Russia-Ukraine live news: ‘Inhuman’ situation in Mariupol – Al Jazeera English

Russia claims ‘entirety’ of key port city is now under its control and warns a small band of holdout fighters to surrender or die.
INTERACTIVE Russia Ukraine War Who controls what Day 52
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Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has travelled to the Ukrainian capital in a bid to restart peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, according to Bloomberg.
Abramovich met with Ukrainian negotiators to discuss ways of reviving the negotiations, which had stalled after evidence emerged of Russian atrocities against civilians, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
A spokesperson for Abramovich told Bloomberg that the billionaire was not in Kyiv, while Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak declined to comment.

Russia’s bombardment of cities around Ukraine on Saturday included an explosion in Kharkiv that destroyed a community kitchen.
The kitchen was set up by World Central Kitchen, which is run by celebrity chef Jose Andres to establish feeding systems in disaster and war zones. Andres tweeted that the non-governmental organization’s staff members were shaken but safe.
The organization says it has now reached 30 cities across the country, providing nearly 300,000 meals a day.
Andres said the attack in Kharkiv shows that “to give food in the middle of a senseless war is an act of courage, resilience and resistance” and that his group’s chefs will keep cooking for Ukraine.
Food heroes them all! Relief that so far that just were 4 wounded…..praying for them! @WCKitchen #ChefsForUkraine we are #FoodFighters but the Russian attacks must stop against civilian buildings and markets and churches and schools etc ……
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) April 16, 2022

Ukraine’s president says he spoke on Saturday with the leaders of Sweden and the United Kingdom about how best to help those defending Mariupol and the tens of thousands of civilians trapped inside the besieged city.
Mariupol’s fate can be decided either through battle or diplomacy, he said.
“Either our partners give Ukraine all of the necessary heavy weapons, the planes, and without exaggeration immediately, so we can reduce the pressure of the occupiers on Mariupol and break the blockade,” he said in his nightly video address to the nation.
“Or we do so through negotiations, in which the role of our partners should be decisive.”

Russia’s defence ministry says if Ukrainian forces still fighting in Mariupol lay down their arms starting at 6am Moscow time (03:00 GMT) their lives will be spared, Tass news agency reported.
Russia said the remaining fighters – which it claims are both Ukrainian and foreign – are blockaded in the Azovstal steel works.
Tass quoted Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, the director of the Russian National Defense Management Center, as saying the situation in the plant was “catastrophic”.

Zelenskyy says the situation in Mariupol was “inhuman” and called on allies to provide heavy weapons in order to save the city from Russian forces.
“The situation in Mariupol remains as severe as possible – just inhuman. This is what the Russian Federation did, and deliberately continues to destroy cities. It is deliberately trying to destroy everyone who is there in Mariupol,” said the president.
“Although we have heard many intentions from those who wanted to help and who really have international prestige, nothing of that has been realised yet. However, we will not abandon these efforts.

The strategic port city of Mariupol has been ​​”completely cleared” with a small group of holdout fighters on the outskirts told to “lay down their arms”, the Russian defence ministry says.
Russia’s claim to have all but taken control of Mariupol – the scene of the war’s heaviest fighting and worst humanitarian catastrophe – could not be independently verified. It would be the first major city to have fallen to Russian forces since the February 24 invasion.
“The entire urban area of ​​Mariupol has been completely cleared and remnants of the Ukrainian [armed] group are currently completely blockaded … Their only chance to save their lives is to voluntarily lay down their arms and surrender,” said Igor Konashenkov, the ministry’s chief spokesman.
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A Russian general whose troops have been besieging Mariupol was buried in Saint Petersburg after dying in battle.
Major-General Vladimir Frolov was deputy commander of the 8th Army, which Russian media identified as being among the forces battering Mariupol for weeks.
Governor Alexander Beglov released a statement saying Frolov “died a heroic death in battle” without saying where or when he was killed. Ukraine has claimed that several Russian generals and dozens of other high-ranking officers have been killed during the war.

Austria’s chancellor said after meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow the Russian president is “in his own war logic” when it comes to Ukraine.
Karl Nehammer told broadcaster NBC in an interview he thinks Putin believes he is winning the war. Nehammer was the first European leader to meet Putin in Moscow since Russia launched its invasion on February 24. Nehammer had visited Bucha, Ukraine, the town outside of Kyiv where graphic evidence of killings and torture has emerged following the withdrawal of Russian forces.
Nehammer said he confronted Putin with what he had seen in Bucha and “it was not a friendly conversation”.
Putin said “he will cooperate with an international investigation, on one hand, and on the other hand, he told me that he doesn’t trust the Western world. So this will be the problem now in the future.”

Ukraine’s military has suffered 23,367 “irreplaceable losses” since the start of Russia’s invasion of the country, its military says.
Russian defence ministry chief spokesman Igor Konashenkov said “the Ukrainian contingent’s casualties in Mariupol alone amounted to over 4,000 people”.
On Mariupol, Konashenkov said 1,464 Ukrainian servicemen had surrendered. “The number of those surrendering is growing by the day,” he said.
Russia shot down a Ukrainian military cargo plane in the Odesa area that was “set to deliver a large shipment of weapons supplied to Ukraine by Western countries”, Konashenkov added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, their second call since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Saudi readout of the call said the crown prince affirmed support for efforts that will lead to a political solution to the crisis in Ukraine.
The kingdom recently announced $10m in humanitarian aid for Ukrainian refugees.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says 700 Ukrainian troops and more than 1,000 civilians – about half of them women – are currently being held captive by Russian forces.
Vereshchuk said Kyiv intends to swap the captive soldiers, since Ukraine holds about the same number of Russian troops, but demands to release the civilians “without any conditions”.
INTERACTIVE Russia-Ukraine war Refugees DAY 52 April 15 6GMT

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has threatened to withdraw from the continuing peace negotiations with Russia if Ukrainian fighters trapped in the port city of Mariupol are killed by Russian forces besieging the city.
“What they are doing right now … could put a stop to any form of negotiation,” Zelenskyy said in an interview with a Ukrainian news website.
“There are troops there who absolutely hate them, and I don’t think they will let them live,” the Ukrainian leader said, referring to the fact that many of the fighters trapped in the city are part of the nationalist-dominated Azov Batallion.

Russian Navy commander-in-chief Nikolay Yevmenov and other members of high command have met with the crew of the sunken Moskva missile cruiser.
The Moskva sank on Thursday after it was heavily damaged. Ukrainian officials said their forces hit the vessel with missiles. Moscow did not acknowledge any attack, saying only a fire  detonated ammunition on board.

Ukraine is sending top officials to Washington for next week’s spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank where discussion will focus on the Russian invasion and its effect on the global economy.
Coming to the gathering are Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, finance minister Serhiy Marchenko and central bank governor Kyrylo Shevchenko, according to a World Bank official.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Read all the updates from April 16 here.
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