Ukraine war updates: Dozens of Russians detained after holding sit-in

Sasha, 50, waits for his dog Druzhok before crossing a bridge destroyed by the Russian army when it retreated from villages in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine.
Sasha, 50, waits for his dog Druzhok before crossing a bridge destroyed by the Russian army when it retreated from villages in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine.   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd
By Euronews  with AP, AFP

Several Russians were detained on Saturday for protesting the war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Russian troops are retreating in the north but Ukrainian officials warned they will redeploy in the country's east.

Russia's war in Ukraine is now in its second month and even as Vladimir Putin's forces retreat in the north, Ukraine and its allies have warned that the Kremlin could redeploy its forces to escalate in the east of the country.

The war has forced millions to flee their homes, creating Europe's worst refugee crisis since World War II. Thousands of civilians and military personnel have been killed, and the Russian bombardments have left widespread devastation.

The invasion has also caused political and shockwaves around the world, deepening the rupture between Moscow and the West.


Here are the key updates from Saturday:

  • Russian monitoring group says 208 detained in protests.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that retreating Russian forces were creating a "complete disaster" outside the capital as they leave mines across “the whole territory".

  • A former ICC prosecutor said an international arrest warrant should be issued for Putin.

  • A Ukrainian photojournalist was found killed outside of Kyiv.

  • The International Committee of the Red Cross said they would try once again to facilitate a safe passage out of Mariupol after the conditions forced them to turn around.

  • The US announced they would provide an additional $300 million in military equipment to Ukraine.
  • The secretary of Ukraine’s national security council has denied the country was responsible for a reported attack on a Russian fuel depot.

Ukrainian flag pictured above Chernobyl again

Ukraine's state energy company posted a photo of the Ukrainian flag above the Chernobyl nuclear power plant once again.

Russian troops took over the plant at the beginning of the invasion on 24 February.


Russian group says 208 detained in protests

A Russian group that monitors political arrests says 208 people were detained in demonstrations held Saturday across the country protesting Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

The OVD-Info group said demonstrations took place in 17 Russian cities, from Siberia to the more densely populated west. More than 70 people were were detained in Moscow and a similar number in St. Petersburg, the organisation said.

Video released by another group that monitors protests, Avtozak, showed some detainees being led to police prisoner transports as they smiled and carried flowers. Others were shown to be more harshly forced into the transports, bent over with their arms pinioned behind them.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's government has cracked down heavily on dissent, even before Russia invaded Ukraine in February.



Blasts reported near Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

A series of blasts has torn through the Ukrainian city of Enerhodar nearby the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Ukraine’s state nuclear agency reported about Saturday's attacks on its official Telegram channel.

A video clip accompanying the Telegram post by Ukraine’s Energoatom appeared to feature loud blasts and flying debris.

A second post on the state enterprise’s channel claimed that explosions and mortar bursts could be heard in the vicinity of the Sovremennik cultural centre, where residents held a rally in support of Ukraine.

“As protesters began to disperse, the invaders arrived in police vehicles, and began to force local residents into them,” the post read. “A few minutes later, the city was rocked by massive explosions and shelling.”

The agency said that four people were injured and received medical assistance.

Energoatom also claimed that Russian forces began to jam phone and internet communications throughout Enerhodar. The agency’s claims could not be immediately verified.



More than 170 arrests in Russia over war in Ukraine

More than 170 people have been arrested in 15 cities in Russia for protesting the war in Ukraine, according to the OVD-info monitoring group.

A sit-in was organised in Moscow at a park, but police soon began arresting people sitting there in the middle of a snowstorm.


Former ICC prosecutor says international arrest warrant should be issued for Putin

The former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has called for an international arrest warrant to be issued for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Putin is a war criminal,” Carla Del Ponte told the Swiss newspaper Le Temps in an interview published Saturday.

In interviews given to Swiss media to mark the release of her latest book, the Swiss lawyer who oversaw ICC war crimes investigations in Rwanda, Syria and the former Yugoslavia said there were clear war crimes being committed in Ukraine.

“I hoped never to see mass graves again,” she told the newspaper Blick. “These dead people have loved ones who don’t even know what’s become of them. That is unacceptable.”



Ukrainian photojournalist killed outside of Kyiv

A Ukrainian photojournalist was found dead outside of Kyiv, Ukrainian officials said.

The photojournalist had disappeared on March 13 in the region surrounding the capital Kyiv.

On April 1, his body was found near the village of Huta Mezhyhirska, said Andriy Ermak, an advisor to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The Ukrainian NGO the Institute of Mass Information said the photojournalist was survived by his wife, four sons, and parents.


International Space Station hangs in the balance, Russia's top space official says

Russia’s top space official says the future of the International Space Station hangs in the balance after the United States, the European Union, and Canadian space agencies missed a deadline to meet Russian demands for the lifting of sanctions on Russian enterprises and hardware.

The head of Russia’s Roscosmos state agency told reporters on Saturday morning that the agency was preparing a report on the prospects of international cooperation at the station, to be presented to federal authorities “after Roscosmos has completed its analysis.”

Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin implied on Russian state TV that the Western sanctions, some of which predate Russia’s military action in Ukraine, could disrupt the operation of Russian spacecraft servicing the ISS.

He stressed that the Western partners need the ISS and “cannot manage without Russia, because no one but us can deliver fuel to the station.”

Rogozin added that “only the engines of our cargo craft are able to correct the ISS’s orbit, keeping it safe from space debris.”



Turkey offers to evacuate civilians from Mariupol by ship

Turkey has offered to help evacuate civilians from the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol by ship.

The Turkish defence minister said on Saturday that “we can provide ship support for the evacuation of civilians and injured Turkish and other countries’ citizens in Mariupol from the sea.”

State-run Anadolu Agency reported that Hulusi Akar said Turkey was coordinating possible evacuations with the authorities of the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

Mariupol, on the Sea of Azov, has seen some of the worst suffering of the war. 



Pope Francis blasts Russian President Vladimir Putin for war in Ukraine

Pope Francis offered his most pointed condemnation of the war in Ukraine, calling out "infantile and destructive aggression" on Saturday during a trip to Malta. 

In words that appeared to directly call out President Vladimir Putin, the pope said that "some potentate" caught up in "anachronistic claims of nationalist interests, is provoking and fomenting conflicts".

"We had thought that invasions of other countries, savage street fighting and atomic threats were grim memories of a distant past," the pope added in his speech.

Read the full story here.

Pope Francis, left, is received by Malta's President George Vella, upon his arrival at Malta International airport in Luqa, Saturday, 2 April 2022. - AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

You might also like

Hot Topic

Learn more about

Ukraine war