Day 55 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Russia's Offensive in Donbas begins, Putin rewards Bucha Executioners

World » UKRAINE | April 19, 2022, Tuesday // 09:41
Bulgaria: Day 55 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Russia's Offensive in Donbas begins, Putin rewards Bucha Executioners @BGNES

Russia's offensive in Donbas has begun, world leaders are meeting in an emergency meeting, Putin has rewarded the Bucha executioners. Here are the highlights of events in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:

Russia's offensive in Donbas has started

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced that the Russian army has launched a large-scale offensive in the eastern Donbas region. “Today we can confirm that the Russian troops have started the battle for Donbas, which they have been preparing for a long time. A large part of the Russian army is already concentrated in this offensive,” the president said in an emergency address.

Emergency meeting for Donbas brings together world leaders

French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden will meet with other heads of state over the new offensive by Russian troops in Donbas. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday. The leaders of France, Germany, Britain, Canada, Italy, Poland and Romania will also take part in the meeting. It will also be attended by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel.

Russia claims to have struck an arms depot with foreign weapons

The Russian army has announced that it has destroyed a large foreign weapons depot near Lviv. The weapon “had just been delivered to Ukraine”. The warehouse is one of 16 Ukrainian military sites Russia said it destroyed on Monday. Russian planes struck a logistics center containing "large consignments of foreign weapons delivered to Ukraine over the past six days from the United States and European countries" and "destroyed" them, said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.

Eight civilians killed in recent attacks

At least eight civilians have been killed in attacks in the conflicting eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, local authorities said.

Four were killed in an attempt to escape the town of Kremina, which Russian forces seized earlier Monday. Four others were killed in Russian bombings in the neighboring Donetsk region, said regional governor Pavlo Kirilenko.

7 killed in Lviv, 3 in Kharkiv

Five "powerful" Russian missiles hit the western city of Lviv, killing at least seven people and injuring eight, local officials said.

At least three people were killed in Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city.

EU condemns indiscriminate attacks

The European Union condemns the "indiscriminate and illegal shelling of civilians" by Russian forces, said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. "Attacks on Lviv and other cities in western Ukraine show that no part of the country has been spared a senseless attack by the Kremlin," he said.

Putin rewarded Russian troops suspected of atrocities in Bucha

Russian President Vladimir Putin has honored a brigade accused by Ukraine of "war crimes" and massacres in the city of Bucha.

A decree signed by Putin gave the 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade the title of "Guards" for the protection of the "homeland and state interests" and praised the "mass heroism and valor, perseverance and courage" of its members.

Medvedchuk begs for exchange

Russian state television has broadcast a video of two men described as captured Britons seeking to be exchanged for Viktor Medvedchuk, an oligarch captured by Ukraine who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ukrainian services have published a video of Medvedchuk, who wants to be exchanged for Ukrainian civilians and soldiers - prisoners of war from Mariupol.

The evacuation of civilians has been stopped

Ukraine has said it is halting the evacuation of civilians from cities in the east. The evacuation is prohibited for the second day in a row.

"In violation of international humanitarian law, Russian troops continue to block and fire on humanitarian routes," Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk wrote on social media.

Nearly 5 million are already refugees from Ukraine

More than 4.9 million Ukrainians have fled their country since the Russian invasion, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

4,934,415 Ukrainians have already left their homes - 65,000 more than the day before.

People losing their jobs in Moscow

About 200,000 employees of foreign companies in Moscow may lose their jobs due to sanctions imposed in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the mayor said. Sergei Sobyanin reminded that last week the authorities approved a million program to support employment in the Russian capital.

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