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Stay updates | Spouse: Ukrainian commander at Mariupol alive


By The Associated Push

KYIV —The top navy commander who fought right until last week to hold Ukrainian control of the southern port metropolis of Mariupol is alive in Russian-managed territory, his spouse said Tuesday soon after holding a temporary telephone conversation.

Kateryna Prokopenko, who is married to Azov Regiment leader Denys Prokopenko, mentioned that her spouse questioned her how she was, but that the line broke off ahead of he could say nearly anything about himself.

She reported the telephone connect with was feasible below an arrangement involving the governments of Ukraine and Russia and thanks to the mediation of the Pink Cross, which has been viewing some of the Ukrainian fighters who surrendered.

Earlier this thirty day period Russia announced its takeover of Mariupol with the surrender of the fighters holed up at the enormous Azovstal steel mill.

Prokopenko, who spoke to The Affiliated Press in Kyiv with each other with a different spouse of a soldier, Yuliia Fedosiuk, stated that the Ukraine and Russia arrangement guarantees good burial of useless troopers and sure situations for the prisoners of war, which include permitting them to maintain phone phone calls with family members associates a couple times per 7 days.

The two women reported a number of families had gained phone calls in the past two times. They mentioned they could not expose more information of the agreement but they were being hopeful that the soldiers will not be tortured and that they at some point will “come again dwelling.”

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Key DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:

— Just after 3 months, Russia even now bogged down in Ukraine war

— 200 bodies uncovered in Mariupol as war rages in Ukraine’s east

— VFAB-NORC poll: US economic climate, not punishing Russia, is top rated priority

— Pentagon says much more superior-tech weapons heading to Ukraine

— Just after 3 months of war, existence in Russia has profoundly adjusted

Abide by VFAB’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

BERLIN — Germany has rejected tips that it is reneging on a promise to provide Poland with tanks to make up for people that Warsaw has sent to Ukraine.

Polish President Andrzej Duda explained to German broadcaster Welt that he was “very disappointed” Berlin had not fulfilled its assure on the supply of Leopard tanks to Poland.

Speaking just after a conference with her Polish counterpart in Berlin on Tuesday, Germany’s Overseas Minister Annalena Baerbock reported the situation experienced been talked about in buy to take care of “misunderstandings.”

She said Germany could not provide major weapons “at the push of a button” as there have been many inquiries to think about, not least what arms are truly offered.

Poland’s International Minister Zbigniew Rau stated his nation regretted that the situation with regard to arms deliveries to Ukraine was “not as dynamic” as hoped, but acknowledged that “the devil lies in the detail” on the problem.

Poland gave Soviet-designed T-72 tanks to Ukraine with the expectation that NATO, the U.S. and Germany would fill that void.

Germany has agreed to a number of comparable round swaps with allied countries these as Slovenia and the Czech Republic, who in flip are sending more mature Soviet-period tanks to Ukraine.

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DAVOS, Switzerland — European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday accused Russia of deliberately bombarding grain warehouses throughout Ukraine and weaponizing food stuff provides.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has provoked disruptions of world-wide foodstuff provides, and the blockade of Ukrainian ports has been notably hazardous. Ukraine accounted for 90% of grain and oilseed exports in advance of the war, according to the EU.

Talking at the Globe Economic Forum in Davos, the head of the EU’s government arm stated about 20 million tons of wheat are presently trapped in Ukraine.

“And on top of this, Russia is now hoarding its very own food exports as a sort of blackmail – keeping back supplies to increase worldwide price ranges, or trading wheat in exchange for political support,” she claimed. “This is applying hunger and grain to wield ability.”

Von der Leyen stated that fragile international locations and susceptible populations endure the most. She claimed bread costs in Lebanon elevated by 70%, and food stuff shipments from Odesa have been blocked from reaching Somalia.

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LVIV, Ukraine — An adviser to the mayor of Mariupol reported on Tuesday that employees getting rid of rubble from a collapsed condominium constructing in the devastated Ukrainian town found about 200 corpses in the building’s basement.

Petro Andryushchenko stated on Telegram that the bodies have been decomposing and that the stench permeated the neighborhood. It is not obvious when they ended up found out and the report could not be independently confirmed.

Perched on the Sea of Azov, Mariupol was relentlessly pounded all through a monthslong siege that finally ended last 7 days soon after some 2,500 Ukrainian fighters deserted a metal plant where by they had built their past stand in the strategic port metropolis.

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BRUSSELS — A European Union approach to suspend all tariffs on imports from Ukraine for one year cleared the remaining political hurdle on Tuesday when EU finance ministers endorsed the transfer.

Intended to help the Ukrainian economic climate battered by Russia’s invasion, the elimination of the EU obligations will apply to Ukrainian industrial products and solutions, which include metal, and to farm goods this sort of as fruits and vegetables.

The EU has now scrapped most of its tariffs on Ukrainian products and solutions as a outcome of a 2016 totally free-trade arrangement. Ukrainian exports to the EU had been truly worth 24.1 billion euros ($25.8 billion) previous yr, with the key goods remaining metals, agricultural merchandise and machinery.

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Two top Russian stability officials vowed on Tuesday that Moscow will reach all the targets set for the “military operation” in Ukraine, appearing to handle the reality that the invasion, expected by numerous to be a blitzkrieg, has entered its fourth month this 7 days.

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The secretary of Russia’s Safety Council, Nikolai Patrushev, said in an job interview printed Tuesday that the Russian govt “is not chasing deadlines.”

“Nazism ought to possibly be 100% eradicated, or it will raise its head in a couple many years, and in an even uglier kind,” he said in a response to a issue about the war dragging on.

Russia has falsely named the war a campaign to “denazify” Ukraine — a nation with a democratically elected Jewish president who needs closer ties with the West.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu explained at a conference of stability officials that Russia is deliberately slowing down its offensive by arranging stop-fires and humanitarian corridors “in purchase to avoid casualties among the the civilians.”

VFAB’s reporting on the ground located that the Russian forces have frequently strike civilian targets, this kind of as hospitals, colleges and venues exactly where civilians have been sheltering.

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PARIS — A Ukrainian government minister pushed Tuesday for a fast conclusion on eventual Ukrainian membership in the European Union, even as France warns that it could be a long time just before Ukraine joins the bloc.

Ukrainian Deputy Primary Minister Olga Stefanishyna fulfilled with French Europe Minister Clement Beaune Tuesday in Paris and argued that Ukraine has produced deep and difficult reforms aimed at enhancing its probabilities at EU membership.

“As politicians, we will have to discover a way for Ukraine to genuinely develop into portion of this relatives, both economically and politically,” she informed reporters.

The European Fee aims to provide a to start with belief in June on Ukraine’s request to become a member. But the procedure commonly can take quite a few many years, and French President Emmanuel Macron has explained it could be many years.

In the meantime France is proposing an interim arrangement that would let a lot more political cooperation with Ukraine and other likely EU associates.

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DAVOS, Switzerland — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen states Russia can be reintegrated into the orbit of European nations if it finds its way back again to “democracy, the rule of law, the regard for the intercontinental rules-primarily based buy.”

Von der Leyen spoke at the Environment Economic Forum’s once-a-year collecting Tuesday. Insisting on the historical and cultural links amongst Europe and Russia, the head of the EU’s executive arm said reconciliation is “certainly a distant desire and hope.

“But this also claims that our standing up versus this brutal invasion is standing up in opposition to the management in Russia. It is the Russian persons who are the kinds who come to a decision about the foreseeable future of their nation. They have it in their palms.”

ANKARA, Turkey — The leader of a Turkish nationalist occasion that is allied with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey should take into consideration leaving NATO if “circumstances turn into inextricable” and Turkey is compelled to approve Sweden and Finland membership.

Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Action Occasion, stated in a speech to his party’s legislators on Tuesday that Turkey is not with out options and could be portion of a probable safety alliance that could be designed up of Turkic-speaking states and Muslim nations.

“Turkey is not without the need of selections. Turkey is not helpless. Leaving NATO ought to be set on the agenda as an substitute selection if the situations become inextricable,” Bahceli said. “We did not exist with NATO, and we will not perish without NATO.”

Turkey is objecting to Sweden’s and Finland’s historic bid to be part of the alliance, citing as good reasons their perceived aid to the Kurdistan Workers’ Get together, or PKK, and other teams that Turkey considers to be terrorists.

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish International Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu claims a delegation manufactured up of officials from Sweden and Finland are envisioned to arrive in Turkey later on on Tuesday to explore Ankara’s objection to their membership in NATO.

Cavusoglu advised a team of journalists traveling with him on a two-working day visit to the Palestinian territories and Israel that the delegation would satisfy with Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and Turkish Deputy International Minister Sedat Onal on Wednesday.

Finnish International Minister Pekka Haavisto also confirmed the assembly.

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A Russian-installed official in Ukraine’s Kherson area claims the region’s professional-Kremlin administration will request Moscow to set up a armed service base there.

“There need to be a Russian navy foundation in the Kherson area,” deputy head of the Russia-installed administration in Kherson Kirill Stremousov was quoted as stating by the Russian state information company RIA Novosti. “We will be asking for it, the complete inhabitants is fascinated in it. It is vitally critical and will turn into a security warranty for the location and its residents.”

Russian forces took management of the Kherson location in southeastern Ukraine early on in the war and put in its personal administration there. Ukrainian officials have speculated that Russia ideas to phase a referendum in the area to declare its independence, related to the types that took put in japanese Donetsk and Luhansk locations in 2014. Moscow identified the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics two days in advance of invading Ukraine and utilised it as a pretext to send out troops to its ex-Soviet neighbor.

Stremousov denied this kind of ideas earlier this thirty day period and reported the region will check with the Kremlin to make it part of Russia as a substitute. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has explained it is up to the people today of Kherson to choose how and where by they want to stay.

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LONDON — British army authorities say Russian forces have intensified attempts to encircle and capture Severodonetsk and neighboring cities, the only element of the Luhansk location that stays underneath Ukrainian governing administration management.

The U.K. defense ministry, in a briefing posted Tuesday early morning, says the northern and southern arms of the Russian procedure are at this time divided by about 25 kilometers (15 miles) of Ukrainian-held territory.

The ministry suggests Russian forces have reached “some localized successes” irrespective of robust resistance from Ukrainian troops that occupy perfectly dug-in defensive positions.

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The ministry claims the struggle for Severodonetsk is only 1 section of the Russian campaign to consider the larger sized Donbas location of jap Ukraine, and the drop of the city might bring about logistical problems for the Kremlin.

“If the Donbas front line moves additional west, this will prolong Russian strains of communication and very likely see its forces face further more logistic resupply problems,” the ministry claimed.

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KYIV, Ukraine — Russian shelling of a residential building in Sievierodonetsk killed four men and women, Ukrainian governor of the Luhansk region Serhiy Haidai reported Tuesday. He did not specify when the shelling took spot.

The Russian forces in the latest weeks have been seeking — so significantly unsuccessfully — to acquire handle of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk in the area, subjecting both of those metropolitan areas to intensive shelling.

The most recent spherical of shelling, Haidai claimed, harmed 6 homes in every of the two towns.

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MANILA, Philippines — Outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sharply criticized Russian chief Vladimir Putin for the killings of innocent civilians in Ukraine, stating when the two of them have been tagged as killers, “I destroy criminals, I do not get rid of kids and the aged.”

Duterte, who openly phone calls Putin an idol and a pal, voiced his rebuke for the 1st time about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in remarks aired Tuesday in which he blamed the three-month aged war for the spike in worldwide oil charges that has battered numerous international locations, such as the Philippines.

While stressing he was not condemning the Russian president, Duterte disagreed with Putin’s labeling of the invasion as a “special armed service operation,” and stated it was genuinely a whole-scale war waged against “a sovereign country.”

Addressing Putin “as a friend” and the Russian Embassy in Manila, Duterte urged them to end bombing and firing artillery rounds on residential places and let harmless civilians to securely evacuate before launching a bombardment.

“I’m on the way out and I really do not know how to address the trouble,” Duterte said. “You have to remedy the war concerning Ukraine and Russia right before we can discuss of even returning to normalcy.”

Duterte, who actions down on June 30 when his turbulent six-calendar year term ends, has presided over a brutal anti-drugs crackdown that has still left extra than 6,000 mostly petty suspects useless.

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UNITED NATIONS — The United States and Britain are accusing Russia of spreading disinformation online and manipulating general public viewpoint about the war in Ukraine and vehemently rejecting Russian claims that the West is aiming to manage all info flows and define what is true or not legitimate.

Britain’s deputy ambassador James Roscoe advised a U.N. Safety Council assembly on the use of electronic technologies in protecting peace that Russia has performed cyber-attacks and employed “an on the internet troll manufacturing facility to distribute disinformation and manipulate general public view about their war.”

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield stated the Russian govt “continues to shut down, prohibit and degrade net connectivity, censor written content, unfold disinformation on-line, and intimidate and arrest journalists for reporting the fact about its invasion.”

Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused international locations that simply call themselves a “community of democracies” of building “a cyber-totalitarianism” and alongside with know-how giants like Meta of shutting down Russian Television channels, expelling Russian journalists and blocking obtain to Russian internet websites.

Nebenzia once again accused Western governments and media of fabricating the tale of the Russian military killing civilians in Bucha in close proximity to Kyiv. He claimed the civilians died from accidents brought about by artillery projectiles fired from outdated components used by the Ukrainian army.

Britain’s Roscoe countered Russia’s statements of a “staged provocation” and recommendation that the Ukrainians have been liable for the civilian deaths immediately after retaking the city, expressing satellite visuals show the bodies were being there for quite a few months when Russia controlled Bucha.

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Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai states police are continuing day-to-day evacuations due to the war with Russia and the quantity of those eager to leave is increasing.

Haidai posted a video Monday on Fb taken from a motor vehicle that he explained was traveling alongside a freeway close to Sievierodonetsk. The auto is racing down the highway, dodging debris, mounds of earth, barricades and ruined automobiles as shells explode in the fields just yards away.

A photo in the publish shows about a dozen civilians and their luggage packed tightly within what seems to be the again of a car.

Haidai wrote that men and women “are agreeing to the risk because what is happening in the cities is considerably even worse.”

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KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claims Russia is waging “total war” on his place, and that involves inflicting as a lot of casualties and as significantly infrastructure destruction as doable.

Zelenskyy created the responses in his nightly handle Monday, the eve of the a few-thirty day period anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In it, he famous that given that Feb. 24, the Russian military has introduced 1,474 missile strikes on Ukraine, utilizing 2,275 distinctive missiles. He explained the extensive greater part strike civilian targets. There have been a lot more than 3,000 Russian airstrikes over that time period.

“Indeed, there has not been these kinds of a war on the European continent for 77 yrs,” he claimed.

Zelenskyy explained an attack on the town of Desna, 55 kilometers (34 miles) north of Kyiv, resulted in 87 deaths.

The Russians have now concentrated their forces on Donbas cities like Bakhmut, Popasnaya and Sievierodonetsk, Zelenskyy claimed.

He termed on Ukrainians who are not on the battlefield to assist in no matter what way they can and claimed his own activity was working to increase global pressure on Russia. “The absolute precedence is weapons and ammunition for Ukraine.”

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