Russia-Ukraine war latest: captain of sunken warship killed in explosion, says Ukraine; Kyiv official says 900 civilian bodies found – live | Ukraine

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18.23

Kyiv officials claim to have found bodies of hundreds of murdered civilians

More than 900 civilian bodies have been discovered in the region surrounding Kyiv following the withdrawal of Russian forces — almost all of them shot dead, the Associated Press quotes local police as saying.

The number is double that announced by Ukrainian authorities almost two weeks ago and the presence of the gunshot wounds indicates many were “simply executed”, officers said.

Andriy Nebytov, the head of Kyiv’s regional police force, said the bodies were abandoned in the streets or given temporary burials. He cited police data indicating that 95% died from gunshot wounds, AP reports.

Consequently, we understand that under the [Russian] occupation, people were simply executed in the streets.

More bodies are being found every day, under rubble and in mass graves, he added.

The largest number of victims were found in Bucha; where there were more than 350.

According to Nebytov, utilities workers in Bucha gathered and buried bodies in the Kyiv suburb while it remained under Russian control. Russian troops, he added, were “tracking down” people who expressed strong pro-Ukraine views.

22.10

The death toll in Kharkiv is up to 10, according to Nexta:

‼️The number of victims in the shelling of the Industrial district of #Kharkiv increased to 10 people, injured – up to 35, according to the prosecutor’s office of the Kharkiv region.

The agency also confirmed that one of the dead is a seven-month-old baby.

— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) April 15, 2022

According Kharkiv region governor Oleh Synehubov, there has not been a single day without air strikes since the Russian invasion began.

22.03

Jim Powell

A mass grave in Bucha, the aftermath of the Russian attack on the station in Kramatorsk, young Ukrainian refugees in Tijuana and the shelling of Kharkiv: Here photographs from the seventh week of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Please take care: readers may find some of these images distressing.

21.53

Joan E Greve

If the US designates Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, as Volodymyr Zelenskiy has reportedly requested, it would be a rare and radical sanction.

But Zelenskiy has been firm in putting pressure on the west to assist in Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s invasion, and this is no exception as his country endures atrocities from its northern neighbor.

He asked the US president in a recent phone call, but the question has not previously been reported, the Post adds, citing unnamed sources, who apparently indicated that “Biden did not commit to specific actions during the call.”

The Washington Post reports that “even during the Cold War, Washington refrained from designating the Soviet Union in this manner despite Moscow’s support for groups considered terrorist actors throughout the 1970s and 1980s.”

Justification for the designation would have to be arrived at by secretary of state Antony Blinken.

The designation is normally applied to nations that “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism,” according to a State Department fact sheet cited by the Post, which adds that there are four countries on the department’s list right now: North Korea, Cuba, Iran and Syria.

21.19

While Russia has not provided many details on what exactly happened to the Moskva, A crowd in Crimea gathered to mourn the ship’s demise.

From Reuters:

Dozens of people gathered in the Crimean city of Sevastopol on Friday to mourn the sinking of the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, a symbol, the crowd heard, of hope, revival and power until its demise.

Some embraced and others laid flowers in memory of the Moskva missile cruiser at a monument to the 1696 foundation of the Russian navy in the centre of Sevastopol, headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet.

Moscow, which annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, said the ship sank while being towed in stormy seas after a fire caused by an ammunition explosion.

Ukraine said one of its missiles had caused it to sink.

“Even for those who have not been on it, the Moskva was a symbol for everyone, a symbol of our power, of our hope, of the revival of the fleet in the 1990s” following the collapse of the Soviet Union, said Reserve Captain Sergei Gorbachev, who spoke to the crowd in his naval uniform.

“There will be victories, there will be tragedies, but the memory remains,” Gorbachev said.

The crowd, which included a number of people who served on the ship, stood in respectful silence. Some wore the ribbon of St. George, a symbol of the Russian military.

“The loss of every ship, especially a flagship, is a tragedy for all those tens of thousands of people who served there for over 20 years,” said priest Georgiy Ployakov.

Russia sent tens of thousands of soldiers into Ukraine on Feb. 24 on what it calls a “special operation”.

20.57

Air strike sirens are reportedly sounding off in Kyiv, according to online reports.

From the Guardian’s Luke Harding:

20.43

Ambassadors from several countries are coming back to Kyiv after evacuating amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Italy’s ambassador to Ukraine will return to Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv, with plans to resume working on 18 April.

France also announced today that their embassy will reopen shortly, with plans to move the embassy back to Kyiv, after the embassy was temporarily relocated to Lviv.

From the Kyiv Independent:

⚡️ Italian ambassador comes back to Kyiv after evacuation, aims to resume work on April 18.

The French ambassador also announced on April 15 that his embassy would reopen in Kyiv shortly, after being relocated for a month to Lviv.

— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) April 15, 2022

20.31

Russia blocked the websites of Radio France Internationale and the Russian-language service of The Moscow Times in an ongoing crackdown against independent media, reported Reuters.

⚠️Confirmed: Russia’s crackdown on news websites continues, with metrics showing the restriction of RFI (Radio France Internationale) and the Moscow Times Russian edition upon requests from the Prosecutor General’s Office to Roskomnadzor.

📰 Background: https://t.co/PzFZ662LyN pic.twitter.com/2Pl0TEy6PD

— NetBlocks (@netblocks) April 15, 2022

The English-language website for the Moscow Times has not been affected, confirmed Moscow Times in a statement. The news organization said the move to block its website by Russian officials was because of a story it published on the conflict in Ukraine.

Radio France Internationale said it had not been provided with an explanation on why the website was blocked in Russia.

20.16

A stamp featuring the Russian warship Moskva that sank is now a collector’s item, reports AFP.

A stamp depicting a Ukrainian soldier making an obscene hand gesture at the Russian Black Sea flagship Moskva has become a collector’s item for Ukrainians who see it as a sign of “victory”.

At the central post office in the capital Kyiv, hundreds of Ukrainians of every age could be seen queueing for hours on Friday to get their hands on one of the one million copies printed so far.

“That ship was the biggest one they had…. They gambled a lot on it and we destroyed it!” said Yury Kolesan, 22, who waited for two-and-a-half hours to get a set of 30 stamps.

“It’s a new phase of the war, one of victory!”

The warship sank on Thursday after an explosion and fire that Ukraine claimed was caused by a missile strike – while Russia said the damage was caused by an explosion of munitions on board.

The missile cruiser gained notoriety in the early stages of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine when its crew called on a unit of Ukrainian border guards to surrender, only for them to defiantly refuse.

The incident quickly became a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance against Russia’s assault.

Ukraine’s postal service last month launched a competition to illustrate the episode.

Out of more than 500 submissions, Lviv designer Boris Groh’s winning entry shows a Ukrainian soldier from behind swearing at the warship.

It has proved a hit, selling out in many post offices and quickly appearing for resale online.

“We wanted to print more but the bombing last night in Kyiv affected the work of the factory and we did not manage to print the necessary quantity,” Ukrainian postal service Igor Smelyansky told AFP.

20.01

Russian officials have provided few details about the Moskva ship that was sunk by Ukraine missiles, but created a memorial for the ship’s sinking.

From the Guardian’s Andrew Roth:

Still no official report of how many died aboard the Moskva cruiser. No photographs of the ship or the 510 member crew, more than 24 hours after they were supposedly rescued. Just a wreath at a memorial in Sevastopol to the “ship and sailors.” https://t.co/X2OZLHMLHR

— Andrew Roth (@Andrew__Roth) April 15, 2022

19.48

Russia designated journalist and Youtuber Yury Dud and political analyst Ekaterina Schulmann as “foreign agents” today, a continuation of Russia’s crackdown on those critical of the Russian government within the country.

Dud and Schulmann have both been publicly critical of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.



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