Live – War in Ukraine: More than 4.9 million Ukrainians have fled their country

Posted on Apr 18, 2022, 8:49 AMUpdated on Apr 18, 2022 at 6:17 pm

Russian pressure is not abating, neither in the Donbass nor in the rest of Ukraine. The strategic port of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine has been the target of incessant bombing since the beginning of the invasion by Russia, which ordered the city’s last defenders to lay down their arms. They rejected the ultimatum and said they were ready to continue fighting “until the end”.

On Sunday, the Russian army continued its bombardment of Kyiv and Kharkiv, the two largest cities in the country. On Monday morning, the missiles targeted the large city of Lviv, located in the west to some extent.

Highlights of the day

> Lviv was targeted on Monday morning

> Pressure continues to build on the besieged port of Mariupol, whose defense is on the cusp of falling

> Humanitarian corridors were suspended on Sunday for not agreeing to a ceasefire

>>> Follow the live news for Monday, April 18:

6:15 pm – G20 Finance: Washington will boycott certain sessions if Russia participates

A US Treasury official told reporters Monday that US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who will represent the United States this week at the G-20 financial group, would boycott certain sessions if Russia attended.

In addition, the department warned in a statement that the United States and its allies “will continue their combined efforts to increase economic pressure on Russia.” In particular, a Treasury official said, those trying to escape these sanctions would be targeted.

5:10 pm – The decisive battle between Moscow and how it is taking shape in the Donbass

Attacks and counterattacks by Russian and Ukrainian forces set the stage for the decisive war battle between Moscow and Kiev in the Donbass. The Ukrainian army is trying to encircle the Russian Legion, which threatens to encircle the troops from Kyiv.

In a sense, this battle has already begun with a surprise attack by Ukrainian forces on Monday from the northeastern city of Karkhiv to cut the supply lines of the Russian units controlling the city of Izyum. .

4:43 PM – PoOtin honors major general accused by Ukraine of abuses by Bucha

On Monday, the Russian President awarded the honorary title of “Championship” to the 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade, which Ukraine accused of participating in the violations committed in Bucha near Kyiv. Vladimir Putin praised the “heroism, perseverance, determination and courage” of his men.

4:21 pm – The World Bank cuts its growth forecast

World Bank President David Malpass announced on Monday that the World Bank has cut its global growth forecast for this year by about a full percentage point to 3.2% from 4.1%, due to the expected impact of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

He explained in an online meeting with journalists that the international organization decided to respond to the increasing economic tension related to the war by proposing a new funding target of $170 billion (157, 5 billion euros) over 15 months, including $50 billion. It will be published over the next three months.

2:50 pm – Sanctions on Russia weaken the West, says Putin

On Monday, Vladimir Putin said that sanctions imposed by Western countries on Russia in connection with the situation in Ukraine had led to a “deterioration of the economy in the West.”

In a speech on the state of the Russian economy, he added that inflation in his country is stabilizing and demand has returned to normal.

Western countries have decided to impose unprecedented sanctions on Russia, its companies and its financial system since the start of what Moscow describes on February 24 as a “special military operation”.

Ahead of Vladimir Putin’s speech, Russian Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said she was considering another rate cut and said it would take about two years to bring inflation back towards the 4% target set by the authorities themselves. Consumer price inflation in Russia reached 17% in March.

2:31 pm – Eastern Ukraine: Russians in Kremena and Robyzhny under Ukrainian fire

Russian troops entered the eastern Ukrainian town of Kremena on Monday and came under Ukrainian fire in the nearby town of Robyzhny, local authorities said, AFP reported. “There was a big attack at night” from Sunday to Monday in Kremina, the Ukrainian governor of the Lugansk region, Sergio Gaidai, said on his Facebook page.

Kremena, with a population of about 18,000, is located about fifty kilometers northeast of Kramatorsk, the Ukrainian capital of Donbass and one of Moscow’s targets in this region.

2:11 p.m. – More than 4.9 million Ukrainians have fled Ukraine, according to the United Nations

More than 4.9 million Ukrainians have fled their country 54 days after the invasion ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24, according to figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees counted exactly 4,934,415 Ukrainian refugees on Monday, 65,396 more than the previous count on Sunday.

1:48 pm – Atal said atrocities in Ukraine are Le Pen’s “point of detail”

A government spokesman and supporter of Emmanuel Macron saw the “atrocities” committed by the Russian army in Ukraine in Ukraine as a “point of detail” for Marine Le Pen, referring to the provocative statements made by her father in World War II. The latter had been convicted of denying war crimes against humanity for his observations about gas chambers in 1987.

12:34 p.m. – On a Russian channel, two captured Britons ask for their exchange

Two British fighters captured by Russian forces in Ukraine appeared on Russian state television on Monday and demanded to be traded for a Ukrainian pro-Russian politician being held by authorities in Kyiv.

It was not possible to determine to what extent the two men, Sean Benner and Aiden Aslin, were at liberty in their words. Both spoke after an unidentified man.

They called on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ask them to help them return home by promoting an exchange with Viktor Medvedchuk, who was arrested by Ukrainian security forces last week.

12:17 pm – The balance sheet in Lviv is getting heavy

At least seven people were killed and 11 injured in Russian “powerful” strikes Monday on Lviv, the main city in western Ukraine that is usually relatively spared from the fighting, local authorities said.

12:05 p.m. – 200,000 jobs threatened by sanctions in Moscow, according to the mayor

Today, Monday, the mayor of the Russian capital announced that at least 200,000 jobs are threatened in Moscow due to the departure or suspension of the activities of foreign companies, in the wake of the Russian attack on Ukraine.

In a message on his site, Sergei Sobyanin noted that an aid plan worth 3.6 billion rubles (about 38 million euros at the current rate) was approved last week to help Muscovites at risk of dismissal.

This program primarily concerns employees of foreign companies who have temporarily suspended their activities or decided to leave Russia. According to our estimates, about 200,000 people are at risk of losing their jobs,” said the mayor.

11:31 am – Spain will reopen its embassy in Kyiv

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced, Monday, that Spain will reopen its embassy “in a few days” in Kyiv, which it had closed in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“In a few days we will reopen the Spanish embassy in Kyiv as further evidence of the commitment of the Spanish government and the Spanish community to the side of the Ukrainian people,” Sanchez said in an interview with Antena 3 channel.

The Spanish ambassador and embassy diplomatic staff were evacuated from the Ukrainian capital to Poland the day after the Russian offensive began on February 24. Many Western countries have made similar decisions.

10:25 am – No evacuation of civilians for the second day in a row

The Ukrainian authorities announced, for the second day in a row, that a humanitarian corridor will not be opened on Monday to evacuate civilians from the fighting areas in Ukraine, accusing Russia of “disrupting” and bombing convoys.

“Today, April 18, there will be unfortunately no humanitarian corridors,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Verychuk said on Telegram, including in the devastated city of Mariupol.

9:35 a.m. – in Lviv, at least 6 dead

The region’s governor announced that the Russian missile strikes Monday morning on Lviv, a large city in western Ukraine, left at least six dead, eight wounded and severely damaged the military infrastructure.

At this time, we have identified six dead and eight wounded. “There is a child among the victims,” ​​Maxim Kosietzsky said via Telegram, adding that the strikes hit military infrastructure and a tire garage, causing fires.

8:30 am – The city of Lviv in the west was hit by missiles

Five “powerful” Russian missile strikes hit Lviv, a large city in western Ukraine that is usually relatively untouched by the fighting, Monday morning, the mayor and presidential adviser announced.

A resident of southwestern Lviv told AFP he saw thick plumes of gray smoke rising into the sky behind the apartment buildings.

“Five powerful missile strikes at once on the civilian infrastructure of the ancient European city of Lviv,” Mikhailo Podolyak, advisor to President Volodymyr Zelensky, announced on Twitter.

>>> Highlights of the previous day:

> Mariupol will defend itself to the end, says the Ukrainian government

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the situation in the strategic port of Mariupol as “inhumane” and called on Westerners to “immediately” provide the heavy weapons he had been ordering for weeks. The director of the World Food Program estimates that more than 100,000 civilians will be on the verge of starvation in the city.

On Sunday, Russia claimed nearly all of the city and appealed to its last defenders to lay down their arms. But they “will fight to the end,” said Prime Minister Denis Shmygal, ignoring Moscow’s ultimatum.

> Russia continues bombing suspended humanitarian corridors in the east

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.

The Russian army continues to bombard several major cities. For the third day in a row after destroying the cruiser Moskva in the Black Sea, Kyiv was bombarded, declaring that it had destroyed a new weapons factory, while Kharkiv was hit by a series of strikes, a large city in the north-east, killing at least five and wounding 13.

> Emmanuel Macron invited to come and witness the “genocide” in Ukraine

The Ukrainian president claimed that he invited Emmanuel Macron to go to Ukraine to see with his own eyes that Russian forces were committing “genocide,” a term his 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 today. “I think he wants to ensure that Russia is engaged in a dialogue,” he said in an interview with CNN to explain the French president’s position.

Volodymyr Zelensky also wanted Joe Biden to come. “I think he will come,” he said, “but the decision is up to him, of course, it depends on the security situation.” The White House is considering sending an envoy to Kyiv, but has ruled out a visit by the president himself for the time being.

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