KYIV, Ukraine – Ukraine says a civilian ship sank in the port of the besieged city of Mariupol after Russian forces fired on it.
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the ship had been hit during a “sea shelling” by Russia, causing a fire in the engine room. The crew was rescued, including an injured crew member, he added.
The ministry said the vessel was flying the flag of the Dominican Republic and released a photo of a cargo ship. He did not specify the number of people on board or the nationality of the crew members.
Russian forces have been shelling Mariupol for weeks as they try to tighten control over Ukraine’s southeast coast.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINE WAR:
— Ukraine says Russia prepare the offensive At the South-East
— Zelensky to UN address amid outrage over civilian deaths
– Go to https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine for more coverage
BRUSSELS — Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Executive Commission of the European Union, will travel to kyiv this week to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
His spokesman, Eric Mamer, said Tuesday that his trip will take place before a special pledging meeting in Warsaw this weekend. This is the second high-level trip by EU officials. European Parliament President Roberta Metsola visited Ukraine last week.
GENEVA – An international Red Cross team on Tuesday shelved hope of entering the beleaguered Ukrainian city of Mariupol after being detained overnight by police in a town some 20 kilometers (12 miles) away. West.
The International Committee of the Red Cross, which has been trying to send a small team to Mariupol since Friday as part of efforts to escort and assist besieged civilians, said the team detained by police in Manhush had was released overnight. He did not specify the nationality of the police officers involved.
The ICRC said in a statement that the team is now focusing on the evacuation operation, and “yesterday’s incident shows how critical the operation to facilitate safe passage around Mariupol has been for our team”.
Jason Straziuso, an ICRC spokesman, said the team “did not plan to try to enter Mariupol today. Today, our team’s humanitarian efforts are focused on assisting with evacuation efforts in nearby areas.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Denmark’s Foreign Ministry says the country is deporting 15 Russian intelligence officers who worked at the Russian Embassy in Copenhagen.
The ministry said the Russian ambassador was informed of the decision on Tuesday. He said Denmark strongly condemned “Russia’s brutality against Ukrainian civilians in Bucha” and stressed that “deliberate attacks on civilians are a war crime”.
Officers have two weeks to leave Denmark. Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said “they pose a risk to our national security that we cannot ignore.”
The move came after France and Germany announced on Monday the expulsion of dozens of Russians with diplomatic status.
France plans to expel 35 of them. The French Foreign Ministry cited national security reasons for the expulsions, saying Russian diplomats were carrying out “activities contrary to our security interests”. He gave no details.
MADRID – A senior Spanish official has said it is “very difficult” for the European Union to take action against Russia’s natural gas sector because some countries in the bloc depend on it for energy supplies and EU strength. resides in its unity.
Teresa Ribera, Spain’s Minister for Ecological Transition, said on Tuesday that “it is very difficult to explain to European public opinion and to Ukrainian society that we are still importing Russian energy which is financing this war” in Ukraine. .
The EU gets about 40% of its natural gas from Russia.
She said energy imports create “obvious moral tension”, adding that Russian war crimes accusations at Bucha in recent days have increased pressure on the EU to act.
She said Spain should invest in utility-scale solar power installations to improve the EU’s energy self-sufficiency.
BRUSSELS – France’s finance minister has said there is “total determination” among the 27 member countries of the European Union to tighten sanctions against Russia after evidence emerged of the deliberate killing of Ukrainian civilians.
Bruno Le Maire, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, spoke ahead of a meeting of finance ministers on Tuesday where possible new measures were to be discussed.
The Mayor noted that French President Emmanuel Macron has made it clear that he is open to extending sanctions to coal and oil. He added: “We will see what the position of the other member states will be, but I think there is a possibility of having the unity of the 27 member states on these new sanctions.”
EU sanctions imposed on Russia following its February 24 invasion of Ukraine have hit many sectors of the country’s economy, but the bloc has so far stayed away sanctions that would undermine its supply of Russian energy.
LVIV, Ukraine — Seven humanitarian corridors will be opened on Tuesday, including from the beleaguered port city of Mariupol and Russian-controlled Berdyansk, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on the Telegram messaging app.
According to Vereshchuk’s message, residents of Mariupol and Berdyansk will be able to leave for Zaporizhzhia on their own. Corridors will also be opened from the city of Tokmak in the Zaporizhzhia region and the cities of Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Popasna and Hirske in the Lugansk region.
Vereshchuk said in the same message that Russian troops “are not allowing anyone to enter Mariupol” and that the Russians “blocked the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross” in the settlement of Manhush just to the west. from Mariupol.
Vereshchuk said that after negotiations, the Red Cross representatives “were released overnight and sent to Zaporizhzhia.”
It was not immediately clear from Vereshchuk’s statement whether Russia had agreed to stop fighting along the announced corridors. Some of Ukraine’s efforts to evacuate civilians through humanitarian corridors had previously failed as fighting along them continued despite agreements with Russia.
LONDON — British defense officials say Ukrainian forces have retaken more territory as Russian troops continue to retreat into northern Ukraine.
The British Ministry of Defense said Ukrainian forces “recaptured key ground” after forcing Russian units to withdraw north of kyiv and around the northern town of Chernihiv. The ministry said “low-level fighting is expected to continue in parts of the newly retaken areas, but to decrease significantly during this week as the rest of the Russian forces withdraw.”
In an intelligence update posted online, the UK says many Russian units “will likely require significant re-equipment and refurbishment before they are available to redeploy for operations in eastern Ukraine”.
Ukrainian and Western officials have said Russia is refocusing its offensive on the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine.
BERLIN — The German president admits policy mistakes toward Russia in his former post as foreign minister.
President Frank-Walter Steinmeier twice served as foreign minister to ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel, most recently from 2013 to 2017, and before that as chief of staff to ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. At that time, Germany was pursuing dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin and cultivating close energy ties.
Steinmeier told ZDF television on Tuesday that “we have failed on many counts”, including efforts to encourage Russia towards democracy and respect for human rights.
The president acknowledged that “there were different assessments” of Russia among European countries. He added: “It is true that we should have taken more seriously the warnings of our Eastern European partners, in particular concerning the post-2014 period” and the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Sticking to the project was a mistake that cost Germany “a lot of credit and credibility” in Eastern Europe, he said. Chancellor Olaf Scholz suspended the pipeline within a week, Russia invaded Ukraine.
LVIV, Ukraine – The Ukrainian General Staff announced Tuesday morning that Russia is regrouping its troops and preparing for an offensive in Donbass.
“The goal is to establish full control over the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” the update posted on the General Staff’s Facebook page reads.
In the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the Russian army is focusing its efforts on taking control of the cities of Popasna and Rubizhne, as well as establishing full control over Mariupol, the General Staff said . Other towns and localities in the two regions are under continuous bombardment.
Russian troops also continue to blockade Kharkiv, according to the General Staff.
BANGKOK — A World Bank report says commodity supply disruptions, financial strains and rising prices are among the shocks from the war in Ukraine that will slow Asian economies in the coming months.
The report released on Tuesday predicts slower growth and increased poverty in the Asia-Pacific region this year. Growth in the region is estimated at 5%, down from the initial forecast of 5.4%. He predicts that China, the region’s largest economy, will grow at a rate of 5%.
The report says “multiple shocks” are compounding problems for people and businesses, and governments whose finances have been strained by the pandemic have less capacity to help.
UNITED NATIONS — A senior official in the global campaign against the use of landmines is urging Russia to end the use in Ukraine of these weapons that too often kill and maim civilians.
Alicia Arango Olmos, Colombia’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva and this year’s chair of states parties to the 1997 convention banning the production and use of landmines, expressed deep concern over media reports that Russia uses landmines in its war in Ukraine. .
She pointed to Human Rights Watch, which said on March 29 that a Ukrainian explosive ordnance disposal technician had located prohibited antipersonnel mines in the eastern region of Kharkiv a day earlier.
The rights group said Russia is known to have the type of mines that were discovered, but Ukraine does not.
Arango Olmos told a news conference on Monday that Ukraine is one of 164 states parties to the convention, but Russia is not.
Monday was the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.