Ukraine War Update: U.S. Approved $100 Million In Aid, Bodies are Burned in Bucha, EU New Proposed Sanctions, France Offered Zelenskyy Tech Support, and Johnson said the war is “a stain on the honor of Russia”

WASHINGTON (April 6, 2022) — President Joe Biden approved a $100 million transfer of Javelin anti-armor missiles to Ukraine on Tuesday, according to an administration official.

The transfer brings the total of U.S. military assistance for Ukraine to $2.4 billion since Biden took office last January.

The White House announced late Tuesday that Biden approved the assistance, which is funded as part of a broader $13.6 billion in aid for Ukraine approved by Congress last month after Russia’s invasion.

The administration official confirmed that it was for a transfer of the Javelin missiles, which have been requested by the Ukrainian military to combat Russian armor.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:

— In Bucha, Ukraine, burned, piled bodies among latest horrors

—EU proposes Russian coal ban in new sanctions

— US official: US, allies, to ban new investments in Russia

— Harvard students’ site helping Ukraine refugees find housing

— Japan’s top envoy brings back 20 Ukrainians from Poland

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

LVIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said French President Emmanuel Macron has agreed to provide technical and expert support for an investigation into crimes committed by Russian troops in Bucha and elsewhere.

Zelenskyy said Tuesday that he also asked Macron to help the people trapped in the besieged southern city of Mariupol.

In an interview with Turkey’s Haberturk television in Kyiv, Zelenskyy accused Russia of trying to hide its actions in Mariupol and didn’t want humanitarian aid to enter the city “until they clean it all up.”

Zelenskyy said he also expects European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to visit Kyiv soon.

LVIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russian forces still are trying to push deep into Ukraine in the east, but the Ukrainian army is holding them back.

In his daily night-time video address to the nation late Tuesday, Zelenskyy said Ukraine was aware that Russia was gathering up reinforcements for another offensive.

Zelenskyy also said Ukraine is outnumbered both in troops and equipment.

“We don’t have a choice – the fate of our land and of our people is being decided,” he said. “We know what we are fighting for. And we will do everything to win.”

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LVIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Tuesday that he and Western leaders have discussed a new round of sanctions against Russia.

“After what the world saw in Bucha, the sanctions against Russia must be commensurate with the gravity of the war crimes committed by the occupiers,” Zelenskyy said in his daily night-time video address to the nation.

In coordination with the European Union and Group of Seven nations, the U.S. will roll out more sanctions against Russia on Wednesday. That reportedly will include a ban on all new investment in the country.

Also, the EU’s executive branch has proposed a ban on coal imports from Russia in what would be the first time the 27-nation bloc has sanctioned the country’s lucrative energy industry over the war.

The coal imports amount to an estimated 4 billion euros ($4.4 billion) per year.

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KYIV, Ukraine — A Ukrainian official says Russian troops have allowed 1,496 civilians to evacuate the besieged city of Mariupol by private vehicle but blocked a convoy of evacuation buses from entering.

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the Russian forces stopped the buses accompanied by workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross from traveling to the Sea of Azov port on Tuesday. The civilians who were able to leave in their personal vehicles traveled to Zaporizhzhia.

Mariupol has been besieged by Russian forces for a month, cut off from food, water and energy supplies and has faced relentless artillery barrage and air raids that killed thousands.

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LVIV, Ukraine — A regional official in western Ukraine says a Russian missile hit fertilizer tanks, polluting ground water.

Ternopil region Gov. Volodymyr Trush said Tuesday that the Russian missile strike destroyed six reservoirs filled with fertilizers, resulting in an ammonia leak into ground water and the Ikva River.

Authorities are advising residents not to use water wells and stop fishing and officials have organized drinking water deliveries. Trush say the environmental situation is expected to stabilize in a few days.

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MOSCOW — The Russian foreign minister is accusing Ukraine’s government of sabotaging talks on ending the fighting in Ukraine, warning that Moscow will not “play cat and mouse.”

Sergey Lavrov specifically warns that Moscow will not accept the Ukrainian demand that a prospective peace agreement include an immediate pullout of Russian troops to be followed by a referendum in Ukraine on accepting the deal.

In televised remarks Tuesday, he says that if the peace deal fails to win approval in a referendum, a new deal will have to be negotiated. He says that “we don’t want to play such cat and mouse.”

Lavrov pointed at a 2015 peace deal for eastern Ukraine signed in Minsk, Belarus, that was brokered by France and Germany but never implemented. He says that “we don’t want a repeat of the Minsk agreements.”

He also says Ukraine is “sabotaging” the talks by stonewalling Russian demands for “demilitarization” and “denazification” of the country.

The tough statements from Lavrov contrasted with optimistic signals made by both Ukrainian and Russian representatives after the latest round of talks in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 29.

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KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged all Spanish companies to completely halt business with Russia and called for tougher Western sanctions against Moscow that would include a ban on Russian oil imports.

Speaking in a video address to the Spanish Parliament on Tuesday, Zelenskyy denounced the Russian atrocities against civilians in Ukrainian cities, saying they represented war crimes for which Russian officers should face an international tribunal.

Zelenskyy said the “sanctions must be really powerful.”

“How can it be allowed that Russian banks generate incomes even as the Russian military tortures ordinary civilians to death in Ukrainian cities, how can European companies engage in trade with the state that deliberately destroys our people?” he asked.

In an emotional speech, he drew parallels between the Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities and the 1937 bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by Nazi aircraft during the Spanish Civil War.

Zelenskyy said the “fate of the entire European project, the values that unite us all” is being decided in Ukraine, and urged Spanish lawmakers to “do even more to force Russia to start searching for peace and respect the international law.”

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KYIV, Ukraine — Speaking in a video address to the Spanish Parliament on Tuesday, Zelenskyy denounced the Russian atrocities against civilians in Ukrainian cities, saying they represented war crimes for which Russian officers should face an international tribunal.

Zelenskyy said the “sanctions must be really powerful.”

“How can it be allowed that Russian banks generate incomes even as the Russian military tortures ordinary civilians to death in Ukrainian cities, how can European companies engage in trade with the state that deliberately destroys our people?” he asked.

In an emotional speech, he drew parallels between the Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities and the 1937 bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by Nazi aircraft during the Spanish Civil War.

Zelenskyy said the “fate of the entire European project, the values that unite us all” is being decided in Ukraine, and urged Spanish lawmakers to “do even more to force Russia to start searching for peace and respect the international law.”

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LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has issued a direct appeal to the Russian people, urging them to seek the truth about a war he called “a stain on the honor of Russia.”

In a video message, Johnson said Russians were being kept in the dark about the invasion of Ukraine because Russian President Vladimir Putin “knows that if you could see what was happening, you would not support his war.”

Johnson said Russian authorities were hiding the truth of “sickening” slayings of civilians and other crimes, which “betray the trust of every Russian mother who proudly waves goodbye to her son as he heads off to join the military.”

He told Russians they only needed an online VPN connection to gain access to independent information from around the world.

Switching from English to Russian, Johnson said: “Your president stands accused of committing war crimes. But I cannot believe he’s acting in your name.”

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Source: AP News contributed to the update.

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