“This is probably the most destructive single weapon on earth.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin bragged about the successful testing of a nuclear missile called “Satan II.” It carries dozens of warheads.
Inflation began before Russia launched its full-scale attack on Ukraine. But the invasion has not helped matters, especially with food. The World Bank acknowledged we could have a human catastrophe on our hands if the food prices continue to rise.
Biden also announced Ukraine will get $800 million in aid:
President Biden on Thursday announced another $800 million in military aid for Ukraine, including heavy artillery and ammunition, for Ukraine as the country continues to fight to defend itself against Russia’s multi-front war.
Biden, who spoke from the East Room, said the assistance would include heavily artillery weapons, dozens of howitzers, 144,000 rounds of ammunition for those howitzers, and tactical drones.
And he added: “To modernize Teddy Roosevelt’s famous advice, sometimes we will speak softly and carry a large Javelin, because we’re sending a lot of those in as well.”
Biden announced a new sponsor program for Ukrainian refugees:
The US will accept up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees under a new programme that is set to be announced by Joe Biden on Thursday.
President Biden is expected to launch a programme that will begin next week that will allow Ukrainian refugees to stay in the US temporarily if they are sponsored by an American citizen.
The US will launch a programme next week that allows Ukrainian refugees to stay in the US temporarily if they have American sponsors, officials said on Thursday.
The “humanitarian parole” programme will offer qualifying Ukrainians the ability to stay in the US for up to two years, one official said on a call with reporters.
However, unlike the US refugee resettlement program, it does not provide a path to citizenship.
Any American citizen can apply to sponsor Ukrainians seeking refuge in the US but must show financial support and pass background checks, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said.
Putin declared victory in Mariupol:
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to not storm the Azovstal steel plant, the last Ukrainian holdout in the besieged post city of Mariupol, on Thursday, opting instead for a blockade.
He claimed in a televised meeting that breaching the plant was “unnecessary,” claiming he was concerned about the welfare of Russian troops. He also urged Ukrainian fighter holdouts in the city to surrender, according to Reuters. Several deadlines imposed by Russia to surrender the city have passed.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the rest of the city had been “liberated,” prompting Putin to declare “success” in the devastated city.
Leaving the plant in Ukrainian hands, however, robs the Russians of the ability to declare complete victory in Mariupol. The city’s capture has both strategic and symbolic importance.
Around 1,000 Ukrainian civilians and 500 wounded soldiers are sheltering inside the plant and on Thursday the country’s deputy prime minister demanded Russia open up humanitarian corridors for them.
Putin is laughing at everyone. The Kremlin said the missile, known officially as Sarmat, should make Russia’s enemies “think twice” before doing anything:
Putin said on Russian television that it was “capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defence. It has no analogues in the world and won’t have for a long time to come”.
The Russian president added: “This truly unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure Russia’s security from external threats and provide food for thought for those who, in the heat of frenzied aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country.”
He has previously claimed the missile would be able to hit a target anywhere on Earth. It can be fired over either pole, creating difficulties for ground and satellite-based tracking systems.
In a statement, Russia’s defence ministry said: “Sarmat is the most powerful missile with the longest range of destruction of targets in the world, which will significantly increase the combat power of our country’s strategic nuclear forces.”
The missile reportedly has a range of 18,000km (11,000 miles) and can deliver between 10 and 15 nuclear warheads at hypersonic speeds.
“This is probably the most destructive single weapon on earth,” Ian Williams, a fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies think tank, told The Telegraph. He said it “could destroy 10 cities with one missile” as the warheads it carries can be “independently targeted”.
Image via The Telegraph.
The U.S. imposed more sanctions on Russia:
The US Treasury said the Russian commercial bank Transkapitalbank has been sanctioned, as well as a global network of more than 40 people and entities led by the Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev and the holding company of Bitcoin miner BitRiver.
Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Brian Nelson, said in a statement: “Treasury can and will target those who evade, attempt to evade, or aid the evasion of US sanctions against Russia, as they are helping support Putin’s brutal war of choice.
“The United States will work to ensure that the sanctions we have imposed, in close coordination with our international partners, degrade the Kremlin’s ability to project power and fund its invasion”.
Holocaust Survivor Dies in Mariupol
At 10 years old, Vanda Obiedkova survived the German occupation of Mariupol. Vanda was 91 when #Russian army invaded her city. 81 years after Nazi regime, she died. Dying in a basement, freezing, pleading for water, Holocaust survivor asked: “Why is this happening?”#SaveMariupol pic.twitter.com/yO9Gn18bJZ
— MFA of Ukraine 🇺🇦 (@MFA_Ukraine) April 20, 2022
Ukraine and Russia are top suppliers of wheat, maize, and barley:
The world is facing a “human catastrophe” from a food crisis arising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, World Bank President David Malpass told the BBC.
Malpass warned that record rises in food prices were pushing hundreds of millions of people into poverty.
“It’s a human catastrophe, meaning nutrition goes down. But then it also becomes a political challenge for governments who can’t do anything about it – they didn’t cause it and they see the prices going up,“ he said in an interview with BBC economics editor Faisal Islam.
The World Bank calculates there could be a “huge” 37% increase in food prices, which is “magnified for poor”.
“It’s affecting food of all different kinds – oils, grains – and then it gets into other crops, corn crops, because they go up when wheat goes up,” he says.
The focus needed to be on increasing supplies across the world of fertilisers and of food, alongside targeted assistance for the very poorest.
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