Russia may have failed to capture Kyiv with the Ukraine war set to enter the eighth week but the relentless offensive continues in other parts of the war-hit nation on the 54th day of the raging conflict. The Kremlin is focusing on seizing the besieged city of Mariupol – that has been reduced to ruins over the last seven weeks – while the conflict-torn nation pledges to “fight to the end”. Moscow has claimed it has cleared most of the urban area in the key port city. Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shmyhal has stressed troops in the besieged city were still fighting despite a Russian demand to “surrender by dawn”. “The city still has not fallen,” he told the US-based ABC news network in an interview.
Here are ten updates on the Ukraine war:
1. Amid strong resistance to Russia’s attacks, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky has started talks over rebuilding the country. “Discussed with IMF Managing Director @KGeorgieva the issue of ensuring Ukraine’s financial stability & preparations for post-war reconstruction. We have clear plans for now, as well as a vision of prospects. I’m sure cooperation between the IMF and Ukraine will continue to be fruitful, (sic),” Zelensky said in a tweet.
2.IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva replied to the Ukrainian president saying: “Thank you @ZelenskyyUA for the very good call today. Continued economic support by Ukraine’s partners is essential to lay the foundations for rebuilding a modern competitive Ukraine. (sic)”
3. Mariupol “is and will always be with Ukraine”, the foreign ministry the country declared in a tweet as fighting intensifies in the strategic port city that Moscow is pressuring Kyiv to surrender.
4. The fall of Mariupol will be a major win for the Kremlin, especially after the setback in the capital city of Kyiv.
5. In an important move, which sets a starting point for the European Union to decide on membership for Kyiv, Ukraine has completed a questionnaire, deputy head of president’s office was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had earlier vowed a speedier start for the country’s bid to join the EU.
6. In his Easter message, Pope said: “Our eyes, too, are incredulous on this Easter of war. We have seen all too much blood, all too much violence. Our hearts, too, have been filled with fear and anguish, as so many of our brothers and sisters have had to lock themselves away in order to be safe from bombing.”
7. The UK ministry of defence, in its latest updates, citing intel reports, has said that the Russian troops are concentrated in the eastern parts of Ukraine, including the rebel-held city of Donbas.
8. More than one-fifth of humanity faces hunger amid one of the worst wars in Europe in decades, UN chief Antonio Gutteres has said in his latest interview. “We all see the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine. But beyond its borders, the war has launched a silent assault on the developing world. The crisis could plunge up to 1.7 billion people, more than a fifth of humanity, into poverty and hunger on a scale not seen in decades.”
9. Over five million people have already left their homes for safety since the war started on February 24.
10. Despite suffering huge losses, Kyiv continues to put up a strong resistance. The foreign ministry says more than 20,000 Russian troops have been killed so far.
(With inputs from Reuters, AP)