Battle looms in eastern Ukraine, Washington pledges arms
- Russian rockets destroy Dnipro airport
- Austrian Nehammer to meet Putin in Moscow on Monday
- Washington pledges arms to Ukraine
- Nine trains set up for evacuation in the east, governor says
KYIV/BUZOVA, Ukraine, April 10 (Reuters) – Russian forces continued to shell targets in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, as Washington said it would respond to kyiv’s request for military aid by providing “the weapons it needs” to defend itself against Russia.
Russia has failed to take any major cities since it launched its invasion on February 24, but Ukraine says it gathered forces in the east for a major assault and urged people to flee .
On Sunday, Russian forces fired rockets at Ukraine’s Luhansk and Dnipropetrovsk regions, officials said. Missiles completely destroyed the airport in the city of Dnipro, said Valentyn Reznichenko, governor of the central Dnipropetrovsk region.
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The Russian Defense Ministry said high-precision missiles destroyed the headquarters of the Ukrainian Dnipro Battalion in the town of Zvonetsky. Read more
Reuters could not immediately confirm the information.
Since the invasion of Russia, Zelenskiy has called on Western powers to provide more defense assistance and punish Moscow with harsh sanctions.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told ABC News, “We’re going to give Ukraine the weapons it needs to push back the Russians and stop them from taking more towns and villages.” Read more
In excerpts from an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes, Zelenskiy said he had faith in his own armed forces but “unfortunately I’m not sure we’ll get everything we need” from the armed forces. United States.
Zelenskiy said earlier on Twitter that he had spoken on the phone with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz about additional sanctions, as well as increased defense and financial support for his country. Zelenskiy also discussed with Ukrainian officials Kyiv’s proposals for a new EU sanctions package, his office said.
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who met Zelenskiy in Kyiv on Saturday, will travel to Russia on Monday to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Austrian government has announced. He will be the first European Union leader to have a face-to-face meeting with Putin since the invasion. Read more
In a video address on Saturday evening, Zelenskiy renewed his call for a total ban on Russian energy products and more weapons for Ukraine.
The EU on Friday banned imports of Russian coal, among other products, but has not yet hit imports of oil and gas from Russia. Read more
The growing number of civilian casualties triggered widespread international condemnation and new sanctions.
A grave with at least two civilian bodies has been discovered in the village of Buzova near kyiv, said Taras Didych, leader of the Dmytrivka community which includes Buzova, the latest reported discovery since Russian forces withdrew from areas in the north of the capital to concentrate on the east of the country.
Sullivan said on Sunday he expects the new Russian general overseeing Ukraine, Aleksandr Dvornikov, to allow more brutality against Ukraine’s civilian population. He cited no evidence. Read more
Moscow has dismissed war crimes charges from Ukraine and Western countries.
Moscow has repeatedly denied targeting civilians in what it calls a “special operation” aimed at demilitarizing and “denazifying” its southern neighbor. Ukraine and Western nations dismissed this as a baseless pretext for war.
Russia’s invasion forced about a quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million people from their homes, turned cities into rubble, and killed or injured thousands.
Some towns in the east came under heavy shelling, with tens of thousands of people unable to evacuate.
Calls by Ukrainian officials for civilians to flee took on added urgency after a missile strike hit a train station in the Donetsk region town of Kramatorsk on Friday that was full of people trying to leave.
Ukrainian officials said more than 50 people had been killed. Russia has denied responsibility, saying the missiles used in the attack were used only by the Ukrainian military.
Reuters was unable to verify details of the attack.
Residents of the Luhansk region would have nine trains on Sunday to get out, the region’s governor, Serhiy Gaidai, wrote on the Telegram messaging service.
In a Palm Sunday homily, Pope Francis called for an Easter truce in Ukraine and, in an apparent reference to Russia, questioned the value of planting a victory flag ‘on a pile of rubble’ . Read more
During a sermon in Moscow, Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church and a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, called on people to rally around the authorities. Read more
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Reporting from Reuters offices Writing by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, Michael Perry and Tomasz Janowski Editing by Robert Birsel and Frances Kerry
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