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News in Ukraine today: At least two were killed in a rocket attack on Kharkiv

What is happening in Ukraine today and how do countries around the world react? Read live updates about Vladimir Putin and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Kyiv, Ukraine – A regional official in eastern Ukraine says at least two people have been killed in Russian shelling.

Luhansk Oblast Governor Sergei Gaidai said at least four others were injured Sunday when Russian forces opened fire on residential buildings in the town of Zolote.

Zolote is located near the front line in the eastern industrial center of Ukraine, called Donbass, where Russian forces are preparing for a massive offensive.


WASHINGTON – The Prime Minister of Ukraine said that the besieged city of Mariupol has not yet fallen under Russia and Ukrainian forces there will fight “to the end.”

Prime Minister Denis Schmihal called on Sunday on a US television show for help for approximately 100,000 Ukrainians trapped in the eastern city without food, water, heat and electricity.

He says some regions of Mariupol remain under Ukrainian control and that Russia does not have full control of the city.

Mariupol looked on the verge of falling in front of Russian forces on Sunday after seven weeks of siege. The Russian military has given a deadline for the capitulation of several thousand Ukrainian fighters, who were the last pockets of resistance in Mariupol, but the Ukrainians did not obey.

Schmihal told ABC News this week that Ukrainian forces were still fighting, including in the Donbass region, “but we have no intention of surrendering.”

The prime minister says Ukraine is ready to end the war through diplomacy if possible. Schmihal says capitulation is not an option, adding that “we will not leave our country, our families, our lands, so we will fight absolutely to the end, to win this war.”


Kyiv, Ukraine – A Ukrainian health official says at least five people have died in the Russian shelling of Kharkiv.

Maxim Khaustov, head of the health department of the Kharkiv regional administration, said another 13 residents were injured in the shelling of Ukraine’s second-largest city on Sunday.

Rescuers are working to help survivors of the shelling, which hit residential and office buildings and caused fires. Officials said the center of Kharkiv had been shelled by volley fire systems.


KHARKIV, Ukraine – Numerous rockets hit the center of the eastern city of Kharkiv on Sunday, according to AP journalists in the city.

The barrage crashed into apartment buildings, leaving broken glass, debris and part of at least one rocket scattered across the street. Several apartments caught fire as firefighters and residents struggled to put out the blaze.

At least two bodies were spotted and four others were injured, although the scale of the attack suggested the death toll could rise further.


MOSCOW – The Russian military has warned that Ukrainian troops who refuse to surrender in the besieged port of Mariupol will be destroyed.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has given Ukrainians at the giant Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol to surrender by 1pm on Sunday (10:00 GMT), saying those who lay down their weapons will have “assurances that they will save their lives” .

A spokesman for Russia’s Defense Ministry, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said the Ukrainian military command had banned its troops from surrendering. He said the Russian military had received the information from intercepted communications.

Konashenkov warned that “all those who will continue the resistance will be destroyed.”

He claims that along with Ukrainian troops, there are about 400 foreign mercenaries besieged in Azovstal, most of European countries and Canada, who communicate in six languages, according to intercepted data. Konashenkov’s claim cannot be verified independently.


Vatican – In an Easter message aimed at the world but strongly focused on Ukraine, Pope Francis raised two concerns – the risk of nuclear war and that other armed conflicts around the globe will go unnoticed.

In a speech from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, the pope quoted a declaration by scholars from the 1950s, in which they asked the question: “Should we end the human race or give up humanity?”

The pope has repeatedly made painful appeals for a ceasefire and talks to end the war in Ukraine. In his Easter message, Francis complained that “so many of our brothers and sisters had to be locked up to protect themselves from bombing.”

He expressed hope that the war in Europe “will also make us more concerned about other situations of conflict, suffering and grief” in situations “which we cannot ignore and do not want to forget”. Among the places he cites are Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. He pointed to Yemen, which is suffering from a conflict “forgotten by all, with constant casualties”.


MILAN – Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called Ukraine’s resistance to the Russian invasion “heroic”, depriving Russia of what it expected to be a quick victory and paving the way for a “protracted” war.

Draghi told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera in an interview published on Sunday that “what awaits us is a war of resistance, prolonged violence with destruction that will continue. There are no signs that Ukraine’s population can accept Russian occupation. “

Draghi noted that Italy remains close to the Ukrainian people with the reopening of its embassy in Kyiv. The ambassador returned to the capital on Friday, and the embassy is expected to be fully operational on Monday.

Draghi, who spoke with Putin before the outbreak of war and again in late March, said he had come to believe that talking to the Russian leader was “just a waste of time.”

Draghi said: “I have the impression that the horror of the war, with its carnage, with what it has done to children and women, is completely independent of words and phone calls.”


Kyiv, Ukraine – Ukraine’s deputy defense minister says the key port of Mariupol is being held back despite ongoing Russian attacks.

Hanna Malyar said on Sunday that defenders of the key port on the Sea of ​​Azov had tied up significant Russian forces besieging the city. She described Mariupol as a “shield protecting Ukraine” that prevents Russian troops surrounding the city from advancing to other parts of the country.

Malyar said the Russians had continued to strike Mariupol with air strikes and were probably preparing a landing to increase their strength in the city.


LONDON – In his Easter sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby called on Russia to declare a ceasefire and withdraw to Ukraine.

The leader of the Anglican Church said Easter was a time for peace, not “blood and iron”.

Noting that in the Eastern Orthodox Church, followed by many in Russia and Ukraine, Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week – the week leading up to Easter – he said “let this be a time for a Russian ceasefire, withdrawal and commitment to negotiations”.

Welby said that God “hears the cries of mothers in Ukraine, he sees the fear of boys who are too young to become soldiers, and he knows the vulnerability of orphans and refugees.”


MOSCOW – The Russian military told Ukrainian troops in the besieged port of Mariupol that if they laid down their weapons, they would be “guaranteed to save their lives”.

Russia’s Defense Ministry made the announcement early Sunday. Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev said the Ukrainians, surrounded by the giant Azovstal steel plant, had been given up to 13 hours (1,000 GMT) to surrender.

This was the last such proposal to Ukrainian defenders of the key port of the Sea of ​​Azov during a siege that lasted more than 1.5 months. The capture of Mariupol is a key strategic goal for Russia, allowing it to secure a land corridor to Crimea that was annexed by Moscow in 2014. The fall of Mariupol will also free Russian forces involved in the siege of a planned offensive in Ukraine’s eastern industrial zone. . the heart called Donbass.

The giant Azovstal steel plant, which covers an area of ​​more than 11 square kilometers (more than 4.2 square miles), is the last major part of Mariupol still under Ukrainian control.

A spokesman for Russia’s Defense Ministry, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said on Saturday that about 2,500 Ukrainian troops remain in Azovstal, a statement that cannot be confirmed independently. Ukrainian authorities did not mention any figures for the city’s defenders.


MOSCOW – The Russian military said it had hit a military plant with missiles on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital.

A spokesman for Russia’s Defense Ministry, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said on Sunday that the military had used precision-guided air missiles to attack the Brovary munitions plant near Kyiv at night.

He said other Russian air strikes had also destroyed Ukrainian air defense radars near Severodonetsk to the east and several ammunition depots elsewhere.

The strikes were the latest in a series of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s arms factories, air defenses and other facilities as Moscow prepares for a massive offensive in Ukraine’s eastern industrial center, called Donbass.


SOFIA, Bulgaria – Bulgaria has banned Russian-flagged ships from entering their Black Sea ports as part of expanded EU sanctions, the country’s Maritime Administration said on its website on Sunday.

“All vessels registered under the Russian flag, as well as all vessels that have changed their Russian flag, flag or registration in the maritime register of any other country after February 24, are prohibited from accessing Bulgarian sea and river ports.” said the authorities. .

Exceptions will be made only for ships in distress or seeking humanitarian aid, or ships transporting energy products, food and pharmaceuticals to EU countries.