Three killed in Russian attacks on Ukraine’s Donetsk: Governor

  • Russia has nearly completed its buildup for a renewed assault on Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, Ukraine’s defence ministry says.
  • Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer admits his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow did not leave him optimistic.
  • Russia’s foreign minister declares Moscow will not pause its military operation for, or during, any further negotiations with Kyiv.
  • The European Union is drafting proposals for an oil embargo on Russia, but an agreement has not yet been reached.
INTERACTIVE Russia Ukraine War Who controls what Day 47
(Al Jazeera)

Here are all the latest updates:

Ukraine needs jets and more armoured vehicles, Zelenskyy says

President Zelenskyy said he spoke to the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, yesterday about punishing those guilty of war crimes in his country and discussed “cooperation in the energy sphere” with the Prime Minister of Norway.

But he added that his main objective is “a concrete increase in our ability to repel any attacks by Russian troops.”

“When it comes to the necessary weapons, we still depend on the supply, on our partners. Unfortunately, we are not getting as much as we need to end this war sooner,” he said in a speech to the nation.

“If we got jets and enough heavy armoured vehicles, the necessary artillery, we would be able to do it.”

Biden tells Modi more Russian oil imports not in India’s interest

United States President Joe Biden has held a “constructive, direct conversation” with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the White House said, as the US is seeking more help from India to apply economic pressure on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

In a news briefing on Monday afternoon, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden told Modi his administration could help India diversify its oil imports – but that it was not in New Delhi’s interests to increase energy imports from Moscow.

The Biden administration already made it clear it does not want to see a significant uptick in Russian energy imports by India, which has purchased at least 13 million barrels of discounted Russian crude since the country invaded Ukraine in late February.

Read more here.

‘Our area is one of the most contaminated by mines in the world’: Zelenskyy

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said “Russian troops left behind tens if not hundreds of thousands of dangerous objects”.

“These are shells that did not explode, mines, tripwire mines. At least several thousand such items are disposed of daily,” Zelenskyy said in his nighttime address.

He added the mines are “everywhere.”

“In the houses they seized. Just on the streets, in the fields. They mined people’s property, mined cars, doors. They consciously did everything to make the return to these areas after de-occupation as dangerous as possible. Due to the actions of the Russian army, our territory is currently one of the most contaminated by mines in the world.”

Rape and sexual violence are rising concerns, UN Women chief says

Sima Bahous, the executive director of UN Women, has said her agency is increasingly hearing reports of rape and sexual violence in Ukraine. She said the risk of human trafficking, especially of young women and unaccompanied teenagers, is also a rising concern.

“The combination of mass displacement with the large presence of conscripts and mercenaries, and the brutality displayed against Ukrainian civilians, has raised all red flags,” Bahous told the UN Security Council.


No confirmation of chemical attack in Mariupol

Petro Andryushchenko, an aide to the mayor of Mariupol, wrote on his Telegram channel that reports of a chemical attack in the city had not been confirmed. He added that he expected to provide details and clarifications later.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby earlier said the United States also was aware of the reports but could not confirm them.

“These reports, if true, are deeply concerning and reflective of concerns that we have had about Russia’s potential to use a variety of riot control agents, including tear gas mixed with chemical agents, in Ukraine,” Kirby told reporters.

Russia took children out of the country, Ukrainian official alleges

Ukraine’s UN ambassador, Sergiy Kyslytsya, has claimed Russia has taken more than 121,000 children out of Ukraine and reportedly drafted a bill to simplify and accelerate adoption procedures for orphans and even those who have parents and other relatives.

He said most of the children were removed from Mariupol and taken to eastern Donetsk and then to the Russian city of Taganrog.

IMF sets up administered account to allow donors to fund Ukraine

Ukraine’s finance ministry has welcomed the creation of a special new account set up by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to give bilateral donors and international organisations a secure way to send financial resources to Ukraine.

The IMF’s executive board approved the creation of the new account after the Canadian government proposed disbursing up to $790,000 (1bn Canadian dollars) through the vehicle, which is to be administered by the IMF.

“Donors will benefit from the IMF’s tested infrastructure to quickly deliver authenticated payments,” the IMF said.

Experts on missing persons heading to Ukraine next week

International experts will travel to Ukraine next week to help authorities investigate reports of people that have gone missing during the war, the head of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has said.

“It’s not going to be easy,” Kathryne Bomberger, the group’s director-general, told Al Jazeera, explaining that the ICMP team has been invited by Ukraine’s government. Among other tasks, Bomberger said the experts would try to see whether it is possible to identify remains and would also work with families that have reported missing loved ones.

“Evidence will be collected. Hopefully that evidence can be provided to the [International Criminal Court] or other courts that will be conducting investigations into what’s happened and be used for criminal trial purposes,” she said.

Russian forces could use chemical weapons: Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that Russia could use chemical weapons in Ukraine after unconfirmed reports suggested that chemical weapons were used in the besieged southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.

“We treat this with the utmost seriousness,” Zelenskyy said in his daily address.

He did not say chemical weapons had already been used.

“I would like to remind world leaders that the possible use of chemical weapons by the Russian military has already been discussed. And already at that time it meant that it was necessary to react to the Russian aggression much harsher and faster,” he said.

Ukrainian authorities in Kharkiv begin clearing landmines

Ukrainian authorities in the northeastern city of Kharkiv have warned people not to go near what they said were landmines being dropped on the city.

Lieutenant Colonel Nikolay Ovcharuk, head of the demining unit of the state emergency service, said the devices were plastic PTM-1M mines, which detonate using timers and were widely used by Soviet forces in Afghanistan.

“They have self-destructing timers,” he said as loudspeakers warned people not to approach the cordoned-off area where mine disposal teams were working.

Ukrainian children in need of protection: UNICEF chief

The UN children’s agency says nearly two-thirds of all Ukrainian children have fled their homes in the six weeks since Russia’s invasion began.

Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF’s emergency programmes director, who visited Ukraine last week, said that of the 3.2 million children estimated to have remained in their homes, “nearly half may be at risk of not having enough food”.

He said the situation is worse in cities like Mariupol and Kherson in the south, which have been besieged by Russian forces and where children and their families have spent weeks without running water, sanitation or a regular supply of food.

People with children wait at a train station in Dnipro, Ukraine.
Families with children waiting at the train station during an evacuation of women, children and people with disabilities, in Dnipro, Ukraine [File: Mykola Synelnikov/Reuters]

Rape being used as a weapon of war: Ukraine rights group

Kateryna Cherepakha, president of Ukrainian rights group La Strada-Ukraine, has accused Russian troops of using rape as a weapon of war.

She said her organisation’s emergency hotlines had received calls accusing Russian soldiers of nine cases of rape involving 12 women and girls.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” she told the UN’s Security Council via video. “We know and see – and we want you to hear our voices – that violence and rape is used now as a weapon of war by Russian invaders in Ukraine.”

Russia has repeatedly denied attacking civilians.

US official says vaccinations in Ukraine come to a ‘sudden halt’

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield has said COVID-19 vaccinations in Ukraine have come to a “sudden halt” amid the Russian assault on Ukraine.

“Russia’s unprovoked, brutal invasion has meant that COVID-19 vaccine distribution and routine immunisations have come to a sudden halt,” Thomas-Greenfield told the UN Security Council.

“Since the start of the war, COVID-19 vaccinations have plummeted from more than 52,000 a day to less than a thousand a day,” she said.

Americans blame Biden, Putin for higher gas prices: Poll

A new ABC News/Ipsos poll has found that half of Americans are experiencing financial hardship due to high gas prices, with one in five reporting “serious” difficulties.

According to the poll, Americans blamed several factors for the costs, including Putin, oil companies, and Biden and the Democrats.

Fifty-one percent of respondents blamed Biden, while 71 percent said Putin was at fault, the poll found.

Three killed by Russian attacks in Donetsk region, governor says

Three people have been killed, and eight civilians were wounded by Russian attacks on Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said in a post on the Telegram messaging app.

The attacks come as Ukrainian officials have warned that Russian forces are preparing to launch a large-scale military offensive in the Donbas area.

“We forecast that active combat will begin in these areas in the nearest time,” Ukraine Defence Ministry Spokesperson Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said.

Russia arrests critic of Ukraine offensive, lawyer says

Vladimir Kara-Murza, one of the leading critics of the Kremlin and its offensive in Ukraine still living in Russia, has been arrested near his home, his lawyer said.

“I learned of his arrest less than 10 minutes ago, I will join him,” lawyer Vadim Prokhorov told the Interfax news agency.

The reasons for the arrest were not immediately known and there was no immediate comment from the authorities.

Kyiv accuses Moscow of holding civilians in prisons on Russian territory

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister has accused Russia of holding civilians, including journalists, activists and elected officials, in prisons on Russian territory.

“We have many priests, journalists, activists, mayors, and in general civilians who are in prisons, not, for example, even on the territory of Ukraine, but in [the] Kursk, Bryansk, Rostov [regions of Russia],” Iryna Vereshchuk said in televised comments. “They are forcibly held.”

Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilians.

Mariupol mayor says more than 10,000 civilians have died in besieged city

The mayor of Mariupol has said that more than 10,000 civilians have died in the besieged Ukrainian port city since the start of the Russian invasion.

Mayor Vadym Boychenko told The Associated Press news agency that corpses were “carpeted through the streets of our city” and that the death toll could be more than 20,000.

Boychenko also said Russian forces have brought mobile crematoriums to the city to dispose of the bodies and accused Russian forces of refusing to allow humanitarian convoys into the city in an attempt to disguise the carnage.

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

Read all the updates from Monday, April 11 here.

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