Russia-Ukraine crisis updates | April 28, 2022

Members of the Ukrainian military guard a forward position on April 27, 2022 in a frontline village in Hulyaipole District, Zaporizhia Region, Ukraine. Russia has stepped up its attacks in southeast Ukraine as it tries to advance further into Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts. | Photo Credit: Chris McGrath

“I want to emphasise again that all the tasks of the special military operation we are conducting in the Donbas and Ukraine, launched on February 24, 2022, will be unconditionally fulfilled,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said during an address to both the houses of the country’s Parliament on Wednesday.

Poland and Bulgaria are now receiving gas from their EU neighbours after Russian company Gazprom cut off their supply. According to the company, the decision was taken following their failure to pay for the gas in rubles, as mandated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine accused Moscow on Tuesday of trying to drag Moldova’s breakaway region of Transdniestria into its war on Kyiv after authorities in the Moscow-backed region said they had been targeted by a series of attacks.

Russian forces have pushed deep into east Ukraine and captured several villages, as part of Moscow’s offensive to take control of Donbas, Kyiv’s Defence Ministry said.

Here are the latest updates:

Kyiv

Kyiv says 45 prisoners freed in new swap with Russia

Kyiv on Thursday said 45 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians captured by Russia had been released in a new prisoner exchange, without saying how many Russians were released.

“Another prisoner exchange has taken place. Today, 45 of our men were freed from Russian captivity,” Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a statement on Telegram.

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NEW DELHI

Russia-Ukraine conflict once again highlights significance of self-reliance: Rajnath Singh

On the prevailing security environment in the world, he stated that the ongoing Russia and Ukraine conflict had once again highlighted that being self-reliant without dependencies was a “vital necessity.”

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WASHINGTON

Joe Biden to ask $33 billion more to help Ukraine

Joe Biden will ask the U.S. Congress for an additional $33 billion to help Ukraine fight the Russian invasion, according to two administration officials.

The latest proposal from Biden latest proposal included more than $20 billion in military assistance for Ukraine and to strengthen defenses in neighbouring countries, $8.5 billion in economic aid to keep the Ukrainian government functioning and $3 billion for food and humanitarian programs to help civilians, the officials said. - AP

KYIV

Ukraine says probing 10 Russian soldiers over alleged war crimes in Bucha

As many as 10 Russian soldiers are being investigated on suspicion of committing war crimes in Bucha, Ukrainian prosecutors said on Thursday. Dozens of bodies in civilian clothes were found in Bucha after Russian troops retreated.

“Ten servicemen of the 64th motorised infantry brigade of the Russian armed forces, part of the 35th army, are suspected of cruel treatment of civilians and other violations of laws and customs of war,” the prosecutor general’s office said in a statement. “The suspects will be declared wanted in order to detain them and bring them to justice,” it added.

The prosecutors also said that the suspects “held hostage civilians who did not take part in hostilities and did not have weapons”. They alleged that the suspects tried to extract information about the location of Ukrainian troops and “inflicted body injuries” on hostages. However, Moscow has denied any charges of killing civilians. - AFP

UKRAINE

Ukraine says Russian offensive in east gathering momentum

Russia’s intensified its offensive in eastern Ukraine on Thursday even as the United Nations’ chief Antonio Guterres surveyed the destruction in towns outside Kyiv that experienced some of the worst horrors of the first onslaught of the war.

Russia switched its focus to the vital eastern industrial heartland after failing to capture the Ukrainian capital. Ukraine’s military said several areas in the Donbas region have come under intense fire in the past day, and satellite images showed new damage from bombardments on the last known pocket of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol.

Ukrainian authorities also warned that civilians who remain in Mariupol face dangerously unsanitary conditions, while many of the dead remain unburied. - AP

NEW DELHI

Ukraine doing better at a tactical level: Navy chief

Superiority between weapons will always be there and the Ukrainians are doing better at a tactical level, Navy Chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar said on Wednesday in the context of the Ukraine war, while speaking at the Raisina Dialogue summit. Speaking at the event, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Admiral John C. Aquilino said concerns over the war were “amplified” by China’s comments which had resulted in “great concern for the future”.

“We are all concerned with what we watched in Ukraine. We watched unprovoked action to generate a war. This is a very concerning time from the lens of global security. It is amplified by the comments by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) with regard to no limits between those two nations. That gives me great concern for the future,” Adm. Aquilino said. 

In this regard, he said what has to happen and what they were watching was a set of like-minded nations and others around the globe utilising all forms of technology to be able to deliver what the U.S. Secretary of Defence calls “integrated deterrence”.

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WASHINGTON

India built ties with Russia out of necessity: Blinken

Asserting that now there is a growing strategic convergence between the United States and India, Secretary of State Tony Blinken said New Delhi built its partnership with Moscow out of necessity as the US was not in a position to do that earlier.

“In the case of India, there is a relationship that goes back decades. And Russia, for India, was out of necessity a partner of choice when we were not in a position to be a partner,” he told lawmakers on Wednesday.

“Now, we are investing in that effort. I think there is a growing strategic convergence between the United States and India,” Mr. Blinken said.

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KYIV

Explosions in Ukrainian city of Kherson

In the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, a series of explosions boomed near the television tower late Wednesday and at least temporarily knocked Russian channels off the air, Ukrainian and Russian news organizations reported.

The Russian state news agency RIA Novosti said missiles and rockets were fired at the city from the direction of the Ukrainian forces to the northwest.

Kherson has been occupied by Russian forces since early in the war.

WASHINGTON

Russia releases US Marine vet in surprise prisoner exchange

Russia and the United States have carried out an unexpected prisoner exchange in a time of high tensions, trading on Wednesday a Marine veteran jailed by Moscow for a convicted Russian drug trafficker serving a long prison sentence in America.

The deal involving Trevor Reed, an American imprisoned for nearly three years, would have been a notable diplomatic maneuver even in times of peace but it was all the more surprising because it was done as Russia's war with Ukraine has driven relations with the U.S. to their lowest point in decades. - AP

NEW DELHI

Putin’s friends should help him get out of difficulty he has created: Portuguese Foreign Minister

President Vladimir Putin’s friends should make him realise that the Russian people should not be made to suffer because of his “tremendous miscalculation”, according to Foreign Minister of Portugal João Gomes Cravinho.

Speaking to  The Hindu on the sidelines of Raisina Dialogue, the senior Minister said regime change was not an objective of the western response and that the door for diplomacy remained open.

“The real challenge of the moment is to help Putin to get out of the difficulty that he has created. Friends should explain to him that when you find yourself in a trench, it is not a good thing to keep on digging,” he stated.

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TAIPEI

Taiwan says to keep Ukraine lessons in mind during annual wargame

Taiwan’s military on April 27 said it was learning lessons from Russia’s war against Ukraine as it unveiled plans for its annual military exercise that simulates defending the island from Chinese attacks.

The island’s 23 million people live under constant threat of an invasion by China, which views the self-ruled democratic island as part of its territory to be re-taken one day, by force if necessary.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has heightened fears that Beijing might similarly one day follow through on threats to annex its smaller neighbour. As the military announced a July date for its “Han Kuang” (Han Glory) wargames, commanders made clear the conflict in Ukraine would factor into the exercises.

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Printable version | May 2, 2022 8:52:10 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/russia-ukraine-crisis-live-updates-russia-releases-us-marine-vet-in-surprise-prisoner-exchange-amidst-tensions/article65362484.ece