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War in Ukraine. Daily update. Day 50 [10.00 am, 14.04.2022 🇬🇧🇭🇷🇪🇸🇷🇸🇷🇺🇯🇵🇦🇪🇬🇪🇨🇿🇫🇷🇵🇱🇱🇻🇭🇺]

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Foreign policy. The Presidents of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland visited Kyiv on March 13. In Ukraine, the Presidents visited Borodyanka, Kyiv region, a town that was almost fully destroyed during the month of Russian occupation. In a joint statement the Presidents called for increased military support for Ukraine, and for Russia to be held accountable for the actions of its troops on the ground.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau called Russia’s activities in Ukraine ‘genocide’, repeating US President Joe Biden’s accusation. Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron refused to call things by its name, referring to being careful of using such a strong term in regard to ‘brotherly’ nations. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko condemned the statement, referring that ‘fraternal’ people “do not kill children, do not shoot civilians, do not rape women, do not mutilate the elderly and do not destroy the homes of other ‘fraternal’ people”.  

President Joe Biden on Wednesday approved $800 million in new military assistance to Ukraine. The package includes artillery and helicopters, to increase Ukraine’s defense against an intensified Russian offensive in the country’s east.

OSCE/ODIHR does not regard Belarus as a part of the international armed conflict.  The country provides its territory to be used as a launch pad for Russian missiles targeting Ukraine, however “it does not itself commit acts of violence or other acts that would constitute direct participation in the hostilities by persons attributable to Belarus.”

UN. Russia lost its membership seat in four of the UN bodies. Also Russia failed to be elected as a member in the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, UN Women Executive Board, UNICEF Executive Board and Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. As Russia is no longer a member of the Permanent Forum of Indigenous Peoples,  Ukraine will replace it with its representative of Crimean Tatars. 

Cities under attack. Shelling of Kharkiv has significantly increased over the last days, says Kharkiv mayor. Civilian infrastructure remains one of the main targets for Russian troops. Intense artillery strikes on Pivnichna Saltivka, 602nd microdistrict, Kharkiv Tank Factory, Zhukovsky village were recorded. As a result, 4 people died and 10 were wounded. Local authorities warned people to remain in shelters when the air raid alert was off, as there was active shooting in the city. Heavy battles continue for the Izium city in the Kharkiv region which Russia sees as a strategic city for further advancement.. Reports come on further attacks with phosphorus bombs in Zaporizhzhia region. Regional authorities report that a residential building was hit with fire due to artillery shelling with phosphorus ammunition in the Novodanylivka village, Pologiv district. Missile hit a multi-level residential building in Cherkaske, Donetsk region. At least seven people were injured in a missile strike by the Russian occupiers on Cherkasy in the Donetsk region. Within a day 34 buildings were damaged or destroyed in the Donetsk region, including 22 residential. Meanwhile, partisan troops in occupied Melitopol are successfully resisting the occupation – it is reported that 70 Russian soldiers died of the ‘unknown’ reasons.

Mariupol. Russian troops prepare a parade for Victory Day on May 9 in Mariupol. For this purpose the downtown is cleaned of debris and dead bodies. Mariupol City Council reports that Russia intentionally  creates a humanitarian catastrophe by destroying all prepared evacuation buses and preventing people from leaving the city.Over the last month, Russia has significantly tightened the grip around Mariupol by dividing it into three parts

Meanwhile, 13 mobile crematoria were noticed  in Mariupol to clean the streets from the bodies of dead civilians. The invades are trying to identify all potential witnesses of the atrocities through filtration camps and kill them. Military intelligence of Ukraine has repeatedly recorded the use of mobile crematoria in the Chernihiv region, in Novoaydar, Luhansk region. The Russian Armed Forces also use mobile crematoria to destroy the bodies of their own servicemen, to hide the real number of their casualties.

War crimes prosecution. Investigation of the war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine has been launched. The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor together with the Prosecutor General of Ukraine  visited the Ukrainian city of Bucha. The ICC Prosecutor mentionedUkraine is a crime scene. We’re here because we have reasonable grounds to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC are being committed”.

The State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has already opened 2,882 criminal proceedings related to the Russian war against Ukraine. 29 criminal proceedings have already been sent to court,1694 cases opened for violation of the laws and customs of war. Also, SBU is currently documenting the facts of mass extermination of residents of Bucha, Irpіn, Gostomel, Sumy, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, Mykolayiv and other settlements. The crimes of invaders are characterized by ill-treatment of civilians, torture and premeditated killings, the use of illicit weapons, shelling and destruction of civilian and critical infrastructure, and more.

OSCE released its first ‘Report on violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine since 24 February, 2022’. The OSCE reports that it has found credible evidence suggesting that violations of fundamental human rights have been committed, mostly in the areas under the effective control of Russia. The OSCE specifically looked in more detail into two incidents, which occurred in the besieged and heavily destroyed city of Mariupol, where some 150,000-300,000 civilians remain trapped, living in unbearable conditions – attacks on Mariupol Maternity House and Children’s Hospital and Mariupol Drama Theater. The OSCE concludes that both incidents constitute most likely an egregious violation of International Humanitarian Law and those who ordered or executed it committed a war crime.

Human rights. Ombudswoman Liudmyla Denisova reported that the Kherson region, which has been under occupation for a month, is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe. As previously reported Russian troops  seized a humanitarian hub and confiscated medicines, baby food and diapers. Prosecution and abducting of pro-Ukrainian activists continue. According to the regional prosecutor’s office, 137 people, including 4 journalists, are being held hostage by the Russians. Locals report that those who disagree with the occupation regime are being tortured. At the moment, Ukrainian news channels are shut down in the region, therefore heavy misinformation continues through their own media and social networks. Nevertheless, thousands of people still remain in the region and do not plan to abandon their homes and those vulnerable in need.

Russia is allegedly preparing a bill on a simplified adoption procedure of the abducted children from Ukraine and L/DNR. Back in March Putin called for legislative changes allowing Russian nationals to adopt orphans from the Donbas who don’t hold Russian citizenship. Ombudswoman Liudmyla Denisova reported that more than 121,000 children left Ukraine and reportedly drafted a bill to simplify and accelerate adoption procedures for orphans and even those who have parents and other relatives. 

Economic security. The UN in its recent report warns that the Russian war in Ukraine will affect tipping up to 1.7 billion people — over one-fifth of humanity — into poverty, destitution and hunger. The poverty level will aggravate in the whole world due to the simultaneous crises of food, energy and finance. Since the beginning of 2022, wheat and maize prices have increased by 30 per cent, oil prices have gone up by more than 60 per cent over the last year, and natural gas and fertilizer prices have more than doubled. The UN calls for combined efforts of the international community to prevent further poverty in already vulnerable countries. 

Sanctions. The UK introduced sanctions against the 206 individuals and legal entities from the Russian Federation. Switzerland adopted the latest round of European Union sanctions against Russia and Belarus and now fully mirrors the EU sanctions list. Therefore, under the target – further 200 individuals and entities, including two of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s daughters.

Reading corner. 

Check out the audio project ‘Listen to the voice of Mariupol’ – a series of stories of people who managed to flee from the besieged city of Mariupol.

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Thank you for supporting Ukraine! Slava Ukraini! Glory to Ukraine!

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