Ukraine-Russia LIVE Updates: Zelensky has warned Russia was preparing "powerful strikes" in south (File)
Seven people died and 34 were wounded after Russian forces struck a residential area in Ukraine's second largest city Kharkiv on Sunday, local prosecutors said in a statement. Besides, one death each were reported from eastern town of Rubizhne and Mykolaiv in south, local governors said.
Meanwhile, air strikes rocked Ukraine's strategic Black Sea port Odessa early Sunday morning, according to an interior ministry official, after Kyiv had warned that Russia was trying to consolidate its troops in the south. "Odessa was attacked from the air," Anton Herashchenko, adviser to the interior minister, wrote on his Telegram account.
On Friday, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky warned Russia was consolidating and preparing "powerful strikes" in the south, joining a chorus of Western assessments that Moscow's troops were regrouping.
Here are the Highlights on Russia-Ukraine War:
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Ukraine War: UN Chief Calls For Probe Into Ukraine Civilian Killings
Ukraine Russia Live: Pope Pays Tribute To Journalists Killed In Ukraine War
Pope Francis paid tribute on Sunday to journalists killed during the Ukraine war saying he hoped God would reward them for serving the common good. Speaking to journalists, Francis also repeated that he was ready to make a trip to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, but added that things were still "up in the air" and he had to decide if it would be feasible. On his way to Malta on Saturday Francis said a trip to Kyiv was "on the table". (Reuters)
Ukraine Live: Russia Asks UN Security Council To Discuss Mass Graves "Provocation"
Russia has requested that the United Nations Security Council convene on Monday to discuss what it called a "provocation by Ukrainian radicals" in the town of Bucha after Kyiv accused Russian troops of killing civilians there. "In light of the blatant provocation by Ukrainian radicals in Bucha, Russia has demanded that a meeting of the UN security council be convened," Dmitry Polansky, Russia's first deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, wrote on the Telegram messenger app. (Reuters)
Ukraine War Live Updates: Ukraine's Zelensky Says New Russia Sanctions Not Enough
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that the West would impose a new package of sanctions on Russia over the killing of civilians in Bucha and other Ukrainian cities, but he said that was not enough of a punishment. He said that hundreds of people had been killed in Bucha and other cities, including civilians who had been shot. Russia has denied allegations that it troops killed civilians in Bucha. (Reuters)
Ukraine Live: US Embassy In Kyiv Calls Images From Bucha "Horrific", Vows Action
The images coming out of the Ukrainian town of Bucha and other areas vacated by Russian President Valdimir Putin's forces are "horrific," the US embassy in Kyiv said on Twitter, vowing action. "The US government is committed to pursuing accountability using every tool available. We can not stand quiet, the world needs to know what happened, and we all must act," it said. Ukraine has accused Russian forces of carrying out a "massacre" in the town of Bucha. Russia's defence ministry denied the Ukrainian allegations. (Reuters)
Russia Must Be Held Accountable For Ukraine Civilian Deaths: Canada's Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday condemned the "egregious and appalling" killings of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, saying Russia must be held to account. "We strongly condemn the murder of civilians in Ukraine, remain committed to holding the Russian regime accountable," Trudeau tweeted. "Those responsible for these egregious and appalling attacks will be brought to justice," he added. (AFP)
Ukraine Live: 7 Dead In Russian Strikes On Kharkiv, Says Local Prosecutor
Seven people died and 34 were wounded after Russian forces struck a residential area in Ukraine's second largest city Kharkiv on Sunday, local prosecutors said in a statement. "On April 3 at around 6:00 pm local time, Russian invaders fired on residential buildings in the Sloboda districts of Kharkiv. As a result, around ten houses and a trolleybus depot were damaged. According to preliminary information, seven people died, 34 were injured, including three children," Kharkiv's regional prosecutor's office said on Telegram. (AFP)
Ukraine Live: Zelensky Says Created "Special Mechanism" To Probe Russian "Crimes"
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that he had created a "special mechanism" to investigate Russian "crimes" in Ukraine, vowing to find and punish "everyone" responsible after evidence emerged of civilian killings in towns near Kyiv. Zelensky vowed that "everyone guilty of such crimes will be entered in a special Book of Executioners, will be found and punished." (AFP)
Ukraine Live: Ukraine Says One Killed, 3 Wounded After Russian Attack On Hospital
One person was killed and three others were injured when Russian forces targeted a hospital in the east Ukrainian town of Rubizhne, the local governor Sergiy Gaiday said on Telegram Sunday. "An enemy shell hit Rubizhne Hospital. Information about the victims is being clarified," Gaiday said. He posted a photo of rescuers working in rubble. (AFP)
Ukraine Live: Zelensky Blames Russian Leadership For "Killings, Torture" Near Kyiv
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday Russia's leadership was responsible for civilian killings in Bucha, outside Kyiv, where bodies were found lying in the street after the town was retaken by Ukrainian forces. He also vowed to investigate all Russian "crimes" in Ukraine, saying he had created a "special mechanism" to do so.
"I want all the leaders of the Russian Federation to see how their orders are being fulfilled. These kinds of orders. This kind of fulfilment. And there is a common responsibility. For these killings, for this torture, for arms blown off by blasts... For the shots in the back of the head," Zelensky said, switching from Ukrainian to Russian, in a video address.
One killed, 14 injured in strike on south Ukraine city
One person died and 14 were injured after a Russian strike on the south Ukraine city of Mykolaiv, the local governor Vitaliy Kim said on Telegram Sunday.
"On the shelling of the city: 14 people were taken to hospital," Kim said, adding that a 15-year-old was among the injured with wounds of "moderate severity" and will be operated on. "One person died, could not be rescued," Kim said. He added that there are dead and wounded in Ochakiv, a city on the Black Sea.
Kyiv has said that Russia has redirected its offensive to focus on the south and east of Ukraine after retreating from areas around the capital.
410 Civilian Bodies Found In Kyiv Region Retaken From Russia: Ukraine
Ukraine has recovered 410 civilian bodies from areas it recently retook from the Russian army in the wider Kyiv region, its prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova said Sunday.
Venediktova told national television: "410 bodies of dead civilians were evacuated out of the liberated territories of the Kyiv region. Forensic experts have already examined 140".
Ukraine, which retook control of the whole Kyiv region from the Russian army this weekend, has accused Moscow of a "deliberate massacre" in the town of Bucha, 30 kilometres (19 miles) north-west of the capital.
US, NATO express shock over civilian killlings in Ukraine
US and NATO leaders voiced shock and horror Sunday at new evidence of atrocities against civilians in Ukraine, and warned that Russian troop movements away from Kyiv did not signal a withdrawal or end to the violence.
Evidence of possible civilian killings around Kyiv has emerged as the Russian army has pulled back from the capital in the face of ferocious resistance from Ukrainian forces.
AFP reporters saw at least 20 bodies, all in civilian clothing, strewn across a single street in the town of Bucha on Friday. One had his hands tied behind his back with a white cloth, and his Ukrainian passport left open beside his body.
And a Ukrainian official said 57 bodies had been buried in a mass grave in the town outside the capital, showing AFP a slit trench were the bodies lay.
India’s position on Russia-Ukraine conflict steadfast and consistent: President Kovind
India's position on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has been steadfast and consistent, President Ram Nath Kovind has said, emphasising that the current global order is anchored in international law, UN Charter, and respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of states.
Unlike many other leading powers, India has not yet criticised Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and it abstained from the votes at the UN platforms in condemning the Russian aggression.
India has been pressing for the resolution of the crisis through diplomacy and dialogue.
Interacting with young students at the prestigious Institute of International Relations here on Saturday, President Kovind said that India is deeply concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation in Ukraine.
"India's position on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has been steadfast and consistent," he said.
Berlin condemns Bucha 'war crime', wants more Russia sanctions
Germany's vice chancellor and economy minister on Sunday said a "terrible war crime" had been carried out in the Ukrainian town of Bucha and called for fresh EU sanctions against Russia.
"This terrible war crime cannot go go unanswered," Robert Habeck told German newspaper Bild the day after the bodies of nearly 300 civilians were found in mass graves after Russian troops withdrew, local Ukrainian officials said.
"I think that a strengthening of sanctions is called for. That's what we are preparing with our EU partners," Habeck added.
Ukraine Says Russian Forces Have "Kidnapped" 11 Mayors
Eleven local community leaders in Ukraine have been kidnapped by Russian forces, deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said Sunday.
"Up to today, 11 heads of local communities in the regions of Kyiv, Kherson, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv and Donetsk are in captivity," she said in a video message posted on her Telegram account.
"We are informing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the UN, all possible organisations, just like for the other civilians who have disappeared."
Vereshchuk urged "everyone to do everything in their power to get them back."
Missiles hit Ukrainian refinery, 'critical infrastructure' near Odesa port
Russian attacks have destroyed an oil refinery in Ukraine's central Poltava region and struck "critical infrastructure", most likely a fuel depot, near the port city of Odesa, local officials said on Sunday.
Odesa, on the Black Sea coast, is a key Black Sea port and the main base for Ukraine's navy. It has been a focus for Russian forces because if it is taken it would allow Moscow to build a land corridor to Transdniestria, a Russian-speaking breakaway province of Moldova that hosts Russian troops.
Ukrainians curse Russian invaders as dead civilians found in liberated towns
As Ukraine said its forces had retaken all areas around Kyiv, the mayor of a liberated town said 300 residents had been killed during a month-long occupation by the Russian army, and victims were seen in a mass grave and still lying on the streets.
Ukraine's troops have retaken more than 30 towns and villages around Kyiv, Ukrainian officials said on Saturday, claiming complete control of the capital region for the first time since Russia launched its invasion.
At Bucha, a town neighbouring Irpin just 37 km (23 miles) northwest of the capital, Reuters journalists saw bodies lying in the streets and the hands and feet of multiple corpses poking out of a still-open grave at a church ground.
Russia says it destroyed oil refinery near Odesa
The Russian defence ministry said missile strikes by its military destroyed an oil refinery and three fuel storage facilities in near the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odesa on Sunday.
The ministry said the facilities were used by Ukraine to supply its troops near the city of Mykolaiv.
Russia says peace talks not ready for leaders' meeting: Chief Negotiator
Russia said on Sunday that peace talks with Ukraine had not progressed enough for a leaders' meeting and that Moscow's position on the status of Crimea and Donbas remained unchanged.
"The draft agreement is not ready for submission to a meeting at the top," Russian chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said on Telegram. "I repeat again and again: Russia's position on Crimea and Donbas remains UNCHANGED."
The two sides have held periodic talks since Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24 but there has been no breakthrough and they remain far apart on the question of territory.
Medinsky said that Ukraine had started to show a more realistic approach to peace talks.
He said Ukraine had agreed it would be neutral, not have nuclear weapons, not join a military bloc and refuse to host military bases.
Russia preventing Ukraine resupply by Black Sea: UK military intelligence
Russian naval forces continue to blockade the Ukrainian coast on the Black Sea and Sea of Azov, preventing resupply by sea, British military intelligence said on Sunday.
Russia retains the capability to attempt an amphibious landing, but such an operation is likely to be increasingly high risk due to the time Ukrainian forces have had to prepare, the Ministry of Defence tweeted in a regular bulletin.
"Mines within the Black Sea pose a serious risk to maritime activity," it said.
The report said the origin of the mines was unclear and disputed but that they were almost certainly the result of Russian naval activity in the area, demonstrating how its invasion of Ukraine is affecting neutral and civilian interests.
Air strikes hit Ukraine's strategic port Odessa
Air strikes rocked Ukraine's strategic Black Sea port Odessa early Sunday morning, according to an interior ministry official, after Kyiv had warned that Russia was trying to consolidate its troops in the south.
"Odessa was attacked from the air," Anton Herashchenko, adviser to the interior minister, wrote on his Telegram account.
"Fires were reported in some areas. Some of the missiles were shot down by air defence."
An AFP reporter heard explosions in the southwestern city at around 6:00 am (0300 GMT).
The blasts sent up at least three columns of black smoke with flames visible apparently in an industrial area.
A soldier near the site of one of the strikes said it was likely a rocket or a missile.
The attack comes as Russian forces appeared to be withdrawing from the country's north.
Series of explosions heard in Ukrainian port of Odesa: Report
A series of explosions were heard and smoke was seen in Ukraine's southern port city of Odesa in the early hours of Sunday, a Reuters witness said.
There was no official information about the attack.
Lithuanian documentary film director Kvedaravicius killed in Ukraine's Mariupol: Reports
Lithuanian film director Mantas Kvedaravicius was killed on Saturday in Ukraine's Mariupol, where he had long documented the besieged port city, according to colleagues and a media report.
"Our friend Artdocfest participant, Lithuanian documentary writer Mantas Kvedaravicius, was murdered today in Mariupol, with a camera in his hands, in this shitty war of evil, against the whole world," the Russian film director Vitaly Mansky, the founder of a festival of documentary movies Artdocfest, said on Facebook.
Reuters could not immediately verify the report.
Kvedaravicius was known, among other works, for his conflict-zone documentary "Mariupolis", which premiered at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival.
Almost 300 People Buried In "Mass Grave" In Bucha Outside Kyiv: Mayor
Almost 300 people have been buried in a mass grave in Bucha, a commuter town outside Ukraine's capital Kyiv, its mayor told AFP Saturday after the Ukrainian army retook control of the key town from Russia.
"In Bucha, we have already buried 280 people in mass graves," mayor Anatoly Fedoruk told AFP by phone. He said the heavily destroyed town's streets are littered with corpses.
AFP saw at least 20 bodies -- men in civilian clothes -- lying in a single street in Bucha on Saturday.
Ukraine Says Russia "Verbally" Agreed To Its Proposals
Ukraine's top negotiator in peace talks with Russia said Saturday that Moscow had "verbally" agreed to key Ukrainian proposals, raising hopes that talks to end fighting are moving forward.
Negotiator David Arakhamia told Ukrainian television channels that any meeting between Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin would "with a high probability" take place in Turkey.
"The Russian Federation has given an official answer to all positions, which is that they accept the (Ukrainian) position, except for the issue of Crimea (annexed by Russia in 2014)," Arakhamia said.
He said that while there was "no official confirmation in writing", the Russian side said so "verbally".
20 Bodies Seen In One Street In Town Near Kyiv As Russian Troops Withdraw
The bodies of at least 20 men in civilian clothes were found lying in a single street Saturday after Ukrainian forces retook the town of Bucha near Kyiv from Russian troops, AFP journalists said.
One of the bodies of the men had his hands tied, and the corpses were strewn over several hundred metres (yards) of the residential road in the suburban town northwest of the capital.
The cause of death was not immediately clear although at least one person had what appeared to be a large head wound.
Ukraine Live: Red Cross Says Still Trying To Get People Out Of Mariupol
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Saturday said the operation to help people leave the besieged city of Mariupol was continuing, hours after Russia said it had failed and blamed the organization. Russia's defence ministry said aid convoys had not been able to reach Mariupol on Friday or Saturday and blamed "destructive actions" by the ICRC, Interfax news agency said.