Ukraine Live News: US Rejects Putin’s Claim of Mariupol Victory | Russo-Ukrainian War

  • Washington says Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Moscow has “liberated” the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol is “even more disinformation”.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is calling for more weapons and tougher sanctions against Russia as its eastward offensive continues.
  • US President Joe Biden is promising more heavy artillery, munitions and drones to Ukraine as part of a new $800 million weapons package.
  • The World Bank chief said the Russian invasion has so far caused $60 billion in damage to buildings and infrastructure across Ukraine.
(Al Jazeera)

Here are all the latest updates:

US helps gather evidence of possible war crimes in Ukraine: attorney general

The United States has been in contact with the Ukrainian prosecutor and is helping to preserve and collect evidence of Russian war crimes, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said.

Jordan says its reserves have protected it from the fallout of the war in Ukraine

Jordan’s stockpile of wheat reserves for more than a year, its fuel contracts and healthy foreign exchange reserves have so far helped it absorb the impact of the Ukraine crisis on its economy, the official said. Minister of Finances.

“Jordan has prepared well for such a crisis,” Al Ississ told Jihad Azour, director of the Middle East and Central Asia department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in an IMF-led online discussion. and published Thursday.

“If history has taught us anything, it is the most vulnerable who suffer,” said Al Ississ.

Mariupol mayor says lives of trapped city residents are in Putin’s hands

Putin alone can decide the fate of the 100,000 civilians still trapped in war-torn Ukraine Mariupol, Mayor Vadym Boichenko told Reuters, saying satellite images of a mass grave were proof Russians were burying bodies in an attempt to hide the death toll.

“It is important to understand that the lives that are still there are in the hands of one person – Vladimir Putin. And all deaths that occur after now will also be in his hands,” Boichenko said in an interview.

Trudeau says Canada would support Sweden and Finland joining NATO

Canada would support the inclusion of Sweden and Finland in the NATO military alliance, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted the two countries to consider to join it.

“There are conversations going on around Sweden and Finland looking at joining NATO, and Canada, of course, is very supportive of that,” Trudeau told reporters when asked if he supported both countries joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

What’s in the latest US military aid package for Ukraine?

The Pentagon released more details about a new U.S. military aid program for Ukraine, which Biden says is aimed at helping Ukrainian forces respond to the Russian offensive in the east of the country.

The Pentagon said the aid is “tailored to Ukraine’s critical combat needs today as Russian forces launch a new offensive” in the eastern Donbass region.

Biden announced the new $800 million aid package earlier Thursday, adding that he would ask U.S. lawmakers for more funds to keep military aid “uninterrupted” to Ukraine.

Learn more here.

Obama official to coordinate aid to Ukraine

Biden tapped retired Lt. Gen. Terry Wolff, a former three-star Army general and former National Security Council official in the Obama administration, to coordinate billions of dollars of security aid being sent to Ukraine.

Wolff recently joined Biden’s White House but his appointment has not been officially announced, according to a White House official who was not authorized to comment and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. .

Wolff, as an Army officer, served three tours of duty in Iraq and held senior positions at the Pentagon, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and State Department. He was hired by the Obama administration in 2015 to serve as deputy presidential special envoy for the global coalition against Islamic State.

Zelensky says Russia rejected Easter truce proposal

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia rejected a proposed truce over the Orthodox Christian Easter period over the weekend, but added he still harbored hopes for peace.

Zelenskyy made the remarks in a video address. The Orthodox Easter service starts late Saturday until Sunday morning.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy during a joint press conference with European Council President Charles Michel after their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine [Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters]

Ukrainian troops begin training in Britain as Johnson steps up support

A small number of Ukrainian soldiers are being trained in Britain, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said, as the UK steps up military support for Ukraine.

Troops began training with armored patrol vehicles donated by the UK this month, the spokesman said. “It makes sense that they receive the training required to make the best use of it,” the spokesperson said.

“We are always aware of anything that is perceived as an escalation, but what is clearly an escalation are the actions of the Putin regime.” Britain is supplying Ukraine with 120 armored patrol vehicles, including the Mastiff, which can be used as a reconnaissance or patrol vehicle.

‘Even more disinformation,’ US says of Russian claim on Mariupol

The US State Department said it understood Ukrainian forces were still holding ground in Mariupol and called Putin’s claim to have liberated the city “yet more misinformation from their well-worn playbook”.

Putin hailed Russia’s “liberation” of the Ukrainian port city after Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told him Moscow controlled it, except for the Azovstal steel plant.

“Block this industrial zone so that even a fly cannot escape,” Putin told a televised meeting, adding that it would be “impractical” to storm the huge industrial zone, where more of 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers, according to Shoigu.

OAS suspends Russia as permanent observer

The Organization of American States (OAS) has adopted a resolution suspending Russia as a permanent observer to the intergovernmental institution following the invasion of Ukraine.

The move comes as pressure mounts to exclude Russia from various international organizations in response to the war. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed Russia’s suspension from the OAS.

US defense chief to host talks with Ukraine at US base in Germany next week

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will host Ukraine-focused defense talks with allies at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on April 26, the Pentagon has announced.

“The aim is to bring together stakeholders from around the world for a series of meetings on the latest [Ukrainian] defense needs and…ensuring that Ukraine’s long-term enduring security and sovereignty is respected and developed,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.

Kirby did not specify how many allies would participate.

Mass grave site near Mariupol has grown in recent weeks: US company

Satellite images taken near the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol show a mass grave site that has grown in recent weeks to hold more than 200 new graves, a private US firm has said.

Maxar Technologies said a review of images from mid-March to mid-April indicates the expansion began between March 23 and March 26. The site is adjacent to an existing cemetery in the village of Manhush, 20 kilometers west of Mariupol, Maxar said.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify the footage.

US again warns China against supporting Russia in war

Spokesman for US Secretary of State Ned Price warned China against supporting Russia in its military offensive, but said Washington did not believe Beijing had supplied arms to Moscow.

“We offered an assessment a few weeks ago that we had not seen such support from the PRC [People’s Republic of China]. That remains the case today,” Price told reporters.

“We have made it clear that any country that seeks to undermine our sanctions regime or seeks to support Russia’s war effort in Ukraine will suffer the consequences,” he added.

Chinese president says talks, not sanctions solve conflicts

Xi Jinping said his government supports negotiations and opposes the “gratuitous use” of sanctions to resolve international disputes, remarks seen as confirmation that China is sticking to its stance of refusing to criticize the country. Russian invasion.

Beijing has faced calls from US and European leaders to denounce Russian atrocities in Ukraine and pressure President Vladimir Putin to end the conflict.

Xi said China rejects “double standards and opposes the gratuitous use of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction.” Learn more here.

World Bank estimates physical damage in Ukraine at $60 billion

The World Bank has estimated that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has so far caused $60 billion in damage to buildings and infrastructure across Ukraine.

World Bank President David Malpass told a conference on Ukraine’s financial aid needs that the first estimate of ‘constricted’ damage costs does not include the growing economic costs of war .

“Of course, the war is still going on, so those costs are going up,” Malpass said.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Read all of the Thursday, April 21 updates here.

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