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LIVE – War in Ukraine: Germany to release more than a billion euros in military aid

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The German government announced on Friday that it wanted to release more than a billion euros in military aid for Ukraine. Follow all the latest information live.

10:34 p.m.

The German government announced on Friday that it wanted to release more than a billion euros in military aid for Ukraine, but without specifying what the money would be used for, while kyiv complains of not receiving heavy weapons from Berlin.

In total, all countries combined, Berlin has decided to increase its international aid in the defense sector “to two billion euros” within the framework of this collective budget, “the largest part being planned in the form of military aid in favor of Ukraine,” a government spokeswoman told AFP.

This envelope of two billion euros “will go mainly to Ukraine”, confirmed on Twitter the Minister of Finance Christian Lindner, which guarantees kyiv more than one billion euros.

6:15 p.m.

The European Union on Friday denounced the “unjustified” expulsion of 18 diplomats from its representation in Russia, believing that this measure would “only worsen” the international isolation of Moscow.

“The diplomats in question perform their duties within the framework of and in full respect of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” said the spokesman for the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell in a press release.

More than 200 Russian diplomats have been expelled in recent weeks by EU countries and Moscow has promised to respond to each of these expulsions.

5:39 p.m.

At least seven people were killed and 34 others injured in Russian shelling of a residential area in Kharkiv, a major city in northeastern Ukraine, the regional governor announced on Friday.

“Occupiers fired at one of the residential areas of the city of Kharkiv. Unfortunately, 34 people were injured, including three children. Seven people were killed, including a seven-month-old child,” Oleg Sinegoubov said on Telegram.

Earlier Friday, seven civilians were killed and 27 others injured in Russian fire on evacuation buses in the Kharkiv region, according to the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office. More than 500 civilians have been killed in this region bordering Russia since the start of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Mr. Sinegoubov announced on Thursday.

5:19 p.m.

Moscow announced on Friday the expulsion of 18 diplomats from the European Union representation in Russia, in retaliation for a similar measure taken by Brussels following the Kremlin offensive in Ukraine.

“In retaliation for the unfriendly actions of the European Union, 18 members of the EU Representation in Russia are declared personae non gratae and must leave Russian territory as soon as possible”, indicates the Russian diplomacy in a press release.

In recent weeks, many other European countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Austria, Poland, Greece or Croatia have expelled dozens of Russian diplomats.

4:59 p.m.

Nearly all of those found dead in Bucha, near the Ukrainian capital, were shot and killed, Kyiv region police chief Andriy Nebitov said on Friday.

“95% of people were shot with high-precision rifles or other small arms” in this northwestern suburb of kyiv, the official said during a press briefing. “During the (Russian) occupation, people were shot in the streets… In the 21st century, it is impossible to hide such crimes. Not only did witnesses see this, but it was also videotaped.”

French gendarmes are currently working in Boutcha, alongside Ukrainian investigators, to set up a procedure for examining and identifying the bodies.

A few days after the departure of Russian troops, AFP journalists saw 20 bodies of men dressed in civilian clothes, one with their hands tied, scattered in a street. According to the mayor of Boutcha, Anatoli Fedoruk, more than 400 bodies in total have been discovered in his city since the withdrawal of Russian troops.

3:26 p.m.

China must pay a greater price for its support for Russia in the midst of war with Ukraine, US Senator Lindsey Graham warned on Friday during a visit to Taiwan by lawmakers, who reaffirmed Washington’s will not to abandon the island.

Beijing threatened to adopt “strong measures” in response to the visit made by Senator Graham at the head of a delegation of American parliamentarians, and announced on Friday that the People’s Liberation Army had conducted exercises around Taiwan and in the South China Sea as a warning.

2:30 p.m.

Russia has blocked the website of French radio RFI, which broadcasts information in fifteen languages, including Russian, in the midst of a crackdown on critics of the offensive in Ukraine.

The www.rfi.fr site is now on the list of sites blocked in Russia by the telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor, AFP journalists in Russia noted on Friday, who could not open the media site without a virtual private network ( vpn).

2:04 p.m.

A Briton, a member of the Ukrainian army, has been captured by the Russians, his mother asking in The Daily Telegraph newspaper that he be treated “humanely” and released. Russian public television broadcast images Thursday evening showing a young man handcuffed and with a cut on his forehead, claiming that it is Aiden Aslin. His mother Ang Wood confirmed to the Telegraph, which devoted several articles to the 28-year-old, including before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, that it was indeed her son. The latter bears in particular a characteristic tattoo.

“Aiden is an active member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and thus a prisoner of war” who “must be treated humanely,” she told the newspaper, reminding Russian President Vladimir Putin of the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war. . “It already looks like he’s been beaten. It’s time for the UK government to step up to secure Aiden’s release,” she added. Also circulating on social networks are videos bearing the logo of the channel financed by the Kremlin RT, where the young man seems in particular to question the responsibility of Ukraine in the conflict, images qualified as “propaganda” by his grand-grandfather. mother Pamela Hall with the British agency PA.

A message attributed to the young man had been published on Tuesday on his Twitter account animated by relatives, who hope for an exchange of prisoners. He explained that after 48 days, “we tried to do our best to defend Mariupol (southeastern Ukraine) but we had no choice but to surrender to the Russian forces”.

1:50 p.m.

Russia blocked the Russian version of the respected independent media Moscow Times on Friday, accusing it of publishing “false information” about the conflict in Ukraine, the latest example of a crackdown on the media. “Russia on Friday blocked the Russian-language service of the Moscow Times after it published what authorities consider to be false information about riot police refusing to go to fight in Ukraine,” the newspaper said on its website, adding that he had not been notified of this decision.

The Russian telecommunications gendarme Roskomnadzor confirmed on its site the blocking, indicating that it had applied a request from the prosecution dating from April 12. Best known for its English version – which remains accessible – and founded in 1992, the Moscow Times was the first Western daily to be published in Russia. Its paper edition ceased publication in 2017, against a backdrop of economic difficulties and the digital revolution.

The blocking of its site in Russian illustrates the extent of the repression put in place by the Russian authorities since the outbreak of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine on February 24.

1:17 p.m.

German Economy Minister and Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck is urging Germans to save energy to ‘piss off Putin’ as Germany seeks to reduce its dependence on Russian gas amid war in Ukraine, in an interview on Friday.

“I beg everyone to contribute now to saving energy,” said the ecologist, also holder of the Climate portfolio, in an interview with Funke newspaper groups.

1:11 p.m.

A factory in the kyiv region, manufacturing Neptune missiles that the Ukrainian army said it used to hit the Russian cruiser Moskva, was hit overnight by a Russian strike, AFP journalists said on the spot on Friday. .

A factory workshop and an administrative building adjoining it, located in the town of Vyshnevé, about thirty kilometers south-west of the Ukrainian capital, were seriously damaged, AFP was able to see. About fifty vehicles parked in the nearby car park also had their windows blown.

The spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Defense had announced a little earlier that Russia had destroyed a surface-to-air missile production workshop at this factory, named Vizar, using a Kalibr cruise missile.

12:18 p.m.

Seven civilians were killed and 27 wounded Thursday in Russian fire on evacuation buses in the Kharkiv region of eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office said on Friday.

“On April 14, Russian soldiers fired on evacuation buses with civilians in the locality of Borova. According to initial information, seven people were killed and 27 injured,” the prosecutor’s office wrote on Telegram.

11:48

NATO membership of Sweden and Finland would have consequences for these countries and European security, warned the Russian Foreign Ministry. These countries “must understand the consequences of such a step for our bilateral relations and for the European security architecture as a whole,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.

11:18 a.m.

A Briton, a member of the Ukrainian army, has been captured by the Russians, his mother asking in The Daily Telegraph newspaper that he be treated “humanely” and released.

09:34

Russia claimed to have killed around 30 “Polish mercenaries” in a strike carried out in northeastern Ukraine, amid heightened tensions between Moscow and Warsaw.

09:27

Russia has announced that it has destroyed an arms factory in the suburbs of kyiv and assured that strikes on the Ukrainian capital would be intensified to respond to attacks carried out by Ukraine on Russian territory.

“The number and scale of missile strikes on Kyiv sites will increase in response to all terrorist-type attacks and sabotage carried out on Russian territory by the nationalist regime in Kyiv,” the Russian Defense Ministry said. , announcing the destruction of a surface-to-air missile production workshop in the Vizar factory.

09:02

Five people have been killed in Donbass, eastern Ukraine, in the past 24 hours as explosions sounded overnight south of kyiv, apparently causing no damage or injuries, it said. the Ukrainian presidency.

02:30

Military setbacks in Ukraine could prompt Russian President Vladimir Putin to resort to a tactical or low-power nuclear weapon there, CIA chief William Burns has said.

“Given that President Putin and the Russian leadership may sink into despair, given the setbacks they have suffered so far from a military point of view, none of us can take the threat posed by the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or low-power nuclear weapons,” Burns said during a speech in Atlanta.

01:05

A Russian politician, Alexander Babakov, already targeted in the past by international sanctions, and two of his collaborators have been indicted by American justice for illegal operations of influence and propaganda hostile to Ukraine on the soil of the States States, prosecutors said in New York.

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