Ukraine Update: Russians Forces Retreated From Northern Ukraine, Leaving Civilians Lying Dead In Streets Of Bucha

UKRAINE (April 17, 2022)—Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” into neighboring Ukraine began on Feb. 24, with Russian troops invading from Belarus, to the north, and Russia, to the east. Russian forces have since been met with “stiff resistance” from Ukrainians, according to U.S. officials.

In recent days, Russian forces have retreated from northern Ukraine, leaving behind a trail of death and destruction. After graphic images emerged of civilians lying dead in the streets of Bucha, a town northwest of Kyiv, the United States and European countries accused Russia of committing war crimes.

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Multiple rockets struck the center of Ukraine’s second-largest city on Sunday, killing at least five people and injuring 13, Ukrainian officials said.

Kharkiv, in northeast Ukraine, has been targeted by Russian shelling since the early days of the invasion, and Sunday was no exception. The barrage of rockets hit apartment buildings and left broken glass, debris and the part of at least one rocket scattered on the streets of Kharkiv, according to Ukrainian regional officials.

Firefighters and residents scrambled to douse flames in several apartments that caught fire.

A kindergarten school in the city was also damaged in the attack.

“There were four shells, one of them fell between the fence and the kindergarten. It turned everything upside down,” a staff member at the school told reporters.

It was the second consecutive day of heavy shelling in the center of Kharkiv. The city’s mayor, Ihor Terekhov, said three people were killed and 34 others were wounded by Russian missile strikes on Saturday.

One missile hit a community kitchen set up in Kharkiv by World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization run by celebrity chef Jose Andres. Four World Central Kitchen staff members were injured in the attack. Andres posted a message on Twitter reporting the staff members suffered non-life-threatening injuries and are going to be fine.

The Russian Defense Ministry issued an emergency statement calling on the remaining Ukrainian forces at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol to lay down their arms and halt fighting on Sunday morning.

“Taking into account the catastrophic situation at Azovstal Iron and Steel Works and being guided by purely humane principles, the Russian Armed Forces suggest that the militants of the nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries stop any hostilities and lay down their arms from 06:00 (Moscow time) on April 17. All those who lay down their arms are guaranteed life,” the ministry said in a statement.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy said in an interview with Ukrainian media Ukrainska Pravda that the continuing siege of the southeastern city could scuttle attempts to negotiate an end to the war.

“The destruction of all our guys in Mariupol — what they are doing now — can put an end to any format of negotiations,” he said.

Zelenskyy Invites Macron To Ukraine

“Zelensky told CNN that French President Emmanuel Macron should visit Ukraine to realize that Russia had unleashed a genocide against Ukraine. Macron had previously refused to call Russia’s actions a genocide.”

Russia Warns NATO

“Russia warns Czechia against supplying weapons to Ukraine, Prague says won’t respond to blackmail. Russia claimed that the Czech Republic isn’t allowed to provide Ukraine with Soviet-made weapons without Russian permission. Czech Defense Minister brushed off these claims.”

In response, Moscow on Friday warned the US that there would be “unpredictable consequences” if it refused to stop sending weapons to Ukraine.

Russia Banned PM Boris Johnson And Others

Russia has banned Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other senior ministers from entering Russia over the UK’s “hostile” stance on the war in Ukraine.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and 10 other senior politicians – mostly members of the Cabinet – have also been barred.

Moscow said the decision had been made in retaliation to the UK’s sanctions against it since it invaded Ukraine.

In March, Moscow imposed a similar ban against US President Joe Biden.

The full list is:

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson
  • Foreign Secretary Liz Truss
  • Defence Secretary Ben Wallace
  • Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor, and Secretary of State for Justice Dominic Raab
  • Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps
  • Home Secretary Priti Patel
  • The Chancellor Rishi Sunak
  • Minister for Entrepreneurship, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng
  • Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nadine Dorries
  • Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey
  • First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon
  • Attorney General for England and Wales and advocate general for Northern Ireland Suella Braverman
  • Conservative MP and former British Prime Minister Theresa May

In a statement, Russia’s foreign ministry said: “London’s unbridled information and political campaign aimed at isolating Russia internationally, creating conditions for containing our country and strangling the domestic economy” were responsible for its decision.

It added: “In essence, the British leadership is deliberately aggravating the situation around Ukraine, pumping the Kyiv regime with lethal weapons and coordinating similar efforts on the part of Nato.”

The UK government said it remained “resolute” in its support for Ukraine despite the move, adding that it condemned Russia’s “reprehensible actions” in the country.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also reacted to the sanctions, describing President Putin as “a war criminal” and vowing that she would not “shy away from condemning him and his regime”.

Earlier this week, the UK and US governments announced further sanctions on Russia.

The sanctions included financial measures designed to damage Russia’s economy and penalise Russian President Vladimir Putin, high-ranking officials, and people who have benefited from his regime.

  • What sanctions are being imposed on Russia?
  • What is Nato and how is it helping Ukraine?
  • How sanctions have changed everyday life in Russia?

NATO countries – including the UK and US – are also supplying weapons, ammunition and other military equipment to Ukraine, although they have ruled out sending in Nato troops or implementing a no-fly zone.

 

ABC News, BBC, CNN and AP News contributed to the article.

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