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.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday called on the world to “prepare” for Russia’s possible use of its nuclear weapons, during an interview with several Ukrainian media.
“We should not wait for the moment when Russia decides to use its nuclear weapons. We have to prepare for this,” he said in the interview broadcast by six Ukrainian news sites, as well as the Ukrainian presidency on Telegram. We need “drugs (against radiation), air-raid shelters,” he said. “We have to talk to them, sign treaties, crack down economically. (The Russians) can use any weapon, I am convinced of that.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned on Saturday that the “elimination” of the last Ukrainian soldiers present in the port city of Mariupol besieged by Russian forces “would put an end to any peace negotiations” with Moscow.
“The elimination of our soldiers, of our men (in Mariupol) will put an end to any negotiation” of peace between Russia and Ukraine, declared Mr. Zelensky in remarks reproduced by the news website Ukraïnska Pravda, warning that the two sides would then find themselves in “an impasse”.
In terms of human toll, “Mariupol, it can be ten times Borodianka”, a small Ukrainian town near kyiv destroyed after being shelled and the scene of alleged abuses during its occupation by Russian soldiers, accused Mr. Zelensky. “And the more Borodyanka there are, the more difficult it will be” to negotiate, he stressed.
Russian forces on Saturday struck an oil refinery in Lyssychansk, a town near the front line in eastern Ukraine, local authorities said. “In the morning they bombed the oil refinery, a fire broke out (…) and the extinction continues at the moment”, declared the Ukrainian governor of the region of Lugansk, Sergei Gaïdaï, on his Telegram channel.
“The Russians systematically target her to exhaust the rescuers. There is no fuel there. Only hydrocarbon residues burn,” he added. The refinery is about four kilometers west of the city of Lysychansk.
Many refugees who have fled Ukraine will no longer have a home to return to, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warned on Saturday, as 40,200 more people have left the country in the past 24 time.
The UNHCR lists exactly 4,836,445 Ukrainians who have fled their country since the Russian invasion on February 24, ie 40,200 more than on Friday. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), around 215,000 third-country nationals – mainly students and migrant workers – have also fled to neighboring countries, meaning that more than 5 million people in total have fled the country. Ukraine since the start of the war.
Europe has not seen such a flood of refugees since the Second World War.
A military factory manufacturing tanks in particular was targeted on Saturday morning by a bombardment in the suburbs of kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, killing one person and injuring several, according to the authorities.
A large number of soldiers and police were present on the spot after the attack, preventing access to the complex, from which smoke was billowing, noted an AFP journalist.
Russia announced on Saturday that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and several other senior British officials were banned from entering the country, after London imposed sanctions on Moscow over its military operation in Ukraine.
“This measure was taken in response to the unbridled media and political campaign aimed at isolating Russia internationally and creating the conditions for (…) strangling the national economy,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. .
A military factory manufacturing tanks in particular was targeted on Saturday morning by a bombardment in the suburbs of kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, noted an AFP journalist. A large number of soldiers and police were present on the spot, preventing access to the complex, from which smoke was billowing.
The mayor of kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, indicated on Facebook that he had no information on the potential victims at this stage.
Russia sent a formal complaint to the United States this week warning the US government of “unforeseeable consequences” following its sharply increased military aid to Ukraine, according to press reports.
According to this diplomatic note, Moscow warns the United States and NATO against sending “more sensitive” weapons to Ukraine, judging that such military equipment put “fuel on the fire” and could provoke “unforeseeable consequences,” reported the Washington Post.
The warning came as US President Joe Biden pledged $800 million worth of new military aid to Ukraine, including helicopters and armored personnel carriers.
Thousands of the faithful attended the Stations of the Cross presided over by the Pope at the Colosseum in Rome on Friday evening, for the first time since 2019, a ceremony overtaken by the war in Ukraine. “I have lived in Rome for more than 30 years, but today it seemed very important to me to come,” Stefania Cutolo, a 52-year-old Italian teacher, told AFP as the pontifical choir rehearsed the songs.
“Tonight’s message, after two years of closure due to the pandemic, is doubly important. In this context where nationalisms are returning to Europe, we must act,” she adds.
Shortly after 9:00 p.m., in front of 10,000 faithful, the sovereign pontiff opened this highlight of Holy Week which brings to life the Calvary of Christ, from his death sentence to his crucifixion, his death and his burial, according to Christian tradition.
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.
These funds are provided for in a supplementary budget for this year. 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.
At least ten people were killed and 35 others injured in Russian bombardments on a residential area in Kharkiv, a major city in northeastern Ukraine, regional authorities announced on Friday. In a first assessment, the regional governor Oleg Sinegoubov had announced the death of “seven people, including a seven-month-old infant”.
“The occupants fired on one of the residential areas of the city of Kharkiv. Unfortunately, 34 people were injured, including three children,” he said. A few hours later, the regional prosecutor’s office announced a toll of ten people killed and 35 injured.