Ukraine Updates: Russia Threatens NATO Supplies Entering Ukraine, War Crime Evidence Emerges in Irpin
They’ve recovered almost 300 bodies in Irpin.
The tensions remain high between Germany and Ukraine as the opposition leader went to Kyiv. He met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other officials.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he would not visit and is upset because Ukrainian officials won’t invite President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Kyiv. Ukraine accused the president of being cozy with Russian President Vladimir Putin when he served as foreign minister.
Investigators also found more evidence of war crimes in Irpin, which is a suburb of Kyiv.
Evacuees Not From Mariupol
The evacuees are not from Mariupol:
The civilians who arrived in Zaporizhzhia Tuesday were not the ones who were evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol days earlier, according to its mayor.
The buses allegedly carrying Ukrainian civilians from the Azovstal steel plant were not actually from Mariupol but from “other cities,” Mayor Vadym Boichenko said during a briefing at Media Center Ukraine.
“The previous evacuation, which took place yesterday, which was presented by a number of media outlets as information that those were the residents of Mariupol who left, is not true. These people who were evacuated had nothing to do with the residents of Mariupol, they are from other cities,” Boichenko said.
Russia Threatens NATO Supplies
Russia again threatens to target supplies in Ukraine:
Nato vehicles with weapons and ammunition for Ukrainian troops that arrived in Ukraine will be destroyed, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.
“The United States and its Nato allies continue to pump weapons to Ukraine. I note that any transport of the North Atlantic Alliance that arrived on the territory of the country with weapons or materiel for the needs of the Ukrainian armed forces is considered by us as a legitimate target for destruction,” Mr Shoigu said at a conference call, according to reports in the Russian media outlet RIA.
Germany vs. Ukraine
Scholz has dragged his feet when it comes to helping Ukraine mainly because Germany relies so much on Russia for its energy sources.
The opposition leader stepped up:
German opposition leader Friedrich Merz, who heads former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Union bloc, visited the town of Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, to see the destruction caused by the Russian army.
Speaking to reporters against a backdrop of shelled buildings, Merz expressed his “full admiration” to the Ukrainian military for having halted the Russian advance at Irpin, and pledged to help the town rebuild.
German daily Bild reported that Merz later met for an hour with Zelenskyy at his presidential office. Merz’ visit to Kyiv comes days before two German state elections in which his Christian Democratic Union is hoping to retain power.
Irpin War Crimes
Ukrainian prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova announced investigators found more evidence of war crimes in Irpin, a Kyiv suburb. The crimes include torture, mass killings, and banned weapons:
Speaking during a televised news conference in Irpin, which was one of the most fiercely contested battlefields in the early phase the war, the prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, said 290 bodies had been recovered for forensic examination in the city.
She said her team had identified one Russian soldier who she said was responsible for torturing at least 10 people. The victims “had their phones confiscated,” and then they were “beaten on the ribs and legs, threatened with death, and denied food and water,” she said. She said the soldier had been helped by others who had not yet been identified.
Investigators have confirmed that Russia’s 64th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade had been in Irpin. That is the same unit whose members have been accused of kidnapping and torturing unarmed civilians in the nearby town of Bucha.
Prosecutors had also documented summary shootings and mass burials in seven locations, Ms. Venediktova said, as well as the use of numerous weapons banned under the Geneva Conventions, including antipersonnel mines and shells with arrow-shaped shrapnel.
When asked about mounting reports of Russian soldiers raping Ukrainians, Ms. Venediktova said she anticipated a “huge number” of cases would emerge but she did not disclose how many were being investigated. In the first two weeks of April, about 400 cases of sexual violence by Russian soldiers were reported to Ukraine’s ombudswoman for human rights.
“Victims are not ready to speak,” Ms. Venediktova said, adding that many survivors of the assaults remain in Russian-held territories and fear reprisals.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.