Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Ukraine accuses Russia of thwarting another Mariupol evacuation

A new attempt to evacuate Ukrainian civilians from war-torn Mariupol failed on Saturday, an aide to the city’s mayor said on his Telegram channel, blaming Russian forces.

The official said 200 residents of Mariupol gathered to be evacuated, but were told by the Russian military to disperse and warned them of possible shelling.

Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for repeatedly failing to evacuate residents of Mariupol.

—Reuters

Russian missile hits port city of Odessa, Ukrainian foreign minister says

A Russian missile hit the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.

“The sole purpose of Russian missile strikes on Odessa is terror,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

Odessa is a city of nearly one million people located on the Black Sea in southern Ukraine, near the country’s border with Moldova.

Kuleba’s tweet came after local authorities announced for the first time that infrastructure in Odessa had been hit by a missile strike, Reuters reported.

“Russia must be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism and treated accordingly. No business, no contacts, no cultural projects. We need a wall between civilization and barbarians hitting peaceful cities with missiles “, Kuleba tweeted.

Kevin Breuninger

Russia resumes Azovstal offensive, says Ukrainian presidential adviser

A destroyed administrative building at the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works.

Genghis Kondarov | Reuters

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said on Saturday Russia had resumed its offensive against forces in Azovstal, a steel mill and the last Ukrainian stronghold in the besieged city of Mariupol.

“The enemy is trying to strangle the final resistance of the Mariupol defenders in the Azovstal region,” Arestovich told state television, according to Reuters.

Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his army to abandon a plan to storm the Azovstal steel plant, where several thousand Ukrainian soldiers as well as civilians are camped, opting instead to continue to seal the facility by blockade.

—Matt Clinch

Evacuations from Mariupol will start at noon, says Deputy PM

Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, said on Saturday that evacuations from the beleaguered city of Mariupol would begin at noon local time if all goes according to plan, according to Reuters.

“Today we will again try to evacuate women, children and the elderly,” she said in a message posted on social media.

Matt Clinch

Moldova expresses deep concern over Russian military commander’s comments

The Moldovan Foreign Ministry said it had summoned its ambassador to Moscow and said it was deeply concerned by comments from a senior Russian military commander.

Russian Major General Rustam Minnekayev claimed, without proof, that the Russian-speaking population of Transnistria was oppressed. Transnistria is an unrecognized breakaway state that is officially part of Moldova, which borders Ukraine to the south. Russian forces have been stationed in Transnistria since the 1990s, and kyiv has warned that Moscow could mount false flag operations there to justify an invasion.

The Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs updated a statement on its website stating that “these statements are unfounded and contradict the position of the Russian Federation supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, within of its internationally recognized borders”.

—Matt Clinch

Zelensky says invading Ukraine ‘is just the start’

In his usual late-night address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded to comments from a Russian military official on Friday.

Russian Major General Rustam Minnekayev previously revealed that Moscow’s goal was to fully control Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region as well as southern Ukraine as part of the second phase of the invasion. It was unclear, however, whether the comments reflected official Russian policy.

Minnekayev claimed, without evidence, that the Russian-speaking population of Transnistria was oppressed. Transnistria is an unrecognized breakaway state that is officially part of Moldova, which borders Ukraine to the south. Russian forces have been stationed in Transnistria since the 1990s, and kyiv has warned that Moscow could mount false flag operations there to justify an invasion.

Zelenskyy said late Friday that the comments meant Russia had ambitions to invade other neighboring countries. “The invasion of Ukraine is just the beginning. Then they want to invade other countries,” he said, according to a translation by NBC News.

“Of course, we will defend ourselves as long as it takes to smash this ambition of the Russian Federation. But all the peoples who believe like us in the victory of life over death must fight alongside us, must help us,” he added.

“Because we were the first on this path. But who’s next? If those who may be next want to remain neutral today so as not to lose anything, in reality this is the riskiest bet, because you will lose everything. ”

—Matt Clinch and Natasha Turak

Ukrainian officials say another mass grave has been discovered near Mariupol

Ukrainian officials said another mass grave had been discovered near the devastated port city of Mariupol.

Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, said in a Telegram post that there was “new information about the mass burial of deceased residents of Mariupol” in Vynohradne – a village about 7 miles east. east of Mariupol.

Maxar satellite imagery of another extension of the mass grave site just outside Vynohradne, Ukraine, just east of Mariupol.

Maxar | Maxar | Getty Images

“This confirms once again that the occupiers are organizing the collection/burial/cremation of deceased residents of Mariupol in every district of the city,” he said, accusing Russia of trying to “hide the consequences of war crimes”.

Separately, US defense contractor Maxar said high-resolution satellite imagery of the Mariupol area “reveals the existence of a second cemetery which has grown in size over the past month and includes several long trenches which are/will probably become new burial sites”.

CNBC and NBC have not been able to independently confirm these allegations, and Russian officials have not yet responded to CNBC’s questions about these allegations.

—Joanna Tan

Russia will continue bombing until ‘new methods of warfare’ are introduced, says UK

Maxar satellite imagery of burning buildings in eastern Mariupol, Ukraine, April 9, 2022.

Maxar | Getty Images

Russia “will likely continue to be frustrated” with its inability to quickly overcome Ukrainian defences, according to British intelligence.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has said he will introduce “new methods of warfare” — a “tacit admission” that the war is not progressing as planned, the The UK Ministry of Defense said in a tweet.

Moscow’s new plans will take time to implement, and until then “there will likely be a continued reliance on bombing as a means of trying to suppress Ukrainian opposition,” the report said.

Joanna Tan

Zelenskyy says allies deliver weapons Ukraine wanted

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the allies were finally delivering the weapons that kyiv had requested, adding that the weapons would help save the lives of thousands of people.

—Reuters

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