Ukraine thinks it can retake the 42 villages on Friday.
It’s still dicey in Mariupol as Russia claims 42 villages in the Donetsk region.
Three buses left Mariupol with evacuees but unfortunately not many left on said buses.
Biden vowed $800 million more in aid to Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked for more.
Zelenskyy Turns to Portugal
Zelenskyy asked Portugal for more military aid but also asked the country to support Ukraine’s bid to join the EU and ban Russian oil and gas imports:
Ukraine’s president has appealed to Europe to toughen sanctions against Russia and increase military aid, telling Portugal’s parliament his country was fighting for its survival.
“We want heavy armaments to end the occupation of our cities,” Volodymyr Zelensky said during a video address on Thursday. “I appeal for your help to accelerate and strengthen sanctions and [to increase] military aid.”
Zelensky asked Portugal to press for a European ban on Russian oil and gas imports and to support Ukraine’s bid to join the EU. He also accused the Russian military of committing widespread atrocities, saying its air force deliberately bombed civilian areas.
In Mariupol, he said, Russian troops were trying to “hide their war crimes so that we have no proof”.
More Economic Developments
From The Financial Times:
- The UK announced trade sanctions against Russia and will increase tariffs by 35 per cent on some Russian and Belarusian goods
- G7 finance ministers pledged more than $24bn in further support for Ukraine and condemned Russia’s inclusion in the group of nations
- Italian energy group Eni signed a deal with Republic of Congo and Angola in an effort to wean itself off Russian gas
- Austrian oil refiner OMV ended all purchases of Russian oil
- Carlsberg announced it will take a $1.4bn hit from the sale of its Russian business
- German exports to non-EU countries fell in March due to the war in Ukraine
Mariupol is on the Edge
The head of the company that owns the Azovstal steel plant said it’s almost over. Ukrainians have been holed up at the steelworks plant as they defend their city:
Yuriy Ryzhenkov, the CEO of Metinvest Holding, told CNN: “When the war started we had stocked quite a good stocks of food and water in the bomb shelters and the facilities at the plant so for some period of time the civilians, they were able to use it and basically survive on that.
“Unfortunately all the things, they tend to run out, especially the food and daily necessities.
“I think now it’s close to a catastrophe there”.
The Chechen leader showed off a “liberated” Mariupol.
Russia's "liberation" of Mariupol looks like this, according to Ramzan Kadyrov's Telegram channel pic.twitter.com/3iAhVqPnZJ
— max seddon (@maxseddon) April 21, 2022
Three buses managed to leave Mariupol with evacuees. Unfortunately, not matter could make it out:
Three school buses filled with evacuees from Mariupol arrived in Zaporizhzhia on Thursday after crossing through territory held by Russian forces.
Valentina, 73, told AFP: “My apartment has been destroyed just like the house of my son.
“From day one we were in a basement. It was cold. We were praying to God. I was asking him to protect us.”
Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the number of evacuees was far smaller than had been hoped for.
“Nothing has worked. Only 79 people could come. There were no green corridors,” she said, adding that many of the evacuees had been “robbed by the Russians”.
Ukraine could take back the 42 villages Russia captured in Donetsk:
Russian forces captured 42 villages in the eastern Donetsk region on Thursday, Ukrainian officials said.
An aide of President Volodymyr Zelensky said the captured villages did not mean Russia had won, and Ukrainian forces could shortly regain control of them.
Olena Symonenko said: “Today 42 villages were added to the list of those that have been occupied. This is at the expense of the Donetsk region.
“This happened today and it might be that our forces will win them back tomorrow”.
It comes as Vladimir Putin claimed his troops had gained control of Mariupol following months of intense fighting.
Ukrainian soldiers had been trapped for a number of days in the Azovstal steel plant in the port city, under constant siege by Russian forces.
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