Stay updates | US convening talks on Ukraine’s protection wants

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon says U.S. Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin will convene a gathering subsequent week in Germany of protection officers and navy leaders from greater than 20 nations to debate Ukraine’s quick and long-term protection wants.

The Pentagon press secretary, John Kirby, stated Friday that about 40 nations, together with NATO members, had been invited and that responses are nonetheless arriving for the session to be held Tuesday at Ramstein air base. He didn’t determine the nations which have agreed to attend however stated extra particulars will likely be supplied in coming days.

The assembly comes as Russia gears up for what is anticipated to be a serious offensive in jap Ukraine.

The agenda will embrace an up to date evaluation of the Ukraine battlefield in addition to dialogue of efforts to proceed a gradual circulation of weapons and different navy assist, Kirby stated. It should embrace consultations on Ukraine’s post-war protection wants however isn’t anticipated to think about modifications within the U.S. navy posture in Europe, he stated.



— Potential mass gravesnear Mariupol proven in satellite tv for pc photographs

— EXPLAINER: Why the battle for Mariupol’s metal mill issues

— EXPLAINER: Why Washington is boosting heavy arms for Ukraine

— UN rights chief sees ‘horror story’ of violations in Ukraine

— US to welcome Ukraine refugeesbut not by Mexico

— Observe all AP tales on Russia’s battle on Ukraine at



The Russian Protection Ministry stated Friday that one serviceman died, 27 extra went lacking and 396 had been rescued after a hearth on the flagship missile cruiser Moskva final week.

The assertion comes per week after the vessel sunk.

Shortly after the incident, the ministry stated the complete crew of the ship, which was presumed by the media to be about 500 folks, had been rescued. The ministry didn’t provide a proof for the contradicting experiences.

Ukraine stated it hit the cruiser with a missile strike.


KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s safety chief stated Friday that the primary battles within the nation are going down within the Donbas, the economic heartland within the east, with Russia deploying increasingly more troops each day.

Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s Nationwide Safety and Protection Council, instructed The Related Press that over 100,000 Russian troops are at present preventing in Ukraine, together with mercenaries from Syria and Libya.

A few of Russia’s elite navy items have left the strategic Ukrainian port metropolis of Mariupol, which was declared “liberated” by the Kremlin on Thursday, and are actually shifting to the east of the nation to take part within the preventing there, Danilov stated.

Danilov stated a nighttime helicopter supply introduced weapons to Mariupol’s metal mill, the final stronghold of Ukrainian forces within the metropolis. He urged Ukraine’s Western companions to hurry up the supply of weapons to his nation.


UNITED NATIONS — U.N. Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres plans to satisfy Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin to press for preventing to cease in Ukraine.

The U.N. chief will journey to Moscow for conversations with Putin and Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov, U.N. spokesperson Eri Kaneko stated Friday. She stated discussions a couple of comparable go to to Ukraine are underneath approach.

“He desires to debate with the management steps that may be taken proper now with a view to silence the weapons, with a view to assist the folks and with a view to enable the individuals who have to get out” to take action safely, she stated.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Guterres is because of meet Tuesday with Russia’s Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov and that Putin may even host the U.N. chief.

Guterres requested to satisfy with each Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of their respective capitals. Ukraine has welcomed the thought.

Guterres had appealed for a four-day “humanitarian pause” in preventing main as much as Sunday, when Orthodox Christians have fun Easter.


BUCHAREST, Romania — The Moldovan authorities strongly criticized feedback Friday by a Russian navy official suggesting that Russia’s forces are aiming to take management of not simply jap Ukraine however southern Ukraine as effectively, creating “one other approach” to the area of Transnistria in Moldova.

Moldova’s authorities on Friday referred to as Rustam Minnekayev’s feedback “not solely unacceptable but in addition unfounded.” The assertion added that his phrases will “result in elevated stress and distrust in society.”

Minnekayev stated at a protection trade occasion earlier Friday that broader management of Ukraine would open the way in which to Moldova, the place Russia backs the breakaway area of Transnistria.

Transnistria broke away after a brief civil battle within the early Nineties and is unrecognized by most nations. An estimated 1,500 Russian troopers have been stationed there for the reason that civil battle.

Since Russia launched its assaults on Ukraine on Feb. 24, fears have grown that Moldova might be subsequent in Russia’s crosshairs. Moldova isn’t a member of the European Union or NATO.

The battle has prompted Moldovan officers to attempt to velocity up the nation’s bid to affix the 27-nation EU, which it utilized to do final month. The method, nonetheless, will probably take a few years.


MOSCOW — Russia’s high diplomat says talks to finish the preventing in Ukraine have “floor to a halt,” as a result of Moscow hasn’t acquired any response from Kyiv to its most up-to-date set of proposals.

Russian Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov stated throughout a press convention on Friday that “proper now, they (talks) have floor to a halt, as a result of one other proposal we handed on to Ukrainian negotiators about 5 days in the past, which was drawn up with their feedback taken under consideration, it stays with out a response.”

Lavrov additionally charged that current statements by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his advisers counsel “they don’t in any respect want these talks, they’ve put up with their future.”

Nonetheless, Vladimir Medinsky, President Vladimir Putin’s aide and Russia’s lead negotiator on the talks with Ukraine, confirmed experiences that he held a number of prolonged conversations Friday with the top of the Ukrainian delegation.

He didn’t provide any particulars as to what was mentioned or if any progress was made.


MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin stated Friday that Russia gave Ukrainian forces inside a Mariupol metal plant the choice to give up, with ensures to maintain them alive.

The feedback got here throughout a telephone name between Putin and European Council President Charles Michel, in accordance with a readout of the decision supplied by the Kremlin. Putin additionally stated the Ukrainian forces had been supplied “respectable remedy and medical care.”

“However the Kyiv regime doesn’t enable them to take this chance,” Putin charged, in accordance with the Kremlin.


LVIV, Ukraine — A metropolis official in besieged Mariupol says Russian forces are persevering with to bomb a large metal mill the place Ukrainian fighters are holed up.

Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to Mariupol’s mayor, instructed The Related Press on Friday that “each day they drop a number of bombs on Azovstal, regardless of false guarantees to not contact the defenders.” Andryushchenko added that “preventing, shelling, bombing don’t cease.”

The Azovstal plant is the final stronghold of Ukrainian forces in Mariupol, which the Russians has blocked for practically two weeks and declared victory over this week. Ukrainian authorities have estimated that 1,000 civilians are contained in the plant together with the fighters.

A day after satellite tv for pc photographs got here to gentle that indicated mass graves exterior the port metropolis in southeastern Ukraine, Andryushchenko stated native residents reported that Russian forces had been utilizing cellular crematoria at two areas.

Preliminary estimates stated the obvious mass graves might maintain as much as 9,000 our bodies, however Andryuschenko stated there might be extra.


BERLIN — The Worldwide Atomic Power Company says its director basic will go to the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear plant subsequent week, on the anniversary of the 1986 catastrophe there.

The Vienna-based IAEA stated Friday that Rafael Mariano Grossi will head a group of specialists from the U.N. nuclear watchdog that will likely be at Chernobyl on April 26, which is 36 years for the reason that day a reactor on the plant exploded.

The IAEA says the group will ship “important tools” and conduct radiological and different assessments on the web site, which Russian forces held for 5 weeks till they withdrew on March 31.

The specialists will restore distant monitoring programs that stopped transmitting information to the IAEA’s headquarters in the beginning of the battle.

Grossi stated in an announcement that the Chernobyl go to “will likely be adopted by extra IAEA missions to this and different nuclear services in Ukraine within the coming weeks.”


WASHINGTON — Pentagon press secretary John Kirby says assessments present Ukrainian troops are nonetheless contesting the southern metropolis of Mariupol regardless of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s declare of victory within the battle for the town in Ukraine’s industrial heartland, residence to coal mines, metallic vegetation and heavy-equipment factories.

Putin on Thursday ordered his troops to not storm an enormous Mariupol metal mill the place an estimated 2,000 Ukrainians stay holed up however to seal it off — in an obvious bid to release his troops for the broader marketing campaign within the east.

Kirby stated it was “unclear” why Putin did that and Putin’s phrases have to be seen with skepticism.

“They made this huge present yesterday of him saying he wasn’t gonna go into that plant and attempt to eradicate the folks which are there,” Kirby instructed CNN on Friday. “I believe we’ve got to observe and see what the Russians truly do right here. What we’d let you know this morning is that we nonetheless assess that Mariupol is contested, that it hasn’t been taken by the Russians and that there’s nonetheless an energetic Ukrainian resistance. In order that they proceed to battle for that metropolis.”


SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea’s Overseas Ministry says it’s attempting to verify intelligence {that a} South Korean citizen who had come to Ukraine as a volunteer fighter to defend the nation towards the Russian assault has been killed.

The ministry stated Friday it acquired the data from an unspecified international authorities however didn’t instantly present extra particulars.

The ministry stated there have been a minimum of 4 South Koreans who went into Ukraine with out authorities authorization. It pleaded them to shortly return residence because the battle escalates with Russia’s new offensive in jap Ukraine.


COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The three Baltic prime ministers need extra sanctions towards Russia.

Latvian Prime Minister – Krisjanis Karins identified Friday that it’s essential to minimize Russia’s capability to finance its battle in Ukraine, and this consists of sanctions on the European Union degree on all Russian banks and all power assets, together with pure fuel and oil.

His Lithuanian counterpart Ingrida Simonyte confused the significance of constant to place strain on the Kremlin by strengthening sanctions. Kaja Kallas of Estonia agreed. They spoke after a gathering of the Baltic Council of Ministers, the Baltic News Service stated.

The parliaments of Latvia and Estonia on Thursday adopted an announcement on Russia’s battle crimes and genocide in Ukraine.


BERLIN — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is defending his center-left get together’s document on relations with Russia towards criticism following the battle in Ukraine.

Scholz’s Social Democrats have lengthy been pleased with the legacy of Chilly Conflict rapprochement pursued by former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt. However critics accuse it of getting clung an excessive amount of to shut relations with Russia, notably over current years.

Scholz made clear in an interview with weekly Der Spiegel revealed Friday that he sees no want for the get together to chew over its stance, and stated that it “doesn’t have to just accept” the criticism. He argued that its insurance policies of détente set the bottom for overcoming Europe’s Chilly Conflict-era division, and stated it at all times backed a robust German navy and integration with the West.

Scholz decried what he referred to as “distorting and defamatory portrayals” of the Social Democrats’ insurance policies towards Europe and Russia going again to West Germany’s early post-World Conflict II years.

He didn’t, nonetheless, point out ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s ties with the Russian power trade, which Scholz has urged Schroeder to finish.


KYIV, Ukraine — A high Ukrainian official says no humanitarian corridors for civilian evacuations will likely be open in Ukraine on Friday as a result of it’s unsafe.

In a put up on the messaging app Telegram, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk requested folks awaiting evacuation from battle zones to “be affected person” and “grasp in there.”

Vereshchuk stated Russian forces supplied to open a hall for navy give up however not for an estimated 1,000 civilians sheltering at a metal mill that’s the final Ukrainian stronghold in besieged southern metropolis of Mariupol.

The Russian Protection Ministry on Friday stated Moscow was prepared at any second to introduce a “regime of silence” for each the troops and civilians at Azovstal. However Ukrainian troops should elevate white flags in decided areas across the plant earlier than evacuations can start, the ministry stated.


LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated the U.Okay. is sending tanks to Poland to interchange the Soviet-era T-72 tanks the Poles are transport to Ukraine.

Johnson made the feedback Friday throughout a information convention in New Delhi, the place he held talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I believe maybe what I haven’t stated publicly earlier than is we’re additionally wanting extra at what we are able to do to backfill in nations equivalent to Poland who could need to ship heavier weaponry to assist defend the Ukrainians,” Johnson stated. “So we’re sending tanks to Poland to assist them as they sending a few of their T-72s to Ukraine.”


LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the U.Okay. plans to reopen its embassy in Ukraine’s capital subsequent week.

Johnson introduced the deliberate motion on Friday throughout a visit to India. Diplomats from different European nations have returned to Kyiv since Russian troops withdrew from the capital area to give attention to jap Ukraine.

Johnson made a shock go to to Kyiv this month to point out solidarity with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. On the time, the prime minister detailed a brand new bundle of monetary and navy assist, and Zelenskyy stated the U.Okay. had pledged to assist rebuild the town after the battle.


BERLIN — The U.N. human rights chief says that worldwide humanitarian regulation seems to have been “tossed apart” in Russia’s battle in Ukraine.

The Geneva-based human rights workplace stated in an announcement Friday that “Russian armed forces have indiscriminately shelled and bombed populated areas, killing civilians and wrecking hospitals, faculties and different civilian infrastructure — actions that will quantity to battle crimes.”

The workplace stated its mission in Ukraine thus far has verified 5,264 civilian casualties, together with 2,345 deaths, for the reason that battle started on Feb. 24. It stated that 92.3% of these had been recorded in Ukrainian government-controlled territory.

U.N. Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet added that “the precise numbers are going to be a lot larger because the horrors inflicted in these areas of intense preventing equivalent to Mariupol come to gentle.”

She stated that “over these eight weeks, worldwide humanitarian regulation has not merely been ignored however seemingly tossed apart.”


PRAGUE — The Russian embassy within the Czech capital has a brand new handle after Prague authorities renamed a piece of the road the place it’s positioned.

Friday’s official ceremony comes after the choice to vary the title to “Ukrainian Heroes” was permitted by the Metropolis Corridor on the request of the Prague 6 district the place the embassy is positioned.

Prague’s mayor Zdenek Hrib unveiled the brand new avenue signal within the presence of Ukrainian ambassador to Prague, Yevhen Perebyinis, and the ambassadors of a number of European Union nations.

Hrib beforehand stated the transfer honors the “unbelievable bravery of Ukrainian fighters.”

Neither the Russian authorities nor the embassy made any quick touch upon the modification.

Two years in the past, Prague renamed a sq. in entrance of the Russian Embassy after Boris Nemtsov, honoring the slain Russian opposition chief. That modification prompted the embassy to vary its handle, utilizing the title of the road that has now been renamed.


Russian authorities have opened a felony case towards distinguished opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr for allegedly spreading “false info” in regards to the nation’s armed forces, his lawyer stated Friday.

Russia adopted a regulation criminalizing spreading false details about its navy shortly after its troops rolled into Ukraine in late February, in an try to manage the narrative across the invasion.

The offense is punishable by as much as 15 years in jail. Human rights advocates have counted 32 circumstances underneath the brand new regulation by late April, concentrating on these crucial of the invasion.

Kara-Murza was detained earlier this month and jailed for 15 days for disobeying a police officer. Lawyer Vadim Prokhorov says Kara-Murza was as a result of seem in courtroom Friday.

Kara-Murza was hospitalized with poisoning signs twice, in 2015 and 2017. He’s a a journalist and affiliate of late Russian opposition chief Boris Nemtsov and oligarch-turned-dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky.


MOSCOW — A Russian navy official says a “second section” of the operation in Ukraine has begun with an intention to determine full management over the jap industrial heartland of Donbas and southern Ukraine.

Rustam Minnekayev, appearing commander of Russia’s Central Navy District, on Friday instructed a protection trade occasion that the second section began “simply two days in the past.” Minnekayev says management over jap and southern Ukraine “will present a land hall to Crimea, in addition to affect (over) the important objects of the Ukrainian financial system.”

Russia had beforehand stated it had full management over Ukraine’s southern area of Kherson on the coast of the Azov Sea and partial management over the neighboring southern area of Zaporizhzhia.

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