Russia issued a new deadline for surrender on Wednesday as it pressed for a definitive victory in its current eastern incursion, while Western nations promised further military aid to the Ukrainian government.
Ukrainian officials have dubbed the battle of the Donbas as a Russian invasion supported by artillery and rocket barrages.
Since Moscow has conquered none of Ukraine’s major cities in its almost eight-week-long invasion, it has shifted its emphasis toward the separatist territories.
Since 1945, over 5 million people have fled their homes and cities have been left to ruins because of the worst onslaught on a European country since World War II.
A Ukrainian presidential adviser reported late on Tuesday that Russia had bombed the Azovstal steel complex, Mariupol’s last major stronghold, using bunker-buster bombs. Reuters was unable to independently verify the information.
Russia’s defence ministry reported that not a single Ukrainian soldier had put down their arms after an earlier deadline to surrender expired and as midnight approached, Russia’s military ministry reiterated the idea. Leaders in Ukraine have sworn not to give up the fight.
On April 20, at 1400 Moscow time, the Russian Defence Ministry announced it was asking nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries to suspend their military actions and lay down their weapons. This request was made only because of humanitarian considerations.
The United States, Canada, and Britain will send additional artillery weapons; the White House says further sanctions are being readied.
President Joe Biden is poised to unveil a fresh military aid package for Ukraine in the coming days, according to Reuters sources.
During the Orthodox Christian holiday of Easter, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has asked for a four-day humanitarian ceasefire to allow civilians to flee and humanitarian supplies to be delivered.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen blamed Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, which she claimed was a contributing factor to the “already terrible” state of global food insecurity, which was made worse by price and supply disruptions. The complete story is available here.