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Home News War in Ukraine: Latest developments

War in Ukraine: Latest developments

Published on April 26, 2022
Published from AFP.com

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

– Russia ‘ready to cooperate’ with UN –

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tells visiting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that Moscow is “ready to cooperate” with the UN to “alleviate the plight of the civilian population” in Ukraine.

Guterres, who is seeking to mediate in the conflict, is on his first visit to Moscow since the war began. He is to meet with President Vladimir Putin before travelling on to Kyiv for talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Guterres pushes for a ceasefire “as soon as possible” and for the establishment of humanitarian corridors “that are truly safe”.

Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a telephone call discuss what the Kremlin calls Moscow’s “constant” efforts to ensure the safety of “peaceful civilians” in Ukraine.

– US, allies discuss weapons –

Defence ministers of 40 countries hold talks at a US airbase in Germany on boosting arms supplies to Ukraine.

The United States and its allies will meet once a month to discuss Ukraine’s defence needs, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin says afterwards.

The US has been pushing its allies to provide Ukraine with heavy weapons.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tells Congress that Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown “no sign” he is “serious” about diplomacy but that by giving Ukraine the means to fight the invasion Washington can help “strengthen their hand” when meaningful talks do take place.

– Germany to send tanks –

German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht tells the meeting that Berlin will send Gepard anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine, marking a major shift by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who had previously urged a more cautious approach faced with nuclear-armed Russia.

His perceived reluctance to break with Germany’s historic policy of detente towards Moscow had drawn fierce criticism from Kyiv and also caused tensions with his coalition partners.

– Friendship statue demolished –

Authorities in Kyiv begin demolishing a monument symbolising historic ties between ex-Soviet Ukraine and Russia.

“The dismantling has started today and we plan to finish it this evening — we are removing the bronze sculpture of two workers installed in the centre of the capital in 1982 ‘to commemorate the reunification of Ukraine with Russia’,” Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko says on social media.

– Trouble in Transnistria –

Fears of the conflict spilling over into Moldova rise after a series of blasts in its breakaway Russian-backed Transnistria region, which borders western Ukraine.

Authorities in Transnistria say two explosions on Tuesday morning damaged a radio tower relaying Russian stations near the Ukrainian border and that on Monday evening the offices of the state security ministry were hit in a suspected grenade attack.

Ukraine accuses Russia of trying to “destabilise” Transnistria.

A Russian military chief last week angered Moldova by referring to the “oppression” of Russian speakers in Moldova, an argument used by Moscow to justify its invasion of Ukraine.

– Russia warns of World War III –

Lavrov warns there is a “real” danger of World War III breaking out as a result of the Ukraine conflict.

“The danger is serious, it is real, you can’t underestimate it,” he tells the Interfax news agency in a remark widely seen as an attempt to deter the West from providing Ukraine with heavy weapons.

– Over 8 million refugees expected –

The UN says that nearly 5.3 million Ukrainians have fled the country since Russia invaded and warns that three million more could follow by the end of this year.

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