On the 44th day of the Russia-Ukraine war, here is a look at the main developments.
Here are the key events so far on Friday, April 8.
- British military intelligence says Russian forces are shelling cities in the east and south and had advanced further south from the city of Izyum, which is under their control.
- Capturing the southeastern port city of Mariupol is still the main focus of Russian troops, the Ukrainian military says. Russian battalions, meanwhile, are blockading and bombarding the northeastern city of Kharkiv.
- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Russia had sustained “significant losses” in Ukraine.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the situation in Borodyanka, a town northwest of the capital, Kyiv, was “significantly more dreadful” than in Bucha, where Ukrainian authorities say they have found hundreds of bodies. He did not cite any evidence. Moscow denies targeting civilians.
- The United States will send new weapons systems to Ukraine after NATO foreign ministers agreed to accelerate arms deliveries. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warns of a war that could last months or even years.
- At least 160,000 civilians are trapped in Mariupol without power and with little food or running water, the city’s mayor says. He adds 40,000 residents were forcibly deported to Russia, which has described the people arriving as refugees.
- The World Health Organization says it has confirmed more than 100 attacks on health services in Ukraine as it calls for humanitarian access to Mariupol.
- Zelenskyy tells a special session of the Greek parliament to use its influence “to better organise whatever rescue can be carried out in Mariupol”. But the address causes outrage from opposition parties after a man who identified himself as an ethnic Greek member of Ukraine’s ultranationalist Azov battalion appeared on a video.
- The United Nations General Assembly has voted to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council and expressed grave concern at the continuing human rights and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Russia called the move illegal and said it was quitting the council.
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Kyiv presented Moscow with a draft peace deal that contained “unacceptable” elements that deviated from a previous proposal.
- Canada has increased financial support for Ukraine. The budget earmarked an additional $800m in loans through the International Monetary Fund, as well as $400m in military aid.
- The European Union has approved an embargo on Russian coal – the first time the bloc has targeted the energy sector, on which they are heavily dependent – and the closing of its ports to Russian vessels.
- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will travel to Kyiv on Friday to show Europe’s “unwavering support” for Ukraine in its fight against Russia, she says.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES