian aircraft, 155 helicopters, 134 unmanned aerial vehicles, 986 tanks, 2,418 armoured vehicles and 435 artillery systems, according to the Ukrainian General Staff’s latest update.

Some 151 Russian multiple rocket launcher systems, 1,695 vehicles, 76 fuel tanks, 73 anti-aircraft systems and eight boats have also been destroyed, it added.

Radio Liberty producer killed in Kiev strike during UN chief’s visit

The US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has reported that one of its staff had died in a Russian strike on Kiev during a visit by UN chief Antonio Guterres.

“Radio Liberty journalist and producer Vera Girich died as a result of a Russian missile hitting the house where she lived in Kiev. The shelling took place on April 28,” the Ukrainian branch of the news organisation said in a statement.

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy, Russia’s Putin invited to G20 summit: Indonesian leader

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been invited to the G20 summit in November, which will also be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the president of host nation Indonesia said.

“I have invited President Zelenskyy to attend the G20 summit,” said Joko Widodo, suggesting a compromise had been reached following Western pressure to bar Russia from the event.

Putin confirmed in a phone call with Widodo that he will attend the summit, to take place on Bali island, the Indonesian leader said in a live-streamed address. Russia is a G20 member, while Ukraine is not.

Russia not decided on whether Putin will attend G20 in person: Kremlin

Russia is preparing for this year’s G20 summit in Indonesia but has not yet decided whether President Vladimir Putin will attend in person or virtually, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has said.

Netherlands reopens embassy in Ukraine’s Kiev

The Netherlands is set to reopen its embassy in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, the Dutch foreign affairs ministry said.

The country removed its diplomatic staff from Ukraine two days after Russian troops attacked on February 24. It reopened its embassy in Lviv, in western Ukraine, last week.

“A small embassy team there (in Kiev) will work closely with the Ukrainian authorities and other returned partner countries,” Dutch foreign affairs minister Wopke Hoekstra said on Twitter. “It is important that we provide support to Ukraine on the ground.”

Russian checkpoint in region next to Ukraine was shelled, governor says

A checkpoint at a village in Russia’s Kursk region bordering Ukraine has been shelled, the region’s governor has said.

“Mortars were fired at a checkpoint in the village of Krupets,” Kursk governor Roman Starovoyt said.

Starovoyt said Russian border guards and military gave retaliatory fire, while “there were no casualties or damage.”

Russia confirms ‘high-precision’ strike on Kiev during UN visit

Russia’s defence ministry has confirmed it has carried out an air strike on Kiev during a visit by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“High-precision, long-range air-based weapons of the Russian Aerospace Forces have destroyed the production buildings of the Artyom missile and space enterprise in Kiev,” the ministry said in its daily briefing on the conflict in Ukraine.

Ukraine said that one person had been killed in the strike on Thursday, the first in the capital in nearly two weeks and which Guterres’s spokesman described as “shocking”.

UK organisation says two aid workers held by Russian forces in Ukraine

Two British volunteers working to provide humanitarian aid in Ukraine have been captured by the Russian military there, according to the organisation for which the men worked.

The non-profit Presidium Network said the two men had been detained by Russian forces at a check point south of Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine on Monday.

“The foreign office is doing all it can to support and identify these two people,” British trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan told Sky News.

Russian gas flows to Europe through key pipelines steady

Russian gas deliveries to Europe via three main pipeline routes have been broadly steady this morning.

Eastbound flows into Poland at the Mallnow metering point on the German border stood at 13,218,381 kilowatt hours per hour (kWh/h) by 0645 GMT, data from operator Gascade showed.

Nominations for Russian gas for Slovakia through Ukraine via the Velke Kapusany border point stood at 610,672 megawatt hours per day (MWh) per day, data from Slovakian operator TSO Eustream showed. Flows to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline across the Baltic Sea were at 70,662,583 kWh/h, down from 72,252,998 kWh/h at midnight.

UK sends war crimes experts to Ukraine – foreign office

Britain will be sending experts to help Ukraine with gathering evidence and prosecuting war crimes, with a team due to arrive in Poland in early May.

“Russia has brought barbarity to Ukraine and committed vile atrocities, including against women. British expertise will help uncover the truth and hold (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s regime to account for its actions,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said.

UK: Russia continues to focus on Donbass

The “Battle of Donbass” has remained Russia’s main strategic focus in order to achieve its stated aim of securing control over the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Britain’s defence ministry has said.

“In these oblasts fighting has been particularly heavy around Lysychansk and Severodonetsk, with an attempted advance south from Izium towards Slovyansk,” the ministry said on Twitter.

Due to strong Ukrainian resistance, Russian territorial gains have been limited and achieved at significant cost to Russian forces, the ministry added in the regular bulletin. 

Ukraine leader holds ‘substantive and warm talks’ with Bulgaria PM

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he had “very substantive and warm talks” on energy and defence cooperation with Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov during his visit to Kiev.

Zelenskyy said they agreed that damaged Ukrainian military equipment could be repaired at Bulgarian plants and then sent back to Ukraine.

“Another issue we agreed on was the supply of Ukrainian electricity to Bulgaria and the joint use of the Trans-Balkan gas pipeline” to diversify energy supplies in the region,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to the nation.

US believes Russian intelligence behind attack on journalist – media

The United States believes Russian intelligence was behind an April chemical attack on a Nobel Peace Prize-winning Russian journalist critical of the Kremlin, US news organisations have reported.

Dmitry Muratov, the editor of the investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta, has said that while he was on a train he was splashed with red paint containing acetone by an attacker who told him, “this is for you from our boys.”

Muratov at the time posted photographs of his face, chest and hands covered in red oil paint, which he said badly burned his eyes because of the acetone.

For live updates from Thursday (April 28), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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