Russia-Ukraine live news: Zelenskyy vows not to give up territory | Russia-Ukraine war News

  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promises not to give up territory in the east of the country to end the war with Russia.
  • Zelenskyy accuses Russia of building “torture chambers” in the southern regions of Ukraine and carrying out abductions.
  • Zelenskyy discusses plans for Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction with the International Monetary Fund.
  • Ukrainian forces in Mariupol continue to hold out after Russian deadline to surrender passes.
  • Ukraine says Russian forces have forcibly removed 150 children, some of whom were in hospital, from Mariupol.

INTERACTIVE Russia Ukraine War Who controls what Day 53

Here are the latest updates:

Explosions reported in Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk regions

Authorities in Ukraine have reported multiple explosions in the western and southern regions of Lviv and Dnipropetrovsk.

Andrey Sadovoy, the mayor of Lviv, said in a Twitter post that there had been “five targeted missile strikes on the city”.

Valentyn Reznichenko, the governor of Dnipropetrovsk, reported attacks early on Monday morning, but said most of the missiles had been shot down by Ukrainian air defense systems.

There were no immediate information about casualties and damage.

Italy’s Draghi says ‘it’s useless’ to talk to Putin

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has complained in a newspaper interview that Western diplomatic efforts to persuade Vladimir Putin to halt the war in Ukraine have so far led nowhere.

“I am beginning to think that those people are right when they say ‘It is useless to talk to him, it’s just a waste of time’,” Draghi told the daily Corriere della Sera, adding Putin’s goal appears to be “to annihilate the Ukrainian resistance, occupy the country and entrust it to a friendly government”.

Russian forces planning false-flag attack on Kherson: Official

A Ukrainian official says Russian forces are planning a false-flag attack on Kherson to lay the groundwork for a referendum for independence in the port city.

“Kherson residents report that Russian invaders are preparing a provocation in the city. This should be the reason to ‘save’ the city by holding a ‘referendum’ there,” Serhiy Bratchuk, the speaker of the Odesa regional military administration, wrote on his Telegram channel.

Kherson, a largely Russian speaking city, has been occupied by Russian forces for more than two weeks.

Ukrainian officials warn Russia may stage a referendum for independence in the port city, similar to the one held in the annexed Crimean peninsula in 2014.

10 year-old Roma holds a cage with two parrots inside a bus leaving from the city of Bashtanka , Mikolaiv district, after he and his family fled from Kherson which is occupied by Russian forces.
A 10-year-old boy holds a cage with two parrots in a bus leaving from the city of Bashtanka , Mikolaiv district, after he and his family fled from Kherson which is occupied by Russian forces, on Thursday, April 7, 2022. ( Petros Giannakouris/AP)

Crimean authorities intend to set up ‘retraining camps’ for Ukrainian teachers: Report

The Center for Countering Disinformation says authorities in the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula intend to set up “retraining camps” for teachers from Kherson, Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia, according to the Ukrinform news agency.

The center said the camps were aimed at shifting teachers “toward Russian education standards,” Ukrinform reported.

“They want to force them to learn Russian because, according to the occupiers logic, children from Ukraine don’t speak their language well enough,” the center was quoted as saying.

Russia accused of forcibly removing 150 children from Mariupol

The Crimean Human Rights Group says the Russian military has forcibly removed some 150 children from Mariupol.

They included 100 sick and wounded children who were in hospital, the group said, adding that they were transferred “in the direction of” occupied Donetsk and the Russian city of Taganrog.

Petro Andrushchenko, an advisor to Mariupol’s Mayor, said the children were taken out of the hospitals without their parents.

He said the “abducted children” were not orphans.

The ombudsman for human rights in Ukraine has previously said more than 120,000 children have been forcibly deported to Russia from Ukraine.

Ukraine completes questionnaire for EU membership: Official

Ukraine says it has completed a questionnaire which will form a starting point for the European Union to decide on membership for Kyiv.

The questionnaire was handed to Zelenskyy by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during her visit to Kyiv on April 8.

An aid to the Ukrainian president told the country’s public broadcaster that the European Commission will now need to issue a recommendation on Ukraine’s compliance with the necessary membership criteria.

“We expect the recommendation … to be positive, and then the ball will be on the side of the EU member states,” said Ihor Zhovkva, deputy head of Zelenskyy’s office.

He added that Ukraine expects to acquire the status of a candidate country for EU accession in June during a scheduled meeting of the European Council meeting.

“Next, we will need to start accession talks. And once we hold those talks, we can already talk about Ukraine’s full membership in the EU,” Zhovkva said.

Sumy region receives $8.5m for restoration

Dmitry Zhivitsky, the governor of Sumy, says the region has received 250 million hryvnia ($8.5m) from the Ukrainian government to restore destroyed infrastructure.

Russian troops began retreating from the Sumy region, bordering Russia, in early April, and authorities there reclaimed full Ukrainian control over the northeastern region on April 8.

Russian troops carrying out torture in southern Ukraine: Zelenskyy

Ukraine’s president says Russian troops in southern regions of the country have been carrying out torture and kidnappings.

“Torture chambers are built there,” Zelenskyy said in an evening address to the nation. “They abduct representatives of local governments and anyone deemed visible to local communities.”

He also said the Russians are creating separatist states and introducing Russian currency, the rouble, in occupied parts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.

Two dead, four wounded in Donetsk

Two people have died and four more were injured following Russian shelling in the Donetsk region on Sunday, according to the governor of the Donetsk region.

“It is impossible to determine the exact number of victims near Mariupol and Volnovas,” Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram.

The body of a woman killed a Russian bombardment lies on a sidewalk in downtown Kharkiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 17, 2022.
The body of a woman killed in a Russian bombardment lies on a pavement in downtown Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Sunday, April 17, 2022 (Felipe Dana/AP)

Russian TV shows second British man captured in Mariupol

A former British soldier who fought with Ukrainian army has appeared on Russian television.

In the video, the man says: “Hi, I’m Shaun Pinner. I am a citizen of the UK. I was captured in Mariupol. I am part of the 36 Brigade First Battalion Ukrainian Marines.”

Pinner’s appearance comes days after Russian media showed another captured British fighter, Aiden Aslin.

Pinner, 48, is believed to have moved to Ukraine four years ago and lived with his wife in Donbas.

In January he told the Daily Mail he was fighting to defend his family and “adopted city”. He also said he feared for his life as “the Russians will treat us differently if we are captured because we are British”.

Belgium, Estonia and Bulgaria ban Russian ships

Belgium, Estonia and Bulgaria have implemented a European Union ban on Russian ships entering their ports, starting from Sunday.

This comes after Italy also barred Russian ships from entering its ports on Sunday as part of extended EU sanctions.

War should be over in two to three weeks: Ukraine official

Fyodor Venislavsky, a member of Ukraine’s Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence, says the “hot phase” of the war in Ukraine will end in two to three weeks.

The conflict should be completely over in two to three months, he said on television.

Venislavsky said his assessment was based on a number of factors, including that Ukrainian armed forces “have demonstrated how can push the enemy back from Ukrainian lands,” and that “Western partners have not only changed their assessments that Ukraine urgently needs more new models of weapons, they are already being delivered”.

Mariupol fighters continue to hold out

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said the remaining Ukrainian forces in the port city of Mariupol were still fighting and continued to defy the Russian demand that they surrender.

“The city still has not fallen,” Shmyhal told ABC’s This Week programme.

Read the full story here.

UN says 4.8 million refugees have left Ukraine

The UN refugee agency has said 4,869,019 million Ukrainians have left the country since Russia invaded on February 24 – up 32,574 on Saturday’s total.

“As Christians celebrate resurrection on this sombre Easter Sunday, we must stubbornly hope that in the days, months and years to come the methods and language of war will not prevail over those – more difficult, more complicated – that lead to peace,” said UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi.

The International Organization for Migration says an additional 215,000 third-country nationals have also escaped to neighboring countries since the war began.

People who fled the war in Ukraine rest
People who fled the war in Ukraine rest inside an indoor sports stadium being used as a refugee centre, in the village of Medyka, a border crossing between Poland and Ukraine [File: Petros Giannakouris/AP Photo]

Russian shelling of Kharkiv ‘deliberate terror’: Zelenskyy

At least 18 people have been killed and more than 100 wounded in Russian shelling in the past four days in the northeast Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, according to Ukraine’s president.

Zelenskyy said in his nightly address that Russia’s shelling of Kharkiv has been constant.

“This is nothing but deliberate terror: mortars, artillery against ordinary residential quarters, against ordinary civilians,” he said.

Local officials say five people were killed and 20 were wounded on Sunday when a missile and artillery fire hit the city center and the Saltivka suburb.

Al Jazeera was unable to confirm the figures.

rubble in Kharkiv
Firefighters work to extinguish multiple fires after a Russian attack in Kharkiv [Felipe Dana/AP Photo]

Zelenskyy, IMF managing director discusses ‘post-war reconstruction’

Ukraine’s president says he spoke with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva about his country’s financial stability and its post-war reconstruction on Sunday.

“Discussed with IMF Managing Director Georgieva 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 & Ukraine will continue to be fruitful,” he wrote in a tweet.

Georgieva later confirmed the call in a post on Twitter.

She wrote support is “essential to lay the foundations for rebuilding a modern competitive #Ukraine”.

Zelenskyy promises tough resistance in east

Ukraine’s president has said Kyiv is not willing to give up territory in the eastern part of the country to end the war with Russia and is preparing to offer tough resistance in the face of an expected large-scale offensive there.

Read the full story here.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine. Read all the updates from April 17 here.

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