War in Ukraine: today's developments

By: AFP
Published: 10:38 PM, 21 Apr, 2022
War in Ukraine: today's developments
Caption: Ukrainian servicemen carry the coffin with the body of Ukrainian serviceman Dmytro Sydoruk, a silver medalist of Toronto's Invictus Games, killed during Russia's invasion, during a ceremony in Lviv, western Ukraine.
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Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- Putin hails 'liberation' of Mariupol - 

Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announces that Moscow now controls all of the strategically important port city of Mariupol, apart from the vast Azovstal steel plant where Ukrainian troops are holding out.

President Vladimir Putin hails the city's "liberation" and orders the military to refrain from storming the plant, telling them instead to surround it, "so that not even a fly can escape."

Ukraine calls for a humanitarian corridor to be opened immediately to allow "hundreds" of civilians and wounded fighters to be evacuated from the plant.

US President Joe Biden says it is "questionable" whether Russia had taken control of Mariupol, saying: "There is no evidence yet that Mariupol has completely fallen."

- Evacuee buses arrive -

Three school buses filled with evacuees from Mariupol arrive in Zaporizhzhia after crossing through territory held by Russian forces, AFP correspondents see.

- US military aid -

Biden announces a new package of $800 million in military aid for Ukraine, saying it will help Kyiv's forces in the fight against Russian forces in the eastern Donbas region.

The newest round of US support will include heavy artillery, dozens of howitzers, 144,000 rounds of ammunition for them, and tactical drones.

Biden says Putin will "never succeed in dominating and occupying all of Ukraine. That will not happen."

- Over 1,000 bodies in Kyiv area -

The bodies of 1,020 civilians have been collected from the streets and buildings in the wider Kyiv region since Russian forces withdrew from the area late last month, Ukraine's deputy prime minister for European integration tells AFP.

The Russian withdrawal left a trail of civilian deaths that have fuelled accusations of war crimes and even genocide.

In the latest grim discovery, police say they have found the bodies of nine civilians, some showing signs of torture, in the town of Borodyanka, northwest of Kyiv.

- Russia bans Harris, Zuckerberg -

Russia slaps a travel ban on US Vice President Kamala Harris, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and 27 other prominent Americans in retaliation for sanctions imposed over the Kremlin's military campaign in Ukraine.

It also announces a travel ban on 61 Canadian citizens, including a number of officials and journalists.

- Google fined for Ukraine videos -

A Russian court fines Google 11 million rubles ($135,000) for failing to take down contentious YouTube videos alleging heavy Russian military losses in Ukraine.

One of the videos claims that Russian soldiers who were trying to retreat in the face of Ukrainian counter-attacks were shot by their own side, according to Russian state media.

- Spain sends military equipment - 

Spain has shipped 200 tonnes of military equipment, including heavy transport vehicles and ammunition to Ukraine, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says during a visit to Kyiv.

- UNESCO meeting postponed -

A meeting of the UN cultural agency's World Heritage Committee scheduled to take place in Russia in June has been postponed indefinitely, a senior source at Paris-based UNESCO tells AFP.

The meeting had been due to take place in the city of Kazan from June 19 to 30.

- 7.7 million displaced -

More than 7.7 million people are estimated to have been internally displaced by Russia's war in Ukraine, having fled their homes but stayed within the country, the United Nations says.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.