Ukraine War Update: Ukrainian Troops Retake Kyiv And Chernihiv, President Macron Vows, Russia Has To Pay For Deaths, Prime Minister Johnson Expressed Support Of Troops and Ukraine

UKRAINE (April 3, 2022)—President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainian troops retaking areas around Kyiv and Chernihiv are not allowing Russians to retreat without a fight, but are “shelling them. They are destroying everyone they can.”

Zelenskyy, in his Saturday night video address to the nation, said Ukraine knows Russia has the forces to put even more pressure on the east and south of Ukraine.

“What is the goal of the Russian troops? They want to seize the Donbas and the south of Ukraine,” he said. “What is our goal? To defend ourselves, our freedom, our land and our people.”

He said a significant portion of the Russian forces are tied up around Mariupol, where the city’s defenders continue to fight.

“Thanks to this resistance, thanks to the courage and resilience of our other cities, Ukraine has gained invaluable time, time that is allowing us to foil the enemy’s tactics and weaken its capabilities,” Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy appealed again to the West for more modern weaponry, such as anti-missile systems and aircraft.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that departing Russian troops were creating a “catastrophic” situation for civilians by leaving mines around homes, abandoned equipment and “even the bodies of those killed.” His claims could not be independently verified.

Ukrainian troops took up positions in the town of Bucha, and were stationed at the entrance of Antonov Airport in Hostomel after retaking territory from Russian forces.

In Bucha, AP reporters counted at least 6 bodies of civilians scattered along a street and in the front yard of a house. Ukrainian soldiers, backed by a column of tanks and armored vehicles, attached cables to the bodies and pulled them off the street for fear they may be booby-trapped. Soldiers also cleared barricades and inspected suspicious objects, placing red rags on remnants of unexploded ordnance to draw attention to the possibility of explosions.

Residents of the town said the civilians were killed by Russian soldiers without apparent provocation.

Ukraine and its Western allies reported mounting evidence of Russia withdrawing its forces from around Kyiv and building its troop strength in eastern Ukraine. The visible shift did not mean the country faced a reprieve from more than five weeks of war or that the more than 4 million refugees who have fled Ukraine will return soon.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted “This evening I spoke to President

. I congratulated his brave armed forces for pushing back Russia’s invading army, but recognise the huge challenges they face and terrible suffering being inflicted on Ukraine’s civilians.”

Johnson said in a second tweet “The UK will continue to step up military, economic and diplomatic support, including further ramping up sanctions to increase the economic pressure on Putin’s war machine while Russian troops remain on Ukrainian territory.”

War Crimes:

The former chief prosecutor of United Nations war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda has called for an international arrest warrant to be issued for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Putin is a war criminal,” Carla Del Ponte told the Swiss newspaper Le Temps in an interview published Saturday.

In interviews given to Swiss media to mark the release of her latest book, the Swiss lawyer who oversaw U.N. investigations in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia said there were clear war crimes being committed in Ukraine.

She said she was particularly shocked by the use of mass graves in Russia’s war on Ukraine, which recalls the worst of the wars in the former Yugoslavia.

“I hoped never to see mass graves again,” she told the newspaper Blick. “These dead people have loved ones who don’t even know what’s become of them. That is unacceptable.”

President Emmanuel Macron tweeted “The images reaching us from Boutcha, a liberated town near kyiv, are unbearable. In the streets, hundreds of cowardly murdered civilians. My compassion for the victims, my solidarity with the Ukrainians. The Russian authorities will have to answer for these crimes.”

May be a Twitter screenshot of 1 person and text that says 'Emmanuel Macron @'EmmanuelMacron Officie ตน gouvernement France Les images qui nous parviennent de Boutcha, ville libérée pres de Kiev, sont insoutenables. Dans les rues, des centaines de civils achement assassinés, Ma compassion pour les victimes, ma solidarité avec les Ukrainiens. Les autorités russes devront répondre de ces crimes. Translated 100 Fpanch The images reaching us from Boutcha, a liberated town near kyiv, are unbearable. In the streets. hundreds of cowardly murdered civilians. My compassion for the victims, my solidarity with the Ukrainians. The Russian authorities will have to answer for these crimes. 9:43 AM Apr 3, Twitter for Phone'

Source: AP News contributed to the article.

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