Ukraine calls for global response after Kramatorsk train station strike
Russia closes 15 NGOs including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations warns of soaring prices
This article was last updated at 08:21 GMT/UTC.
More than 1,000 sailors stranded in Ukrainian waters
About 1,000 sailors are stranded on merchant ships in Ukrainian waters, UN agencies said.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) have warned that the situation is “becoming increasingly untenable”, pointing to the risks posed by war and shortages of food, fuel, fresh water and other essentials.
According to a joint statement, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders and the United Nations Refugee Agency have been called upon to help resupply the ships.
The statement stresses that ships in the besieged port of Mariupol are particularly at risk.
The IMO and ILO said work was underway to establish a safe maritime corridor in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
“However, at present, the establishment of such a corridor is severely hampered by the persistent security risks, which limit the possibility for ships to leave Ukrainian ports,” the agencies added.
As of March 30, 86 reported merchant vessels were beached in Ukrainian ports and waters, the agencies said.
Ukraine says 10 humanitarian corridors have been agreed for Saturday
A total of 10 humanitarian corridors to evacuate people from besieged regions of Ukraine have been agreed for Saturday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.
The corridors include one for people evacuated by private vehicles from the port city of Mariupol, Vereshchuk added.
Those from the cities of Enerhodar, Tokmak, Berdiansk and Melitopol will be able to evacuate to Zaporizhzhia, while residents of Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Popasna, Girske and Rubizhne will be able to evacuate to the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region.
UK intelligence: Russian air activity expected to increase in southern and eastern Ukraine
British military intelligence said in a statement that Russian forces were continuing to strike non-combatants in Ukraine, such as those killed in Friday’s rocket attack on Kramatorsk railway station in Ukraine. east of Ukraine.
The statement said that Russian operations continue to focus on the Donbass region, Mariupol and Mykolaiv.
The operations are supported by continued cruise missile launches into Ukraine by Russian naval forces, defense intelligence said.
“Russian air activity is expected to increase in southern and eastern Ukraine to support this activity,” the statement added.
British defense intelligence said Russian attempts to establish a land corridor between Crimea and Donbas “continue to be thwarted” by Ukraine.
Germany: Bundeswehr arms supplies to Ukraine ‘have reached a limit’, should turn to arms industry for more
German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said she no longer sees much scope for supplying Ukraine with weapons and equipment directly from the German military, the Bundeswehr, shares.
Talk to Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper, Lambrecht said that to maintain the defense capability of the Bundeswehr, future deliveries would increasingly have to be made directly via the armaments industry.
“To this end, we are constantly coordinating with Ukraine,” she said.
“In the case of deliveries from Bundeswehr stocks, however, I have to be honest, we have now reached a limit,” Lambrecht said.
The Bundeswehr must continue to be able to “ensure national and alliance defence”, declared the minister.
“But that doesn’t mean we can’t do more for Ukraine,” she said.
Lambrecht reiterated that she would not give details of arms deliveries from Germany to Ukraine. “There are good reasons why we have classified this information precisely,” she said. “We did this in response to an explicit request from Ukraine,” she added.
“Always keep in mind: By the time the deliveries are released in detail, Russia would also have this information. And that alone would have military strategic implications.”
Ukraine says attacks in eastern Donbas region continue
Russia continues its offensive in the Donbass region, Ukraine said.
Russian troops are focused on taking over the towns of Rubishne, Nizhne, Popasna and Novobakhmutivka and taking full control of the city of Mariupol, the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff said in a statement on Saturday.
The statement further adds that the Ukrainian armed forces repelled seven attacks by Russian troops on Friday in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Thousands of Russian soldiers near Kharkiv – Pentagon
A senior US defense official said thousands of Russian troops gathered near the outskirts of the city of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine.
The official said the number of tactical units near the Russian border town of Belgorod has increased from 30 to 40.
According to the dpa news agency, these units are usually made up of 600 to 1,000 soldiers.
The senior defense official said Russia could try to mobilize more than 60,000 troops in the region.
The Russian army is assembling its troops there in order to concentrate its forces on taking control of the Donbass region, the official told dpa.
Earlier, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said tens of thousands of reservists were reportedly deployed to reinforce Russian units on the Donbass border after suffering casualties in northern Ukraine.
According to dpa, the official warned of intense fighting due to Ukraine and Russia’s familiarity with the Donbass territory, after years of conflict there.
“It will be a knife fight. It could be very bloody and very ugly,” the official said.
Ukraine calls for global response after missile attack at train station
Ukraine demanded that more weapons be sent to the country after accused Russia of launching a missile at a train station in the city of Kramatorsk.
Ukrainian authorities said the strike killed at least 52 people, including women and children.
Kramatorsk is in the eastern Donetsk region of Ukraine. The city has been the region’s de facto administrative center since pro-Russian separatists seized control of the city of Donetsk in 2014.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the strike a deliberate attack on civilians.
“We expect a strong global response to this war crime,” Zelenskyy said, adding that Ukrainian authorities would make sure to establish who ordered the strike in order to hold accountable those behind.
“Any delay in supplying … arms to Ukraine, any refusal, can only mean that the politicians in question want to help the Russian leadership more than us,” the Ukrainian president continued in a video address Friday evening.
Zelenskyy also called for an energy embargo against Russia and cutting off Russian banks from the global system.
“It is energy exports that provide the lion’s share of Russia’s revenue and allow Russian leaders to believe in their impunity,” Zelenskyy explained.
Summary of the events of the Ukraine-Russia crisis on Friday
The United States has restricted Russian and Belarusian access to imports of fertilizers and pipe valves, among other goods.
The death toll in the missile strike at a train station in eastern Ukraine has risen to at least 52 people. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said 300 people were injured.
A total of 6,665 people have been evacuated from cities across Ukraine, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in an online message.
At least 67 people were buried in a mass grave on the grounds of a church in the town of Bucha, outside kyiv, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office said.
Rights organizations have criticized Russia’s decision to close the offices of 15 international NGOs still operating in the country. Organizations included Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
Global food prices hit a record high last month due to fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said on Friday.
The mayor of Makariv, a village west of kyiv, said 132 civilians were found shot dead.
Speaking after the talks in Kyiv, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen offered Ukraine a first step towards advancing its bid to join the European Union.
sdi/kb (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)