Ukraine celebrates “quick withdrawal” of Russian troops from the north of the country

Russian troops are “rapidly” withdrawing from northern Ukraine, a senior Ukrainian official said Saturday. To the south, in Mariupol, the Red Cross is preparing a new attempt to evacuate the besieged and devastated port city after an initial setback. Follow the latest events in Ukraine live.

  • 3:19 pm: More than 170 arrests in Russia during anti-conflict protests

More than 170 people were arrested on Saturday in Russia for protesting against the Russian offensive in Ukraine, OVD-Info, a public organization that specializes in monitoring arrests in the country, said.

Around 13:00 GMT, “more than 178 people were arrested in 15 Russian cities,” the NGO said in a statement.

  • 2:33 pm: In Russia, opponents of the war in Ukraine were detained during sit-ins

More than twenty people were arrested on Saturday in a Moscow park during a sit-in against Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, an AFP journalist said.

Detentions also took place in St. Petersburg at a similar rally as part of a nationwide action announced on social networks.

In Moscow, a sit-in was scheduled for 11:00 GMT in Zaryadye Park, in the shadow of the Kremlin. Shortly thereafter, police began arresting people sitting on park benches in the midst of a snow storm.

The organizers said in a press release that they wanted to protest “the collapse of the Russian economy, against (Russian President Vladimir) Putin” and for the release of imprisoned opponent Alexei Navalny.

  • 2:27 pm: Former international prosecutor Carla del Ponte seeks arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin

Former international prosecutor Carla del Ponte called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to urgently issue an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for his armed operations in Ukraine.

“Putin is a war criminal,” the lawyer said in an interview published on Saturday by the Swiss daily newspaper Le Temps. She became famous in the context of international investigations into the genocide in Rwanda and the war in the former Yugoslavia.

According to Carla Del Ponte, the issuance of an international arrest warrant “is the only existing tool for the arrest of the perpetrator of a war crime and bringing him to international justice.”

“The issuance of such a warrant does not mean that Putin will be arrested if he remains in Russia, this will never happen. But he will not be able to leave his country, and this will already be an important signal that he has spoken out against him, ”she explains.

  • 13:10: Veteran Ukrainian photographer found dead near Kiev

Max Levin, who has not been heard from for three weeks, was found dead on Friday after the withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory near Kiev, Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, said on Saturday.

According to the Ukrainian public organization IMI (Institute of Mass Information), citing preliminary information from the Prosecutor General’s Office, the “unarmed” journalist was hit by “two shots” from Russian servicemen.

Max Levin, 40, father of four sons, has collaborated with many Ukrainian and international media outlets.

  • 12:26 pm: Pope calls for ‘global responses’ to ‘expansion of migration emergency’

Pope Francis called on Malta for “comprehensive and joint responses” to the “expanding migration emergency” as millions of people flock to Europe to escape the war in Ukraine.

“The expansion of the migration emergency – think of refugees from tortured Ukraine – requires broad and general responses. It is impossible for some countries to tackle the whole problem with the indifference of others!”, – said the Pope during the speech. at the presidential palace in the capital Valletta.

He also criticized, at the start of his visit to Malta, the actions of “certain powers that be” pursuing “nationalist interests”, causing “an icy wind of war” blowing from “Eastern Europe”.

  • 11:48 am: “fast withdrawal” of Russian troops from the north of the country

Russian forces are carrying out a “rapid withdrawal” from the Kiev and Chernihiv regions in northern Ukraine and are seeking “to gain a foothold in the east and south,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said.

“After the rapid withdrawal of the Russians from the Kiev and Chernigov regions (…) it is clear that Russia has chosen a different priority tactic: retreat to the east and south, maintain control over the vast occupied territories and gain a foothold there. in a powerful way,” he wrote in Telegram messages.

  • 9:15 am: Ukrainian victory at ‘apocalyptic’ cost in Irpin

Located on the outskirts of Kyiv, Irpen resisted the Russian invasion with all his might, blocking the way for the advance of Russian troops to the capital, located about 20 kilometers away.

The city, whose once verdant parks are littered with corpses, is now back under Ukrainian control. Report to Irpin from our colleagues from France 2.

  • 9:11 am: Seven humanitarian corridors scheduled for this Saturday, Kievans say

Seven humanitarian corridors are planned for the evacuation of civilians from the besieged regions of Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

According to her, these seven corridors include private vehicles and buses planned for leaving Mariupol to evacuate Mariupol residents who took refuge in Berdyansk.

  • 8:45 am: Over 4.1 million Ukrainian refugees

Just over 4.1 million Ukrainian refugees fled their country following the February 24 invasion, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees. In Medyka, on the Ukrainian-Polish border, which has become the main checkpoint for Ukrainian refugees, humanitarian aid has been organized. Reporting by Pauline Godard, Ellen Gainsford and Raida Abu.

  • 4:24 am: China says it’s not intentionally circumventing Russia sanctions

China is not intentionally circumventing sanctions on Russia, a Chinese diplomat said a day after a China-EU summit where the European Union urged Chinese leaders not to allow Russia to bypass sanctions imposed by the West after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Wang Lutong, director general of European affairs at China’s foreign ministry, told reporters that China is contributing to the global economy through normal trade with Russia.

  • 03:24: Red Cross will try to reach Mariupol on Saturday

A Red Cross convoy will leave for the Ukrainian port of Mariupol on Saturday and again attempt to evacuate civilians from the besieged city as Russian forces appear to be regrouping to prepare for more attacks in the country’s southeast.

Ukrainian refugees from Mariupol and nearby cities arrive in Zaporozhye, Ukraine April 1, 2022.
Ukrainian refugees from Mariupol and nearby cities arrive in Zaporozhye, Ukraine April 1, 2022. © Felipe Dana, AP

  • 2:26 am: Washington to provide Ukraine with $300 million in additional security assistance

The US Department of Defense will provide Ukraine with additional $300 million (€271.5 million) in security assistance that will include laser-guided missile systems, drones and commercial satellite imagery services.

“This announcement represents the start of a process for awarding contracts to provide new capabilities to the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” Defense Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

  • 00:58: The situation in the east of the country remains extremely difficult, according to Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that the situation in eastern Ukraine remains extremely difficult and that Russia is preparing to launch new strikes in the Donbass and Kharkiv.

In a video message, the Ukrainian president indicated that Russian troops are slowly but noticeably withdrawn from the north of the country.

  • 00:53: Sanctions against Russia need to be tightened, says Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that the sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies against Russia in connection with the invasion of Ukraine are working and should be strengthened.

In an interview with the American Fox News channel, Volodymyr Zelensky added that he wants China, which has not imposed sanctions against Russia, to be on the side of Ukraine.

  • 00:41: Over 3,000 people “rescued” from besieged Mariupol

More than 3,000 people have been “rescued” from Mariupol, a city in southeastern Ukraine besieged by Russian forces, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video broadcast Friday night into Saturday.

“Today (Friday) humanitarian corridors were working in three regions: Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporozhye. We managed to save 6,266 people, including 3,071 people from Mariupol,” he said. It was not immediately clear whether these people had been evacuated from Mariupol or whether they had previously fled the city on their own before being taken by bus to Zaporozhye.

  • 23:04: Ukraine announces prisoner exchange with Russia

Ukraine and Russia held an exchange of prisoners on Friday, as a result of which 86 Ukrainian and Ukrainian servicemen were released, the Deputy Director of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine said in an Internet post.

Kirill Timoshenko did not specify how many Russian soldiers were released on their part, or whether the agreement was part of larger peace talks.

  • 22:32: A column of buses with Mariupol residents arrived in Zaporozhye

A bus convoy of displaced people, including residents of the besieged port city of Mariupol, arrived on Friday evening in Zaporozhye, a Ukrainian city controlled by the Kiev army, AFP notes.

The buses carried residents of Mariupol who managed to get to Russian-occupied Berdyansk, where they were picked up by a convoy, according to testimonies from AFP and officials who arrived.

With AFP and Reuters

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