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World: Live Updates | Ukraine says besieged Mariupol still holding

Russia deportation: After weeks under Putin's bombs, these Ukrainians were given only one way out

  Russia deportation: After weeks under Putin's bombs, these Ukrainians were given only one way out When Russian forces and allied separatist soldiers arrived offering a path to safety, it felt like a sick twist of fate. © Maxar Technologies A March 21 satellite image of the Centre of Culture and Leisure in Dokuchaevsk shows buses outside. It was mid-March and residents in Mariupol had spent weeks in freezing, damp basements, hiding from relentless Russian bombardment and fearing for their lives. Now, they were being told that to survive, there was only one way out: to Russia. If they didn't leave they would die in the rubble, the Russian soldiers warned. They said they had little choice.

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s deputy defense minister says that the key port of Mariupol is holding despite the continuing Russian attacks.

The gutted remains of vehicles are seen at the Illich Iron & Steel Works Metallurgical Plant, the second largest metallurgical enterprise in Ukraine, in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, Saturday, April 16, 2022. Mariupol, a strategic port on the Sea of Azov, has been besieged by Russian troops and forces from self-proclaimed separatist areas in eastern Ukraine for more than six weeks. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov) © Provided by Associated Press The gutted remains of vehicles are seen at the Illich Iron & Steel Works Metallurgical Plant, the second largest metallurgical enterprise in Ukraine, in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, Saturday, April 16, 2022. Mariupol, a strategic port on the Sea of Azov, has been besieged by Russian troops and forces from self-proclaimed separatist areas in eastern Ukraine for more than six weeks. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov)

Hanna Malyar said Sunday that the defenders of the key Sea of Azov port have tied up significant Russian forces besieging the city. She described Mariupol as a “shield defending Ukraine” that prevents the Russian troops encircling the city from advancing to other areas of the country.

Ukrainian vigilantes may try to seek retribution for Russian war crimes, expert warns

  Ukrainian vigilantes may try to seek retribution for Russian war crimes, expert warns Vigilante groups were active during 2013-2014 protests, a Harvard anthropologist told Insider — and they may return amid the war with Russia.Emily Channell-Justice, the director of Harvard University's Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program, said Ukraine has seen vigilante groups operate in the past.

Malyar said that the Russians have continued to hit Mariupol with air raids and were possibly preparing an amphibious landing to beef up their forces in the city.

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Servicemen of Donetsk People's Republic militia walk past damaged apartment buildings near the Illich Iron & Steel Works Metallurgical Plant, the second largest metallurgical enterprise in Ukraine, in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, Saturday, April 16, 2022. Mariupol, a strategic port on the Sea of Azov, has been besieged by Russian troops and forces from self-proclaimed separatist areas in eastern Ukraine for more than six weeks. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov) © Provided by Associated Press Servicemen of Donetsk People's Republic militia walk past damaged apartment buildings near the Illich Iron & Steel Works Metallurgical Plant, the second largest metallurgical enterprise in Ukraine, in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, Saturday, April 16, 2022. Mariupol, a strategic port on the Sea of Azov, has been besieged by Russian troops and forces from self-proclaimed separatist areas in eastern Ukraine for more than six weeks. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov)

KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:

Zelenskyy warns Ukraine of crucial days ahead; Russia warns of 'direct military confrontation' with US: Live Ukraine updates

  Zelenskyy warns Ukraine of crucial days ahead; Russia warns of 'direct military confrontation' with US: Live Ukraine updates Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned his nation that the coming week would be as crucial as any in the war with Russia. Live updates.“When people lack the courage to admit their mistakes, apologize, adapt to reality and learn, they turn into monsters. And when the world ignores it, the monsters decide that it is the world that has to adapt to them. Ukraine will stop all this,” Zelenskyy said. “The day will come when they will have to admit everything. Accept the truth,” he said.

— Russia strikes Ukraine's big cities, bears down on Mariupol

— Mother, grandmother weep over a 15-year-old killed in shelling of Kharkiv

— Elderly mother feels “lost,” seeks son's body in Ukrainian town of Bucha

— Prince Harry pays tribute to Ukrainian competitors as he opens the Invictus Games

A body of a civilian lies next to a damaged car near the Illich Iron & Steel Works Metallurgical Plant, the second largest metallurgical enterprise in Ukraine, in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, Saturday, April 16, 2022. Mariupol, a strategic port on the Sea of Azov, has been besieged by Russian troops and forces from self-proclaimed separatist areas in eastern Ukraine for more than six weeks. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov) © Provided by Associated Press A body of a civilian lies next to a damaged car near the Illich Iron & Steel Works Metallurgical Plant, the second largest metallurgical enterprise in Ukraine, in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, Saturday, April 16, 2022. Mariupol, a strategic port on the Sea of Azov, has been besieged by Russian troops and forces from self-proclaimed separatist areas in eastern Ukraine for more than six weeks. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov)

— ‘We pray for you’: Ukrainian Jews mark Passover, if they can

Follow all AP stories on Russia's war on Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine.

Mayor: More than 10,000 civilians dead in Ukraine port city

  Mayor: More than 10,000 civilians dead in Ukraine port city KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Six weeks of brutal Russian siege have left more than 10,000 civilians dead in the southern port city of Mariupol and corpses “carpeted through the streets,” the mayor of that cut-off city said, as the West warned that a Russian convoy and other troops and weapons were on the move for a suspected planned Russian assault in Ukraine's east. Mariupol has been the site of some of the heaviest attacks and civilian suffering in the 6-week-old war, but the land, sea and air assaults by Russian forces fighting to capture it have increasingly limited information on circumstances inside the city.

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

LONDON — In his Easter sermon, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has called for Russia to declare a cease-fire and withdraw in Ukraine.

The leader of the Anglican church said Easter is a time for peace and not “blood and iron.”

Noting that in the Eastern Orthodox church followed by many in Russia and Ukraine Sunday marks the start of Holy Week — the week leading to Easter — he said ”let this be a time for Russian cease-fire, withdrawal and a commitment to talks.”

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

Firefighters work to extinguish multiple fires after a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) © Provided by Associated Press Firefighters work to extinguish multiple fires after a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

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MOSCOW — The Russian military has told Ukrainian troops in the besieged port of Mariupol that if they lay down their weapons they will be “guaranteed to keep their lives.”

Ukrainian servicemen walk among debris of damaged buildings after a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) © Provided by Associated Press Ukrainian servicemen walk among debris of damaged buildings after a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

The Russian Defense Ministry made the announcement early Sunday. Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev said that the Ukrainians encircled at the giant Azovstal steel factory were given until 1 p.m. (1000 GMT) to surrender.

As new Russian general takes charges of Ukraine invasion, reports of possible chemical weapons use in Mariupol

  As new Russian general takes charges of Ukraine invasion, reports of possible chemical weapons use in Mariupol ‘IF TRUE, DEEPLY CONCERNING’: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s appointment of a general with a reputation for brutal tactics in Syria as the overall commander of his invasion of Ukraine, along with unconfirmed reports of a possible chemical attack by Russian forces in the ongoing siege of Mariupol, is raising fresh concerns at the Pentagon. “We are aware of social media reports which claim Russian forces deployed a potential chemical munition in Mariupol, Ukraine. We cannot confirm at this time and will continue to monitor the situation closely,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby in a statement last night.

It was the latest such offer to the Ukrainian defenders of the key Sea of Azov port during a siege that has lasted for more than 1½ months. Capturing Mariupol is a key strategic goal for Russia, allowing it to secure a land corridor to Crimea, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014. The fall of Mariupol would also free the Russian forces involved in the siege for a planned offensive in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland called Donbas.

The giant Azovstal steel mill that covers an area of more than 11 square kilometers (over 4.2 square miles) is the last major section of Mariupol still under Ukrainian control.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Saturday that about 2,500 Ukrainian troops remain at Azovstal, a claim that couldn’t be independently verified. The Ukrainian officials didn’t mention any numbers for the city defenders.

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MOSCOW — The Russian military says it has struck a military plant on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital with missiles.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Sunday the military has used precision-guided air-launched missiles to attack the ammunition plant in Brovary outside Kyiv overnight.

Will the US run out of Javelin anti-tank missiles to give Ukraine before Russia runs out of tanks?

  Will the US run out of Javelin anti-tank missiles to give Ukraine before Russia runs out of tanks? Ukrainian troops with Javelin anti-tank missiles are wearing down Russian armored forces, but supplies of those missiles are dwindling too.The United States has probably given about one-third of its stock to Ukraine. Thus, the United States is approaching the point where it must reduce transfers to maintain sufficient stockpiles for its own war plans. Production of new missiles is slow, and it will take years to replenish stocks.

He said that other Russian air raids also destroyed Ukrainian air defense radars near Sievierodonetsk in the east and several ammunition depots elsewhere.

The strikes were the latest in a series of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s weapons factories, air defense assets and other facilities as Moscow prepares for a massive offensive in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland called Donbas.

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

“All vessels registered under Russian flag, as well as all vessels that have switched their Russian flag, or flag or maritime register registration to any other state whatsoever after Feb. 24, are forbidden access to Bulgarian maritime and river ports,” the authority said.

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

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KHARKIV, Ukraine — Russia’s bombardment of cities around Ukraine on Saturday included an explosion in Kharkiv that destroyed a community kitchen.

Associated Press journalists at the scene recorded the immediate aftermath of the apparent missile attack. Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said three people were killed and 34 wounded by missile strikes Saturday in that city alone.

The kitchen was set up by World Central Kitchen, which is run by celebrity chef José Andrés to establish feeding systems in disaster and war zones. Andrés tweeted that the non-governmental organization’s staff members were shaken but safe.

Zelenskyy praises Ukrainian bravery since Russian invasion: Live Ukraine updates

  Zelenskyy praises Ukrainian bravery since Russian invasion: Live Ukraine updates Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised his country's bravery of having survived 50 days under Russia's attack. Live updatesIn a video address, Zelenskyy called it “an achievement of millions of Ukrainians, of everyone who on Feb. 24 made the most important decision of their life – to fight.” He added: "But they didn’t know us either. And they did not know how brave Ukrainians are, how much we value freedom. Our opportunity to live the way we want.

The organization says it has now reached 30 cities across the country, providing nearly 300,000 meals a day. Andrés said the attack in Kharkiv shows that “to give food in the middle of a senseless war is an act of courage, resilience and resistance” and that his group’s chefs will keep cooking for Ukraine.

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KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he spoke Saturday with the leaders of Britain and Sweden about how best to help those defending Mariupol and the tens of thousands of civilians trapped inside the besieged city.

Mariupol’s fate can be decided either through battle or diplomacy, he said.

“Either our partners give Ukraine all of the necessary heavy weapons, the planes, and without exaggeration immediately, so we can reduce the pressure of the occupiers on Mariupol and break the blockade,” he said in his nightly video address to the nation. “Or we do so through negotiations, in which the role of our partners should be decisive.”

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NEW YORK — A Russian general whose troops have been besieging the Ukrainian port of Mariupol was buried on Saturday in St. Petersburg after dying in battle, the governor said.

Maj. Gen. Vladimir Frolov was deputy commander of the 8th Army, which Russian media identified as being among the forces battering Mariupol for weeks.

Gov. Alexander Beglov released a statement saying Frolov “died a heroic death in battle” without saying where or when he was killed. Photographs on Russian news websites showed his grave at a St. Petersburg cemetery piled high with red and white flowers.

Ukraine has claimed that several Russian generals and dozens of other high-ranking officers have been killed during the war.

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WASHINGTON — Austria’s chancellor said after meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow this past week that the Russian president is “in his own war logic” when it comes to Ukraine.

'Nuclear terrorism': Radiation isn't Ukraine's only environmental threat as war with Russia continues

  'Nuclear terrorism': Radiation isn't Ukraine's only environmental threat as war with Russia continues The full-scale Russian invasion threatens environmentally fragile sites throughout Ukraine, an industrial center dating back to the Soviet Union.Living about 70 miles from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, she feared the worst.

Karl Nehammer told NBC in an interview that he thinks Putin believes he is winning the war. Nehammer was the first European leader to meet Putin in Moscow since Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24. He said “we have to look in his eyes and we have to confront him with that, what we see in Ukraine.’’

Before arriving in Moscow last Monday, Nehammer had visited Bucha, Ukraine, the town outside of Kyiv where graphic evidence of killings and torture has emerged following the withdrawal of Russian forces.

Nehammer told “Meet the Press” that he confronted Putin with what he had seen in Bucha, and “it was not a friendly conversation.”

He said Putin said “he will cooperate with an international investigation, on one hand, and on the other hand, he told me that he doesn’t trust the Western world. So this will be the problem now in the future.”

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VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis invoked “gestures of peace in these days marked by the horror of war” in an Easter vigil homily Saturday in St. Peter’s Basilica, attended by the mayor of the occupied Ukrainian city of Melitopol and three Ukrainian parliamentarians.

The pontiff noted that while “many writers have evoked the beauty of starlit nights, the nights of war, however, are riven by streams of light that portend death.”

Francis's call for an Easter truce in order to reach a negotiated peace appeared in vain Saturday, as Russia resumed missile and rocket attacks on Kyiv, western Ukraine and beyond in a reminder that the whole country remains under threat.

At the end of his homily, Francis directly addressed directly Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov and Ukrainian lawmakers Maria Mezentseva, Olena Khomenko and Rusem Umerov, who sat in the front row.

“In this darkness of war, in the cruelty, we are all praying for you and with you this night. We are praying for all the suffering. We can only give you our company, our prayer,’’ Francis said, then with emotion he added that “the biggest thing you can receive: Christ is risen,” the last three words in Ukrainian.

'Nuclear terrorism': Radiation isn't Ukraine's only environmental threat as war with Russia continues .
The full-scale Russian invasion threatens environmentally fragile sites throughout Ukraine, an industrial center dating back to the Soviet Union.Living about 70 miles from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, she feared the worst.

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