🔴 Direct – The war in Ukraine: Washington is preparing a new military aid package worth $ 800 million for the city of Kyiv

This Wednesday, April 20, Russia continues its offensive in eastern Ukraine. The situation is currently critical in the city of Mariupol and the last of the entrenched Ukrainian soldiers have made a desperate plea to the international community for rescue. Follow all the latest information live.

8:22 pm

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshuk said the corridor to evacuate civilians from the besieged port of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine on Wednesday “did not work,” accusing the Russians of violating the ceasefire and blocking buses.

“Unfortunately, the Mariupol humanitarian corridor did not work as planned today,” the official lamented in the evening after Wednesday morning he announced a “preliminary” agreement with Russia on this corridor, the first of its kind since Saturday.

5:55 pm

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday at a joint press conference in Kyiv with European Council President Charles Michel that Ukraine’s membership in the European Union is a “priority”.

“It is a priority for our state and the power of our people,” Mr. Zelensky told the press after meeting with Mr. Michel.

3:43 PM

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Wednesday urged countries to continue cooperation as some finance ministers decided not to attend some G-20 sessions on Wednesday due to the presence of Russian officials.

“No country can solve its problems alone. It is clear that cooperation must and will continue,” she said at a press conference. According to her, even if “cooperation is more difficult when there are tensions, it is not impossible.” “I have no doubt that there will be substantive discussions” during this G-20, she emphasized.

2:57 pm

A total of 1.1 million Ukrainians have returned to their country since the start of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, Andrey Demchenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Border Guard Service said on Wednesday.

12:23 PM

More than five million Ukrainians have fled their country since the Russian invasion, according to new figures released by the United Nations Wednesday regarding the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 5034439 Ukrainians have left their country since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24.

11:54

European Council President Charles Michel said, on Wednesday, that “history will not forget the war crimes” in Ukraine, while visiting Borodianka near Kyiv, where civilians were victims of “massacres” committed by the Russians, according to the Ukrainian authorities.

“In Borodianka, as in Bucha and many other cities of Ukraine, history will not forget the war crimes committed here,” Michel wrote on Twitter, accompanied by a picture of a woman hugging him. “There is no peace without justice,” he added.

10:28

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine said on Wednesday that five Ukrainian soldiers who were defending the last stronghold held by Kyiv forces in Mariupol (southeastern Ukraine) laid down their arms and that 140 civilians were evacuated.

The authorities of the self-proclaimed separatist Donetsk Republic said, in a statement from the international community, that “five Ukrainian soldiers laid down their arms and voluntarily left the Azovstal plant”, where the final defenders of Mariupol were holed up.

9:13 am

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, the body representing EU member states, announced in Kyiv on Wednesday morning, in a tweet, as Ukraine faces a new military offensive across Russia in the east of the country.

“In Kyiv today, in the heart of a free and democratic Europe,” Charles Michel said in a message accompanied by a photo taken on the platform of a station in the Ukrainian capital.

8:09

A Ukrainian official said an agreement had been reached with Russia on a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from the besieged port of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine, in the first such agreement since Saturday.

“We were able to reach a preliminary agreement (with the Russians) on a humanitarian corridor for women, children and the elderly,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshuk said via Telegram.

6:45 am

G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors meet on Wednesday as the war in Ukraine threatens to paralyze discussions and jeopardize any progress in implementing the Common Framework for Restructuring the Debt Restructuring of the poorest countries.

This is the first time that major G20 money makers have met since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

They parted ways in Jakarta, Indonesia, on February 18, a few days before the Russian offensive began, and promised to coordinate for a “stronger” global recovery.

1h00

The United States is set to approve a new military aid package for Ukraine of up to $800 million, less than a week after an earlier announcement of the same amount, several sources said, Tuesday.

Details of this new package are still being worked out, according to CNN, which cited three top Biden administration officials.

According to NBC News, this new batch is expected to include more artillery and tens of thousands of shells from Kyiv in its war against Russia, as Ukraine faces a series of Russian strikes in the eastern part of the country.

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