LIVE – War in Ukraine: what to remember from Sunday, April 17

Posted on April 17, 2022 at 9:34 amUpdated on April 17, 2022 at 9:33 p.m.

Will Mariupol fall? This strategic port in southeastern Ukraine has been subjected to uninterrupted bombardment since the beginning of the invasion by Russian forces, which ordered the last defenders of the city to lay down their arms, on the 53rd day of the conflict.

The capture of the city, which could be imminent, would allow the Russians to consolidate their coastal territorial gains along the Sea of ​​Azov by uniting the Donbass region, controlled in part by their supporters, with Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014.

Highlights of the day

> A series of Russian attacks in Kharkiv left at least five dead

> This Sunday no corridor was opened for the evacuation of civilians

> The situation is “inhumane” in Mariupol, according to Volodymyr Zelensky

>>> Follow the news live this Sunday, April 17:

3:50 p.m. – Zelensky says that he invited Macron to go to Ukraine to see the existence of a “genocide”

The Ukrainian president claimed to have invited Emmanuel Macron to go to Ukraine to see with his own eyes that Russian forces are committing “genocide”, a term his French counterpart has so far refused to use. “Regarding Emmanuel, I spoke with him,” President Zelensky said in an interview with US channel CNN on Friday and broadcast today. “I think he wants to make sure that Russia engages in a dialogue,” he added, to explain the French leader’s refusal to denounce a “genocide” in Ukraine, unlike US President Joe Biden. “He will come, and he will see, and I am sure he will understand. »

The Ukrainian president also says that he wants Joe Biden to come to Ukraine. “I think he will come,” “but the decision is up to him, of course, it depends on the security situation,” he said. “But I think he is the leader of the United States and that’s why he should come and see. The US government is considering sending an envoy to kyiv, but the White House has so far ruled out a high-risk trip by the president himself.

15:48 – The defenders of Mariupol “will fight to the end”, says the Ukrainian PM

The last Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol still occupy sections of the city and “will fight to the end,” Denys Chmygal said in an interview broadcast on US channel ABC on Sunday.

“No, the city did not fall. Our military forces, our soldiers are still there. They will fight to the end. As I speak to them, they are still in Mariupol,” the Ukrainian prime minister said.

14:55 – 5 killed in a series of attacks in Kharkiv

At least five people were killed and 13 injured in a series of attacks in Kharkiv, a major city in northeastern Ukraine, that set fires, emergency services announced. AFP journalists heard two bursts of gunfire and saw five fires spreading through residential areas in central Kharkiv. Fire trucks crisscrossed the city in all directions to reach the burning apartments.

In the moments after the strikes, there was a sense of panic in the streets, with pedestrians fleeing and cars speeding away.

In the moments after the strikes, there was a sense of panic in the streets, with pedestrians fleeing and cars speeding away.Maryke VERMAAK / AFP

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city with almost 1.5 million inhabitants before the war, was subjected to heavy fighting for several days at the beginning of the offensive, but always remained under the control of Ukrainian forces.

14:11 – France wants to be “as close as possible” to the needs of Ukraine, according to the ambassador in kyiv

The reopening of the French embassy in kyiv on Friday is “a very strong political symbol” for Paris, which wants to be as close as possible to Ukraine’s military, defensive and logistical needs, the French ambassador to Ukraine said in an interview with AFP. .

For Etienne de Poncins, this decision “responds to a request from the president [Volodymyr] Zelensky”. “With our return to kyiv, we are closer to this chain of solidarity with the Ukrainians, more effective in responding to their demands,” he said. The diplomat will meet this Sunday with the Ukrainian Defense Minister, Oleksiï Reznikov, on the “more specific needs” of kyiv in terms of military aid.

12h21 – MonThe Pope calls to “hear the cry of peace” in this “Easter of war”

Pope Francis called on “those who have the responsibility of the Nations” to “listen to the cry of peace of the people” in this “Easter of war”, in reference to the “martyr” Ukraine. “We have seen too much blood, too much violence […] Let’s stop showing muscles while people suffer,” said the sovereign pontiff during his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” blessing, before some 50,000 faithful in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.

10:32 a.m. – Draghi regrets the ineffectiveness of the dialogue with Putin

The head of the Italian government lamented the apparent ineffectiveness of the “dialogue” with Vladimir Putin, noting that these contacts did not prevent the “horror” from continuing in Ukraine. “I am beginning to think that those who say: ‘It is useless for you to talk to him, you are wasting your time’ are right,” Mario Draghi said in an interview with Il Corriere della Sera newspaper, published on Sunday.

“I have always defended (Emmanuel) Macron and I continue to say that, as the current president of the EU, he is right to try all possible avenues of dialogue. But I have the impression that the horror of the war with the slaughter of him, with what they did to children and women, is completely independent of statements and phone calls” between the Kremlin and foreign powers, he said, he added.

10h20 – MonRussia claims to have ‘destroyed’ a military factory near kyiv

The Russian Defense Ministry has announced that it has bombed a military factory on the outskirts of kyiv, as Moscow intensifies its attacks on the Ukrainian capital.

“Overnight, high-precision aircraft-launched missiles destroyed an ammunition factory near Brovary in the kyiv region,” the ministry said in a statement on its Telegram channel.

9:55 am – Due to lack of agreement with the Russians, there is no humanitarian corridor this Sunday, according to kyiv

The Ukrainian authorities have announced the suspension of humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians from eastern Ukraine, in the absence of an agreement with the Russian army on the cessation of shooting.

“This morning we failed to negotiate a ceasefire on the evacuation routes with the occupants. That is why, unfortunately, we are not going to open humanitarian corridors today,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Telegram.

9:15 am – Gazprom says it will continue its gas exports to Europe via Ukraine

The Russian gas producer announced in a press release that it has continued to supply natural gas to Europe through Ukraine in accordance with the demands of its European customers. These requirements for April 17 amounted to 57 million cubic meters, Gazprom added.

7:30 am – New sanctions against Russia will target Sberbank, says von der Leyen

The next sanctions that the European Union will impose on Russia will target banks, in particular Sberbank, as well as oil, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told a German newspaper. For now, the EU has spared Russia’s largest bank because it represents, along with Gazprombank, one of the main payment channels for Russian oil and gas, which the bloc’s countries buy despite the conflict in Ukraine.

“We are looking more at the banking sector, especially Sberbank, which represents 37% of the Russian banking sector. There are also energy issues,” Ursula von der Leyen told the Sunday newspaper “Bild am Sonntag”, which asked her to detail the key points of the new sanctions.

6:32 am – “Inhumane” situation in Mariupol, which the Russians claim to largely control

The situation in this strategic port is “inhumane”, declared the Ukrainian president on Saturday night, and called on the West to provide “immediately” the heavy weapons that he has been demanding for several weeks, while Russia claims to control almost the entire city. and launches a new appeal to its last defenders to lay down their arms.

“The situation in Mariupol remains as serious as it can be. Simply inhumane,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message. “That is what the Russian Federation did. He did it deliberately. […] Russia is deliberately trying to destroy anyone in Mariupol,” in southeastern Ukraine.

According to the World Food Program, more than 100,000 civilians are on the brink of starvation in Mariupol, as well as lacking water and a source of heat.

According to the World Food Program, more than 100,000 civilians are on the brink of starvation in Mariupol, as well as lacking water and a source of heat.Sergei Bobylev / TASS / Sipa USA / SIP

According to him, there are only “two options”: “Either the partners provide Ukraine with all the necessary heavy weapons, aircraft, and, without exaggeration, immediately” in order to “reduce the pressure on Mariupol and lift the siege.” city ​​inhabited by 441,000 people before the invasion of February 24.

“Or the path of negotiation, in which the role of the partners must also be decisive,” continued the Ukrainian president, who said that the search for a “military or diplomatic” solution was a “daily” activity since the beginning of the blocking. but it turned out “extremely difficult”.

6:08 am – Explosions heard in Kyiv

Explosions were heard in the early hours of Sunday in the Ukrainian capital, local media reported. Warning sirens sounded throughout the night throughout Ukraine.

>>> The highlights of the night and the day before:

> Oil refinery bombed in eastern Ukraine

Russian forces on Saturday attacked an oil refinery in Lyssychansk, a town near the front line in eastern Ukraine. “In the morning they bombed the oil refinery, a fire broke out […] and the extinction continues at the moment,” the Ukrainian governor of the Luhansk region said on Telegram.

“The Russians systematically attack it to exhaust the rescuers. There is no fuel there. Only hydrocarbon residues are burned,” he added. The refinery is about four kilometers west of the city of Lysychansk.

> One dead in the bombing of a military factory in kyiv

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram that one person was killed and “several” were hospitalized after the shelling of a military factory in the Darnytsky district. “Our air defense forces are doing their best to protect us, but the enemy is cunning and ruthless,” he wrote.

Once again he called on residents who have left the city not to return, but to stay in a “safe place”. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed for its part that he had attacked a military equipment factory in kyiv, claiming to have attacked it with “high-precision and long-range air-to-ground weapons.”

> Boris Johnson expelled from Russia

Russia has announced that Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister and ministers of foreign affairs, defence, economy and justice are banned from entering the country. A decision made after London imposed new sanctions on Moscow for its military operation in Ukraine.

“This step was taken in response to the rampant political and media campaign aimed at isolating Russia internationally and creating the conditions for […] strangling the national economy,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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