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Latest news about Russia and the war in Ukraine

Diplomats return to Kyiv to show support

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nechamer said Austrian embassy staff would return to Kyiv from western Ukraine.

The Austrian news agency reported that Nehamer announced the move during a visit to Kyiv on Saturday, where he met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

Nehamer said that “as the situation around Kyiv has stabilized to some extent, the team of the Austrian embassy will resume work in the Ukrainian capital.” He said it was a sign of “Austria’s full support for Ukraine at this very difficult time”.

The team was relocated at the beginning of the war to an outpost in Uzhgorod, near the Slovak border in the far west of Ukraine.

The European Union has also returned its ambassador to Kyiv, and Italy also reportedly plans to reopen its embassy there.

– Associated Press

The IMF is creating a secure way to target aid to Ukraine

The International Monetary Fund has set up an account to give donor countries a secure way to direct financial aid directly to war-torn Ukraine.

The multilateral lender said in a statement on Friday that it had launched the account at the request of several member states.

The aim is to help Ukraine meet its payment obligations and help stabilize its economy by using loans or grants from pooled resources.

The IMF says Canada has proposed directing up to 1 billion Canadian dollars ($ 795 million) to Ukraine through the new account.

Two weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the IMF approved an emergency $ 1.4 billion loan to Ukraine.

– Associated Press

S&P reduces Russia’s ability to repay foreign debt

S&P Global Ratings has lowered its assessment of Russia’s ability to repay foreign debt, a sign that Moscow may not repay such loans for the first time in more than a century.

The downgrade came after Russia arranged to make payments on foreign bonds in rubles last week, when they were due in dollars.

S&P expects sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine to increase, making it harder for the country to pay off its foreign debts.

– Associated Press

Putin could use Biden’s support for Ukraine in a new campaign to interfere in American politics

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the country’s agricultural and fishing industries via video link at a residence outside Moscow, Russia, April 5, 2022.

Mikhail Klimentyev Sputnik Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin could use the support of the Biden administration for Ukraine in a new campaign to interfere in American politics, according to US intelligence officials, AP reported.

There are still no signs of the kind of interference observed by Russia in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, officials say.

However, they say Putin sees the United States’ support for Ukraine’s resistance as an insult to him and an incentive to move to new elections.

– Associated Press

At least 1,766 civilians were killed in the war, according to the United Nations

At least 1,766 civilians, including 139 children, have been killed in Ukraine since Russia began its invasion, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

An additional 2,383 people, including 215 children, were injured between February 24 and April 8, the agency added.

The agency expects actual figures to be “significantly higher”. It was difficult for officials to determine the extent of injuries and deaths in areas of fierce fighting or captured by Russian forces.

Most of the injuries were caused by the use of high-impact explosive weapons, such as heavy artillery fire and missile and air strikes, the agency said.

– Jessica Bersztynski

The United States restricts Russia’s and Belarus’ access to foreign imports of fertilizers and valves

Washington has added more to its list of restricted exports to Russia and Belarus, restricting countries’ access to imports of fertilizers and pipe valves.

The Biden administration also restricted flights of US-owned aircraft owned, controlled or leased by Belarusians to fly to Belarus “as part of the US government’s response to Belarus’ actions in support of Russia’s aggressive behavior in Ukraine. “.

The measures followed the latest set of sanctions imposed by Washington on Wednesday, which affected several Russian banks and individuals in response to Russian forces’ atrocities against civilians in the Ukrainian city of Bucha.

– Natasha Turak

Global donors pledge 9.1 billion euros to support Ukrainian refugees

(LR) Polish President Andrzej Duda, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission and Chief Executive Officer of Global Citizen Hugh Evans attend the event “Defend for Ukraine”, which was joined by Canadian President Justin Trudeau via video link in Warsaw, Poland on April 9, 2022

Janek Skarzynski AFP | Getty Images

Donors, including the Canadian government and the European Commission, pledged 9.1 billion euros in donations, loans and grants on Saturday to support refugees fleeing the war after Russia’s invasion.

The fundraising event in Warsaw, Poland, brought in 1.8 billion euros to support internally displaced people in Ukraine and 7.3 billion euros for refugees fleeing the country to neighboring countries.

Governments, companies and individuals together have pledged 4.1 billion euros in donations, which will be distributed mainly through the Ukrainian authorities or the United Nations.

The remaining 5 billion euros were loans and grants from EU financial institutions – including a 4 billion euro program to help provide housing, education and health care for refugees arriving in EU countries.

“We stand by you, whether in times of war or refugees, but most importantly, after this war was won by Ukraine, for the time of rebuilding and rebuilding the country,” said European Commission President Ursula. von der Layen, who visited Kyiv on Friday and hosted the event with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

More than 4 million people have already fled Ukraine to seek shelter in EU countries, while 6.5 million have fled their homes but remain in Ukraine, the European Commission said.

– Reuters

The European Commission has pledged 1 billion euros to support Ukraine

(LR) Leading British journalist Isha Sesay, Polish President Andrzej Duda, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission and CEO of Global Citizen Hugh Evans attend the event “Defend for Ukraine”, which was joined by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky ( left) via video link in Warsaw, Poland on April 9, 2022.

Janek Skarzynski Afp | Getty Images

The European Commission will pledge 1 billion euros to support Ukraine and host countries fleeing the war after Russia’s invasion, EU Executive President Ursula von der Leyen said on Saturday.

“Six hundred million of them will go to Ukraine, to the Ukrainian authorities and partly to the United Nations,” von der Leyen said at a fundraising event for Ukraine in Barabbas, Poland.

“And 400 million euros will go to the front lines, which are doing such an exceptional job and helping the refugees who are coming,” she said.

– Reuters

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson met with Zelensky in Kyiv

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in Kyiv on April 9, 2022.

Ukrainian presidential service

The office of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he had traveled to Ukraine to meet with President Zelensky to show solidarity, the Associated Press reported. The visit was not announced in advance.

The Facebook page of Andriy Sibiha, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, posted a photo of Johnson and Zelensky sitting opposite each other at a table. with the flags of their respective countries next to them.

The President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky greeted the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson before the meeting, while the Russian attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine, April 9, 2022.

Press service of the Ukrainian President Reuters

“Currently, Boris Johnson’s visit to Kyiv began with a tete-a-tete meeting with President Zelensky. Leader of Great Britain in support of Ukraine’s defense. The leader of the anti-war coalition. Leader in sanctions against the Russian aggressor “, a translated version of the Facebook post says.

The Ukrainian embassy in London shared the photo on its Facebook page with the caption “#StrongerTogether”.

The two leaders, who meet on Saturday, will discuss “the UK’s long-term support for Ukraine”, including a new package of financial and military aid, the prime minister’s office said.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson shake hands before a meeting as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine, April 9, 2022.

Press service of the Ukrainian President Reuters

– Ani Nova and Ria Bhatacharji

The EU ambassador returns to Kyiv and announces more military aid

The European Union ambassador returned to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, after his delegation was evacuated from the country on February 24th, when Russian forces first invaded the country.

“Our delegation is returning, the EU is returning to Kyiv, and I am sure that other delegations and embassies from Member States will follow,” said Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs. He made the announcement during a visit to Kyiv and also outlined plans to provide another 500m euros in military aid to Ukraine.

The EU delegation to Ukraine has been relocated to Poland since the invasion began. Borrell said he expects other countries to return to the country.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell speaks at a press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after Russia launched a large-scale military operation against Ukraine, in Brussels, Belgium, 27 February 2022. .

Stephanie Lecock Reuters

Ukrainian farmers begin the spring sowing season in Zaporozhye

With growing food shortages as Russian aggression continues, Ukrainian farmers are starting spring sowing …