And there were several Russian strikes on Lviv and Kharkiv on Saturday. In the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, a military factory was bombed. Follow all the latest information live.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Chemygal announced, in an interview broadcast by the American channel ABC, Sunday, that the last Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol still control sections of the city and “will fight to the end.”
“No, the city has not fallen. Our military and our soldiers are still there. They will fight to the end. As I speak to you, they are still in Mariupol,” emphasized Mr. Shmygal.
The Ukrainian soldiers trapped in Mariupol seem to have ignored the Russian ultimatum to lay down their arms and evacuate this strategic port in southeastern Ukraine, the capture of which would be a great victory for Moscow.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has claimed he invited Emmanuel Macron to go to Ukraine to see with his own eyes that Russian forces are committing “genocide,” a term his French counterpart has so far refused to use.
“Concerning Emmanuel, I spoke to him,” President Zelensky said in an interview with CNN that was conducted on Friday and aired on Sunday.
“I think he wants to ensure that Russia enters into a dialogue,” he added, explaining the French president’s refusal to denounce the “genocide” in Ukraine, unlike US President Joe Biden.
At least five people were killed and 13 others injured, Sunday, in a series of raids on the main city of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, which caused fires, emergency services reported to AFP.
AFP journalists heard two gunshots and saw five fires spreading in residential areas in the center of Kharkiv. Fire trucks were crossing the city in all directions to reach the burning apartments.
In the moments after the strikes, a sense of panic prevailed in the streets, as pedestrians fled and cars sped away.
Pope Francis on Sunday called on leaders to “listen to the people’s cry for peace” on “Easter War”, again invoking the “martyr’s” case of Ukraine. “We have seen so much blood, so much violence (…) Let’s stop showing muscle while people suffer,” the pope called the ruling during his traditional blessing “Urbi et Orbi,” in front of some 50,000 faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
He urged the crowd to applaud, “Please do not attack the war, let us all commit to the demand for peace (..) Let those who bear the responsibility of nations hear the people’s cry for peace.”
The spiritual leader of 1.3 billion Catholics has insisted at length on the necessity of peace for the “Ukraine of the Martyrs, which has so desperately experienced violence and the destruction of the senseless, brutal war it has wrought” with the Russian invasion that began in February. 24.
On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that it had bombed a military factory on the outskirts of Kyiv, while Moscow intensified its attacks on the Ukrainian capital.
“High-precision missiles fired by aircraft during the night destroyed an ammunition factory near Brovary in the Kyiv region,” the ministry said in a statement on its Telegram channel. Brovary Mayor Igor Saboyko said “some infrastructure was bombed” in the early hours of Sunday.
On Sunday, the Ukrainian authorities announced the suspension of humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from eastern Ukraine, due to the lack of an agreement with the Russian army on a ceasefire.
“This morning, we failed to negotiate with the occupiers a ceasefire on the evacuation routes. For this reason, unfortunately, we will not open humanitarian corridors today,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Verychuk said on a telegram.
On Saturday evening, the Ukrainian president declared that the situation in the strategic port of Mariupol is “inhumane”, calling on the West to “immediately” provide the heavy weapons it has been asking for for several weeks, while Russia claims that it controls almost all the ships. The city issues a new call to its last defenders to lay down their weapons.
“The situation in Mariupol is still as dangerous as it can be. Simply inhumane,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message. “That’s what the Russian Federation did. It did it on purpose. (…) Russia is deliberately trying to destroy anyone in Mariupol,” in southeastern Ukraine.
According to him, there are only “two options”: “either the partners will provide Ukraine with all the necessary heavy weapons, aircraft, and, without any exaggeration, immediately” in order to “reduce pressure on Mariupol and lift the blockade”. A city that had a population of 441,000 people before the invasion on February 24.