As Moscow threatens to cut off gas supplies to “unfriendly” countries that refuse to pay in rubles, the Russian army is regrouping for new attacks in Ukraine, according to kyiv and NATO. Follow the latest information live.
Seven people were killed and 34 injured in a Russian strike on Sunday on a residential area in Kharkiv, the major city in northeastern Ukraine, local prosecutors said.
“Russian occupiers shelled residential buildings in the Slobodskyy district of Kharkiv. As a result, around ten houses and a trolleybus depot were damaged. According to preliminary information, seven people were killed, 34 were injured, including three children,” the press service of the regional prosecutor’s office said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that Russian leaders should be held responsible for “murders” and “torture” in Boutcha, a town northwest of kyiv recently taken over by Ukrainians where many civilians were killed.
“I want all the leaders of the Russian Federation to see how their orders are carried out. This kind of orders (…). And they have a common responsibility. For these murders, for these tortures, for the arms torn off by explosives (…) For the bullets fired in the back of the neck”, declared Mr. Zelensky, passing from Ukrainian to Russian, in a video message. He added that a “special mechanism” would be created to investigate all Russian “crimes” in Ukraine.
One person was killed and three injured on Sunday in a Russian strike against a hospital in Rubizhne, eastern Ukraine, regional governor Sergei Gaïdaï announced on Telegram, without providing further details.
This locality located near Lugansk, in the Donbass region, has already been the target of numerous bombardments since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24.
One person was killed and 14 injured in a Russian strike in Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine, regional governor Vitaliy Kim said.
A 15-year-old boy, slightly affected, is among those hospitalized, he added on Telegram.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday he was “deeply shocked by the images of civilians killed in Boutcha”, in the kyiv region, where many bodies were discovered after the departure of Russian forces.
“It is essential that an independent investigation makes it possible to make those responsible accountable,” he added in a brief press release.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday called for new sanctions against Russia after the discovery of numerous bodies of Ukrainian civilians in Boutcha, near kyiv, murders attributed to the Russian army which he described as “war crimes”.
“We will decide on new measures between the Allies in the coming days,” he assured in a short statement to the chancellery. “President Putin and his supporters will suffer the consequences”, he promised, assuring that “the killings of civilians are war crimes”.
The United Nations said Sunday that the discovery of mass graves in Boutcha in Ukraine after the withdrawal of Russian forces raised serious questions about “possible war crimes”, underlining the importance of preserving all evidence.
“We are not yet in a position to comment directly on the causes and circumstances of civilian deaths in Boutcha, but what is known to date clearly raises serious and disturbing questions about possible war crimes and grave violations. international humanitarian law,” the UN human rights office said.
The Spanish government said it was outraged on Sunday by the “unsustainable images” of the Ukrainian town of Boutcha, where many corpses were discovered after the withdrawal of Russian troops, and called for an investigation for “war crimes”.
“The unbearable images of Boutcha after the withdrawal of Russian troops deeply outrage us. All my solidarity with the victims of this barbarism”, wrote on Twitter the Minister of Foreign Affairs José Manuel Albares. “War crimes must be promptly investigated and those responsible must be punished,” he added.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday called Russia’s “despicable attacks” on civilians in the Ukrainian town of Boutcha, where scores of bodies were found, a “war crime”, promising to increase sanctions against Moscow.
“Russia’s despicable attacks on innocent civilians in Irpin and Boutcha are further evidence that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and his army are committing war crimes in Ukraine,” the leader said in a statement.
The dead bodies of 410 civilians have been found in the territories of the Kyiv region recently recaptured from Russian troops by Ukrainian forces, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova announced on Sunday.
“Forensic experts have already examined 140 of them,” she added during a program broadcast on several Ukrainian television channels.
The Russian Ministry of Defense assured Sunday that its forces had not killed civilians in Boutcha, a town near kyiv recently taken over by Ukrainian forces.
“During the period when this locality was under the control of the Russian armed forces, not a single local resident suffered from violent actions,” the ministry said. He claimed that the images of corpses on the streets of the city were “a new production of the kyiv regime for the Western media
More than 500,000 people have returned to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry announced on Sunday.
“During the past week, 144,000 people left Ukraine and 88,000 arrived there. In total (…), about 537,000 of our compatriots returned to Ukraine,” the ministry said in a statement, citing the authorities. National Border Service data.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Sunday denounced “the massacres of unarmed civilians” in Ukraine and warned that “the Russian authorities will have to be held to account”.
“The images of the crimes committed in Boucha and in the other areas liberated by the Ukrainian army leave us speechless. The cruelty of the massacres of unarmed civilians is terrifying and intolerable,” he said in a statement. “The Russian authorities will have (…) to be accountable”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday accused Russia of committing “genocide” in Ukraine to wipe out “the whole nation”, a day after scores of bodies were found on the streets of a town near kyiv after Russian forces left .
“Yes, it is genocide. The elimination of the whole nation and people, we are citizens of Ukraine. We have over 100 nationalities. It is about the destruction and extermination of all these nationalities,” he said in an interview with the American channel CBS.
Emmanuel Macron condemned this Sunday April 3 the Russian attacks against civilians in Boutcha, near kyiv.
“The images reaching us from Boutcha, a liberated town near kyiv, are unbearable. In the streets, hundreds of cowardly murdered civilians. My compassion for the victims, my solidarity with the Ukrainians. The Russian authorities will have to answer for these crimes,” wrote the head of state on Twitter.
The images reaching us from Boutcha, a liberated town near kyiv, are unbearable. In the streets, hundreds of cowardly murdered civilians. My compassion for the victims, my solidarity with the Ukrainians. The Russian authorities will have to answer for these crimes.
—Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 3, 2022
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz spoke on Sunday 3 April. He denounced the Russian attacks against Ukrainian citizens, especially after the shocking images of the bodies in Boutcha. Olaf Scholz wants light to be shed on the “crimes committed by the Russian army” against civilians.
The murders of civilians attributed to the Russian army in Boutcha, near kyiv, are “horrible”, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday, denouncing “brutality unprecedented in Europe for decades”.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that civilians are being targeted and killed, and it underscores the importance of ending this war,” he told CNN.
The Kremlin on Sunday deemed it “impossible” to isolate Russia in the contemporary world, at a time when the country is targeted by a series of unprecedented Western sanctions because of its military intervention in Ukraine.
“There can be no isolation from Russia, it is technologically impossible in the contemporary world,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov assured in an interview with Russian public television channel Rossia 1, excerpts from which were published by Russian news agencies.
“Russia itself is much bigger than Europe,” he added. International sanctions have been mounting against Russia since the start of its military operation in Ukraine on February 24. “But sooner or later we will have to establish a dialogue, whether someone across the Atlantic wants it or not,” Mr. Peskov stressed.
Charles Michel denounces the “atrocities” of the Russian army and calls for more sanctions against the country led by Vladimir Putin.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias is expected to arrive “very soon” in Odessa, the major Ukrainian port on the Black Sea bombarded Sunday morning by Russian forces, his ministry announced on Sunday.
“The minister will arrive in Odessa very soon. He is bringing humanitarian aid, which will be handed over to the city authorities”, and intends to discuss with them “the creation of a permanent mechanism for the distribution of humanitarian aid”.
Mr. Dendias will also meet members of the Greek community in this city in southwestern Ukraine and intends to reopen the Greek consulate there. The minister announced in March his intention to go, with humanitarian aid, to Mariupol (southeast), which has the largest Greek community in the country.
A series of explosions were heard Sunday morning in Odessa, Ukraine’s main port, on the Black Sea, in the south-west of the country, noted an AFP journalist. The explosions, which occurred around 6:00 a.m., sent up at least three columns of black smoke and visible flames, apparently in an industrial area.
A downtown hotel worker said she heard a plane, but a soldier near the scene of one of the strikes said it was a rocket or missile.
Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, wrote on his Telegram account: “Odessa was attacked from the air. Fires were reported in some areas. Part of the missiles were shot down by air defense. It it is recommended to close the windows”.
This historic city has a strategic character: with the largest port in the country, it provides access to the Black Sea to the rest of Ukraine.
Ukrainians have regained control of the entire Kyiv region after Russian forces withdrew from key towns around the capital, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister announced on Saturday.
The localities of “Irpin, Boutcha, Gostomel and the whole kyiv region have been liberated from the invader”, she said. Russian forces are operating a “rapid withdrawal” from the Kyiv and Cherniguiv regions in the north of the country, and aim to redeploy to the east and south, a Ukrainian presidential adviser said earlier on Saturday.