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War in Ukraine | Update on the Russian invasion

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(Paris) Situation on the ground, international reactions, sanctions: update on the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Kramatorsk station: heavy toll

At least 52 people, including five children, were killed and around 100 injured on Friday in a missile attack on Kramatorsk station (east), from where thousands of evacuees had been leaving for the rest of the country for several days.

Moscow immediately denied being responsible for the strike, saying it did not have the type of missile used, and accused Kyiv of having “orchestrated” the firing to prevent civilians from fleeing.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has denounced “unlimited evil” unleashed by Russia.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell condemned an “indiscriminate attack” while US President Joe Biden accused Moscow of committing a “horrific atrocity”.

This bombardment constitutes a “crime against humanity”, according to the head of French diplomacy, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Ukraine has a “European future” (von der Leyen)

“Russia will sink into economic, financial and technological decay, while Ukraine is marching towards a European future,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told a news conference in Kyiv with the President. Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky.

Before that, M.me von der Leyen, accompanied by the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, had gone to Boutcha, in particular to see the mass graves dug to bury the dozens of civilians killed there.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer left Vienna for Ukraine on Friday and will travel to Kyiv and Boutcha on Saturday, according to a statement sent to AFP.


Photo Rodrigo Abd, Associated Press

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited Boutcha on Friday.

Curfew in Odessa

A curfew will be in effect from Saturday evening to Monday morning in Odessa, the major Ukrainian port on the Black Sea, in the face of the “threat” of missile strikes, local authorities announced.

After the bombardment of the Kramatorsk station, “a threat of missile attack hovers in Odessa”.

Sumy region “liberated”

The region of Sumy, bordering Russia in northeastern Ukraine, has been completely “liberated” from Russian forces, the head of the regional administration announced on Friday, adding, however, that the area was “not safe” and that demining operations were in progress.

London sanctions Putin’s daughters

After Washington and Brussels, the United Kingdom on Friday sanctioned the two daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin and that of his head of diplomacy Sergei Lavrov, saying he wanted to attack the “lavish lifestyle of the inner circle of the Kremlin”.

They are now prohibited from entering British territory, where any possible assets will be frozen.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also announced that he will strengthen military aid to Ukraine, with the dispatch of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.

Talks in Turkey

Russia and Ukraine are still “agreeing” to meet for negotiations in Turkey despite recent abuses on the ground, a senior Turkish official said on Friday.

The diplomatic aspect of the crisis shows no sign of progress since the last session of live talks between the two countries, on March 29 in Istanbul, he underlined.

Sailors stranded in Ukrainian ports

Two UN agencies on Friday called for urgent action to help around 1,000 sailors who have been stranded in Ukrainian waters and ports since the Russian invasion.

According to the International Labor Organization and the International Organization for Migration, more than 100 commercial vessels cannot leave the ports of Ukraine and neighboring waters.

Soaring inflation in Russia

Inflation in Russia soared to 16.7% in March year on year, a level not seen since early 2015, according to data from the statistics agency Rosstat released on Friday.

This level notably reflects the first repercussions of Western sanctions linked to Ukraine.

Moscow closes Amnesty and HRW offices

Russia has closed the local offices of human rights NGOs Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, according to a statement released by the Russian Justice Ministry on Friday.

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