Live updates of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis | CIA Warns Desperate Putin Poses Nuclear Threat

On April 15, Russia pledged to step up its attack on Ukrainian territories, while claiming control of a steel plant in Mariupol.

Just a day earlier, the Russian guided missile cruiser Moskva sank in the Black Sea after being damaged by Ukrainian forces.

More than 4.7 million Ukrainians have fled their country in the 50 days since Russia invaded, according to the United Nations.

Meanwhile, US CIA Director William Burns has said Russia’s setbacks could lead President Vladimir Putin to resort to using a tactical or low-yield nuclear weapon.

The conflict began to escalate on February 21, 2022, after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine and deployed troops in a peacekeeping role.

Here are the latest updates:


Russia promises more missile strikes on kyiv after it was struck overnight, says captured Mariupol steel plant

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Friday it hit a military target outside kyiv with cruise missiles overnight and promised further strikes on the Ukrainian capital.

The ministry said its forces had also completely taken control of the Ilyich steelworks in the beleaguered port city of Mariupol.

Russia said on Wednesday that 1,026 troops from Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade, including 162 officers, surrendered near the steel plant. Reuters


Ukraine announces 5 dead in strikes and explosions near kyiv in Russia

Ukraine said Friday that Russian strikes had killed five people in the east of the country after President Volodymyr Zelensky said forces from Moscow aimed to “destroy” the region.

In a report released by the presidency, Kyiv said two people were killed and two others injured in the eastern Lugansk region, while three others were killed and seven injured in the neighboring Donetsk region.

The presidency said “fighting continues along the entire front line” in Donetsk.

Friday’s statement added that explosions had been heard in the Vasylkiv area outside the capital and that, according to information initially available, air defenses had been activated. AFP


Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister: 9 humanitarian corridors agreed for Friday

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said nine humanitarian corridors were agreed on Friday to evacuate civilians, including by private car, from the besieged city of Mariupol.

Other evacuation routes include those from Berdiansk, Tokmak, Enerhodar and Sievierodonetsk.- Reuters


Ukrainian governor of Lugansk urges residents of 6 towns to evacuate

Governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk region Serhiy Gaidai on Friday urged residents of six towns to evacuate, adding that one person was killed and five injured in the Russian shelling of the town of Kreminna.

Gaidai wrote on the Telegram messaging app: “Don’t hesitate and leave while this possibility remains. … Choose life, buses are waiting for you at pick-up points. As well as the trains, of which there are enough. »- Reuters


Russia could be in default, says Moody’s

Russia could be in default after trying to repay its dollar bonds into rubles due to Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine, Moody’s says, Moscow’s first major default on foreign bonds since the years following the revolution Bolshevik of 1917.

Russia made a payment due April 4 on two sovereign bonds – maturing in 2022 and 2042 – in rubles rather than the dollars it was required to pay under the securities.

Russia “can therefore be considered a default under Moody’s definition if it is not corrected by May 4, which is the end of the grace period,” Moody’s said in a statement Thursday. Reuters


A view shows a torn Ukrainian flag hanging on a wire in front of a building destroyed during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, April 14, 2022.

A view shows a torn Ukrainian flag hanging on a wire in front of an apartment building destroyed during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, April 14, 2022. | Photo credit: REUTERS


Ukraine survived 50 days as Russia ‘gave us a maximum of five’: Zelensky

President Volodymyr Zelensky told Ukrainians on Thursday they should be proud to have survived 50 days under the Russian attack when the Russians “gave us a maximum of five”.

In his late-night video speech, Mr. Zelensky called it “the achievement of millions of Ukrainians, of all those who on February 24 made the most important decision of their lives – to fight.” Mr Zelensky listed a detailed and almost poetic list of the many ways in which the Ukrainians helped repel Russian troops, including “those that showed that Russian warships can sail, even if it’s at the bottom” of the sea.

Mr Zelensky said he remembers the first day of the invasion when many world leaders, unsure if Ukraine could survive, advised him to leave the country.

“But they didn’t know how brave Ukrainians are, how much we value freedom and the ability to live as we want,” Zelensky said. PA


Canada sends soldiers to Poland to help Ukrainian refugees

Canada is sending soldiers to Poland to help with the care, coordination and resettlement of Ukrainian refugees in Poland, including some who will come to Canada.

Defense Minister Anita Anand announced the deployment of up to 150 soldiers on Thursday.

Anand said the majority of deployed troops will head to reception centers across Poland to help treat and register Ukrainian refugees.

Another group is sent to help coordinate international aid efforts.- PA


Powerful explosions heard in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities according to local media

Powerful explosions were heard in the early hours of Friday morning in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and several other cities across the country, local media reported.

During the night, air raid sirens went off all over Ukraine.

Explosions were also heard in the southern city of Kherson, the eastern city of Kharkiv and in the western city of Ivano-Frankivsk.- Reuters


Ukraine says 2,557 people were evacuated on Thursday

A total of 2,557 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

Of those, 289 people were evacuated from the beleaguered southern port of Mariupol by their own transport, Vereshchuk said in a social media post. Reuters


CIA Warns Desperate Putin Poses Nuclear Threat

Russia’s setbacks in its invasion of Ukraine could lead President Vladimir Putin to resort to the use of a tactical or low-yield nuclear weapon, CIA Director William Burns said Thursday.

“Given the potential despair of President Putin and the Russian leadership, given the setbacks they have faced so far, militarily, none of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to arms tactical nukes or low-yield nukes,” Burns said during a speech in Atlanta.

The Kremlin said it placed Russian nuclear forces on high alert shortly after the assault began on February 24, but the United States has not seen “much practical evidence” of it. actual deployments that would cause more concern, Burns added. AFP


Damaged Black Sea flagship by Russian army sinks

The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, a guided-missile cruiser that became a potential target of the Ukrainian challenge in the early days of the war, sank on April 14 after being heavily damaged in the latest setback of the invasion of Moscow.

Ukrainian officials said their forces hit the ship with missiles, while Russia acknowledged a fire aboard the Moskva but no attack.


Russia warns against nuclear deployment if Finland and Sweden join NATO

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned on Thursday that Russia would deploy nuclear weapons near the Baltic states and Scandinavia if Finland or Sweden decided to join NATO.

Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council and president from 2008 to 2012, wrote on Telegram that if the countries joined, it would more than double Russia’s land border with NATO members.


Russia, candidate for elections to four UN committees, loses everything

Russia, a candidate for election to four UN committees, lost them all, including one to Ukraine, a verdict seen as isolating Moscow on the world stage.

Elections were held on Wednesday at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to fill various vacancies in subsidiary and related bodies.

Christi C. Elwood