Ukraine war: 269 bodies recovered in Irpin, Putin aide proposes swap for POWs | Top points
- Amid the fierce fighting, the UN humanitarian aid chief Martin Griffiths has said that humanitarian ceasefires between Ukrainian and Russian forces in Ukraine are not on the horizon right now, but may be possible in a couple of weeks.
The fighting between the Russian and Ukrainian forces entered day 54 on Monday. Seven civilians have been killed in a Russian missile attack in the western city of Lviv. The fighting also intensified in the strategic port city of Mariupol, which is encircled by Russian forces and has witnessed fierce bombardment.
Amid the fierce fighting, the UN humanitarian aid chief Martin Griffiths has said that humanitarian ceasefires between Ukrainian and Russian forces in Ukraine are not on the horizon right now, but may be possible in a couple of weeks. Griffiths also said that Russian officials have not yet put local ceasefires at the top of their agenda.
Here are the top developments of the day:
> Ukrainian investigators have examined 269 dead bodies in Irpin, near Kyiv, since the town was taken back from Russian forces in late March, Reuters quoted a police official. The town, which had a pre-war population of about 62,000, was one of the main hotspots of fighting with Russian troops before they pulled back from Ukraine's northern regions to intensify their offensive in the east.
>Russia has sent reinforcements to eastern Ukraine for renewed offensive operations in the region, a senior US defense official told reporters. Russia has added about 11 battalion tactical groups, bringing its total in the country to about 76, the official added.
>Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has formally submitted a completed questionnaire on European Union membership to an envoy on Monday and said he believed this step would lead to his country gaining candidate status within weeks.
>President Zelenskyy spoke with the head of the IMF about financial stability and post-war reconstruction. Prime Minister Shmyhal is expected to attend the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Washington this week.
>Russia on Monday flagged a likely further cut in interest rates and more budget spending to help the economy adapt to biting western sanctions as it heads for its deepest contraction since 1994.
>Viktor Medvedchuk, a businessman and politician seen as one of Putin’s top allies in Ukraine, has agreed to offer himself in a swap for troops and residents in Mariupol, according to the State Security Service in Kyiv. After Medvedchuk was detained this month, Zelenskyy proposed swapping him for prisoners of war. He had gone missing around the start of the war after being placed under house arrest last year.
>Spain plans to join European Union allies in reopening its embassy in Kyiv soon, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told Antena 3 television.
(With agency inputs)
The Biden administration moved to assure women that sensitive information – including medical records related to abortion and data collected by health and period tracking apps – could be shielded from law enforcement after the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) on Wednesday for the first time in its history recognised China's “stated ambitions and coercive policies” as a threat to the alliance's interests, security and values in a sign of the rapid shift in European geopolitical attitudes. The much-anticipated strategic concept, the first since 2010, was released during a historic Nato summit in Madrid that saw the participation of Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Korea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin would not have started the war in Ukraine if he was a woman, said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday days after G7 members mocked the bare-chested pictures of the Russian leader. During his interview, the British PM also emphasized that everyone wants the Russia-Ukraine war to end. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked other leaders sitting around a table. "We all have to show that we're tougher than Putin."
Health officials in South Korea on Wednesday approved the country's first domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine for people 18 years or older, adding another public health tool in the fight against a prolonged pandemic.
Sri Lankan doctors and other medical staff as well as teachers will take to the streets on Wednesday to demand that the government solve a severe fuel shortage at the heart of the South Asian country's worst economic crisis in decades. The government, left with only enough fuel to last about a week, on Tuesday restricted supplies to essential services, like trains, buses and the health sector, for two weeks.