Moldova submits its first EU accession questionnaire

London police received 50 referrals for war crimes in Ukraine

London’s Metropolitan Police War Crimes Team has received around 50 referrals relating to alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine, police said in a statement on Friday.

The team, which falls under the Force’s Counter-Terrorism Command, has been helping the International Criminal Court investigate possible war crimes since March 2.

Dominic Murphy, head of Counter Terrorism Command, said he expected the number to rise as more Ukrainians arrive in the UK.

“We want to make sure that these people know we are here and that we are ready to receive any evidence of war crimes from them, as well as to provide them with the support and assistance they may need in this regard. “, he added. he said.

UK to reopen embassy in Kyiv

The UK will reopen its embassy in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, next week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

Johnson praised the “extreme courage” of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people in their resistance to Russian forces in a speech on Friday.

The Prime Minister delivered his speech in New Delhi, where he met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Burials in Bucha

Victims of violence committed by Russian forces continue to be buried in the Bucha and Irpin regions of Ukraine on April 21, 2022.
Yryna Chebotok, 26, holds a cross that will mark the grave of her grandfather, Volodymyr Rubaylo, 71, in Bucha, Ukraine, on April 21. Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Russia trying to gain ground west of Luhansk, local governor says

Ukraine has continued to engage in defensive battles with Russian forces trying to gain ground west of the city of Lugansk, local governor Serhiy Gaidai said on Friday.

“The enemy is trying to advance in the Rubizhne region, and defensive battles with the enemy continue in the direction of the settlements of Novtoshkivske and Popasna,” he said in a Telegram message.

Nearly 270 Russian servicemen were taken to Novoaidar Central Hospital, including 50 dead, he said. NBC News was unable to verify the claims.

Russian general says forces aim to seize southern Ukraine

Russia aims to capture not just the eastern Donbass region but all of southern Ukraine in its new stage of the war, one of the country’s top generals has said.

Major General Rustam Minnekayev said the aim was to create a land bridge between Russia and Crimea and another exit to the unrecognized breakaway republic of Transnistria in Moldova to southwestern Ukraine.

“We are now at war with the whole world, as it was in the Great Patriotic War all of Europe, the whole world was against us,” Minnekayev, who is the deputy chief of the Central Military District, said on Friday. according to state media Tass.

A Twitter account of the Ukrainian Defense Forces said the statements indicated that Russia’s plan was “not victory over the mythical Nazis, but simply the occupation of eastern and southern Ukraine”.

Russian swimmer Rylov suspended for participating in Putin’s rally

Russian Olympic gold medalist swimmer Evgeny Rylov has been banned from sport for nine months for participating in a rally in support of President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Rylov was on stage with medalists from other Olympic sports at the event last month and wore a jacket with a “Z” on the chest. The letter is not part of the Russian alphabet but became a symbol of support for Russian troops after being used as a marker on Russian armored vehicles operating in Ukraine.

A brief statement from swimming’s world governing body, FINA, said on Thursday that it “acknowledges” an earlier, as yet unpublished decision by a disciplinary panel to ban Rylov “following the presence and of Mr. Rylov’s conduct at an event held at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.”

No humanitarian corridors to be opened in Ukraine, says Deputy PM

No humanitarian corridors will open in Ukraine on Friday due to “danger on the roads”, Iryna Vereshchuk, the country’s deputy prime minister, said on Friday, accusing Russia of preventing civilians from evacuating.

In a statement on her official Telegram channel, she urged people waiting to be evacuated to be patient and stay indoors.

In a separate statement on Friday, Vereshchuk said Russia had provided its own channel for Ukrainian troops into the beleaguered Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol to surrender, but Ukrainian troops had no intention of surrendering. utilize.

She accused the Russian side of knowingly preventing civilians from evacuating to pressure Ukrainian soldiers at the factory.

“The Russians refuse to open a corridor for civilians, cynically claiming that they do not understand the difference between a corridor for the military to surrender and a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians,” she added.

About 1,000 civilians are sheltering at the plant, according to Vereschuk.

The story of a family who fled Mariupol

At the start of the Russian assault on Mariupol, Daniil Repro, a native of the city, worked in a volunteer center while his wife, Olga, and their two children lived for three weeks in an underground shelter without heat, water or electricity. , protecting themselves from constant bombardment.

But fearing for their lives and those of their children, the family was forced to flee to Norway, where they now witness the destruction of the city they love from afar.

“When I see a video on the Internet of Russian tanks crossing the streets of Mariupol, I feel like they are going through my body,” Daniil said.

Olga, 32, said she was worried about the military and ordinary Mariupol residents who were still sheltering in the Azovstal steelworks, the city’s last Ukrainian military stronghold.

“Houses can be rebuilt,” she said, “but people cannot be resurrected.”

Hear the heartbreaking story of the Repros in the hour-long special “On a Mission with Richard Engel: Ukraine: Freedom or Death,” which airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET on MSNBC and airs tomorrow on Peacock.

Flee Mariupol

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People fleeing fighting in the southern city of Mariupol arrive at a registration center for displaced people in Zaporizhzhia on April 21, 2022. Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

More than a quarter of Ukraine’s population needs ‘urgent humanitarian aid’, says UN

More than a quarter of Ukraine’s population is currently in need of urgent humanitarian aid, a United Nations official said on Friday, after Russian forces destroyed critical infrastructure in urban centers and cut off some towns from food. , water and medicine.

“At least 15.7 million people in Ukraine are now in dire need of humanitarian assistance and protection,” Under-Secretary-General Amin Awad told a news conference in Lviv, western Ukraine. ‘Ukraine.

The official said the city of Kherson was short of food and supplies, while Mykolaiv had been without water for seven days.

“I call for safe and unhindered access to humanitarian assistance,” he said, saying workers on the ground faced “tremendous challenges that often prevent them from delivering assistance in areas where people desperately need it”.

Russia releases forces around Azovstal steel plant for redeployment, UK says

Russia is likely releasing its forces near the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol for deployment elsewhere in eastern Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defense said.

“A full Russian ground assault on the factory would likely result in significant Russian casualties, further diminishing their overall combat effectiveness,” it said in a statement. information update released Thursday.

Russia is seeking to penetrate deeper into the Donbass region, including the settlements of Barvinkove and Popasna, he said.

“Despite renewed Russian attention, they are still suffering from losses suffered earlier in the conflict. In an attempt to replenish their depleted forces, they resorted to transferring unserviceable equipment to Russia for repair,” he added.

Satellite images appear to show potential mass grave in Mariupol

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A glimpse of a possible mass grave site at the northwest edge of Manhush, about 12 miles west of Mariupol, April 3 from US defense contractor Maxar.Maxar Technologies / AFP-Getty Images

Russia rejects Easter truce, says Zelenskyy

Russia has rejected a proposed truce over Orthodox Christian Easter, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said.

“It shows very well how the leaders of this state really treat the Christian faith, one of the most joyful and important holidays,” he said in a video address Thursday evening. “But we remain hopeful,” he said. “The hope of peace. Let’s hope that life will conquer death.

Russian officials did not immediately comment on the proposal.