KYIV, Ukraine – The Ukrainian military says Russian forces are continuing to press their attacks in the east.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Sunday that the Russians shelled Ukrainian positions along the entire line of contact on the 60th day of the war. It also said the Russian military intensified its offensive and offensive operations in the directions of Siverodonetsk, Kurakhiv and Popasna.
A regional official in eastern Ukraine says at least eight people have been killed by the Russian shelling.
Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai said on Sunday that two others had been injured by Russian barrage within the past 24 hours.
The General Staff added that Russian forces have also continued to strike the besieged Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol and hit it with air strikes, including with long-range aircraft.
The shelling comes as the Russians push their offensive in an attempt to gain full control of Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland called the Donbas.
The Russians have also shelled the Dnipro region west of the Donbas, where at least one person was killed by a Russian missile, according to Dnipro regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko.
KEY DEVELOPMENT IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:
– Ukrainian counterattacks slow down Russian offensive in the east
– Ukrainian village is facing a churchless Easter
– Sanctions hit the Russian economy, even though Putin says otherwise
– Refugees in the Czech Republic make protective vests for volunteer fighters
Possible mass graves near Mariupol shown on satellite images
– Follow all AP stories about Russia’s war against Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
KYIV, Ukraine – The Ukrainian military said on Saturday it had destroyed a Russian command post in Kherson, a southern city that fell to Russian forces early in the war.
The Ukrainian military intelligence service issued a statement saying the command post was hit on Friday and two generals were killed and one was critically wounded.
Oleksiy Arestovych, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in an online interview that 50 senior Russian officers were in the command center when it was attacked. He said their fate was unknown.
The Russian military did not comment on the claim, which could not be confirmed.
KYIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said new evidence was emerging showing that Russian troops had killed tens of thousands of civilians in Mariupol and then tried to cover it up. He said Ukraine had intercepted Russian talks on “how to hide the traces of their crimes.” Satellite images have shown what appear to be mass graves dug in cities west and east of Mariupol.
Zelenskyy said the Russians set up “filtration camps” near Mariupol for those trying to leave the city, which has largely been reduced to rubble. He said those who survive these camps are sent to areas under Russian occupation or to Russia itself, often as far as Siberia or the Far East. Many of them, he said, are children.
He said he had spoken to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday about the situation in Mariupol and the general course of the war.
Zelenskyy promised to find and punish those responsible for the missile attack on Odesa, which he said killed eight people and wounded 18.
Zelenskyy urged Ukrainians to abide by a curfew and not attend Orthodox Easter services overnight. The long services traditionally begin late Saturday and run until Sunday morning. “But from 5 o’clock in the morning you can go to church in your town, town or community,” he said.
SLOVIAN, Ukraine – The sound of outgoing artillery and air attack sirens was heard on Saturday in Sloviansk, a town in northern Donbas that had been attacked by Russians the day before.
Two soldiers were taken to a hospital from a nearby town, but one of them was mortally wounded and could not be rescued.
The Russian strike early Friday had damaged several buildings, including a school.
The war has brought back painful memories for the people of Sloviansk, where Ukrainian government forces in 2014 repulsed Russia-backed separatists after a fierce battle. In the years that followed, the separatists retained control of part of the Donbas, and Moscow has now set out to conquer the entire region.
Anna Direnskaya, 70, said she and her son and daughter-in-law decided to stay in Slovenian.
“I lived through 2014. I was here too. I went nowhere and I do not want to go anywhere. I’m not hiding from myself, ”she said as she sat in a wheelchair outside her damaged apartment building. “I want peace.”
Direnskaya, who, like many in eastern Ukraine, is Russian as a mother tongue, said she wished the Russians would understand that Ukrainians are not bad people and that there is no enmity between them.
“Why did this happen? Why does it happen? I do not know. Tell everyone I want peace and quiet,” she said.
KYIV, Ukraine – The President of Ukraine says he will meet on Sunday in Kiev with the US Secretary of State for Defense and Defense.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke about the plans on Saturday during a press conference. He did not immediately share further details about the visit from Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin.
The White House declined to comment on Saturday. The U.S. State Department also declined to comment.
For weeks, Zelenskyy has been urging Western allies to send Ukraine more weapons to counter the Russian invasion.
WARSAW, Poland – Poland and Ukraine have signed an agreement enhancing cooperation in the rail transport sector, with the aim of helping Ukraine maintain its foreign trade with the Russian invasion affecting its ports.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki met on Saturday in Krakow, Poland.
Morawiecki said on Facebook that they both agreed that the current sanctions against Russia are inadequate, as can be seen from the condition of the “Russian currency, bonds or inflation.” They appealed to the international community for tougher steps that would stop Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and for more military aid to help Ukraine.
Morawiecki drew particular attention to the situation of civilians seeking protection at a steel plant in Mariupol when he called for assistance.
“In Mariupol, soldiers – or rather Russian criminals – will make women and children starve to death. They wait until they run out of water. What is a strategy? This is not war. This is genocide. “
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