Friday, March 31, 2023

Live Updates| First war crimes trial underway in Kyiv since invasion

KYIV, Ukraine — The first trial of a Russian soldier for alleged war crimes since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine has begun in Kyiv.

A 21-year-old member of a Russian tank unit is accused of shooting a civilian during the first week of the war.

Scores of journalists were packed into a small courtroom in the Ukrainian capital where the suspect appeared in a glass enclosure on Friday.

Sergeant Vadim Shishimarin is accused of shooting a 62-year-old man in the head. Under Ukrainian law, he faces life imprisonment.

Major Developments in the Russo-Ukraine War:

WEISSENHAUS, Germany — The European Union is planning to give Ukraine about 500 million euros ($520 million) to buy heavy weapons that would help deter Russia’s aggression.

The bloc’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell announced the funding at a gathering of top diplomats from the Group of Seven wealthy countries on Friday.

But EU diplomats cautioned that any disbursements still require ratification by all member states. Some countries are expressing skepticism, and approval is unlikely before next week.

Borrell said the funds would be earmarked for heavy weapons purchases, bringing the bloc’s total financial aid to Ukraine for 2 billion euros (over $2 billion) for the purchase of lethal and non-lethal support.

European Union Council President Charles Michel, who represents the EU’s 27 governments in Brussels, threw his “full support” behind the plan. “Time is of the essence,” wrote Michelle in a message posted on Twitter.

Borrell hoped to soon get the bloc’s member states to agree to an oil embargo against Russia, despite some countries’ misgivings.

Germany, Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and the United States are also participating in the G-7 meeting. Ukraine and neighboring Moldova have been invited as guests.

LONDON – British military officials say a recent column of Russian armor has suffered heavy damage, indicating Moscow’s commanders are under pressure to make progress in eastern Ukraine.

Britain’s Defense Ministry on Friday confirmed reports that Ukrainian forces had blocked Russian troops from crossing the Seversky Donets River west of Severodonetsk on a pontoon bridge.

The ministry said Russia had lost “critical” elements of at least one battalion tactical group, as well as equipment used to quickly deploy the floating bridge.

“The crossing of the river in a competitive environment is a highly risky maneuver and there is pressure on Russian commanders to make progress in their operations in eastern Ukraine,” the ministry said in its daily intelligence update.

The ministry said Russia had failed to make any significant progress despite concentrating forces in the Luhansk and Donbass regions of eastern Ukraine after withdrawing troops from other regions.

WEISENhaus, Germany – Britain’s top diplomat has called for more international efforts to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told reporters in a meeting with her counterparts from the Group of Seven powerful economies on Friday that “it is very important at this time that we keep pressure on Vladimir Putin by supplying more weapons to Ukraine and increasing sanctions.” . “

“G-7 unity is vital to protect freedom and democracy during this crisis,” he said.

KYIV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s military says Russian forces attacked several villages in eastern Ukraine as they tried to gain control there, but not all were successful.

In their daily operational note on Friday, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said Russia’s military was continuing artillery and airstrikes on the beleaguered port of Mariupol, focusing on stopping Ukrainian fighters at their final holdout at the Azovstal steelworks. are focused.

The Ukrainian military said that in the Russian campaign in the east, villages near Donetsk, Lyman, Bakhmut and Kurakhiv were targeted.

It said Russian forces also fired artillery at Ukrainian troops in the direction of Novopavlovsk and Zaporizhzhya, a major industrial city that has become a haven for refugees fleeing Mariupol.

The Ukrainian military said Russian forces were moving additional artillery units to border areas near Ukraine’s northern Chernihiv region, where deadly Russian attacks on a school and hostel took place on Thursday.

KHARKIV, Ukraine – The war has closed schools in Ukraine and disrupted the lives of millions of children. But teachers are trying to restore some sense of normalcy – including taking lessons in a subway station used as a bomb shelter in the eastern city of Kharkiv.

“It helps to support them mentally. Because now there is a war, and many have lost their homes … Some people’s parents are fighting now, ”said teacher Valery Leiko. In part thanks to the lessons, he said, “they feel like someone loves them.”

Elementary school-age children join LeEco around a table for history and art lessons at the subway station, which has become home to many families and where children’s drawings line the walls.

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city and a strategic target near the Russian border, has faced heavy bombardment by Russian forces.

Kharkiv professor Mykhailo Spodarets is delivering online lectures on Ukrainian literature from his basement. His student Anna Fedorica said his friends were finding it difficult to learn because of Internet access problems as well as the psychological pressures of the war.

“When you have to do your homework with your window exploding, it’s hard to focus,” Fedorica said.

KYIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian officials say their forces pulled out another Russian ship in the Black Sea.

Ukraine’s presidential adviser Oleksey Erestovich said late Thursday the Vsevolod Bobrov logistics ship was hit as it was trying to deliver anti-aircraft systems to Snake Island. He said the ship was badly damaged but it was not believed to have sunk.

A spokesman for the Odessa Regional Military Administration said the ship caught fire after the attack. There was no confirmation from Russia and there were no reports of casualties.

The British Defense Ministry said this week that Ukraine is targeting Russian air defense and supply ships on Snake Island in an attempt to hinder Moscow’s efforts to expand its control of the Black Sea coast.

The Ukrainian military sank the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva cruiser, last month. In March, the army destroyed the landing ship Saratov.

MUNICH — German industrial giant Siemens AG says it is moving out of Russia, where it has worked for nearly 170 years.

“We condemn the war in Ukraine and have decided to carry out a systematic process to close our industrial business activities in Russia,” Roland Busch, CEO of the Munich-based company, said on Thursday.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Siemens was one of the first companies to introduce international deliveries into the country as well as all new business in Russia.

The company said it is evaluating the situation with a view to ensuring the safety of its 3,000 employees in Russia.

Russia’s sanctions shaved nearly 600,000 euros ($623,000) from its fiscal second-quarter results, the maker of trains and industrial equipment said on Thursday.

KYIV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian forces attacked the Chernihiv region on Thursday night and targeted schools.

“Of course, the Russian state is in such a position that any education comes only in its way. But what can be achieved by destroying Ukrainian schools? All Russian commanders who give such orders are simply sick and incurable.”

He denounced that he had carried out blatant attacks on the Zaporizhzhya region and Donbass on the refinery in the central Ukrainian industrial center of Kremenchuk.

“They are cowards, and they try to hide the truth behind missiles, air strikes and artillery fire,” he said in his nightly video address to the nation. “Therefore our job is to fight until we have achieved our goals in this war: to free our land, our people, and secure our security.”

Noting that Thursday is International Nurses Day, Zelensky thanked Ukraine’s nurses and other medical staff for participating in the fight and urged all Ukrainians to do the same. He said that since the invasion began on February 24, the Russian military has damaged 570 medical facilities, completely destroying 101 hospitals.

“What is that? This is stupidity. This is barbarism. This is Russia’s self-destruction as a state that anyone in the world can see as a cultured nation.”

KYIV, Ukraine — Thursday’s rocket attacks on Ukraine’s central Poltava region were “probably the most intense for the duration of the war,” the regional governor said the same day.

Dmitry Lunin wrote in a Telegram post, “Today’s shelling of the Poltava region is perhaps the greatest during this full-fledged war.” “12 Russian missiles hit infrastructure in the city of Kremenchuk; most of them hit an oil refinery, which was not operational anyway.”

“Rescuers are setting the refinery on fire. Fortunately, no one was hurt, ”said Lunin.

Kremenchuk is on the Dnieper River, south of Kyiv and north of Dniepro and Zaporizhzhya. The river flowing from north to south divides Ukraine in half. In the south, it flows through the Kherson before emptying into the Black Sea.

KYIV, Ukraine — At least two civilians were killed on Thursday as a result of a shelling attack on the outskirts of Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, local officials said the same day.

“As a result of the shelling, two people were killed, four more were injured, two of whom are doctors. All these people are citizens,” wrote Vyacheslav Zadorenko, the mayor of the suburban city of Derhachy, in a Telegram post.

He said the attack also damaged a building containing a humanitarian aid unit, municipal offices and hospital facilities.

“None of the sites that came under shelling, not to mention the private homes that are destroyed daily, had nothing to do with military infrastructure,” Zadorenko said.


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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