Russia warns US of ‘consequences’ over Ukraine weapons transfers

  • Russian shelling has killed seven people in eastern city of Kharkiv, the regional governor says.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has appealed to US President Joe Biden to designate Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism”, the Washington Post reports.
  • Ukraine’s defence ministry accuses Russia of using long-range bombers in Mariupol, where fighting is raging around a steel plant and the port.
  • The bodies of more than 900 civilians have been discovered in the Kyiv region, a police official says.
(Al Jazeera)

Here are all the latest updates:

More than 7,000 Ukrainians have landed in Mexico since war began

US President Joe Biden said last month that the United States would welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, but few have arrived via the refugee programme.

Thousands have managed to cross the border from Mexico. Al Jazeera’s Manuel Rapalo reports from the Mexican border city of Tijuana:

Death toll in Kharkiv rises: Ukrainian media

The Kyiv Independent has said that the recent death toll in Kharkiv has risen to 10. Earlier reports said seven people had been killed by Russian shelling, including a baby.

In a tweet, the local news outlet said Russian forces had used rocket launchers in the attack.

Zelenskyy renews call for a ban on Russian oil

In his daily address, Zelenskyy again has called for a ban on Russian oil.

“The next package of sanctions against Russia must include a Russian oil ban,” he said.

“In general, the democratic world must accept that Russia’s money for energy resources is in fact money for the destruction of democracy. When these decisions are made, we will all be able to see peace coming.”

Germany to release more than 1bn euros in military aid to Ukraine

The German government has said it plans to release more than one billion euros ($1.08bn) in military aid for Ukraine, amid complaints by Kyiv it is not receiving heavy weapons from Berlin. The funds will feature in a supplementary budget for this year.

In total, taking into account all countries, Germany has decided to increase its international aid in the defence sector “to two billion euros” with “the largest part being planned in the form of military aid in favour of Ukraine”, a government spokeswoman told the AFP news agency.

This envelope of two billion euros ($2.16bn) “will go mainly to Ukraine”, Finance Minister Christian Lindner confirmed on Twitter.

Russian journalists, political scientist declared ‘foreign agents’

Russian authorities have declared prominent Kremlin critics including documentary filmmaker Yuri Dud and political scientist Ekaterina Schulmann as “foreign agents”.

The Russian justice ministry said in a statement that it had added nine individuals to its “foreign agents” list, including 35-year-old Dud, Schulmann, 43, and caricaturist Sergei Yelkin, 59.

Also now on the list are prominent journalists Roman Dobrokhotov, 38, and Karen Shainyan, 40.

Toronto mural dedicated to Ukrainian children

An artist in the Canadian city of Toronto has turned his frustration over the conflict in Ukraine into a mural that he hopes will raise awareness about the plight of civilians.

The mural, which spans several sides of a building in the city’s downtown area, features depictions of children.

“I chose to use kids as my main subject … because they represent purity. Kids have no hate or greed in them,” Mayhar Amiri said.

Russia ‘tying itself into knots’ over warship’s sinking: Expert

Russia faces a dilemma over how to spin the sinking of the Moskva missile cruiser, Keir Giles, a senior consulting fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, has said.

“Because on the one hand it’s claiming that the sinking of the Moskva had nothing to do with Ukraine,” Giles told Al Jazeera. “But at the same time they seized on this as an excuse to wreak revenge on Kyiv and they are linking this to the attack on the capital now.

“So Russian propaganda is tying itself in knots but at the same time whipping up even more hysteria.”

Pro-Russia Serbs protest in support of Russia

Thousands of Serbs waving Russian and Serbian flags and carrying pictures of Russian President Vladimir Putin have marched through Belgrade to the Russian embassy to protest the Serbian government’s attempt to distance itself from Moscow.

Throngs of people, many from ultranationalist organisations, joined the march from the city centre to the nearby Russian embassy, where they fired signal flares, played Russian and Serbian anthems, and hailed the two countries as brotherly nations.

“I came to this rally to support Russia and to say a loud and clear ‘no’ to policies of authorities in Belgrade who made a shameful decision to vote against Russia in the UN,” said Mladen Obradovic, a protester.

Wife of Putin ally held in Ukraine accuses authorities of abuse

The wife of one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top allies in Ukraine has said he was beaten by the Ukrainian security service while being interrogated in detention.

At a news conference in Moscow, Viktor Medvedchuk’s wife Oksana Marchenko said that one of two photos released by Ukraine this week showed he had been beaten.

Ukraine said this week that it had captured Medvedchuk, posting a photo of him in handcuffs, wearing a Ukrainian army uniform.

Russian crowd mourns Black Sea flagship after sinking

Dozens of people have gathered in the Crimean city of Sevastopol to mourn the sinking of the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, the Moskva.

Some embraced and others laid flowers in memory of the missile cruiser at a monument to the 1696 foundation of the Russian navy in the centre of Sevastopol.

The Russian Defence Ministry said on Thursday that the Moskva was badly damaged by a fire and sank in a storm as it was being towed to port.

Russia warship 'Moskva' moored in the bay of the Crimean city of Sevastopol, 30 March, 2014.
Russia’s flagship missile cruiser ‘Moskva’ moored in the bay of Sevastopol in 2014 [File: EPA]

Russia warns US to stop arming Ukraine: Washington Post

Russia has warned the Biden administration of “unpredictable consequences” if the US keeps arming Ukraine, The Washington Post has reported.

In Moscow, a foreign ministry spokeswoman confirmed Russia had sent diplomatic notes to the US and other nations about supplying weapons to Ukraine but did not say what the messages contained, the Interfax news agency reported.

“We call on the United States and its allies to stop the irresponsible militarization of Ukraine, which implies unpredictable consequences for regional and international security,” the Post quoted Russia as saying in the diplomatic note to the US.

More than 900 civilian bodies found in Kyiv region: Police

The bodies of more than 900 civilians have been discovered in the Kyiv region following the withdrawal of Russian forces, the regional police chief said.

Andriy Nebytov, the head of Kyiv’s regional police force, said the bodies had been abandoned in the streets or given temporary burials. He cited police data indicating that 95 percent of the casualties had died from sniper fire and gunshot wounds.

“Consequently, we understand that under the [Russian] occupation, people were simply executed in the streets,” Nebytov said. “The number of killed civilians has surpassed 900 — and I emphasise, these are civilians, whose bodies we have discovered and handed over for forensic examination.”

US believes Russian cruiser hit by Ukrainian missiles before sinking

The US believes the sunken Russian missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, was hit by two Ukrainian missiles, a senior US official has said.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said these were Neptune anti-ship missiles.

Pentagon officials had previously said they could not confirm the Ukrainian claim that it hit the ship, but they also did not refute it.

Zelenskyy asked US to designate Russia a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently appealed to US President Joe Biden to designate Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism”, the Washington Post has reported, citing people familiar with their conversation.

Biden did not commit to specific actions during that call, according to the newspaper.

The US list currently includes four countries: North Korea, Cuba, Iran and Syria.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Read all the updates from Friday, April 15 here.

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