Russia-Ukraine war latest: Zelenskiy urges oil embargo to curb Russia’…




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5.02am EDT 05:02

Johnson’s Kyiv visit ‘timely and very important’, says Zelenskiy adviser

One of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s advisers has called Boris Johnson’s visit to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv “very timely and very important”.

Speaking on BBC One’s Sunday Morning Ihor Zhovkva, senior diplomatic adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said that the UK chief minister “did not come empty handed”, with the pair discussing various types of sustain the UK could offer, including anti-ship missiles and financial sustain.

Zhovkva said the anti-ship missiles would help defend cities like Odesa under attack by Russian warships.

The message from Zhovkva was clear. Ukraine needed “weapons, weapons and more weapons”, he said.

Updated at 5.05am EDT

4.36am EDT 04:36

A UK crossbench peer offering her home to a fleeing Ukrainian family has said the UK’s visa scheme is “unwelcoming” and adding to refugees’ trauma.

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff is offering space in her Cardiff home to a mother and two children, but has been waiting for three weeks for their visas to be cleared by the Homes for Ukraine scheme, the Press Association report.

Her husband, Professor Andrew Finlay, spent eight hours filling out forms for their visa applications on March 18, the day the scheme launched, she said.

The father of the family, who were already known to her and her husband, is a doctor and has remained in Kyiv, she said. The associate has also submitted an application for him in the event he also leaves Ukraine due to injury or other reasons.

Finlay additional:

He’s decided to stay to serve his country and he’s basically entrusted his wife and two children to us. We’ve said we will do in any case is needed for however long to sustain them, and we know that it might be years.

Each of the family’s four applications had to be made separately. And despite repeated efforts in person at a visa information centre and over the phone, the only official response has been four separate emails on Thursday to say each applicant is “in the system” to be processed.

She said:

The silence is awful… nobody can help me find out what’s happened to these people’s applications. I think there is a failure of recognition that this uncertainty is adding to the trauma that these people have already experienced.

These aren’t just pieces of paper, these are people… and these are people who have lost everything.

We need to provide an ecosystem where they know that they are welcome and they are safe – how can they feel welcome?

The message from the system is that the country is not welcoming them.

Finlay described the preparations she and her husband have taken to make their home welcoming to the family – including clearing space in their kitchen, installing a radio which can be tuned into Ukrainian radio and washing soft toys for the younger child.

Finlay said the Home Office was “not functioning as it should”.

This feels as if it’s totally reactive, as if nobody had looked carefully at the visa application processes over recent years and said: ‘in the event of a major conflict in the world, where all of a sudden, we have to deal with a mass migration of people, how are we going to do it?’

A government spokesperson said:

We continue to course of action visas for the Homes for Ukraine scheme as quickly as possible, but accept progress has not been quick enough.

The Home Office has made changes to visa processing – the application form has been streamlined, Ukrainian passport holders can now apply online and do their biometrics checks once in the UK, and greater resource has gone into the system.

4.13am EDT 04:13

The Press Association has a moving story of the reception two men who drove two ambulances complete of medical supplies into Ukraine.

Charles Blackmore, a British executive who established commercial intelligence specialists Audere International in 2015, drove one of the two vehicles from the UK to Lutsk via Warsaw, arriving in the Ukrainian city on Friday evening.

Blackmore was moved to do something more personal after speaking to his American friend Herb Holtz, whose grandfather left Ukraine in 1905.

Speaking from Warsaw’s Chopin Airport on his way back to the UK, he told the PA news agency that the pair had been given an “incredible reception” by the while Ukrainians welcomed them with speeches, and patriotic songs.

He said:

When you excursion by checkpoints, when you excursion by cities in curfew, when 70% of the city of Lutsk – which is 200,000 people – have left the city, you’re going into a ghost town.

And when you see what is happening, to be able to bring the aid to the people was a very important journey.

Audere, which provides intelligence to parties wishing to make overseas investments, has already been active in the effort in Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion, helping with evacuations and conducting five resupply operations.

Blackmore said:

We had been involved in evacuating people out of Afghanistan last August.

We did not expect some seven months later to be involved in a second evacuation, this time in Europe.

But when it happened we decided that we did truly want, and we had the right operating template, to be able to contribute to the humanitarian aid, to the evacuation and to providing sustain for the Ukrainian people.

The company has delivered two tonnes of food and 300 litres of liquids, in addition as basic items like first aid and clothes, and extensive medical supplies.

Blackmore said he was moved to do something more personal after speaking to his American friend Holtz.

He said, ‘I want to do something meaningful. ‘My grandfather was Ukrainian, he left in 1905. I want to do something more than write a check’.

So I said, ‘Let’s buy a associate of ambulances, one each, and let’s both first take them down, take them into Ukraine, and see the end consequence’.

The ambulances were sourced were sourced via a charity in the UK and filled with two tonnes of medical supplies.
And although they were delivered to Lutsk, in western Ukraine, Blackmore said he had been assured the vehicles and supplies would be going “right to the front line” including Bucha.

Blackmore said the Ukrainians “really appreciate” the help and sustain coming from the UK.

He said:

What impressed us most was the cheerfulness and the resolve of the Ukrainian people.

And it’s very important that we stand already closer behind them and give them the more sustain and we’re going to look to do that ourselves.

3.29am EDT 03:29

Nine humanitarian corridors to help people escape fighting in the east

Ukraine’s deputy chief minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said that Kyiv has agreed the use of nine humanitarian corridors to help people to escape heavy fighting in the east of the country, including in private cars from Mariupol.

In a statement on her Telegram channel on Sunday Vereshchuk said:

All the routes for the humanitarian corridors in the Luhansk vicinity will work as long as there is a ceasefire by the occupying Russian troops.

A total of 4,553 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities by humanitarian corridors on Saturday, fewer than the 6,665 who escaped on Friday, Vereshchuk said on Saturday.

Good morning from London, I’m Lexy Topping and I’ll be keeping you up to date on news coming out of Ukraine today. Please do get in touch if you want to draw attention to any news we may have missed – I’m on [email protected], and @lexytopping on Twitter. My DMs are open.

Updated at 4.51am EDT

3.05am EDT 03:05

Quick break here from Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief.

“Ukraine will prevail and rise back already stronger. And the EU will continue to stand by you, every step of the way,” Borrell tweeted this morning.

Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF)

#Ukraine will prevail and rise back already stronger. And the EU will continue to stand by you, every step of the way.

Слава Україні! #StandWithUkraine #StopRussia pic.twitter.com/6WpPqsuzDI

April 10, 2022

3.02am EDT 03:02

Today so far

It is 10am on Sunday in Ukraine as the country braces for an escalation in attacks in the east and evacuations of civilians continue.

Here’s where things stand:

A recently discovered grave with dozens of Ukrainian civilians has been found in Buzova, a liberated village near the capital Kyiv, local officials said.
Residents in the besieged vicinity of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine will be able to evacuate the area today with nine trains ready for civilians to flee, the regional governor has said.
A school and several apartment buildings were hit by shelling in the Luhansk and Dnipro regions early on Sunday morning, wounding one person and causing a fire, officials said. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has warned his country “does not have time to wait”, while pushing for an oil embargo on Russia in his latest national address. “Oil is one of the two supplies of Russian self-confidence, their sense of impunity,” he said. Zelenskiy said his country is ready for a tough battle with Russian forces amassing in the east of the country. “This will be a hard battle; we believe in this fight and our victory. We are ready to simultaneously fight and look for diplomatic ways to put an end to this war.” The British chief minister, Boris Johnson, pledged a major new infusion of British arms and financial aid during a surprise trip to Kyiv on Saturday. Johnson said the UK and its partners and allies will provide sustain so that “Ukraine will never be invaded again”. The UK confirmed it will send 120 armoured vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems. Johnson praised Zelenskiy’s “resolute leadership” and “invincible heroism”. “[Vladimir] Putin’s monstrous aims are being thwarted,” Johnson said. The reputations of the Russian president and his government have been “permanently polluted” by war crimes against civilians in Ukraine, he additional. Russia’s withdrawal from northern Ukraine has left evidence of “disproportionate targeting” of civilians, mass graves, the use of hostages as human shields, according to the latest British intelligence report. The report also claimed Russian forces continue to use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to inflict casualties, lower Ukrainian morale and restrict freedom of movement. In response to mounting losses, the Russian armed forces are seeking to bolster troop numbers with personnel discharged from military service since 2012, the UK’s ministry of defence said.
The Ukrainian military said its soldiers thwarted eight Russian attacks in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, according to its latest operational report as of 6am this morning. Officials claim Russian forces are attempting to improving the Ukrainian defences in Izum in Kharkiv, east Ukraine, by relocating additional units to the area. Satellite images released by US private space technology company Maxar Technologies show a 13km-long (8miles) military convoy moving south by the eastern Ukraine town of Velkyi Burluk, east of Kharkiv, on 8 April. Unconfirmed reports allege that another top Russian general has died in battle in Ukraine. Colonel Alexander Bespalov, the commander of the 59th Guards Tank Regiment, was reportedly killed and a funeral was held on Friday in the Russian city of Ozersk, according to local media reports.
Nato is working on plans for a long-lasting military presence on its border in an effort to battle future Russian aggression, the Telegraph is reporting, citing Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg.

Updated at 4.07am EDT

2.58am EDT 02:58

Some of the latest images to come out of Ukraine today highlight the continued destruction inflicted upon cities across the country.

An apartment building destroyed by shelling in Borodianka, Kyiv. An apartment building destroyed by shelling in Borodianka. Photograph: Celestino Arce Lavin/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock A Ukrainian serviceman speaks, backdropped by a bullet riddled effigy of Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a media interview at a frontline position in the Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine. A Ukrainian serviceman speaks, backdropped by a bullet riddled effigy of Vladimir Putin, during a media interview at a frontline position in Luhansk. Photograph: Vadim Ghirdă/AP A man with a bouquet of flowers hugs a woman as he meets her at the railway station of Uzhhorod, western Ukraine. A man with a bouquet of flowers hugs a woman as he meets her at the railway stop of Uzhhorod, western Ukraine. Photograph: Ukrinform/REX/Shutterstock Firefighters climb a ladder while working to extinguish a blaze in a destroyed apartment building after a bombing in a residential area in Kyiv, Ukraine. Firefighters climb a ladder while working to extinguish a blaze in a destroyed apartment building after a bombing in a residential area of Kyiv, Ukraine. Photograph: Vadim Ghirdă/AP

Updated at 3.37am EDT

2.42am EDT 02:42

Nato is working on plans for a long-lasting military presence on its border in an effort to battle future Russian aggression, The Telegraph is reporting, citing Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Nato was “in the midst of a very basic transformation” that will mirror “the long-term consequences” of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions, Stoltenberg said in an interview with the newspaper.

“What we see now is a new reality, a new normal for European security. consequently, we have now asked our military commanders to provide options for what we call a reset, a longer-term adaptation of Nato,” it cited Stoltenberg as saying.

Stoltenberg, who recently said he would extend his term as head of the alliance by a year, also said in the interview that decisions on the reset would be made at a Nato summit to be held in Madrid in June.

2.33am EDT 02:33

Russian military convoy heads east of Kharkiv, satellite images and Ukraine military report

The Ukrainian military has just published its latest operational report as of 6am this morning.

Officials claim Russian forces are attempting to improving the Ukrainian defences in Izum in Kharkiv, east Ukraine, by relocating additional units to the area while also attempting to establish complete control over the city of Mariupol.

A uncompletely blockade of Kharkiv and shelling of the city continues, Ukraine’s general staff of the armed forces said.

Satellite images released by US private space technology company Maxar Technologies show an eight-mile-long military convoy moving south by the eastern Ukraine town of Velkyi Burluk on 8 April.

The town sits to the east of Kharkiv, close to Ukraine’s border with Russia.

This handout satellite image released by Maxar Technologies shows the northern end of a large military convoy moving south through the Ukrainian town of Velykyi Burluk. This handout satellite image released by Maxar Technologies shows the northern end of a large military convoy moving south by the Ukrainian town of Velykyi Burluk. Photograph: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Tech/AFP/Getty Images The convoy is thought to extend for at least eight miles. The convoy is thought to extend for at the minimum eight miles. Photograph: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Tech/AFP/Getty Images

The “continued arrival of wounded [Russian] soldiers” is putting strain on medical staff and overwhelming medical supplies, the Ukraine defence report additional.

In the absence of a stable supply of spare parts and units, Russian troops are forced to “work around the clock” to restore and repair equipment, officials claimed.

In the Luhansk vicinity, the measures of Russian-occupation administrations on forced mobilisation of the population in temporarily occupied territories are being strengthened.

According to the report, in the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Ukrainian soldiers thwarted eight Russian attacks, destroyed four tanks, eight units of armoured vehicles and 13 air targets including three aircraft, one helicopter, five UAVs and four winged missiles.

The convoy is believed to consist of armoured vehicles, trucks with towed artillery and support equipment. The convoy is believed to be make up of consistently armoured vehicles, trucks with towed artillery and sustain equipment. Photograph: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Tech/AFP/Getty Images

2.25am EDT 02:25

A school and several apartment buildings were hit by shelling in Ukraine’s Luhansk and Dnipro regions early on Sunday morning, wounding one person and causing a fire, officials said.

A school and a high-rise apartment building were shelled in the city of Sievierodonetsk in the besieged vicinity of Luhansk, the vicinity’s governor said.

Several apartments burned down and residents were evacuated from the building.

“Two high-rise buildings in a new district of the city, in addition as a high school building came under heavy fire from the Russian army,” Serhiy Gaidai wrote on Telegram.

“Fortunately, no casualties,” he additional.

In the central city of Dnipro, one person was wounded when a building was hit. The shelling sparked a fire that was ultimately put out, regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko said in a seperate post.

A missile hit a building in the Pavlograd district of the Dnipro, Reznichenko said.

The Guardian could not closest confirm the reports.

2.17am EDT 02:17

Residents in the besieged vicinity of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine will be able to evacuate the area today with nine trains ready for civilians to flee, the Luhansk regional governor has said.

Serhiy Gaidai announced the news in an update on Telegram early this morning, with most trains set to leave for cities in the west such as Lviv.

Updated at 2.19am EDT

2.09am EDT 02:09

We are receiving unconfirmed reports that another top Russian general has died in battle in Ukraine.

Colonel Alexander Bespalov, the commander of the 59th Guards Tank Regiment, was reportedly killed in battle by Ukrainian defence forces.

It would be the ninth colonel Russian president Vladimir Putin has lost since Russian invaded Ukraine on 24 February.

A funeral was reportedly held for Bespalov on Friday in the Russian city of Ozersk, according to local media reports.

Ukraine’s ministry of defence estimates that Russia has lost more than 19,000 personnel.

Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24)

Russian Colonel Alexander Bespalov, the commander of the 59th Guards Tank Regiment (part of the 144th Guards Motorized Rifle Division), has been killed in battle by the Ukrainian Army. pic.twitter.com/jLMFi93hGY

April 10, 2022

2.03am EDT 02:03

Russia seeks to bolster troop numbers with discharged personnel, UK MoD says

In response to mounting losses, the Russian armed forces is seeking to bolster troop numbers with personnel discharged from military service since 2012, according to the latest British intelligence report.

Efforts to generate more fighting strength also include trying to recruit from the unrecognised Transnistria vicinity of Moldova, the report additional.

Ministry of Defence (@DefenceHQ)

Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 10 April 2022

Find out more about the UK government’s response: https://t.co/8yjYrVmzHe

#StandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/Xd1tmsCDme

April 10, 2022

An earlier report said Russia’s withdrawal from northern Ukrainian has left evidence of “disproportionate targeting” of civilians, mass graves, the use of hostages as human shields.

Russia’s departure from northern Ukraine leaves evidence of the disproportionate targeting of non-combatants including the presence of mass graves, the fatal use of hostages as human shields, and mining of civilian infrastructure.

Russian forces continue to use IEDs to inflict casualties, lower morale, and restrict Ukrainian freedom of movement. Russian forces also continue to attack infrastructure targets with a high risk of collateral harm to civilians, including a nitrate acid tank at Rubizhne.”

An earlier report claimed Russian forces continue to use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to inflict casualties, lower morale, and restrict Ukrainian freedom of movement.

Ministry of Defence (@DefenceHQ)

Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 9 April 2022

Find out more about the UK government’s response: https://t.co/U5qWONizow

#StandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/z6k7bDdkq2

April 9, 2022

Updated at 2.04am EDT

1.58am EDT 01:58

Towns and villages surrounding Kyiv have been left reeling after Russia’s failed campaign to seize the capital.

The Russian retreat has revealed scores of civilian deaths and devastation inflicted upon homes, apartment buildings and civilian infrastructure.

Images from Borodianka, about 50km north-west of Kyiv, show the extent of the destruction.

A car rides in front of a destroyed apartment building in Borodianka, Ukraine. A car rides in front of a destroyed apartment building in Borodianka, Ukraine. Photograph: Alexey Furman/Getty Images A handmade picture of Virgin Mary is seen among the rubble of a destroyed apartment building in Borodianka, Ukraine. A handmade picture of Virgin Mary is seen among the rubble of a destroyed apartment building in Borodianka, Ukraine. Photograph: Alexey Furman/Getty Images Rescue workers clear the rubble of an apartment building in Borodianka. Rescue workers clear the rubble of an apartment building in Borodianka. Photograph: Alexey Furman/Getty Images Leo, 22, a volunteer from the US, prays by the destroyed apartment building on April 9, 2022 in Borodianka, Ukraine. Leo, 22, a volunteer from the US, prays by the destroyed apartment building on April 9, 2022 in Borodianka, Ukraine. Photograph: Alexey Furman/Getty Images Two cyclists push their bicycles in front of a destroyed apartment building in Borodianka, Ukraine. Two cyclists push their bicycles in front of a destroyed apartment building in Borodianka, Ukraine. Photograph: Alexey Furman/Getty Images

1.53am EDT 01:53

Ukraine is ready for a tough battle in east, Zelenskiy says

Ukraine is ready for a tough battle with Russian forces amassing in the east of the country, president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Saturday.

In case you missed his earlier news conference, the president warned that while the threat to the capital had receded, it was rising in the east.

This will be a hard battle, we believe in this fight and our victory. We are ready to simultaneously fight and look for diplomatic ways to put an end to this war.”

Ukranian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak said Zelenskiy and Russian president Vladimir Putin would not meet until after the country defeated Russia in the east, which would bolster its negotiating position.

We are paying a very high price. But Russia must get rid of its imperial illusions,” he said, according to the Interfax Ukraine news agency.

Air-raid sirens sounded in cities across eastern Ukraine, which has become the focus of Russian military action after the withdrawal from around Kyiv.

Ukrainian officials have urged civilians in the east to flee.

1.43am EDT 01:43

A recently discovered grave with dozens of Ukrainian civilians has been found in Buzova, a liberated village near the capital Kyiv, local officials said.

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 near a petrol stop. The number of those who died is however to be confirmed.

“Now, we are returning to life, but during the occupation we had our ‘hotspots’, many civilians died,” Didych said.

The Guardian is not able to closest verify the reports.

Many towns and villages surrounding the capital, including Makariv, Bucha, Irpin and Dmytrivka, consistent heavy casualties during the first month of war.

As the towns revert back to Ukrainian control, discoveries of mass graves and civilian casualties have triggered a wave of international condemnation, in particular over deaths in the town of Bucha, northwest of the capital.

1.36am EDT 01:36

UK pledges to send more arms

Boris Johnson has pledged a major new infusion of British arms and financial aid to help counter the expected deadly new phase in Russia’s military offensive during a surprise trip to Kyiv on Saturday.

After meeting with Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the Johnson said:

Ukraine has defied the odds and pushed back Russian forces from the gates of Kyiv, achieving the greatest feat of arms of the 21st century.

It is because of president Zelenskiy’s resolute leadership and the invincible heroism and courage of the Ukrainian people that Putin’s monstrous aims are being thwarted. I made clear today that the United Kingdom stands unwaveringly with them in this current fight, and we are in it for the long run.

We are stepping up our own military and economic sustain and convening a global alliance to bring this tragedy to an end, and ensure Ukraine survives and thrives as a free and sovereign nation.”

Johnson promises ‘sustain so that Ukraine is never invaded again’ on surprise trip to Kyiv – video

No 10 said Britain would send 120 armoured vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems to Ukraine. The missiles can do serious damage to Russian warships and could be used to tackle the Russian navy siege of Black Sea ports. The UK pledged £100m in military assistance last week, including another 800 anti-tank missiles, more anti-aircraft weapons, “suicide drones”, which hover over the battlefield before attacking a target, and helmets, body armour and night-vision goggles.

Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson)

The Ukrainians have the courage of a lion.

President @ZelenskyyUa has given the roar of that lion.

The UK stands unwaveringly with the people of Ukraine.

Slava Ukraini pic.twitter.com/u6vGYqmK4V

April 9, 2022

Updated at 1.40am EDT

1.30am EDT 01:30

Without oil embargo, Russia has ‘sense of impunity’, Zelenskiy says

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy delivered another identifying characteristics national address, noting that his country “does not have time to wait” while pushing for an oil embargo on Russia.

Ukraine does not have time to wait. Freedom does not have time to wait. When tyranny launches aggression against everything that keeps peace in Europe, action must be taken closest.

It is necessary to act in a principled fact. And the oil embargo should be the first step. At the level of all democracies, the whole civilised world.

Then Russia will feel it. Then it will be an argument for them – to seek peace, to stop pointless violence.”

The Ukrainian president urged for “more painful restrictions” on Russia’s cash flow, chiefly upon oil and gas.

First of all this applies to the oil business. The democratic world can definitely give up Russian oil and make it toxic to all other states.

Oil is one of the two supplies of Russian self-confidence, their sense of impunity.”

Zelenskiy also pushed for gas sanctions, saying over time this “will also be shut down”.

“It’s just unavoidable. Not only for safety, but also for environmental reasons,” he additional.

1.20am EDT 01:20

Summary and welcome

It is 8.30am on Sunday in Ukraine as the country braces for an escalation in attacks in the east and evacuations continue.

Here’s where things stand:

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has warned his country “does not have time to wait” while pushing for an oil embargo on Russia in his latest national address. “Oil is one of the two supplies of Russian self-confidence, their sense of impunity,” he said. Zelenskiy said his country is ready for a tough battle with Russian forces amassing in the east of the country. “This will be a hard battle; we believe in this fight and our victory. We are ready to simultaneously fight and look for diplomatic ways to put an end to this war.” The British chief minister, Boris Johnson, pledged a major new infusion of British arms and financial aid during a surprise trip to Kyiv on Saturday. Johnson said the UK and its partners and allies will provide sustain so that “Ukraine will never be invaded again”. The UK confirmed it will send 120 armoured vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems. Johnson praised Zelenskiy’s “resolute leadership and the invincible heroism”. “Putin’s monstrous aims are being thwarted,” Johnson said. The reputations of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and his government have been “permanently polluted” by war crimes against civilians in Ukraine, he additional. Russia’s withdrawal from northern Ukraine has left evidence of “disproportionate targeting” of civilians, mass graves, the use of hostages as human shields, according to the latest British intelligence report. The report also claimed Russian forces continue to use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to inflict casualties, lower Ukrainian morale and restrict freedom of movement. The Ukrainian military said its soldiers thwarted eight Russian attacks in the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, according to its latest operational report as of 6am this morning. Five people have been killed in east Ukraine shelling, according to the Donetsk governor. Four were reported killed in the city of Vugledar, and one in the town of Novomikhaylovka. Towns and villages surrounding Kyiv have been left reeling after Russia’s failed campaign to seize the capital. In the town of Borodianka, north-west of Kyiv, rescue teams are sorting by the rubble of houses destroyed in Russian bombardments, looking for those missing. Ukraine carried out a prisoner exchange with Russia on Saturday, the third such swap since the start of the war, with 12 soldiers confirmed to be coming home, the Ukrainian deputy chief minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, wrote online. A total of 4,553 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities by humanitarian corridors on Saturday, fewer than the 6,665 who escaped on Friday, Vereshchuk said. Ten humanitarian corridors to evacuate people from embattled areas across the country had been agreed on Saturday. The European Commission is pledging €1bn to sustain Ukraine and countries receiving refugees fleeing the war following Russia’s invasion, said the commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen. The Czech Republic has delivered tanks, multiple-rocket launchers, howitzers and infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine among military shipments that have reached hundreds of millions of dollars and will continue, two Czech defence supplies told Reuters. The Austrian chancellor, Karl Nehammer, met Zelenskiy earlier on Saturday, following a visit to the city of Bucha to the north-west of Kyiv, where mass civilian graves and street killings by Russian forces were discovered last week. Russia has reorganised the command of its battle operations in Ukraine, installing a new general with extensive experience in Russian operations in Syria, according to western officials. The commander of Russia’s southern military district, Gen Alexander Dvornikov, now leads the invasion. “It speaks to a Russian acknowledgement that it is going extremely badly and they need to do something differently,” an official told CNN while a seperate source told the BBC: “We would expect the overall command and control to enhance.” Ukraine has banned all imports from Russia, one of its meaningful trading partners before the war with annual imports valued at about $6 billion, and called on other countries to follow suit. Ukraine’s minister for economic development and trade, Yulia Svyrydenko, made the announcement in a statement on Saturday. Nato is working on plans for a long-lasting military presence on its border in an effort to battle future Russian aggression, The Telegraph is reporting, citing Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Protesters staged a self-described “die-in” outside Downing St in London on Saturday, holding ‘babies’ and signs covered in fake blood in protest against the massacre in the town of Bucha. A similar protest took place outside the White House in Washington D.C.
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