Ukraine news – live: ‘Elimination’ of Mariupol defenders ‘would end talks,’ as billionaire vows to rebuild

Russian state TV presenter says war in Ukraine ‘has already escalated into World War 3’

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has said that talks with Russia could break down if the defenders of Mariupol are ‘eliminated’, local media has reported.

Speaking to Ukrainian media, Mr Zelensky said: “I want to say that the elimination of our army, our guys, will put an end to all negotiations.”

His comments come as Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man, has pledged to help rebuild the besieged city of Mariupol.

The billionaire tycoon said the war-torn city on the coast of the Black Sea is important to him as it is where his company Metinvest owns two steelworks that he says will once again compete globally.

Conflict in Ukraine has seen his wealth reduce from £19 billion ($25bn) in 2011 to £6.5bn ($8.5bn) last year.

On Friday, Metinvest said it would never operate under Russian occupation and that the Mariupol siege had disabled more than a third of Ukraine’s metallurgy production capacity.


Zelensky: We have to prepare for a Russian nuclear attack

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said that the world should prepare for Russia’s possible use of nuclear weapons in an interview with Ukrainian media on Saturday.

“We shouldn’t wait for the moment when Russia decides to use its nuclear weapons. We have to prepare for that,” he said.

He added that Ukraine needed “drugs [against radiation], air-raid shelters.” “You have to talk to them, sign treaties, get touch conomically,” he added.

“[The Russians] can use any weapon, I’m convinced of that,” Zelensky said.

Holly Bancroft16 April 2022 22:38


The Independent’s campaign to support Ukrainians fleeing war reaches 250,000 signatures

More than 250,000 people have signed The Independent’s petition urging the UK government to step up support for Ukrainian refugees.

The milestone reached by the Refugees Welcome appeal has fuelled calls for Boris Johnson to listen to the public and open up Britain to those fleeing conflict.

Read more about the campaign and this important milestone here:

Holly Bancroft16 April 2022 22:11


Zelensky discusses defence support with Swedism PM

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has discussed the “critical situation in Mariupol” with the Swedism prime minister.

“We discussed defence support,” Zelensky said on Twitter, “ and strengthening anti-Russian sanctions.”

Magdalena Andersson, Sweden’s prime minister, said that “Sweden and the EU will work relentlessly to support Ukraine.”

Holly Bancroft16 April 2022 21:53


Around 1,500 citizens evacuated from areas of fighting, Ukraine’s deputy PM says

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said that 1,449 people were evacuated from areas affected by fighting on Saturday.

Vereshchuk said that only 170 people had managed to escape from Mariupol by their own means of transport today.

Another 1,211 people from Polohy, Vasylivka, Berdiansk and Melitopol made safe passage to Zaporizhzhia, according to the deputy PM.

Holly Bancroft16 April 2022 21:45


Russia claims all urban areas in Mariupol cleared of Ukrainian forces

The Russian defence ministry has claimed that their army has cleared the entire urban area of Mariupol of Ukrainian forces.

In an online post, Russia also claimed that 1,464 Ukrainian servicemen had surrendered so far.

“The entire urban area of Mariupol has been completely cleared.. remnants of the Ukrainian group are currently completely blockaded on the territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant,” the ministry said.

“Their only chance to save their lives is to voluntarily lay down their arms and surrender.”

Holly Bancroft16 April 2022 21:21


Harry and Meghan praise bravery of Ukraine team at Invictus games

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have paid tribute to the bravery of the Ukraine team at the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games, with Meghan exclaiming: “Slava Ukraini! (Glory to Ukraine!)”

Harry said he hopes the games, which are taking place in The Hague in the Netherlands, will create the opportunity for the world to “better show up” for the country of Ukraine.

Harry founded the Invictus Games to aid the rehabilitation of injured or sick military personnel and veterans from across the globe, by giving them the challenge of competing in sporting events similar to the Paralympics.

The Ukraine team received a standing ovation and extended round of applause when they arrived for the ceremony at The Hague’s Zuiderpark on Saturday night.

Meghan, who was invited on stage to speak, said everyone is “standing with” the Ukraine team.

She said: “Good evening everyone. We are so grateful to the Netherlands for welcoming us and for hosting the Invictus Games.

“For each team, my husband and I both recognise it’s been a lot to get here, both physically and emotionally. Not least of which for the Ukraine team, who we are all standing with.”

To huge applause, she added: “Slava Ukraini!”

Harry echoed his wife’s sentiment, saying: “Your bravery in choosing to come and for being here tonight cannot be overstated.

“You told me yesterday when you decided to join us despite all odds, you said you came to be on this global stage, not simply to show your strength but to tell your truth, the truth, of what is happening in your country.

“You know we stand with you. The world is united with you and still you deserve more.

“And my hope is that these events, this event, creates the opportunity in how we as a global community can better show up for you.”

(ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

Press Association16 April 2022 20:58


8th Russian general reportedly killed in Ukraine

An eight Russian general has reportedly been killed in Ukraine.

Major General Vladimir Frolov, deputy commander of the 8th Guards Combined Arms Unit, was given a military funeral in St Petersburg on Saturday, according to reports.

The St Petersburg governor said that Frolov had “sacrificed his life so that children, women and the elderly in Donbas would not hear bombs exploding again,” Mail Online reported.

He was described as a “true patriot, a brave and courageous man”.

Western officials have said that they believe Russia is losing a high number of generals in battle because of communication failures and lack of discipline that makes it hard to communicate orders to the front lines.

Holly Bancroft16 April 2022 20:30


Boris Johnson and Volodymyr Zelensky discuss situation in Mariupol

UK prime minister Boris Johnson praised the Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol in a call with president Volodymyr Zelesnky on Saturday.

A Downing Street spokesperson gave a read-out of the call, saying:

“The prime minister paid tribute to the bravery of Ukrainian forces who continue to valiantly defend their country’s freedom.

“President Zelenskiy updated the prime minister on the situation in Mariupol, and the prime minister said he saluted Ukrainian resistance in the city.

“The pair discussed the need for a long-term security solution for Ukraine, and the prime minister said he would continue to work closely with allies and partners to ensure Ukraine could defend its sovereignty in the weeks and months to come.

“The prime minister updated president Zelenskiy on new sanctions from the UK that came into force last week, and said the UK would continue to provide the means for Ukraine to defend itself, including armoured vehicles in the coming days.

“The prime minister said international support for Ukraine only grew stronger and that he remained convinced Ukraine would succeed and Putin would fail.”


Holly Bancroft16 April 2022 20:10


Russia warns US to stop arming Ukraine in official diplomatic note

Russia has told the US to stop arming Ukraine in a diplomatic note that warned of “unpredictable consequences” if it continues.

The note was sent earlier this week as the US was preparing to announce an $800m military aid package to Ukraine, according to The Washington Post.

Read the rest of the story here:

Holly Bancroft16 April 2022 19:38


Russia strikes Kyiv suburbs

Russian air raids and missile strikes have hit Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv and other major cities on Saturday.

Moscow said its warplanes had struck a tank repair factory in Kyiv. An explosion was heard and smoke rose over the southeastern Darnytskyi district. The mayor said at least one person was killed and medics were fighting to save others.

Holly Bancroft16 April 2022 19:17

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