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Ukraine Russia latest war news: Toddler killed in Russian strikes as Putin prepares for ‘lengthy conflict’


FBI arrests Pentagon leaks suspect

A two-year-old boy was among 11 people killed in Russian shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk on Friday, as Moscow anticipates a “lengthy conflict” in Ukraine.

The toddler was rescued from the rubble after Russian forces shelled a block of flats, but he died on his way to hospital, authorities said on Saturday.

The missile strike came as Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill to make it easier to mobilise Russians into the army, and prevent them from fleeing the country if drafted.

The UK Ministry of Defence said the move suggests Moscow anticipates a “lengthy conflict” in Ukraine in its latest intelligence briefing posted on Twitter.

The Ministry warned that the new law means authorities would be able to serve call-up papers electronically, rather than by letter, removing one way of avoiding military duties.

Vadim Lyakh, the head of Sloviansk’s military administration said 21 people were wounded in shelling in the city, which is part of the Donetsk region that is under Ukrainian control.

Kyiv said Sloviansk was hit by seven missiles which hit five buildings, five homes, a school and an administrative building.

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Toddler among nine killed in Russian strikes as Moscow prepares for ‘lengthy conflict’

A two-year-old boy was among nine people killed in Russian shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk on Friday, as Moscow anticipates a “lengthy conflict” in Ukraine.

The toddler was rescued from the rubble after Russian forces shelled a block of flats, but he died on his way to hospital, authorities said on Saturday.

The missile strike came as Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill to make it easier to mobilise Russians into the army, and prevent them from fleeing the country if drafted.

The UK Ministry of Defence said the move suggests Moscow anticipates a “lengthy conflict” in Ukraine in its latest intelligence briefing posted on Twitter.

The Ministry warned that the new law means authorities would be able to serve call-up papers electronically, rather than by letter, removing one way of avoiding military duties.

Vadim Lyakh, the head of Sloviansk’s military administration said 21 people were wounded in shelling in the city, which is part of the Donetsk region that is under Ukrainian control.

Kyiv said Sloviansk was hit by seven missiles which hit five buildings, five homes, a school and an administrative building.

Martha Mchardy15 April 2023 11:36

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Polish government bans grain and food imports from Ukraine

The Polish government has decided to ban imports of grain and other food from Ukraine to protect the Polish agricultural sector, the leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), Jaroslaw Kaczyński, said on Saturday.

Large quantities of Ukrainian grains, which are cheaper than those produced in the European Union, have ended up staying in Central European states amid logistical bottlenecks, hitting prices and sales for local farmers.

This has created a political problem for the PiS in an election year.

“Today, the government has decided on a regulation that prohibits the entry, importation of grain into Poland, but also dozens of other types of food (from Ukraine),” Mr Kaczyński said during the PiS party convention.

The list of these goods will be included in the government regulation, and there are goods “from grain to honey products, very, very many things,” he added.

“We are and remain unchanged friends and allies of Ukraine. We will support her and we support her. … But it is the duty of every state, every authority, good authority in any case, to protect the interests of its citizens,” Mr Kaczyński said.

Mr Kaczyński said Poland was ready to start talks with Ukraine to settle the grain issue and the Ukrainian side had already been notified of the decisions of the Polish government.

Martha Mchardy15 April 2023 14:42

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Ukraine awaits US missile system after latest Russian strike

Ukraine’s air force said the country would soon have weapons with which to try to prevent attacks like the Russian missile strikes in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk which took place on Friday.

The delivery of the Patriot air defence system promised by the U.S. was expected in Ukraine sometime after Easter, Ukrainian air force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat said.

The primarily Orthodox Christian country is preparing to observe Easter on Sunday. Speaking Saturday on Ukrainian state TV, Ihnat declined to give a precise timeline for the arrival of the defensive missile system but said the public would know “as soon as the first Russian aircraft is shot down.”

A local resident looks at his home, damaged in today Russian rocket attack in Sloviansk, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Friday, Apr. 14, 2023

(AP)

A group of 65 Ukrainian soldiers completed their training at Oklahoma’s Fort Still Army Post last month and returned to Europe to learn more about using the defensive missile system to track and shoot down enemy aircraft.

Officials said at the time that the Ukrainians would then go back to their country with a Patriot missile battery, which typically includes six mobile launchers, a mobile radar, a power generator and an engagement control center.

Germany and the Netherlands also have pledged to provide a Patriot system each to Ukraine. In addition, a SAMP/T anti-missile system pledged by France and Italy “should enter Ukraine in the near future,” Ihnat said this week.

The Ukrainian military is looking to beef up its ability to intercept missiles as it prepares for an expected spring counter-offensive to retake Russian-occupied areas of the country. Although more than a year of fighting has depleted weapons supplies on both sides, Russian forces have intensified their eight-and-a-half month campaign to seize the city of Bakhmut, the focus of the war’s longest battle so far.

Bakhmut and Sloviansk both are located about 45 kilometers (28 miles) apart in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk province.

Martha Mchardy15 April 2023 14:39

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Sloviansk death toll rises to 11 after Russian missile strikes

The death toll from Russian missile strikes on eastern Ukraine’s city of Sloviansk rose to 11 Saturday as rescue crews tried to reach people trapped in the rubble of an apartment building, Ukrainian authorities said.

A two-year-old boy was among the eleven people killed after Russian forces shelled a block of flats. 21 people were wounded.

Rescue teams in Sloviansk recovered the bodies of two people from under the rubble of a house hit in Friday’s missile strikes, according to the State Emergency Service. They also searched Saturday for five people who remained in the wreckage of the apartment building, as well as the residents of three units who were reported missing, Vadym Liakh, the head of the local government, said.

Kyiv said Sloviansk was hit by seven missiles which hit five buildings, five homes, a school and an administrative building.

Martha Mchardy15 April 2023 14:34

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From Putin’s health to spying on allies: Five key takeaways from leaked Pentagon documents

Highly classified military documents shedding light on American intelligence gathered about other countries were released online this week, sending the Pentagon into full-speed damage control to assure allies and assess the scope of the leak.

On Thursday, armed FBI officers arrested a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Authorities raided the home of 21-year-old Jack Teixeira — who worked in cyber security for the Guard — and took him into custody.

The information has apparently highlighted potential vulnerabilities in Ukraine’s air defence capabilities and exposed private assessments by allies on an array of intelligence matters, raising questions about whether the leak will erode allies’ trust in sharing information with the US or affect Ukraine’s strategic combat plans.

Here are five of the key takeaways from the leaked Pentagon documents:

  • UK special forces might have operated in Ukraine
  • Ukrainian casualties higher and air munitions lower
  • US seems to spy on its allies
  • Egypt planned to supply rockets to Russia
  • Rumour Putin is undergoing chemotherapy

Martha Mchardy15 April 2023 14:00

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As Putin signs new law on draft, Russia says spring call-up is running as planned

Russia’s regular spring military draft campaign is proceeding as scheduled and there are no plans to send out mass electronic notices under a new system just signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, a top official said on Saturday.

The announcement by Colonel Andrei Biryukov, an official in an armed forces department responsible for the draft, appeared aimed at quelling speculation that Russia may quickly use the new system to launch another mass call-up for the war in Ukraine.

Russia is currently in the process of calling up 147,000 men aged 18 to 27 between April 1 and July 15 to perform compulsory military service as part of its longstanding twice-yearly conscription cycle.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

(Sputnik)

Mr Biryukov said the first conscripts would be dispatched to “permanent deployment points on the territory of the Russian Federation” from April 20.

He emphasised that some people were still entitled to defer their military service, and said there would be no mass mailings of new electronic summonses to people of conscript age.

The current planned cohort of spring conscripts is 12,500 bigger than the 134,500 who were called up this time last year. Conscripts require months of training and Russia has said they will not be sent into war zones in Ukraine, after acknowledging cases where this had happened in the first weeks of the conflict last year.

But they provide a pool of young, trained personnel who can then be encouraged or pressured into signing up as professional soldiers as Russia pursues its stated aim of boosting the armed forces by more than 30 per-cent to 1.5 million.

Tens if not hundreds of thousands of Russian men have fled abroad since the start of the war, an exodus that peaked last September when president Putin ordered a special mobilisation of 300,000 reservists with previous military experience – the first of its kind since World War Two.

President Putin on Friday signed new legislation introducing electronic draft papers, replacing a previous system where call-up notices had to be hand-delivered.

The new draft regime will close numerous loopholes exploited by draft dodgers and lays the groundwork for Russia to carry out a much more thorough and wider mobilisation campaign if and when it decides to do so.

Under the new rules, citizens who evade the draft will be banned from travelling abroad and face other restrictions including on loans and state benefits.

Martha Mchardy15 April 2023 13:00

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In pictures: Rescuer searches for survivors after Russian shelling in eastern Ukraine

Rescuers are searching for survivors after Russian shelling in eastern Ukraine in the city of Sloviansk on Friday killed nine people, including a toddler, and wounded 21.

A two-year-old boy was among nine people killed after Russian forces shelled a block of flats.

Kyiv said Sloviansk was hit by seven missiles which hit five buildings, five homes, a school and an administrative building.

A rescuer searches for survivors in a partially destroyed residential building, after a shelling in Sloviansk, on April 14, 2023

(AFP via Getty Images)

Martha Mchardy15 April 2023 12:35

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Russia says Wagner mercenaries seize two more areas in Bakhmut

Fighters of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group have captured two more areas of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, Russian news agencies quoted the Defence Ministry as saying on Saturday.

Reuters could not independently confirm the report.

Ukrainian troops have been forced to withdraw from some territory in Bakhmut as Russia mounts a renewed assault there with intense artillery fire over the past two days, Britain said in an intelligence update on Friday.

Martha Mchardy15 April 2023 12:22

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China protests US sanctioning of firms dealing with Russia

Beijing on Saturday protested U.S. sanctions against additional Chinese companies over their alleged attempts to evade U.S. export controls on Russia, calling it an illegal move that endangers global supply chains.

The U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday put five firms based in mainland China and Hong Kong on its “entity list,” barring them from trading with any U.S. firms without gaining a nearly unobtainable special license.

Washington has been tightening up enforcement of sanctions against foreign firms it sees as providing assistance to Russia in its war against Ukraine, forcing them to choose between trading with Moscow or with the U.S. A total of 28 entities from countries ranging from Malta to Turkey to Singapore were added to the list.

Martha Mchardy15 April 2023 12:00

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Drones were used by Russia to attack police officers in Kherson, according to the region’s police force.

In a Facebook post earlier today, Kherson’s police said: “The Russian military once again attacked police officers with the help of drones. In Kherson, in the Korabel area, a police car was attacked by a UAV. Two police officers were injured, the car was damaged.”

Martha Mchardy15 April 2023 11:00

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