Russia-Ukraine live news: Lviv hit by deadly missile attacks – Al Jazeera English

Kyiv says Russia has not taken full control of key southeastern port city yet after soldiers ignore surrender demand.
INTERACTIVE Russia Ukraine War Who controls what Day 54
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Two people have been killed by shelling in Ukraine’s northeastern city of Kharkiv, the local prosecutor’s office says.
Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the claim.
Kharkiv map

Russia’s invasion has changed the political discourse in Sweden and Finland about becoming members of the transatlantic military alliance, analysts say.
Read more here.

Ukraine’s defence ministry says Russian forces have not yet taken full control of Mariupol, but warns the situation in the besieged, southeastern port city is now “extremely difficult” for Ukrainian forces there.
Speaking at a media briefing, ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk also said that bombing runs by Russian military aircraft had increased of late by more than 50 percent and that Ukraine’s infrastructure had come in for increased targeting.
The update came after Ukrainian forces inside Mariupol’s encircled Azovstal steel plant on Sunday ignored a Russian ultimatum to lay down their weapons. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said the soldiers would “fight to the end” to defend the city.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has held talks by phone with his Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas about negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, the Kremlin says.
The pair also discussed issues about “the Middle East settlement in the context of escalating tensions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem”, according to the Kremlin.

Russia’s foreign ministry says it has declared some employees of the Bulgarian embassy in Moscow “persona non grata” in retaliation for Sofia’s decision to expel 10 Russian diplomats in March.
The move was announced in a brief statement that did not say how many Bulgarians were being told to leave.

The Kremlin says there is still time for so-called “unfriendly” countries to switch to payments for gas in roubles, as demanded by Putin.
At the end of March, Putin signed a decree that said foreign buyers must pay for gas in the Russian currency or else have their supplies cut, a move European capitals rejected and which Germany said amounted to “blackmail”.
Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to disclose how many countries have agreed to the Kremlin’s ultimatum to date. He added that payments for deliveries that took place after Putin’s decree are expected in May.

For one family from Kyiv, Russia’s invasion threatened the life and health of their elderly father. So they left to get him to safety.
Read more here.

Lviv’s mayor says Russian missile attacks on the city have killed at least seven people in a revision of an earlier death toll provided by local officials.
Andriy Sadovyi said 12 others were wounded in the attacks, which officials had earlier said killed six people.
A hotel sheltering Ukrainians who had fled fighting in the country’s east was among the buildings badly damaged by the attacks, he said.
“The nightmare of war has caught up with us even in Lviv,” Lyudmila Turchak, 47, who fled with two children from Kharkiv, told The Associated Press news agency.

Two British fighters captured in Ukraine by Russian forces have appeared on Russian state television and asked to be exchanged for a pro-Russian politician who is being held by Ukrainian authorities.
It was unclear how freely the two men – Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin – were able to talk. Both spoke after being prompted by an unidentified man.
They asked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to help bring them home in exchange for Ukraine releasing pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk.
Prior to Russia launching its invasion, Al Jazeera spoke to the two about their involvement in Ukraine. Read more here.

Ukraine’s security service has released a video showing Medvedchuk asking to be exchanged for Ukrainian troops and civilians in the besieged city of Mariupol.
It was unclear how freely Medvedchuk was speaking in the video, in which he addressed Putin and Zelenskyy.

The Kremlin has accused Ukraine of constantly shifting its position on issues previously agreed upon at talks between the two sides.
“Unfortunately the Ukrainian side is not consistent in terms of the points that have been agreed,” Peskov said.
“It is often changing its position and the trend of the negotiating process leaves much to be desired,” he added, noting that “contacts continue at an expert level.”

About 200,000 people risk losing their jobs in Moscow because foreign companies have suspended operations or decided to leave the Russian market, according to the Russian capital’s mayor.
Sergei Sobyanin wrote on his personal blog that the city’s authorities are ready to support people who lose their jobs by providing training and temporary work.
Sweeping western sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion have hammered the country’s economy, which has also faced an exodus of major foreign firms amid widespread outrage over Moscow’s offensive.

Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from Lviv, cited local officials as saying that one of the Russian missile attacks in the city hit a “car service facility” on its outskirts.
She added that Lviv’s mayor had said one of the blasts was “so strong that it shattered the windows of a hotel nearby where a number of displaced Ukrainians from other parts of the country were staying.”

Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, says four civilians have been shot dead while trying to flee by car from the town of Kreminna during a Russian attack.
Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify Haidai’s claim.

As Russia’s anticipated offensive in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region looms, Kyiv’s need for heavy weapons systems is acute.
At the top of the list are fighter jets, something the European Union and the United States have been reluctant to provide.
Read more here.

Ukraine says it is halting the evacuation of civilians from conflict-affected areas for a second consecutive day due to concerns over Russian attacks.
“For security reasons, it was decided not to open humanitarian corridors today,” Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a post on Facebook.
“In violation of international humanitarian law, Russian occupiers do not stop blocking and shelling of humanitarian routes,” she added.

Two people have been injured and railway infrastructure was destroyed as a result of a missile attack in Ukraine’s central-eastern Dnipropetrovsk region, according to a local official.
“Two victims in the Sinelnikovsky district. A rocket hit an infrastructure facility there. Rescuers curbed the fire. No people were caught in the Pavlogradsky district. But the railway infrastructure was destroyed,” Valentyn Reznichenko, head of the regional military administration, said on Telegram.

Spain will reopen its embassy in Kyiv in the coming days, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has said in an interview with the Antena3 TV network.
The Spanish embassy in Ukraine’s capital was evacuated when Russian troops invaded the country.
This comes after several other European countries, including France, recently announced similar moves.

The Russian defence ministry said in a statement that air-launched missiles had destroyed 16 Ukrainian military facilities, including five command posts, a fuel depot and three ammunition warehouses, as well as Ukrainian armour and forces.
It said those attacks took place in the Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk regions and in the port of Mykolayiv, and that the Russian air force had launched strikes against 108 areas where it said Ukrainian forces and armour were concentrated.
In other areas, the defence ministry claimed its forces had destroyed 12 Ukrainian strike drones and tanks and used Iskander missiles to level four arms and equipment depots in the Luhansk, Vinnytsia and Donetsk regions.
It added that Russian artillery had also struck 315 Ukrainian military targets overnight and that air defence systems had been used to bring down three Ukrainian army helicopters, two MiG-29 fighters and one SU-25 plane.
There was no immediate reaction to the claims from Kyiv.

Six people have been killed and eight others wounded in missile strikes on Lviv, Governor Maksym Kozystkiy has said.
Three missiles hit military infrastructure facilities while one struck a car tire replacement facility.
Mini map showing Lviv's location within Ukraine

The United Kingdom’s defence ministry says Russia’s targeting of civilian areas in Ukraine’s Mariupol aligns with its approach to Chechnya in 1999 and Syria in 2016.
“This is despite the 24 February 2022 claims of Russia’s defence ministry that Russia would neither strike cities nor threaten the Ukrainian population,” the ministry said in its latest intelligence briefing.
The ministry also praised Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol and elsewhere, saying it has “severely tested Russian forces”.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 18 April 2022
Find out more about the UK government’s response:
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) April 18, 2022

Authorities in Ukraine have reported multiple explosions in the western and southern regions of Lviv and Dnipropetrovsk. There were no immediate information about casualties and damage.
Andrey Sadovoy, the mayor of Lviv, said in a Twitter post that there had been “five targeted missile strikes on the city”.
Valentyn Reznichenko, the governor of Dnipropetrovsk, reported attacks early on Monday morning but said most of the missiles had been shot down by Ukrainian air defence systems.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has complained in a newspaper interview that Western diplomatic efforts to persuade Putin to halt the war in Ukraine have so far led nowhere.
“I am beginning to think that those people are right when they say ‘It is useless to talk to him, it’s just a waste of time’,” Draghi told the daily Corriere della Sera, adding Putin’s goal appears to be “to annihilate the Ukrainian resistance, occupy the country and entrust it to a friendly government”.

A Ukrainian official says Russian forces are planning a false-flag attack on Kherson to lay the groundwork for a referendum for independence in the port city.
“Kherson residents report that Russian invaders are preparing a provocation in the city. This should be the reason to ‘save’ the city by holding a ‘referendum’ there,” Serhiy Bratchuk, the speaker of the Odesa regional military administration, wrote on his Telegram channel.
Kherson, a largely Russian speaking city, has been occupied by Russian forces for more than two weeks and Ukrainian officials warn Russia may stage an independence referendum in the port city, similar to the one held in the annexed Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

The Center for Countering Disinformation says authorities in the Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula intend to set up “retraining camps” for teachers from Kherson, Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia, according to the Ukrinform news agency.
The centre said the camps were aimed at shifting teachers “toward Russian education standards”, Ukrinform reported.
“They want to force them to learn Russian because, according to the occupiers’ logic, children from Ukraine don’t speak their language well enough,” the centre was quoted as saying.

The Crimean Human Rights Group says the Russian military has forcibly removed some 150 children from Mariupol, including 100 sick and wounded children who were in hospital, adding that they were moved “in the direction of” occupied Donetsk and the Russian city of Taganrog.
Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to Mariupol’s mayor, said the children were taken out of the hospitals without their parents and that these “abducted children” were not orphans.
The human rights ombudsman in Ukraine has said that more than 120,000 children have been forcibly deported to Russia from Ukraine.

Ukraine says it has completed the questionnaire that is the starting point for the European Union to decide on membership for Kyiv. The questionnaire was handed to Zelenskyy by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during her visit to Kyiv on April 8.
An aide to Zelenskyy told the country’s public broadcaster that they expect the European Commission to issue a positive recommendation on Ukraine’s compliance with the necessary criteria.
Ihor Zhovkva, deputy head of Zelenskyy’s office added that Ukraine expects to acquire the status of a candidate country for EU accession in June during a scheduled meeting of the EC.

Dmitry Zhivitsky, the governor of Sumy, says the region has received 250 million hryvnia ($8.5m) from the Ukrainian government to restore destroyed infrastructure.
Russian troops began retreating from the Sumy region, bordering Russia, in early April, and authorities there reclaimed full Ukrainian control over the northeastern region on April 8.

Zelenskyy says Russian troops in southern regions of the country have been torturing and kidnapping people.
“Torture chambers are built there,” Zelenskyy said in an evening address to the nation. “They abduct representatives of local governments and anyone deemed visible to local communities.”
He also said the Russians are creating separatist states and introducing Russian currency, the rouble, in occupied parts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.

Two people have died and four more were injured following Russian shelling in the Donetsk region on Sunday, according to the governor of the Donetsk region.
“It is impossible to determine the exact number of victims near Mariupol and Volnovas,” Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram.

A former British soldier who fought with the Ukrainian army has appeared on Russian television in a video where he identifies himself as: “Shaun Pinner. I am a citizen of the UK. I was captured in Mariupol. I am part of the 36 Brigade First Battalion Ukrainian Marines.”
His appearance comes days after Russian media showed another captured British fighter, Aiden Aslin. Pinner, 48, is believed to have moved to Ukraine four years ago and lived with his wife in Donbas.
In January he told the Daily Mail he was fighting to defend his family and “adopted city”. He also said he feared for his life as “the Russians will treat us differently if we are captured because we are British”.

Belgium, Estonia and Bulgaria have implemented an EU ban on Russian ships entering their ports, starting from Sunday.
This comes after Italy also barred Russian ships from entering its ports on Sunday as part of extended EU sanctions.

Fyodor Venislavsky, a member of Ukraine’s Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence, says the “hot phase” of the war in Ukraine will end in two to three weeks.
The conflict should be completely over in two to three months, he said on television.
Venislavsky said his assessment was based on a number of factors, including that Ukrainian armed forces “demonstrated how they can push the enemy back,” and that “Western partners have not only changed their assessments that Ukraine urgently needs more new models of weapons, they are already being delivered”.

Shmyhal says the remaining Ukrainian forces in the port city of Mariupol were still fighting and continued to defy the Russian demand that they surrender.
“The city still has not fallen,” Ukraine’s prime minister told ABC’s This Week programme.
Read the full story here.

The UN refugee agency says 4,869,019 Ukrainians have left the country since Russia invaded on February 24 – up 32,574 on Saturday’s total.
“As Christians celebrate resurrection on this sombre Easter Sunday, we must stubbornly hope that in the days, months and years to come the methods and language of war will not prevail over those – more difficult, more complicated – that lead to peace,” said UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi.
The International Organization for Migration says an additional 215,000 third-country nationals have also escaped to neighbouring countries since the war began.

At least 18 people have been killed and more than 100 wounded in Russian shelling in the past four days in the northeast Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, according to Zelenskyy, who said in his nightly address that Russia has been shelling Kharkiv constantly.
“This is nothing but deliberate terror: mortars, artillery against ordinary residential quarters, against ordinary civilians,” he said.
Local officials say five people were killed and 20 were wounded on Sunday when a missile and artillery fire hit the city centre and the Saltivka suburb. Al Jazeera was unable to confirm the figures.

Zelenskyy says he spoke with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva about his country’s situation on Sunday.
“Discussed with IMF Managing Director Georgieva the issue of ensuring Ukraine’s financial stability & preparations for post-war reconstruction. We have clear plans for now, as well as a vision of prospects. I’m sure cooperation between the IMF & Ukraine will continue to be fruitful,” he wrote in a tweet.
Discussed with IMF Managing Director @KGeorgieva the issue of ensuring Ukraine’s financial stability & preparations for post-war reconstruction. We have clear plans for now, as well as a vision of prospects. I’m sure cooperation between the IMF & 🇺🇦 will continue to be fruitful.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) April 17, 2022

Georgieva later confirmed the call in a post on Twitter.
She wrote support is “essential to lay the foundations for rebuilding a modern competitive #Ukraine”.

Ukraine’s president has said Kyiv is not willing to give up territory in the eastern part of the country to end the war with Russia and is preparing to offer tough resistance in the face of an expected large-scale offensive there.
Read the full story here.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine. Read all the updates from April 17 here.
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