Live updates Ukraine reports successes and challenges in battle

Kyiv, Ukraine – A regional governor in southern Ukraine has said Russian troops are withdrawing and blowing up bridges to prevent a possible Ukrainian offensive.

The governor of the Nikolaev region Vitaly Kim said on Wednesday in the Telegram news app that Russia is on the defensive.

“They are afraid of a breakthrough of the (Ukrainian armed forces), but we are not afraid and support our troops,” he wrote.

Kim did not specify exactly where the retreat he described took place. The parts of the Nikolaev region that have been held by Russian forces in recent days are close to the large Russian-occupied city of Kherson.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an address Tuesday night that Ukrainian fighters have “achieved some success in the Kherson direction.”

Russia is concentrating most of its military power in an attempt to take over the entire Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.




– Report: China bans Russian airlines with foreign aircraft

– The United States is sending medium-range missile systems to Ukraine

– Italy imports more Russian oil despite the upcoming embargo

– High prices, Asian markets could blunt the EU’s ban on Russian oil

– The sanctioned megayacht of a Russian oligarch is hiding in a river in the UAE



Follow the AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine



BRUSSELS – The European Union’s Asylum Agency says the number of people from former Soviet countries seeking international protection in Europe has skyrocketed since Russia began its war in Ukraine.

The agency said on Wednesday that about 14,000 Ukrainians had sought refuge in March, about 30 times higher than before the war, which began on February 24th.

There are more than approximately 3 million Ukrainians who have applied for emergency protection under an EU program that provides shelter, access to jobs, medical treatment and education for war refugees.

The largest increase is in asylum seekers from Belarus, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. But the EU agency says it is unclear whether these people came from their home countries or lived in Ukraine when the war began.


The number of Russians seeking asylum in the EU also rose to 1,400 in March, the highest level since 2018.

Asylum is usually granted to people at risk of serious harm because of their race, religion, nationality, political views or belonging to a social group, as well as to those fleeing war, torture and degrading treatment.


BERLIN – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says his country will supply Ukraine with modern anti-aircraft missiles and radar systems, boosting arms supplies amid criticism that Germany is not doing enough to help Kyiv.

Scholz told German lawmakers on Wednesday that the government had decided to provide Ukraine with IRIS-T missiles developed by Germany along with other NATO countries.

He said Germany would also supply radar systems to Ukraine to help locate enemy artillery.

The reports come amid claims at home and abroad that Germany has been slow to provide Ukraine with the weapons it needs to defend itself against Russia.



Kyiv, Ukraine – A regional governor in eastern Ukraine says Russian forces control 70% of Severodonetsk, a city that has become the focus of Moscow’s offensive in recent days.

Luhansk Oblast Governor Sergei Haidai told Telegram on Wednesday that some Ukrainian troops were fighting Russians in the city while others withdrew.

“The evacuation (of civilians) has been stopped. There is no possibility of importing humanitarian aid, “Haidai said.

He said the only other city in the Luhansk region that has not been captured by Russia or Moscow-backed separatists, Lisichansk, is “completely” under Ukrainian control.


Kyiv, Ukraine – Ukraine’s president says the country is losing between 60 and 100 troops a day in battles with Russian forces.

President Vladimir Zelensky told the American television channel Newsmax that “the most difficult situation is in eastern Ukraine,” including in the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk.


“The situation is very difficult. We lose 60-100 soldiers a day as killed in battle and about 500 wounded in battle. So we keep our protective perimeters, “Zelenski said.

Ukraine has largely refrained from revealing its military losses since the start of the Russian invasion, but Zelensky said earlier that the country was losing between 50 and 100 troops a day.


VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has called for an end to the conflict over grain supplies to Ukraine, calling for a comprehensive effort to prevent “the use of important goods as weapons of war”.

Francis made the call Wednesday at the end of his general audience.

The pope said he was concerned that Russia’s naval blockade was holding millions of tonnes of grain and depriving poor countries of such staple food as they need to feed millions.

“I call on everyone to do everything possible to resolve this issue and to guarantee the universal human right to be nurtured,” Francis said.


He added: “Please do not use grain, staple food, as a weapon of war.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin pressured the West to lift sanctions against Moscow over the war in Ukraine, seeking to shift the blame for the growing global food crisis.


MOSCOW – Russian state gas giant Gazprom has confirmed it has cut off gas supplies to Shell Energy Europe and Denmark’s ├śrsted after the two companies refused to pay for supplies in rubles.

Gazprom said in a statement Wednesday morning that it had not received payments from either company for gas delivered in April and was therefore suspending supplies.

Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree requiring foreign buyers to pay in rubles for Russian gas from April 1st.

Moscow has offered customers receiving its natural gas to open a dollar or euro account with Russia’s third-largest bank, Gazprombank, and then a second account in rubles. The petitioner pays the gas bill in euros or dollars and directs the bank to exchange money for rubles.


Shell Energy Europe, ├śrsted and Dutch gas trader GasTerra refused to pay in rubles, and Gazprom cut off supplies to the three companies this week.


BEIJING – China has banned Russian airlines from flying foreign jets in its airspace, Russia’s RBC news agency reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has questioned the ownership of the jets, allowing the planes to be re-registered in Russia to avoid being subject to sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The European Union, home to major aircraft leasing companies, banned the sale or rental of aircraft to Russian carriers in February. Putin responded by approving a law that allows plans to register in Russia.

China’s air regulator last month asked all foreign carriers to update their ownership information and other details, RBK said, citing two unidentified sources.

Russian airlines, which are unable to provide documents showing that their plane was “deregistered abroad”, have been banned from flying to China, RBK reported.



WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden said in a guest essay on Tuesday night in The New York Times that he has decided to provide Ukrainians with more modern missile systems and ammunition that will allow them to hit key battlefield targets more accurately.

It is expected that Ukraine will be able to use missiles in the Eastern Donbass region, where it can transfer Russian artillery and capture Russian positions in cities where fighting is intense, such as Severodonetsk.

This city 90 miles (145 kilometers) south of the Russian border is located in an area that is the last pocket under the control of the Ukrainian government in the Luhansk region of Donbass.

In an essay to the New York Times, Biden said the United States does not encourage or allow Ukraine to strike beyond its borders and does not want to prolong the war “just to hurt Russia.”

U.S. officials familiar with the decision have not said how much the aid will cost, but it will be the 11th package approved so far and the first to use the $ 40 billion in aid recently passed by Congress.



WASHINGTON – The Biden administration announced on Tuesday that it would send a small number of high-tech medium-range missile systems to Ukraine.

This is a critical weapon that Ukrainian leaders have prayed for as they fight to halt Russian progress in the Donbass region.

The US plan seeks to strike a balance between wanting to help Ukraine fight fierce Russian artillery fire while not providing weapons that could allow Ukraine to hit targets deep in Russia and escalate the war.

U.S. officials say the aid package, which is expected to be unveiled on Wednesday, will send medium-range missiles, which the United States estimates – they can usually travel about 45 miles (70 kilometers).

It is expected that Ukraine will be able to use missiles in the Eastern Donbass region, where it can transfer Russian artillery and capture Russian positions in cities where fighting is intense, such as Severodonetsk.

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Live updates Ukraine reports successes and challenges in battle

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