Here are the key events so far on Wednesday, April 13.
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- Russia’s defence ministry says that 1,026 soldiers of Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade, including 162 officers, have surrendered in the besieged port city of Mariupol. Ukraine’s defence ministry spokesman said he had no information on such a surrender.
- The mayor of Mariupol, Vadym Boichenko, has said in televised remarks that more than 100,000 people remained in the city awaiting evacuation. He said earlier that some 21,000 civilian residents had been killed during the siege.
- Ukraine fended off six Russian attacks in the southeastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, collectively known as Donbas, Ukraine’s General Staff of Armed Forces said.
- The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said it is closely watching the war in Ukraine after an unconfirmed report of chemical weapons use in Mariupol.
- Russia’s appointment of Army General Aleksandr Dvornikov as commander of the Ukraine war shows how Ukrainian resistance and Russia’s pre-war planning are forcing it to reassess its operations, British military intelligence said.
- US President Joe Biden said Russia’s invasion amounts to genocide.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin has reappeared after a rare public silence to say the invasion was a “noble” cause and that peace talks were at a dead end.
- Ukraine told Russia to release prisoners of war if it wants the Kremlin’s top political ally Viktor Medvedchuk to be freed.
- Washington is expected to announce $750m in military assistance for Ukraine.
- Polish President Andrzej Duda and presidents of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are on their way to Kyiv to meet Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
- The UK has imposed new sanctions on 206 individuals, including 178 who it alleged were involved in propping up two Russian-backed breakaway regions in Ukraine’s east.
- A planned visit by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was not welcomed by Ukraine, he said on Tuesday, following a report that Zelenskyy was critical of Steinmeier’s historic advocacy of Western rapprochement with Russia.
- More than 870,000 Ukrainians, who fled abroad after the start of the war, have returned to the country, Ukraine’s border force said.
- Spokesman Andriy Demchenko says that 25,000 to 30,000 Ukrainians are returning each day, with growing numbers of women, children and the elderly among them.
- In total, more than 4.6 million Ukrainians have now fled their country, the United Nations reported.
Economy and business
- Russia’s economy is on track to contract by more than 10 percent in 2022, the biggest fall since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, a former finance minister said.
- Zelenskyy has urged the European Union to impose sanctions on all Russian banks and oil and to set a deadline for ending imports of Russian gas.
- Russia’s energy minister told Izvestia newspaper that Moscow is ready to sell oil and oil products to “friendly countries in any price range”, the Interfax news agency reported.
- The World Bank is preparing a $1.5bn support package for Ukraine.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies