Live Updates | Poland, Baltic presidents in Ukraine

WARSAW, Poland – A top adviser to Polish President Andrzej Duda says Duda and the presidents of the three Baltic nations have arrived in Ukraine, ahead of talks on material aid for the Russian-invaded country.

Pawel Szrot, Duda’s chief of staff, said on Wednesday that Duda, “along with the presidents of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, is currently on the territory of Ukraine. They are traveling to kyiv to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.”

For security reasons, he did not give details.

Duda provides “symbolic support, with political support and for talks on material support,” Szrot said, adding that the four countries are “extending support to Ukraine that is humanitarian in nature and not necessarily humanitarian in nature.” “

These countries, all of which border Russia or its exclave of Kaliningrad, have been providing Ukraine with what they call “defensive” weapons.

Photos of the four presidents boarding a train and then gathered around a table as they travel have been posted on their social media.

In a Twitter post, Estonian President Alar Karis said: “We are visiting Ukraine to show strong support for the Ukrainian people, we will meet with dear friend President Zelenskyy.”


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Russia says more than 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered in the besieged southeastern port of Mariupol.

The spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense, Maj.-Gen. Igor Konashenkov said 1,026 soldiers from Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade had surrendered at a metallurgical plant in the city.

Russian forces moved into Mariupol in late February and units in the city have run out of supplies.

Konashenkov said the 1,026 Ukrainian marines included 162 officers and 47 women, and 151 wounded received medical treatment.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych did not comment on the alleged mass surrender, but said in a post on Twitter that elements of the 36th Marine Brigade managed to link up with other Ukrainian forces in the city as a result of a “military maneuver”. risky”.

ROME — Pope Francis says his claim shortly after he became pontiff in 2013 that a “piecemeal” World War III was engulfing the world is becoming more and more real. Francis writes in an essay published Wednesday in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that he never thought a year ago, while he was on a pilgrimage in Iraq, that war would be raging in Europe.

Francis wrote that the many wars raging around the world seem far away until “almost unexpectedly, war breaks out near us. Ukraine was attacked and invaded.”

The Pope also lamented that people’s memories are short. “Yes, because if we had memory, we would remember what our grandparents and parents told us, and we would feel the need for peace like our lungs need oxygen.”

Francis called war “a cancer that feeds on itself by engulfing everything.” He denounced that women, children and older adults are “forced to live in the belly of the earth to escape the bombs.”

Francis said that the way to uproot “hatred from the heart” is through “dialogue, negotiation, listening, diplomatic capacity and creativity, far-reaching policies capable of building a new system of coexistence that is no longer based on in arms, in deterrence”.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and its allies are pushing through sanctions aimed at forcing Vladimir Putin to spend Russia’s money to prop up his economy rather than prop up his “war machine” for the fight in Ukraine, a senior official said Tuesday. Treasury Department official.

Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo, one of the main US coordinators of the Russian sanctions strategy, said in an interview with The Associated Press that the goal is to make Russia “less able to project power in the future.”

On the same day that inflation posted its steepest rise in decades, Adeyemo said reducing supply chain delays and managing the pandemic are key to bringing down skyrocketing prices that he linked to the ongoing ground war in Ukraine, which has contributed to rising energy costs.

Adeyemo discussed the next steps the US and its allies will take to inflict financial pain on Russia, and the complications the war has in raising costs for Americans at home.

Adeyemo said the US and its allies will next focus on supply chains that help build Russia’s war machine, which includes “everything from finding ways to go after military devices that have been built to use not only in Ukraine, but also to project power elsewhere.”

KYIV, Ukraine — More than 720 people have been killed in Bucha and other kyiv suburbs that were occupied by Russian troops and more than 200 are considered missing, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday morning.

In Bucha alone, Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk said 403 bodies had been found and the death toll could rise as minesweepers comb the area.

Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office said Tuesday that it was also investigating the events in the Brovary district, which lies to the northeast.

Authorities said the bodies of six civilians were found with gunshot wounds in a basement in the town of Shevchenkove and Russian forces are believed to be responsible.

Vladimir Putin vowed on Tuesday that Russia’s bloody offensive in Ukraine would continue until its goals are met and insisted the campaign was going according to plan, despite a major pullout in the face of stiff Ukrainian opposition and significant losses.

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is preparing another, more diverse package of military support possibly totaling $750 million to be announced in the coming days, a senior U.S. defense official said Tuesday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss plans that have not yet been announced publicly.

The additional aid is a sign that the administration intends to continue expanding its support for Ukraine’s war effort.

The delivery of $800 million in military assistance approved by President Joe Biden just a month ago is scheduled to be completed this week.

— reported by Associated Press writer Robert Burns.

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian officials say fugitive Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, the former leader of a pro-Russian opposition party and a close associate of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, has been detained in a special operation carried out by the country’s secret SBU. Service.

In his late-night video address to the nation on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy proposed that Russia could win Medvedchuk’s freedom by exchanging Ukrainians now being held in Russian prisons.

Ivan Bakanov, head of Ukraine’s national security agency, said on the agency’s Telegram channel that Medvedchuk had been detained.

The statement came shortly after Zelenskyy posted on social media a photo of Medvedchuk sitting in handcuffs and wearing a camouflage uniform with a Ukrainian flag patch.

Medvedchuk was the former leader of the pro-Russian Opposition Platform – For Life party. He was under house arrest before the war started and disappeared shortly after hostilities broke out.

Putin is the godfather of Medvedchuk’s youngest daughter.

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the world Tuesday to respond to Russia’s use of a poisonous substance in Mariupol.

“Given the repeated threats by Russian propagandists to use chemical weapons against the defenders of Mariupol and given the Russian military’s repeated use of, for example, phosphorus munitions in Ukraine, the world must react now,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to the nation on Tuesday.

Phosphorous ammunition causes horrendous burns, but is not classified as a chemical weapon.

Zelenskyy said experts were still trying to determine what had been used in Mariupol.

Zelenskyy said that in addition to the killings in Bucha, more evidence of Russian soldiers’ “inhuman cruelty” to women and children was emerging in other suburbs of kyiv and other cities in the north and east.

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