Ukraine news – latest: Biden brands Putin ‘butcher’ on Poland trip, as Lviv hit by missile strikes

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Biden denies he was ‘too quick’ to rule out World War III

Volodymyr Zelensky accused Moscow of sowing a deep hatred for Russia among Ukrainians.

In an impassioned video speech late on Saturday, the president of Ukraine warned that Ukrainians will no longer wish to speak Russian as it would be “associated with your explosions and murders – your crimes”.

He also stressed that there never was a problem with the Russian language in Ukraine, adding: “But now you, the Russian occupiers, are creating this problem.”

Meanwhile, during the final leg of his four-day trip to Europe, Joe Biden said Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” and branded him a “butcher” for the blood spilled during his invasion of Ukraine.

On a trip to Poland to meet ministers and Ukrainian refugees, the US president said the world “will have a brighter future” without Putin in the Kremlin. The White House denied he was calling for regime change.

Mr Biden was also at the presidential palace in Warsaw for talks with Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, in which he affirmed Washington DC’s “unwavering commitment” to Poland and Ukraine.

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‘Up to the Russian people’ whether Putin remains in power

Russian people will “decide the fate” of Vladimir Putin “and his cronies”, UK education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said.

The Conservative minister was asked if the government agreed with US president Joe Biden that Putin “cannot remain in power”.

Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi

(Alastair Grant/AP)

Mr Zahawi said: “I think that’s up to the Russian people. The Russian people, I think, are pretty fed up with what is happening in Ukraine, this illegal invasion, the destruction of their own livelihoods, their economy is collapsing around them and I think the Russian people will decide the fate of Putin and his cronies.”

There is “evidence that war crimes have been committed in Ukraine”, he added.

Mr Zahawi said, when questioned by Sky News about Mr Biden’s comments on regime change in Russia: “It’s an illegal invasion of Ukraine and that must end, and I think that’s what the president was talking about.”

Lamiat Sabin27 March 2022 09:00

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Kremlin admits responsibility for Lviv missile strikes

Russia fired high-precision cruise missiles from the sea to strike military targets in Lviv, the Russian defence ministry said.

On Saturday, the long-range missiles destroyed a radio repair workshops and a fuel depot in the city – according to Russian news agency RIA citing the Kremlin. Near Kyiv, a missile storage unit was also targeted.

People watch smoke rising following explosions in Lviv

(Nariman El-Mofty/AP)

Authorities in Lviv had reported that “three powerful explosions” were seen in the region, and videos shared on social media show a number of missiles flying across the sky.

Lviv, in western Ukraine, was considered to be a safer place for Ukrainians as it was furthest away from Russian invaders and close to the border with Poland – where the majority of millions of refugees fled to.

Lamiat Sabin27 March 2022 08:40

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The descendants of Jewish refugees opening their doors to Ukrainians in the UK

As millions of Ukrainians flee from the devastation caused by Vladimir Putin’s troops, people in the UK have come forward in their droves to offer their homes,” writes May Bulman.

More than 150,000 members of the British public have signed up to the government’s Homes for Ukraine hosting scheme.

The scheme itself has got off to a slow start, which has prompted some criticism. But the outpouring of compassion and willingness to help has been immense, and prospective hosts are hoping they will soon be able to offer traumatised refugees a roof over their head and some comfort.

Among those most keen to host are people for whom this refugee crisis feels particularly close to home, because it wasn’t long ago that their own parents and grandparents were forced to make a similar escape, fleeing brutal anti-Semitism in Europe and finding sanctuary in the UK.

The Independent has spoken to Britons whose Jewish ancestors fled either the pogroms in the late 19th and early 20th century or the Nazi regime during the Second World War, and have now signed up to become sponsors under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Stuti Mishra27 March 2022 08:15

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Ukraine-Russia agree on two evacuation corridors, including from Mariupol

Ukraine and Russia have agreed on two “humanitarian corridors” today to evacuate civilians from frontline areas, including allowing people to leave by private car from the southern city of Mariupol, deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

Earlier, the two countries reached an agreement to try to evacuate civilians trapped in towns and cities through 10 “humanitarian corridors”, however, they could not agree on a corridor for Mariupol.

Ms Vereshchuk earlier said the Russian forces were not letting buses through their checkpoints around the southern port city.

Ukraine and Russia have traded blame when humanitarian corridors have failed to work in recent weeks.

Stuti Mishra27 March 2022 07:50

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Russian forces ‘concentrating effort to encircle Ukrainian forces’ says MoD

Russian forces appear to be concentrating their effort to attempt the encirclement of Ukrainian forces directly facing the separatist regions in the east of the country, the UK’s Ministry of Defence has said in its latest intelligence report.

It said Russian forces were advancing from the direction of Kharkiv in the north and Mariupol in the south.

However, the battlefield across northern Ukraine “remains largely static with local Ukrainian counterattacks hampering Russian attempts to reorganise their forces.”

Stuti Mishra27 March 2022 07:30

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Russia is destroying Ukrainian fuel and food storage, interior ministry adviser says

Russia has started destroying Ukrainian fuel and food storage depots, meaning the government will have to disperse the stocks of both in the near future, Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Vadym Denysenko was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Speaking on local television today, Mr Denysenko also said Russia was bringing forces to the Ukrainian border on rotation and could make new attempts to advance in its invasion of Ukraine.

Stuti Mishra27 March 2022 07:08

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Russia forcibly removed 40,000 Ukrainians, Ukraine’s deputy PM accuses

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said that Russia forcibly removed 40,000 Ukrainians “in an unknown direction” through “quasi-humanitarian corridors”, Nexta TV reports.

This removal of people was not coordinated with the Ukrainian authorities, the Belarus based outlet reported Ms Vereshchuk as saying.

This comes after Ukraine and Russia reached an agreement earlier to try to evacuate civilians trapped in towns and cities through 10 “humanitarian corridors”.

Stuti Mishra27 March 2022 06:51

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Highlights from Volodymyr Zelensky’s address

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in his latest address, called on west to provide planes and tanks to Kyiv and asked whether the delay was because they were afraid of Moscow.

Here’s a quick recap of his address late on Saturday:

“We’ve already been waiting 31 days. Who is in charge of the Euro-Atlantic community? Is it really still Moscow, because of intimidation?”

“I am in constant contact with the defenders of Mariupol, their determination, their heroism, resilience are impressive. I am grateful to each of them, to each of them. I wish at least a percentage of their courage to those who have been thinking for 31 days how to transfer a dozen or two of planes or tanks,” he further said.



“Ukraine cannot shoot down Russian missiles using shotguns, machine guns, which are too much in supplies.”

Volodymyr Zelensky

“And it is impossible to unblock Mariupol without a sufficient number of tanks, other armored vehicles and, of course, aircraft. All defenders of Ukraine know that. All defenders of Mariupol know that. Thousands of people know that – citizens, civilians who are dying there in the blockade.”

“The United States knows that. All European politicians know. We told everyone. And this should be known as soon as possible by as many people on Earth as possible. So that everyone understands who and why was simply afraid to prevent this tragedy. Afraid to simply make a decision.”

He also emphasised that there was “there has never been a language problem in Ukraine” and it was Russia “doing everything to ensure that de-russification takes place”., called on west to

“By the way, we spoke today with our military in Mariupol, with our heroes who are defending this city. We spoke in Russian, because there is no language problem in Ukraine and there has never been,” Mr Zelensky, a native Russian speaker, said in the language. “But now you, the Russian occupiers, are creating this problem.”

“This is another manifestation of your suicide policy, “the Ukrainian president said.

(AP)

Stuti Mishra27 March 2022 06:23

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Welcoming Ukraine’s refugees is taking its toll on Poland

It’s been a month since the war in Ukraine started, and the flow of refugees arriving at Warsaw’s biggest railway station shows no sign of abating, write Dorota Bartyzel and Konrad Krasuski.

Crowds of people disembark trains from the border and wait for shuttle buses to temporary shelters at exhibition and sports venues. Outside, passers-by are asked for directions.

The unflinching support for their neighbours – at least 2.1 million of them and counting – has turned into a pivotal moment for Poles, but it’s also now raising some urgent questions over what happens next, politically and economically.

Stuti Mishra27 March 2022 05:47

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White House rows back Biden’s regime change remarks

The White House scrambled to row back Joe Biden’s declaration that Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power”, insisting he was not calling for a regime change.

A White House official tried to argue that the US president’s point was that the Russian leader “cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbours or the region”.

“He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change,” the official added before reports in the US suggested the remarks in question had not been scripted.

This came after the US president, in an impassioned speech in Warsaw, appealed to the Russian people directly, with comparisons between the invasion of Ukraine and the horrors of the Second World War.

“For God’s sake this man cannot remain in power,” the US president said at the close of his speech of the Russian president he earlier described as a “butcher”.

Sam Blewett has more details:

Stuti Mishra27 March 2022 05:30

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