May 26, 2024


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Russia-Ukraine live news: Rebels to ‘intensify’ fight in east | Russia-Ukraine war News

  • Russian-backed rebel forces say they will “intensify” their battle against Ukrainian troops in the country’s east.
  • More than 180 children have been killed since Russia launched its invasion on February 24, according to Kyiv.
  • Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
  • The death toll from the Kramatorsk train station attack rose to 57, a local official says.
  • Germany’s foreign minister claims there are “massive indications” of war crimes in Ukraine.

INTERACTIVE Russia Ukraine War Who controls what Day 47

Here are all the latest updates:

Table of Contents

Kremlin says there is no ‘reason’ for Russian debt default

The Kremlin has said that Russia has the resources to pay its debt so there is no “objective reason” for a default.

“There can only be a technical, man-made default,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Russia has not defaulted on its external debt since the aftermath of its 1917 revolution, but its bonds have now emerged as a flashpoint in its economic tussle with Western countries.

A default was unimaginable until recently, with Russia rated as investment grade prior to its invasion of Ukraine.

Putin taking Russia into an ‘era of economic darkness’

Timothy Ash, an economist at the United Kingdom-based BlueBay asset management investment firm, says Putin is taking Russia into “into an era of darkness from an economic perspective”.

“The [economic] outlook is terrible, because of this war, sanctions will remain in place for a long time and the West will cut Russia out of its supply chains,” Ash told Al Jazeera.

“Russia will go into default, full default, very shortly and be out of international capital markets for a decade. There will be no financing, capital inflows, or investment and [it will experience] a brain drain and falling living standards,” he added.

“The losses to Russia, because of this, over the longer term, could be much higher than for Ukraine.”

A man is seen near a board showing currency exchange rates in Russia's Saint Petersburg
Russia’s economy is facing the gravest crisis in decades due to sweeping sanctions imposed on Moscow by Western powers [Anton Vaganov/Reuters]

Kremlin says NATO membership for Finland, Sweden won’t bring stability to Europe

The Kremlin has warned against Sweden and Finland possibly joining the NATO transatlantic security alliance.

“We have repeatedly said that the alliance remains a tool geared towards confrontation and its further expansion will not bring stability to the European continent,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

His remarks came amid reports that NATO membership for both Nordic countries was discussed during talks between the alliance’s foreign ministers last week attended by representatives from Sweden and Finland.

Moscow-backed rebel forces to ‘intensify’ battle in eastern Ukraine

The Russian-backed leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine says the rebel republic will “intensify” its battle against Ukrainian forces in the region.

“The more we delay, the more the civilian population simply suffers, being held hostage by the situation. We have identified areas where certain steps need to be accelerated,” Denis Pushilin was quoted as saying by Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency.

Pushilin also said more than 5,000 civilians may have been killed in Mariupol, where Ukrainian forces have attempted to hold off a relentless Russian attack since Moscow launched its invasion.

Mariupol lies between eastern areas of Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists and the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014.

German paper hires Russian journalist after anti-war stunt

German newspaper Die Welt says it has hired Marina Ovsyannikova, the Russian journalist who protested against Moscow’s offensive during a prime-time news broadcast on state television.

Ovsyannikova, 43, “is now a freelance correspondent for Die Welt, reporting from Ukraine and Russia, among other places”, the newspaper said in a statement.

Ovsyannikova, an editor at Russia’s Channel One television, barged onto the set of its flagship evening news programme in March holding a poster reading “No War” in English.

Zelenskyy says tens of thousands killed in Mariupol

Ukraine’s president says tens of thousands of people have been killed in Russia’s assault on the country’s southeastern port city of Mariupol.

“Mariupol has been destroyed, there are tens of thousands of dead, but even despite this, the Russians are not stopping their offensive,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address to South Korean lawmakers.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify his claim.

Mini map showing Mariupol's location within Ukraine

Russia claims to have hit missile systems

Russia’s defence ministry says its forces have destroyed a shipment of air defence missile systems provided to Ukraine by the West.

The ministry said Russian sea-launched Kalibr missiles hit the four S-300 anti-aircraft launchers on Sunday. It alleged the missile systems were concealed in a hangar on the outskirts of the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro. The ministry added that 25 Ukrainian soldiers were hit in the attack.

It did not say which European country had supplied the S-300 systems. There was no immediate reaction to the claims from Kyiv.

Norway extends Lithuania troop deployment

Norway’s defence ministry says the country will extend its current NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) troop deployment in Lithuania until August.

The deployment was increased in February by about 50 servicemen, to a total of 200 overall, on a three-month basis. It has now been extended by a further three months.

Norway said it also plans to contribute troops to the eFP beyond August but did not say how many would be deployed.


‘Massive indications’ of war crimes in Ukraine, German minister says

Germany’s foreign minister has said there are “massive indications of war crimes” having been committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.

“In the end, the courts will have to decide, but for us, it is central to secure all evidence,” Annalena Baerbock told reporters before a meeting with fellow European Union ministers in Luxembourg.

Ukraine says nine humanitarian corridors agreed

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister says Kyiv is aiming to evacuate civilians from several regions in the country’s south and east via nine humanitarian corridors on Monday after agreeing on the routes with Russia.

Iryna Vereshchuk said in a post on Facebook that the planned routes include one for people evacuating by private transport from the city of Mariupol.

Efforts to get convoys of buses into the city to deliver aid and evacuate tens of thousands of residents trapped there have repeatedly failed.

EU working on possible oil embargo on Russia, Ireland says

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney says the European Commission is working on details of an oil embargo on Russia as part of a possible next sanctions package, but that nothing has been decided.

His comment came as the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said “sanctions are always on the table” when asked if the bloc was ready to consider a Russian oil embargo. “Ministers will discuss which are the further steps,” he added.

Railway station attack’s death toll rises to 57: Official

The death toll from the Russian cruise missile attack on a railway station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk has reached 57, according to a local official.

The attack also wounded 114 others, Pavlo Kirilenko, who governs the Ukrainian-controlled part of the Donetsk region, said on social media.

Thousands of civilians were waiting at the station as they prepared to evacuate Kramatorsk when the Tochka U cruise missile hit.

Remains of a missile are seen near a railway station, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Kramatorsk, Ukraine April 8, 2022 in this still image from a video obtained by REUTERS. Video recorded April 8, 2022
The remains of a missile are seen in Kramatorsk [Handout via Reuters]

19,500 Russian servicemen killed: Ukraine’s military

Russia has lost about 19,500 soldiers since it invaded Ukraine on February 24, Ukraine’s military has said.

It also lost 725 tanks, 1,923 armoured vehicles, 154 planes and 137 helicopters, the General Staff of the Armed Forces said on Facebook, adding that the figures are approximate because of the ongoing hostilities.

On Friday, the Kremlin admitted to “significant losses”, but did not specify the number. NATO said on March 24 that Moscow lost up to 15,000 soldiers in Ukraine.

French bank Societe Generale ceases Russia activities

French banking group Societe Generale has said it is ceasing its activities in Russia and selling its stake in Russia’s Rosbank.

“With this agreement … the group would exit in an effective and orderly manner from Russia, ensuring continuity for its employees and clients,” the French bank said.

The deal, pending regulatory approval, would result in a write-off of about 2 billion euros ($2.2bn) and an exceptional non-cash item with no impact on SocGen’s capital ratio, it said.

More than 1,793 civilians killed in Ukraine war: UN

Since the start of Russia’s invasion,1,793 civilians have been killed and 2,439 injured, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes,” the OHCHR notes in its civilian casualty update.

The organisation writes the actual figures are likely considerably higher, as information from areas where there are “intense hostilities” has either been delayed or is pending corroboration. This includes Mariupol, Izium and Borodyanka.

Cemetery workers carry a corpse of a man from a mass grave, to be identified in a morgue. Bucha, outside Kyiv.
Cemetery workers carry a body from a mass grave to be identified in a morgue. Bucha, April 10 [Rodrigo Abd/AP]

More than 180 children killed amid invasion, Ukraine reports

Ukraine’s ombudsman for human rights, Lyudmyla Denisova, has reported that 183 children are confirmed to have died since the start of the Russian invasion.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify these figures.

Bodies of 6 people found in Kharkiv: Interfax

Rescuers in the city of Kharkiv have found the bodies of six victims of shelling, Interfax Ukraine reports.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify these claims.

Russia may use phosphorous munitions in Mariupol: UK defence ministry

“Russian forces’ prior use of phosphorous munitions in the Donetsk Oblast raises the possibility of their future employment in Mariupol as fighting for the city intensifies,” the UKMinistry of Defence writes in its latest intelligence briefing.

It also notes that Russia has continued shelling the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and that Ukrainian forces have repulsed several assaults “resulting in the destruction of Russian tanks, vehicles, and artillery equipment”.

Russia continues using unguided bombs which “decreases their ability to discriminate” during attacks and increases “the risk of further civilian casualties,” the briefing adds.

Biden and Modi to hold virtual meeting on Ukraine today

US President Joe Biden will speak virtually with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi later today as he presses world leaders to take a hard line against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

India has held a neutral stance towards Russia’s invasion. It was one of 58 members that abstained when the UN General Assembly voted last Thursday to suspend Russia from the 47-member Human Rights Council over allegations of rights violations in Ukraine.

Biden will discuss the consequences of the war in Ukraine “and mitigating its destabilising impact on global food supply and commodity markets”, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Sunday. They will also discuss how to uphold a “free, open rules-based international order to bolster security, democracy, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.”

NZ to send more military aid to Ukraine

New Zealand will send a C-130 Hercules aircraft, with 50 defence force personnel, to help transport and distribute donated military aid to Ukraine, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.

“But at no point will they enter Ukraine, and nor have they been asked to,” Ardern said at a press conference. The aircraft will leave New Zealand for Europe on Wednesday.

New Zealand will also contribute $13m for military, legal and human rights support, including $7.5m for weapons and ammunition procurement via the UK, enabling the UK to help supply arms to Ukraine.

Finland and Sweden to join NATO in the coming months

Finland and Sweden are poised to join NATO within the coming months, The Times has reported, citing US officials. The move will enlarge the alliance from 30 to 32 members.

Officials said the Nordic countries’ NATO membership was “a topic of … multiple sessions” during talks between the alliance’s foreign ministers last week attended by Sweden and Finland, the report added.

Finland’s application is expected in June, with Sweden to follow, the report said.

South Korea says it won’t send Ukraine weapons

South Korea’s defence minister Suh Wook has told his Ukrainian counterpart that Seoul has “limits” when it comes to sending weapons to Ukraine, Yonhap news agency reported.

Ukrainian defence minister Oleksii Reznikov reportedly requested anti-aircraft weapons in a phone call with Suh on Friday. South Korea has refused to send weapons to Ukraine, providing largely humanitarian support.

Zelenskyy is set to deliver a video address to South Korea’s National Assembly later today where he is expected to again request weapons.

Russian forces will attack Kyiv, Chechen leader says

Head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, says Russian forces will stage an offensive against Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities.

“There will be an offensive … not only on Mariupol but also on other places, cities and villages,” Kadyrov said in a video posted on his Telegram channel.

“Luhansk and Donetsk – we will fully liberate in the first place … and then take Kyiv and all other cities,” he added.

Cars drive near a damaged bridge following Russian attack in the town of Makarov, Kyiv region.
Cars drive near a damaged bridge following Russian attack in the town of Makarov, Kyiv region. Sunday, April 10, 2022. (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

Russia threatens legal action if the West forces debt default

Russia will take legal action if the West tries to force it to default on its sovereign debt, Russia’s finance minister Anton Siluanov told the pro-Kremlin Izvestia newspaper.

“Of course we will sue, because we have taken all the necessary steps to ensure that investors receive their payments,” Siluanov said. “We will present in court our bills confirming our efforts to pay both in foreign currency and in roubles.”

Russia faces its first sovereign external default in more than a century after it made arrangements to make an international bond repayment in roubles earlier this week, even though the payment was due in US dollars.

The world responsible for atrocities in Ukraine: Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy has told CBS’s 60 Minutes the world is responsible for Russia’s atrocities in Ukraine.

“I remember, all of us remember, books about the second world war, and about the devil in uniform – Adolf Hitler. Are those countries who did not participate in the war responsible? … Does the world carry responsibility for the genocide? Yes. Yes, it does.  When you [can] close the sky – yes it’s scary, that a world war could start … I cannot put pressure on these people because everyone is afraid of war. But whether the world [is responsible] for this, I believe so, yes. I believe so,” he said.

‘I am no longer interested in their diplomacy’: Zelenskyy on NATO and UN

Zelenskyy has criticised NATO and the UN in an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes.

“When you are [working] at diplomacy, there are no results. I don’t have any more lives [to give]. I don’t have any more emotions. I’m no longer interested in their diplomacy that leads to the destruction of my country,” Zelenskyy said, after being asked about his outburst at NATO and the UN Security Council when he told the UNSC it should punish Russia or “dissolve itself”.

He told CBS: “We are defending the right to live. I never thought this right was so costly. These are human values. So that Russia doesn’t choose what we should do and how I’m exercising my rights. That right was given to me by God and my parents.”

US and Ukraine condemn Russia’s elections in occupied Georgia

Ukraine’s foreign ministry has condemned Russia’s “unlawful” elections in Georgia’s South Ossetia region held on April 10. South Ossetia and Abkhazia have been occupied by Russia since it invaded Georgia in 2008.

The US embassy in Georgia also issued a statement saying it does not “recognise the legitimacy of the so-called presidential elections” and “will not acknowledge their outcome”.

“Our position on Abkhazia and South Ossetia remains clear: these regions are integral parts of Georgia. No ‘elections’ or a priori illegitimate ‘referendum’ calling for incorporation of South Ossetia into Russia can change this,” the statement said. It also called on Russia to immediately stop its war in Ukraine and occupation of Georgia.

9.1 billion euros raised for people fleeing Ukraine

The Stand Up For Ukraine campaign’s pledging event has raised 9.1 billion euros ($9.9bn) for displaced Ukrainians, inside the country and abroad. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development also announced an additional billion euros ($1.088bn) in loans.

The global pledging event included a social media rally on Friday and a pledging conference on Saturday in Warsaw, Poland. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was in attendance.

Celebrities including Elton John, Alanis Morissette, Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox and Chris Rock joined the campaign alongside global leaders pledging for their countries.

Next few days of war are crucial: Zelenskyy

Ukraine’s president has warned his countrymen that the coming week would be as crucial as any since the invasion, as Russian troops “will move to even larger operations in the east”, he said in an address.

He accused Russia of trying to evade responsibility for war crimes and called on Western countries, including Germany, to provide more assistance to Ukraine. During talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Zelenskyy said he discussed “how to strengthen sanctions against Russia and how to force Russia to seek peace”.

EU ‘could revisit renewable targets’ in the push to quit Russian energy

The EU could set more ambitious targets for its transition to renewable energy as it seeks alternatives to importing oil and gas from Russia, EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans has said.

The European Commission has proposed that the EU cut imports of Russian gas by two-thirds this year, and is drafting plans to phase them out by 2027. It will propose a “Repower EU” plan in May.

“What we will do … is work towards what I call the Repower EU initiative … we want to accelerate the energy transition. So … we might revisit our targets,” Timmermans told reporters during a visit to Cairo.

Austrian leader plans to meet Putin

Nehammer says he will meet Putin in Moscow on Monday.

The meeting will mark Putin’s first face-to-face talks with a counterpart from the EU since Russia launched its invasion.

Read more here.

Karl Nehammer
Nehammer is set to visit Moscow on Monday [File: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters]

War to slash Ukraine’s economic output: World Bank

Ukraine’s economic output will likely contract by 45.1 percent this year as Russia’s invasion forced businesses to close, slashed exports and destroyed productive capacity, the World Bank said in a new assessment of the war’s economic effects.

The World Bank also forecast Russia’s 2022 gross domestic product (GDP) output to fall 11.2 percent due to financial sanctions imposed by the US and its Western allies on Russia’s banks, state-owned enterprises and other institutions.

The World Bank’s Eastern Europe region, comprising Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, is forecast to show a GDP contraction of 30.7 percent this year.

Devastation from an airstrike on a shoe factory in Dnipro
Devastation from an air raid on a shoe factory in Dnipro [File: Emre Caylak/Al Jazeera]

Ukraine says 2,824 more people evacuated

A total of 2,824 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors on Sunday, according to the country’s deputy prime minister.

Vereshchuk said in an online post that the figure included 213 residents of Mariupol.

Blasts heard in Ukraine’s Kharkiv, Mykolaiv: Local media

A series of powerful explosions were heard in Ukraine’s northeastern city of Kharkiv and in Mykolaiv, a city near the Black Sea in the southern part of the country, Ukrainian media has reported.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Read all the updates from April 10 here.