Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

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Kremlin says sending US weapons to Ukraine won’t help peace talks

The Kremlin criticized Washington’s decision to continue sending military supplies to Ukraine, saying it did not bode well for the outcome of peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow.

“Injecting weapons into Ukraine will not contribute to the success of Russian-Ukrainian talks,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a press call, referring to US arms deliveries to Ukraine. Ukraine. “Of course, this will most likely have a negative effect.”

The Pentagon says it has committed more than $1.6 billion in security aid to Ukraine since Russia began its invasion on February 24. A recent $300 million package of military supplies that Washington said it is providing will include drones, armored vehicles and machine guns.

A serviceman from the Ukrainian military forces holds an FGM-148 Javelin, an American-made man-portable anti-tank missile, at a checkpoint, where they occupy a position near Kharkiv, March 23, 2022.

Sergei Bobok | AFP | Getty Images

“Ukraine is waging a defensive war, so this distinction between offensive and defensive weapons doesn’t really make sense in the defensive war that Ukraine is waging,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.

—Natasha Turak

Ukrainian official says Russian air attacks concentrated in the east, with Mariupol holding firm

Russia has said the country’s military will now focus its efforts on the “complete liberation” of Ukraine’s Donbass region.

Bulent Kilic | AFP | Getty Images

Russian air attacks are mostly focused on parts of eastern Ukraine and Russian forces are seeking to surround Ukrainian forces in the region, according to an adviser to the Ukrainian president, Reuters reported.

The beleaguered port city of Mariupol was resisting, Oleksiy Arestovych reportedly said in remarks on national television, before adding that he believed Russian efforts would ultimately fail.

His comments came as Russian President Vladimir Putin oversees a shift in military strategy in the face of the unprovoked Kremlin attack in Ukraine. We have seen Russian forces reposition themselves to the east with the aim of taking control of the Donbass region.

—Sam Meredith

Ukraine criticizes Hungary’s willingness to buy Russian gas in rubles as a ‘hostile act’

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (not seen) give a press conference ahead of a meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers at NATO Headquarters, Brussels, on April 7, 2022.

Dursun Aydemir | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Tension is rising between the Ukrainian and Hungarian governments as Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba criticized Budapest’s reluctance to take a tougher stance on Moscow.

Kuleba said he considered Hungary’s willingness to pay for Russian gas in roubles, which Putin demanded, as a “hostile act”. Ukraine also said that Hungary, which opposes energy sanctions against Russia despite evidence of Russian atrocities against civilians, reinforces Russia’s impunity and encourages it “to commit further atrocities against Ukrainians”.

“If Hungary really wants to help end the war, here’s how to do it: stop destroying EU unity, support new anti-Russian sanctions, provide military assistance to Ukraine and don’t create additional sources of funding for the Russian military machine,” he added. said Oleg Nikolenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. “It’s never too late to get on the right side of history.”

Hungary hit back, saying interfering with its energy needs, for which it relies heavily on Russia, would be a red line. Hungary has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and taken in hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees, but Hungarian President Viktor Orban has refused to criticize President Putin and recently called Hungarian President Viktor Orban an “enemy”.

—Natasha Turak

Russian artillery and airstrikes continue along Donbass Line of Control (UK MoD)

Residents run near a burning house following a shelling in Severodonetsk, in the Donbass region, on April 6, 2022, as Ukraine tells residents in the east of the country to evacuate ‘now or “risking death” ahead of a feared Russian attack on the Donbass region, which Moscow has declared its prime prize.

Fadel Séné | AFP | Getty Images

“The advancement of offensive operations in eastern Ukraine is the main objective of the Russian military forces,” the British Ministry of Defense said in a tweet.

Russian attacks continue along the Donbass Line of Control in eastern Ukraine, the ministry said, adding that strikes against infrastructure targets in Ukraine are “likely intended to degrade the capability of the Ukrainian army to resupply and increase pressure on the Ukrainian government”.

Yet despite the refocusing of its forces and logistical operations in Donbass, Russian forces “will likely continue to face morale problems and shortages of supplies and personnel”, the ministry said.

—Natasha Turak

Request of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister to NATO: “Weapons, weapons and weapons”

Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra, Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes, Canadian Foreign Minister Melaine Joly, Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba attend a meeting of ministers NATO Foreign Office, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium April 7, 2022.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met with members of the G7 and NATO on Thursday in a bid to garner more support for his country’s fight against Russia.

“I came here today to discuss the three most important things: weapons, weapons and weapons. Ukraine’s urgent needs, the sustainability of supplies and the long-term solutions that will help Ukraine win,” he wrote in a tweet.

Kuleba specifically requested aircraft, missiles, armored vehicles and heavy air defense systems. The meeting came as Russia steps up its strikes on eastern and southern Ukraine after withdrawing from areas around the capital kyiv.

—Natasha Turak

Shell to write off about $5 billion in assets after leaving Russia

Shell will write off between $4 billion and $5 billion in the value of its assets after it pulls out of Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, revealing some of the financial impact for Western oil companies of leaving Russia.

“For first-quarter 2022 results, the after-tax impact of non-current asset impairment and additional charges (e.g., receivables impairments, expected credit losses and onerous contracts) related to the Russia business are expected to be $4-5 billion,” Shell said in a statement Thursday.

The company added that the additional charges “will not impact adjusted earnings.”

—Natasha Turak

UN says 63 children are among 1,563 civilians killed in Ukraine

A young boy makes an offering of food at his mother’s grave as his younger brother and a neighbor stand by, in the town of Bucha, on the outskirts of kyiv, after the Ukrainian army secured the area after the withdrawal of the Russian army from the kyiv region in the previous days, Bucha, Ukraine, April 4, 2022.

Narciso Contreras | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The United Nations has confirmed 1,563 civilian deaths and 2,213 injuries in Ukraine since Russia invaded its neighbor on February 24.

Among those killed, the UN has identified at least 63 children.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights adds that the death toll in Ukraine is likely higher, citing late reports due to the armed conflict.

A resident searches for the graves of relatives at a cemetery in Chernihiv, northern Ukraine, April 5, 2022.

Sergei Supinsky | AFP | Getty Images

The international body says most of the recorded civilian casualties were caused by the use of explosive weapons, including bombardments from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, as well as missiles and airstrikes.

The UN says the war has created more than 4.2 million Ukrainians refugees, mainly old people, women and children.

Serhii Lahovskyi, 26, cries next to the grave of his friend Ihor Lytvynenko, who locals say was killed by Russian soldiers, after finding him next to the basement of a building in the middle of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Bucha, Kyiv region, Ukraine, April 6, 2022.

Alkis Konstantinidis | Reuters

US accuses Russian oligarch of Ukraine-related sanctions violations

Konstantin Malofeev, chairman of the board of the Tsargrad media group, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Moscow, Russia, September 16, 2021.

Tatyana Makeyeva | Reuters

The Justice Department has accused Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev of conspiring to violate and having violated US sanctions imposed in 2014 following Moscow’s illegal annexation of Crimea.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned Malofeyev, 47, eight years ago for playing “a leading role in supporting Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine in 2014”. He is still at large but is believed to be in Russia, according to US authorities.

The FBI said Malofeyev “recently described the Russian military invasion of Ukraine in 2022 as a holy war.”

The Russian Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the charges.

Amanda Macias

US sanctions Putin’s adult children and bans new investment in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to Novgorod Region Governor Andrei Nikitin during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 22, 2022.

Mikhail Klimentiev | sputnik | Reuters

The United States has announced a series of new sanctions against Russia as it tries to squeeze Moscow’s economy and elites in response to mounting Russian atrocities in Ukraine.

The Biden administration will ban all new investment in Russia and impose comprehensive blocking sanctions on Sberbank and Alfa Bank, two of the country’s largest financial institutions.

The United States will also sanction two adult daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin and family members of other senior Russian officials.

The Biden administration believes “a lot of Putin’s assets are hidden with family members, and that’s why we’re targeting them,” said a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity. .

—Christina Wilkie

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