UKRAINE – RUSSIA WAR: Ukraine is calling for more weapons and harsher sanctions after it blamed Moscow for a missile attack that killed at least 52 people at a train station packed with civilians fleeing the threat of a Russian offensive on the 45th day of the conflict.
More evacuations needed from Ukraine’s Luhansk: governor
More evacuations are needed from the Luhansk region in Ukraine as shelling has increased in recent days and more Russian forces have been arriving, Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai has said.
He said that some 30 percent of people still remain in settlements across the region and have been asked to evacuate.
“They (Russia) are amassing forces for an offensive and we see the number of shelling has increased,” Gaidai told the public television broadcaster.
Ten humanitarian corridors agreed for Saturday: Ukraine
Ten humanitarian corridors to evacuate people from Ukraine’s besieged regions have been agreed for Saturday, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said.
The planned corridors include one for people evacuating by private transport from the city of Mariupol, Vereshchuk said.
Zelenskyy seeks ‘firm global response’ to train station bombing
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for a “firm global response” after a missile strike killed at least 52 people at a train station in eastern Ukraine where civilians had gathered to flee a feared Russian offensive.
“This is another Russian war crime for which everyone involved will be held accountable,” Zelenskyy said in a video message, referring to Friday’s missile strike, whose victims included five children.
“World powers have already condemned Russia’s attack on Kramatorsk. We expect a firm global response to this war crime,” he continued.
Forty victims of mass grave in Bucha are civilians: Ukraine
Forty victims found in a Ukrainian mass grave in the Kiev suburb of Bucha were civilians who “did not resist,” according to the nation’s capital police chief.
Police are investigating mass graves in Bucha, according to Andriy Nebytov, who said Russian forces “regularly fired on civilians.”
Some civilians were killed during shelling of the city by Russian artillery. Among those killed were civilian men and women between the ages of 40 and 60, he said. He noted that bullet wounds to the head and body were found on victims – an indication they were killed by an automatic weapon or a sniper’s rifle.
31,000 civilians in Mariupol forcibly relocated to Russia — Mayor
At least 31,000 civilians from southeastern Ukraine’s besieged port city of Mariupol were forcibly taken to Russia, according to the mayor.
Vadim Boychenko told local television that civilians from Mariupol were forcibly taken to Russia or the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” by Russian forces and officials have a verified list of residents forcibly relocated from their homes.
Noting that residents were subjected to various humiliations, Boychenko said Russian authorities treated them harshly, took fingerprints and forced them to sign various documents.
Biden speaks with South Africa’s Ramaphosa
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa held telephone talks with US President Joe Biden, a day after the continental powerhouse abstained from voting on a resolution suspending Russia from a UN rights body over its aggression in Ukraine.
Ramaphosa tweeted that he had “a productive” telephone call with Biden.
Local media suggested it was Biden who initiated the phone call to Pretoria which South Africa has maintained a non-aligned stance on the conflict in Ukraine, touting negotiation as the best option to end the conflict despite international outrage and condemnation.
Biden signs bill limiting trade with Russia
US President Joe Biden has signed legislation axing normal trade ties with Russia, the newest move Washington has taken to punish Moscow for its Ukraine incursion.
US president also inked a bill codifying the nation’s ban on Russian oil imports, the White House announced.
The development came about a month later along the decisions taken by Group of Seven (G-7) nations.