Russia-Ukraine live news: Coming week 'crucial', Zelenskyy says | Russia-Ukraine war News – Al Jazeera English

Separatist leader’s announcement comes as Moscow refocuses its offensive on the troubled Donbas region.
INTERACTIVE Russia Ukraine War Who controls what Day 47
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Russia’s foreign minister has said Moscow will not pause its offensive for subsequent rounds of talks with Ukrainian officials.
Sergey Lavrov told state television he saw no reason not to continue the discussions but insisted Russia will not halt what it describes as its “special military operation” when the two sides convene again.
He said that Putin had ordered a suspension in military action during the first round of talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators in late February but that Moscow’s position had changed since.
“After we became convinced that the Ukrainians were not planning to reciprocate, a decision was made that during the next rounds of talks, there would be no pause [in military action] so long as a final agreement is not reached,” Lavrov added.

Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride, reporting from the city of Lviv in western Ukraine, says there have been “reports confirming that there has been a pick up in the amount of shelling that is going on” in eastern Ukraine.
“President Zelenskyy has warned Ukraine that the next four or five days are going to be crucial, with this expected renewed assault by Russian forces,” McBride said.
“There are reports of the Russians moving tens of thousands of troops in readiness for this … and a lot of attention seems to be on the very strategically significant city of Slovyansk,” he added.
“This is close to the breakaway self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic. It is controlled by Ukrainian forces still, but there is speculation that if the Russians can take Slovyansk, then potentially they could move to encircle quite a sizeable portion of the Ukrainian forces in the east.”

Hungary’s foreign minister says the country plans to pay for Russian gas in euros through Gazprombank, which will convert the payment into roubles to meet a new requirement set by Putin.
Under the scheme, Hungarian energy group MVM’s subsidiary, CEE Energy, would pay an upcoming bill in euros, which Gazprombank would convert into roubles and then transfer to Russia’s Gazprom Export, Peter Szijjarto told a news conference.
He said the move would not violate any European Union sanctions. The bloc has sought a united front in opposing Moscow’s demand for payment in the currency.

Canada has announced new sanctions on dozens of companies in the Russian defence sector that Ottowa says have provided support for Russia’s invasion.
The measures impose restrictions on 33 entities, the Canadian government said in a statement.
“These entities have provided indirect or direct support to the Russian military and are therefore complicit in the pain and suffering stemming from Vladimir Putin’s senseless war in Ukraine,” the statement said.

Ukrainian forces are preparing for a “last battle” for control of Mariupol, soldiers in the city have said, adding they have been “pushed back” and “surrounded” by Russian forces.
“Today will probably be the last battle, as … ammunition is running out,” the 36th marine brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces said in a post on Facebook.
“It’s death for some of us, and captivity for the rest,” the brigade added.

The Kremlin has said that Russia has the resources to pay its debt so there is no “objective reason” for a default.
“There can only be a technical, man-made default,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Russia has not defaulted on its external debt since the aftermath of its 1917 revolution, but its bonds have now emerged as a flashpoint in its economic tussle with Western countries.
A default was unimaginable until recently, with Russia rated as investment grade prior to its invasion of Ukraine.

Timothy Ash, an economist at the United Kingdom-based BlueBay asset management investment firm, says Putin is taking Russia into “into an era of darkness from an economic perspective”.
“The [economic] outlook is terrible, because of this war, sanctions will remain in place for a long time and the West will cut Russia out of its supply chains,” Ash told Al Jazeera.
“Russia will go into default, full default, very shortly and be out of international capital markets for a decade. There will be no financing, capital inflows, or investment and [it will experience] a brain drain and falling living standards,” he added.
“The losses to Russia, because of this, over the longer term, could be much higher than for Ukraine.”

Lithuania wants NATO battalions currently stationed in the Baltic states to be expanded into brigades, the country’s defence ministry has said.
A brigade consists of several battalions of troops.
The Baltic states are Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

The Kremlin’s spokesman has warned against Sweden and Finland possibly joining the NATO transatlantic security alliance.
“We have repeatedly said that the alliance remains a tool geared towards confrontation and its further expansion will not bring stability to the European continent,” Peskov told reporters on a conference call.
His remarks came amid reports that NATO membership for both Nordic countries was discussed during talks between the alliance’s foreign ministers last week attended by representatives from Sweden and Finland.

The Russian-backed leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine says the rebel republic will “intensify” its battle against Ukrainian forces in the region.
“The more we delay, the more the civilian population simply suffers, being held hostage by the situation. We have identified areas where certain steps need to be accelerated,” Denis Pushilin was quoted as saying by Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency.
Pushilin also said more than 5,000 civilians may have been killed in Mariupol, where Ukrainian forces have attempted to hold off a relentless Russian attack since Moscow launched its invasion.
Mariupol lies between eastern areas of Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists and the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014.

German newspaper Die Welt says it has hired Marina Ovsyannikova, the Russian journalist who protested against Moscow’s offensive during a prime-time news broadcast on state television.
Ovsyannikova, 43, “is now a freelance correspondent for Die Welt, reporting from Ukraine and Russia, among other places”, the newspaper said in a statement.
Ovsyannikova, an editor at Russia’s Channel One television, barged onto the set of its flagship evening news programme in March holding a poster reading “No War” in English.

Ukraine’s president says tens of thousands of people have been killed in Russia’s assault on the country’s southeastern port city of Mariupol.
“Mariupol has been destroyed, there are tens of thousands of dead, but even despite this, the Russians are not stopping their offensive,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address to South Korean lawmakers.
Al Jazeera could not independently verify his claim.
Mini map showing Mariupol's location within Ukraine

Russia’s defence ministry says its forces have destroyed a shipment of air defence missile systems provided to Ukraine by the West.
The ministry said Russian sea-launched Kalibr missiles hit the four S-300 anti-aircraft launchers on Sunday. It alleged the missile systems were concealed in a hangar on the outskirts of the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro. The ministry added that 25 Ukrainian soldiers were hit in the attack.
It did not say which European country had supplied the systems, however, Slovakia said on Friday that it had given its S-300 air defence system to Ukraine to help it defend against Russian attacks.
There was no immediate reaction from Kyiv to the Russian defence ministry’s claims.

Norway’s defence ministry says the country will extend its current NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) troop deployment in Lithuania until August.
The deployment was increased in February by about 50 servicemen, to a total of 200 overall, on a three-month basis. It has now been extended by a further three months.
Norway said it also plans to contribute troops to the eFP beyond August but did not say how many would be deployed.

Germany’s foreign minister has said there are “massive indications of war crimes” having been committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.
“In the end, the courts will have to decide, but for us, it is central to secure all evidence,” Annalena Baerbock told reporters before a meeting with fellow EU ministers in Luxembourg.

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister says Kyiv is aiming to evacuate civilians from several regions in the country’s south and east via nine humanitarian corridors on Monday after agreeing on the routes with Russia.
Iryna Vereshchuk said in a post on Facebook that the planned routes include one for people evacuating by private transport from the city of Mariupol.
Efforts to get convoys of buses into the city to deliver aid and evacuate tens of thousands of residents trapped there have repeatedly failed.

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney says the European Commission is working on details of an oil embargo on Russia as part of a possible next sanctions package, but that nothing has been decided.
His comment came as the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said “sanctions are always on the table” when asked if the bloc was ready to consider a Russian oil embargo. “Ministers will discuss which are the further steps,” he added.

The death toll from the Russian cruise missile attack on a railway station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk has reached 57, according to a local official.
The attack also wounded 114 others, Pavlo Kirilenko, who governs the Ukrainian-controlled part of the Donetsk region, said on social media.
Thousands of civilians were waiting at the station as they prepared to evacuate Kramatorsk when the Tochka U cruise missile hit.

Russia has lost about 19,500 soldiers since it invaded Ukraine on February 24, Ukraine’s military has said.
It also lost 725 tanks, 1,923 armoured vehicles, 154 planes and 137 helicopters, the General Staff of the Armed Forces said on Facebook, adding that the figures are approximate because of the ongoing hostilities.
On Friday, the Kremlin admitted to “significant losses”, but did not specify the number. NATO said on March 24 that Moscow lost up to 15,000 soldiers in Ukraine.

French banking group Societe Generale has said it is ceasing its activities in Russia and selling its stake in Russia’s Rosbank.
“With this agreement … the group would exit in an effective and orderly manner from Russia, ensuring continuity for its employees and clients,” the French bank said.
The deal, pending regulatory approval, would result in a write-off of about 2 billion euros ($2.2bn) and an exceptional non-cash item with no impact on SocGen’s capital ratio, it said.

Since the start of Russia’s invasion,1,793 civilians have been killed and 2,439 injured, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes,” the OHCHR notes in its civilian casualty update.
The organisation writes the actual figures are likely considerably higher, as information from areas where there are “intense hostilities” has either been delayed or is pending corroboration. This includes Mariupol, Izium and Borodyanka.

Ukraine’s ombudsman for human rights, Lyudmyla Denisova, has reported that 183 children are confirmed to have died since the start of the Russian invasion.
Al Jazeera could not independently verify these figures.

Rescuers in the city of Kharkiv have found the bodies of six victims of shelling, Interfax Ukraine reports.
Al Jazeera could not independently verify these claims.

“Russian forces’ prior use of phosphorous munitions in the Donetsk Oblast raises the possibility of their future employment in Mariupol as fighting for the city intensifies,” the UKMinistry of Defence writes in its latest intelligence briefing.
It also notes that Russia has continued shelling the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and that Ukrainian forces have repulsed several assaults “resulting in the destruction of Russian tanks, vehicles, and artillery equipment”.
Russia continues using unguided bombs which “decreases their ability to discriminate” during attacks and increases “the risk of further civilian casualties,” the briefing adds.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 11 April 2022
Find out more about the UK government’s response:
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) April 11, 2022

US President Joe Biden will speak virtually with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi later today as he presses world leaders to take a hard line against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
India has held a neutral stance towards Russia’s invasion. It was one of 58 members that abstained when the UN General Assembly voted last Thursday to suspend Russia from the 47-member Human Rights Council over allegations of rights violations in Ukraine.
Biden will discuss the consequences of the war in Ukraine “and mitigating its destabilising impact on global food supply and commodity markets”, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Sunday. They will also discuss how to uphold a “free, open rules-based international order to bolster security, democracy, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.”

New Zealand will send a C-130 Hercules aircraft, with 50 defence force personnel, to help transport and distribute donated military aid to Ukraine, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.
“But at no point will they enter Ukraine, and nor have they been asked to,” Ardern said at a press conference. The aircraft will leave New Zealand for Europe on Wednesday.
New Zealand will also contribute $13m for military, legal and human rights support, including $7.5m for weapons and ammunition procurement via the UK, enabling the UK to help supply arms to Ukraine.

Finland and Sweden are poised to join NATO within the coming months, The Times has reported, citing US officials. The move will enlarge the alliance from 30 to 32 members.
Officials said the Nordic countries’ NATO membership was “a topic of … multiple sessions” during talks between the alliance’s foreign ministers last week attended by Sweden and Finland, the report added.
Finland’s application is expected in June, with Sweden to follow, the report said.

South Korea’s defence minister Suh Wook has told his Ukrainian counterpart that Seoul has “limits” when it comes to sending weapons to Ukraine, Yonhap news agency reported.
Ukrainian defence minister Oleksii Reznikov reportedly requested anti-aircraft weapons in a phone call with Suh on Friday. South Korea has refused to send weapons to Ukraine, providing largely humanitarian support.
Zelenskyy is set to deliver a video address to South Korea’s National Assembly later today where he is expected to again request weapons.

Head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, says Russian forces will stage an offensive against Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities.
“There will be an offensive … not only on Mariupol but also on other places, cities and villages,” Kadyrov said in a video posted on his Telegram channel.
“Luhansk and Donetsk – we will fully liberate in the first place … and then take Kyiv and all other cities,” he added.

Russia will take legal action if the West tries to force it to default on its sovereign debt, the country’s finance minister has told the pro-Kremlin Izvestia newspaper.
“Of course we will sue, because we have taken all the necessary steps to ensure that investors receive their payments,” Anton Siluanov said. “We will present in court our bills confirming our efforts to pay both in foreign currency and in roubles.”
Russia faces its first sovereign external default in more than a century after it made arrangements to make an international bond repayment in roubles earlier this week, even though the payment was due in US dollars.

Zelenskyy has told CBS’s 60 Minutes the world is responsible for Russia’s atrocities in Ukraine.
“I remember, all of us remember, books about the second world war, and about the devil in uniform – Adolf Hitler. Are those countries who did not participate in the war responsible? … Does the world carry responsibility for the genocide? Yes. Yes, it does.  When you [can] close the sky – yes it’s scary, that a world war could start … I cannot put pressure on these people because everyone is afraid of war. But whether the world [is responsible] for this, I believe so, yes. I believe so,” he said.

Zelenskyy has criticised NATO and the UN in an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes.
“When you are [working] at diplomacy, there are no results. I don’t have any more lives [to give]. I don’t have any more emotions. I’m no longer interested in their diplomacy that leads to the destruction of my country,” Zelenskyy said, after being asked about his outburst at NATO and the UN Security Council when he told the UNSC it should punish Russia or “dissolve itself”.
He told CBS: “We are defending the right to live. I never thought this right was so costly. These are human values. So that Russia doesn’t choose what we should do and how I’m exercising my rights. That right was given to me by God and my parents.”
“We are defending the right to live”: Ukraine’s president speaks with Scott Pelley about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and recently uncovered alleged war crimes in Kyiv suburb of Bucha.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 11, 2022

Ukraine’s foreign ministry has condemned Russia’s “unlawful” elections in Georgia’s South Ossetia region held on April 10. South Ossetia and Abkhazia have been occupied by Russia since it invaded Georgia in 2008.
The US embassy in Georgia also issued a statement saying it does not “recognise the legitimacy of the so-called presidential elections” and “will not acknowledge their outcome”.
“Our position on Abkhazia and South Ossetia remains clear: these regions are integral parts of Georgia. No ‘elections’ or a priori illegitimate ‘referendum’ calling for incorporation of South Ossetia into Russia can change this,” the statement said. It also called on Russia to immediately stop its war in Ukraine and occupation of Georgia.
We condemn Russia for organizing unlawful elections in the occupied parts of Georgia. They will have no legal implications. We believe severe sanctions on Russia and their strict implementation will advance the restoration of the territorial integrity of both Georgia and Ukraine.
— Oleg Nikolenko (@OlegNikolenko_) April 10, 2022

The Stand Up For Ukraine campaign’s pledging event has raised 9.1 billion euros ($9.9bn) for displaced Ukrainians, inside the country and abroad. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development also announced an additional billion euros ($1.088bn) in loans.
The global pledging event included a social media rally on Friday and a pledging conference on Saturday in Warsaw, Poland. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was in attendance.
Celebrities including Elton John, Alanis Morissette, Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox and Chris Rock joined the campaign alongside global leaders pledging for their countries.
Touching moments with refugees from Ukraine after our #StandUpForUkraine global pledging event.
We raised €9.1 billion to support those fleeing Russia’s invasion, inside the country and abroad.
And more support will come. We stand with the brave people of Ukraine.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) April 10, 2022

Ukraine’s president has warned his countrymen that the coming week would be as crucial as any since the invasion, as Russian troops “will move to even larger operations in the east”, he said in an address.
He accused Russia of trying to evade responsibility for war crimes and called on Western countries, including Germany, to provide more assistance to Ukraine. During talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Zelenskyy said he discussed “how to strengthen sanctions against Russia and how to force Russia to seek peace”.

The EU could set more ambitious targets for its transition to renewable energy as it seeks alternatives to importing oil and gas from Russia, EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans has said.
The European Commission has proposed that the EU cut imports of Russian gas by two-thirds this year, and is drafting plans to phase them out by 2027. It will propose a “Repower EU” plan in May.
“What we will do … is work towards what I call the Repower EU initiative … we want to accelerate the energy transition. So … we might revisit our targets,” Timmermans told reporters during a visit to Cairo.

Nehammer says he will meet Putin in Moscow on Monday.
The meeting will mark Putin’s first face-to-face talks with a counterpart from the EU since Russia launched its invasion.
Read more here.

Ukraine’s economic output will likely contract by 45.1 percent this year as Russia’s invasion forced businesses to close, slashed exports and destroyed productive capacity, the World Bank said in a new assessment of the war’s economic effects.
The World Bank also forecast Russia’s 2022 gross domestic product (GDP) output to fall 11.2 percent due to financial sanctions imposed by the US and its Western allies on Russia’s banks, state-owned enterprises and other institutions.
The World Bank’s Eastern Europe region, comprising Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, is forecast to show a GDP contraction of 30.7 percent this year.

A total of 2,824 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors on Sunday, according to the country’s deputy prime minister.
Vereshchuk said in an online post that the figure included 213 residents of Mariupol.

A series of powerful explosions were heard in Ukraine’s northeastern city of Kharkiv and in Mykolaiv, a city near the Black Sea in the southern part of the country, Ukrainian media has reported.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Read all the updates from April 10 here.
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