War in Ukraine: Latest developments

·3-min read
Pope Francis renewed calls for a truce over the Orthodox Easter weekend (AFP/Genya SAVILOV) (Genya SAVILOV)

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- Blinken expected in Ukraine -

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are in talks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, the president's spokesman says Sunday.

The first visit by senior US officials to Ukraine comes as the war enters its third month.

- Ukraine proposes Mariupol talks -

Ukraine has invited Russia to talks near Mariupol's besieged Azovstal steelworks, the last holdout of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians in a devastated city largely under Moscow's control.

"We invited Russians to hold a special round of talks on the spot right next to the walls of Azovstal," says Oleksiy Arestovych, an aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

- Six more civilians killed -

Donetsk governor Pavlo Kyrylenko says five civilians were killed Sunday and another five wounded in the eastern region.

Also in eastern Ukraine, the Kharkiv prosecutors office reports one woman killed and a man wounded by shrapnel.

- Pope urges Easter truce -

Pope Francis renews calls for a truce over the Orthodox Easter weekend, "to ease the suffering of exhausted people".

"It is sad that on these most holy and solemn days for Christians we hear more of the murderous noise of weapons than that of the bells announcing the resurrection" of Christ, says the pontiff.

- UN calls for 'stop' in Mariupol fighting -

UN Ukraine crisis coordinator Amin Awad calls for an "immediate stop" to fighting in Mariupol to allow the evacuation of trapped civilians in the battered city "today".

"The lives of tens of thousands, including women, children and older people, are at stake in Mariupol," Awad says in a statement. "We need a pause in fighting right now to save lives."

- Russia still attacking Mariupol troops -

The deputy commander of the far-right Azov Regiment in Mariupol's Azovstal steel plant says Russian forces continue to bombard the site and attempt to breach its defences.

- 20,000 Mariupol civilians dead -

Mayor Vadym Boychenko says more than 20,000 civilians have died in Mariupol since Russia's invasion and that more than 100,000 remain in the city "begging for rescue".

"I want to emphasise once again -- unfortunately, for two days in a row, Russian occupation forces are disrupting the evacuation," he adds.

- Russia accused of forced blood donations -

Ukrainian ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denysova says Moscow wants to force captured Ukrainian soldiers to donate blood to wounded Russian troops, comparing the alleged practice to Nazi actions during World War II.

- EU to press India over Ukraine -

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrives in India, where she will press leaders over the country's neutral stance on the Ukraine war.

- OSCE 'concerned' over missing members -

The world's largest security body says it is "extremely concerned" after several of its Ukrainian members were believed to have been arrested in pro-Russian separatist territories in the country's east.

- UK urges France and Germany to do more -

Britain says "it would be good to see more from France and Germany" to support the Ukraine war effort.

Minister Oliver Dowden tells the BBC that the West should "continue to tighten the ratchet on Russia" as Moscow ramps up its offensives in the south and east of Ukraine.

- Russia blocks chess website -

The popular website Chess.com, which boasts 50 million members worldwide, is blocked in Russia after publishing two critical articles on the situation in Ukraine branded "false information" by the authorities.


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