Here are the key events so far on Tuesday, April 26.
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- The British Ministry of Defence says Russian forces are likely attempting to encircle heavily fortified Ukrainian positions in the east of Ukraine.
- Oleh Synehubov, governor of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, tells the country’s public broadcaster that four people were killed and nine wounded in Russian shelling in the Kharkiv region.
- Two villages in Russia’s Belgorod region came under fire from Ukraine, and at least two people were wounded, the region’s governor says. Officials have in the past few weeks reported cross-border shelling.
- Russian forces carried out air raids on Ukrainian positions in the Azovstal steel plant, the main remaining Ukrainian stronghold in Mariupol where more than 1,000 civilians are also sheltering, Ukrainian officials say.
- Ukrainian human rights ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova said the Russian military had destroyed 347 health facilities including all in the Luhansk part of the Donbas, threatening thousands of lives.
Diplomacy, sanctions, aid
- United Nations chief Antonio Guterres is heading to Russia for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
- Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has urged the UN chief to press Russia for an evacuation of the besieged port of Mariupol, calling it something the world body is capable of achieving.
- At the invitation of the United States, 40 countries will hold a security summit in Germany to discuss further arms supplies to Ukraine as well as to ensure the country’s longer-term security once the war is over.
- Lavrov has told the world not to underestimate the elevated risks of nuclear war and said he viewed NATO as being “in essence” engaged in a proxy war with Russia by supplying Kyiv with weaponry.
- He also said peace talks with Ukraine will continue but criticised Kyiv’s approach to the negotiations and accused President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of “pretending” to negotiate.
- Putin is due to hold talks with Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Tuesday, his spokesman told RIA Novosti.
- The United Kingdom says it has dropped all tariffs on goods from Ukraine while slapping a ban on some technology exports to Moscow to help Kyiv in its fight against the Russian invasion.
- Moscow said it is expelling 40 German diplomats after Berlin sent 40 Russian diplomats packing earlier this month.
War crimes investigation
- The International Criminal Court will take part in a joint team investigating allegations of war crimes in Ukraine, the European Union’s agency for criminal justice cooperation said.
- About 5.2 million Ukrainians have fled the country since Russia launched its invasion on February 24, the UN says, noting that the outflow has slowed since the start of the war.
- The UK estimates that 15,000 Russian troops have been killed since the war started, defence secretary Ben Wallace says.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies