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Day 46 of Russia-Ukraine crisis: As it happened

UK says Moscow trying to boost troop numbers



Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

By Team KT

Published: Sun 10 Apr 2022, 7:12 AM

Last updated: Sun 10 Apr 2022, 11:55 PM

Kyiv says 26 Ukrainians are returning home following a prisoner exchange with Russia. Fourteen civilians including nine women were also on their way home, deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Telegram.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pays an unannounced visit to Kyiv and pledges armoured vehicles and anti-ship missiles to Ukraine.

Zelensky in turn calls on the West to “follow the UK” in providing military aid to Ukraine and imposing sanctions on Russia.

Russian shelling killed five civilians and wounded five others in two eastern Ukrainian cities Saturday, the Donetsk governor said. Four of them died in the city of Vugledar, and one in the town of Novomikhaylovka, Pavlo Kyrylenko said in a Telegram post.

Ukraine is “still ready” to continue negotiations with Moscow, which have stalled since the discovery of atrocities in Bucha and other areas near Kyiv, President Zelensky says.

More than 4.4 million Ukrainian refugees have fled their country since Putin ordered an incursion on February 24, the UN refugee agency says.

Here are the latest developments on April 10:


11.34pm: 10 civilians killed in strikes in eastern Ukraine

Weekend bombardments in eastern Ukraine killed 10 civilians and wounded 11 others around Kharkiv, the region’s governor said Sunday.

Saturday’s bombardments hit four towns around and to the southeast of Kharkiv, Oleg Synegubov posted on Telegram, adding that one of those killed was a child.


11.27pm: EU ready for speedy integration of Ukraine to bloc

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday that the bloc will support Ukraine’s parallel efforts to rebuild and seek EU membership once the conflict is over.

Von der Leyen told CNN in an interview that the eastern European nation belonged in Europe and its accession to the European Union might be viewed as an extraordinary case.

It usually takes an aspiring EU member state years to clear accession hurdles, von der Leyen admitted. She travelled to Kyiv on Friday to hand Volodymyr Zelensky a membership questionnaire to launch the process.


9.40pm: Austrian chancellor to meet Putin in Moscow Monday

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday, the first European leader to meet him since Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, Vienna said Sunday.

“He is going there, having informed Berlin, Brussels and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky” to encourage dialogue, said a spokesman for Nehammer, who was in Ukraine on Saturday.


8.00pm: US will supply Ukraine with ‘the weapons it needs’ against Russia

The United States is committed to providing Ukraine with “the weapons it needs” to defend itself against Russia, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday as Ukraine seeks more military aid from the West.

Sullivan said the Biden administration will send more weapons to Ukraine to prevent Russia from seizing more territory and targeting civilians, attacks that Washington has labelled war crimes.

“We’re going to get Ukraine the weapons it needs to beat back the Russians to stop them from taking more cities and towns where they commit these crimes,” Sullivan said on ABC News’ “This Week”.


5.50pm: Ukraine braces for ‘important battles’ against Russia

Ukraine is preparing for “important battles” against Moscow’s forces in the east of the country, officials in Kyiv said, as Pope Francis on Sunday called for an Easter truce to end the war.

Evacuations continued from Kramatorsk, in eastern Ukraine, where a missile strike on Friday killed 52 people at a railway station, while an airport in the central city of Dnipro was completely destroyed in fresh shelling Sunday.

President Volodymyr Zelensky again condemned atrocities against civilians, and after speaking with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said they agreed “that all perpetrators of war crimes must be identified and punished”.


4.35pm: Russia confirms prisoner exchange with Ukraine

Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova confirmed on Sunday that Russia and Ukraine had carried out a prisoner exchange on Saturday.

Moskalkova said that among those returned to Russia were four employees of state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, soldiers and some other civilians.

"Early this morning they landed on Russian soil," Moskalkova said in an online post.

On Saturday an exchange of truck drivers between Russia and Ukraine was also conducted, Moskalkova said, with 32 Russian truck drivers, 20 Ukrainians and a number of Belarus nationals exchanged.


4.15pm: Dnipro airport ‘destroyed’ by Russian shelling

The airport in the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro has been completely destroyed in fresh Russian shelling, a local official said Sunday.

“There has been another attack on Dnipro airport. There is nothing left of it. The airport itself and the infrastructure around it has been destroyed. Rockets keep flying and flying,” the head of the city’s military administration, Valentin Reznichenko, said on Telegram.

He added that authorities were seeking to clarify information about victims.

More details here


3.50pm: Ukraine says probing 5,600 alleged war crimes by Russians

Ukraine is examining the alleged culpability of 500 Russian leaders for thousands of war crimes, including President Vladimir Putin, a top official said on Sunday.

Speaking on Britain’s Sky News, Ukrainian prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova also thanked Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his surprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday.

Johnson promised more UK military aid in face-to-face talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky, before the pair took a heavily guarded stroll through central Kyiv.

“I think that the Ukrainians have shown the courage of a lion, and you, Volodymyr, have given the roar of that lion.”


3.40pm: Ukraine says Russians stole lethal substances from Chernobyl

Russian forces who occupied the Chernobyl nuclear plant stole radioactive substances from research laboratories that could potentially kill them, Ukraine’s State Agency for Managing the Exclusion Zone said on Sunday.

Moscow’s forces seized the defunct power plant on the first day of their attack on Ukraine on February 24. They occupied the highly radioactive zone for over a month, before retreating on March 31.

The agency said on Facebook that Russian soldiers pillaged two laboratories in the area.

It said the Russians entered a storage area of the Ecocentre research base and stole 133 highly radioactive substances.

“Even a small part of this activity is deadly if handled unprofessionally,” the agency said.


3.30pm: Civilians flee east Ukraine as Kyiv readies for ‘big battles’

Ukraine is preparing for “big battles” against Moscow’s forces in the east of the country, officials in Kyiv said.

Evacuations resumed on Saturday from Kramatorsk, in eastern Ukraine, where a missile strike killed 52 people at a railway station a day earlier.

Zelensky’s adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak said Ukraine must beat back Russia in the eastern Donbas region, where Moscow controls two separatist territories, before a meeting can take place between the Ukrainian leader and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Ukraine is ready for big battles. Ukraine must win them, including in the Donbas. And once that happens, Ukraine will have a more powerful negotiating position,” he said on national television, as quoted by the Interfax news agency.


3pm: Ukraine says Russia beefing up its forces

The Ukrainian military says Russia has been beefing up its forces and trying to probe Ukrainian defenses.

The Ukrainian military command said Sunday that the Russian troops have continued attempts to break Ukrainian defenses near Izyum, southeast of Kharkiv. It reported that Russia was sending reinforcements to Izyum while continuing the shelling of Kharkiv.

The military added that the Russians also continued their attempts to take control of Mariupol, the Sea of Azov port that has been besieged by Russian forces for nearly 1 ½ months.


2.30pm: Zelensky discussed additional Russia sanctions with Germany’s Scholz

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday he had held spoken on the phone with German chancellor Olaf Scholz on the possibility of additional sanctions on Russia, as well as fresh defence and financial support for his country.

He made the statement on Twitter.

Separately, Zelensky’s office said in a statement the president had held a conference call with Ukrainian officials during which Kyiv’s proposals for a sixth package of European Union sanctions had been developed.


2.25pm: Pope calls for ‘Easter ceasefire’ in Ukraine

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Pope Francis on Sunday called for an Easter truce in Ukraine to pave the way for peace through “real negotiations”.

“May an Easter ceasefire begin but not to reload arms and resume combat. No. A ceasefire to arrive at peace through real negotiations,” he told a public mass at Saint Peter’s Square.

More details here


2.20pm: Two bodies discovered in manhole outside Kyiv, reports AFP

At least two bodies were discovered inside a manhole at a petrol station on a motorway outside Kyiv on Sunday, an AFP reporter saw.

The bodies appeared to be wearing civilian clothing.

AFP saw police and military at the site, using a tanker to suck water from inside the manhole.


2.10pm: Zelensky seeks peace despite atrocities, AP interview

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday that he is committed to pressing for peace despite Russian attacks on civilians that have stunned the world, and he renewed his plea for more weapons ahead of an expected surge in fighting in the country’s east.

He made the comments in an interview with The Associated Press a day after at least 52 people were killed in a strike on a train station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, and as evidence of civilian killings came to light after Russian troops failed to seize the capital where he has hunkered down, Kyiv.

“No one wants to negotiate with a person or people who tortured this nation. It’s all understandable. And as a man, as a father, I understand this very well. But we don’t want to lose opportunities, if we have them, for a diplomatic solution.”


2pm: Two killed, several injured by Russian shelling, says Kharkiv governor

Two people were killed and several injured on Sunday in the Ukrainian town of Derhachy in the northeastern Kharkiv region, regional governor Oleh Synyehubov said in a Facebook post.

Russian forces had carried out 66 artillery attacks across several regions the governor said, adding:

“Two people were killed, there are casualties. As you can see, the Russian army continues to ‘fight’ with the civilian population, because it has no victories at the front,” Synyehubov said.


1.10pm: UK says Russia trying to boost troop numbers

Britain’s Ministry of Defense says that Russia’s armed forces are seeking to respond to mounting losses by boosting troop numbers with personnel who had been discharged from military service since 2012.

In an intelligence update on Twitter, the ministry also said Sunday that the Russian military’s efforts to “generate more fighting power” also include trying to recruit from Trans-Dniester, a breakaway region in Moldova that borders Ukraine.

Russia maintains some 1,500 troops in the region, which is not internationally recognised.


1pm: Zelensky says, Russian aggression not limited to Ukraine alone

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Russia is targeting all of Europe with its attack on Ukraine, and stopping Moscow’s aggression is essential for the security of all democracies, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said as Russian forces prepared for battle in the east of his country.

Addressing the “free people of a brave country,” Zelensky said in a late night video message to Ukrainians that Russia’s war aim “was not intended to be limited to Ukraine alone” and the “entire European project is a target.”

“That is why it is not just the moral duty of all democracies, all the forces of Europe, to support Ukraine’s desire for peace,” he said. “This is, in fact, a strategy of defense for every civilized state.”

More details here:


12.30pm: Ukraine agrees nine humanitarian corridors from the east, says deputy PM

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk on Sunday said that Kyiv had agreed the use of nine humanitarian corridors to help people to escape heavy fighting in the east of the country, including in private cars from Mariupol.

“All the routes for the humanitarian corridors in the Luhansk region will work as long as there is a ceasefire by the occupying Russian troops,” Vereshchuk said in a statement on her Telegram channel, referring to separatist-controlled Luhansk.


12.15pm: Poland-Ukraine ties seen as target of Russian disinformation

Days before Poland’s Independence Day in November, vandals painted the blue-and-yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag on monuments in Krakow. The vandalism, which took place as Russia massed troops near Ukraine’s border, looked as if Ukrainians were defacing memorials to Polish national heroes.

Yet some clues suggested otherwise.

The flag’s colours were reversed, with the yellow on top of the blue and one offensive message was in an unnatural mix of Russian and Ukrainian.

Though prosecutors are still investigating, Polish and Ukrainian authorities believe it was most likely a Russian-inspired attempt to trigger ethnic hostility between Ukrainians and Poles.

Polish and Ukrainian authorities have for years accused Russia of trying to provoke hostility between their neighbouring nations as part of a broader effort to divide and destabilize the West — and the concerns have gained greater urgency since Russia attacked Ukraine.


10.09am: Putin appoints new commander for Ukraine amid failure to capture Kyiv

Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed a new Army General Alexander Dvornikov, commander of Russia’s Southern Military District, to lead the war in Ukraine as Moscow’s military failed to capture Kyiv.

Dvornikov has been named theater commander of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. There is speculation that Russia’s general has a goal of representing Putin with some battlefield progress ahead of the ‘Victory Day’ on May 9, CNN reported on Sunday citing Military analysts and US officials familiar with intelligence assessments.

More details here


10.58am: Russian forces destroy Ukrainian military convoy

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Russian attack helicopters have destroyed a convoy of Ukraine’s armoured vehicles and anti-aircraft warfare, the news agency Interfax reported on Sunday, citing Russia’s defence ministry.

“Attack helicopters KA-52 ... destroyed weapons and military equipment of the armed forces of Ukraine,” the agency cited the ministry as saying in a statement.

The news agency said the ministry published video footage of attack KA-52 helicopters flying at extremely low altitude, launching missiles and firing from guns at ground targets.


9.33am: Shelling hits school apartment building in Ukraine’s Sievierodonetsk, says governor

A school and a high-rise apartment building were shelled early on Sunday in the city of Sievierodonetsk in the besieged Ukrainian region of Luhansk, the governor said.

“Fortunately, no casualties,” Serhiy Gaidai wrote on Telegram.


8.52am: Dozens of civilian Ukrainians found in grave near Kyiv, says local official

A new grave with dozens of civilian Ukrainians was found on Saturday in Buzova, a liberated village near the capital Kyiv that for weeks was occupied by Russian forces, a local official said.

Taras Didych, head of the Dmytrivka community that includes Buzova and several other nearby villages, told Ukrainian television that the bodies were found in a ditch near a petrol station. The number of dead is yet to be confirmed.

More details here


7.08am: Russian shelling traps residents of Mariupol

Shelling by Russian forces of Ukraine’s key port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov has collapsed several humanitarian corridors and made conditions seldom right for people to leave.

It was not clear Saturday how many people remained trapped in the city, which had a prewar population of 430,000. Ukrainian officials have put the number at about 100,000, but earlier this week, British defense officials said 160,000 people remained trapped in the city.

Ukrainian troops have refused to surrender the city, though much of it has been razed.

More details here


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