Ukraine war: Putin says Russia will press on with military action as talks in deadlock

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin Copyright Credit: AP
By Euronews with AP, AFP
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Vladimir Putin vowed that Russia's bloody offensive in Ukraine would continue until its goals are fulfilled and insisted the campaign was going as planned, despite a major withdrawal in the face of stiff Ukrainian opposition and significant losses.


The war in Ukraine is now in its seventh week, and taking on a new dimension with growing evidence of human rights atrocities by Russian troops as they retreated from the Kyiv region and other parts of the country.

Despite Moscow's blanket denials, horrific discoveries of civilian murders, torture and other barbaric acts continue coming to light, with Ukrainian authorities claiming tens of thousands of civilian casualties in Mariupol alone.

As Vladimir Putin's forces are expected to begin a new big offensive on eastern Ukraine, Kyiv forces are digging in, while NATO and the EU promise more weapons to Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Western nations keep tightening sanctions against Moscow.

Follow Tuesday's events as they unfold in our blog below, or watch TV coverage in the video player above.


Tuesday's key points:

  • Vladimir Putin vows Russia's goals in Ukraine will be achieved as they press on with military action. He said talks were deadlocked.

  • The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said it was 'concerned' by an unconfirmed report of chemical weapons use, a spokesperson said.

  • More than 10,000 civilians have been killed in Mariupol, the southern port city's mayor claimed.

  • Russia's defence ministry claims dozens of Ukrainian troops were "eliminated" trying to escape the city. 

  • More than 4.6 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russia's invasion.

  • Meanwhile, 4.8 million of Ukraine’s 7.5 million children have been displaced since 24 February, said UNICEF.

  • Ukrainian authorities have accused the Kremlin of drafting a bill to fast-track the adoption of children taken from the occupied areas to Russia, including those who have parents and relatives.

  • The Pentagon said Russia is gearing up for an offensive in the eastern Donbas region, moving troops and material toward that area.


Global chemical weapons watchdog 'concerned' by unconfirmed report of chemical weapons use, spokesperson says

A spokesperson from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said the watchdog was "concerned by the recent unconfirmed report of chemical weapons use in Mariupol."

"This follows reports in the media over the past few weeks of shelling targeted at chemical plants located in Ukraine, together with accusations levelled by both sides around possible misuse of toxic chemicals," the OPCW spokesperson said.

The statement followed Ukrainian official statements that they were investigating claims that a drone dropped an unknown substance in the city. Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of Donetsk's regional military administration, told CNN that three people were given medical assistance.

Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said officials were investigating, and it was possible phosphorus munitions — which cause horrendous burns but are not classed as chemical weapons — had been used in Mariupol.

Russia and Ukraine are both member states and parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

"The use of chemical weapons anywhere by anyone under any circumstances is reprehensible and wholly contrary to the legal norms established by the international community against such use," the spokesperson said.

(Euronews with AP)


Putin has decided he will 'not stop' war in Ukraine, Macron says

Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that Vladimir Putin had "decided that he would not stop" in Ukraine because "he needs a military victory for himself" even if he "realises that Ukraine will not submit to him."

The French President said in an interview published in newspaper Le Point that Mariupol was a point of fixation for Putin.

By concentrating the offensive on the Donbas, the Russian president seeks to "achieve a victory and aim for a glorious military parade on May 9, a very important date for him and for Russia".

"I believe very little in our collective ability get him around a negotiating table in the short term," Macron said.



Ukrainian politician close to Putin detained

Ukrainian officials say fugitive Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, who is both a pro-Russian opposition leader and a close associate of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, has been detained in a special operation carried out by the country’s SBU secret service.

Ivan Bakanov, the head of Ukraine's national security agency, said on the agency's Telegram channel that Medvedchuk had been arrested. The statement came shortly after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted on social media a photo of Medvedchuk sitting in handcuffs and wearing a camouflage uniform with a Ukrainian flag patch.

Medvedchuk leads the pro-Russian party Opposition Platform - For Life. He was being held under house arrest before the war began and disappeared shortly after hostilities broke out.

Putin is the godfather to Medvedchuk’s youngest daughter.



Ukraine deserves EU membership because 'we are fighting for Europe', says Zelenskyy advisor

Ukraine has earned its right to EU membership due to its defence of Europe against Russia, said a top advisor to the country's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The president's deputy head of office, Ihor Zhovkva, told Euronews that his country needs its application to join the 27 member bloc to be processed as quickly as possible and that it cannot wait years for it.

"We can't afford ourselves years or tens of thousands of years to review Ukraine's application," Zhovkva said. "We need it swiftly. We need it very, very swiftly. We deserve it because we are fighting now not only for Ukraine but for all European nations."

Read the full story here.


Ukrainians struggling to exchange national currency in EU countries

People fleeing the war in Ukraine are reported to be finding it difficult to convert their Ukrainian money into the currency of the EU countries they have made their new home.

Mbogné Saah Jules Bokade is just one of many refugees coming from the embattled country due to the Russian invasion, who is finding out that nowhere will accept his hryvnia - Ukraine's national currency.

"In Belgium, we can't find banks that accept Ukrainian money. I have been to lots of banks and I have not found a solution," Bokade told Euronews.

Read the full story here.


Preliminary estimates suggest up to 22,000 have died in Mariupol, Donetsk military administration tells CNN

Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of Donetsk's regional military administration, told CNN that while it's difficult to comment on the number of casualties, the current estimates are between 20,000 to 22,000.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had previously said that tens of thousands had died in the besieged southern port city that has been subject to constant shelling.


Ukrainian troops in Mariupol 'have issues with supplies'

An advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukrainian troops in Mariupol "remain blocked and have issues with supplies".

Ukraine is aware of the problem and is monitoring the situation in "real-time", tweeted Mikhailo Podolyak, who added that the president and armed forces were doing what they could "to find a solution and help our guys".



German president says he's not wanted in Kyiv

Germany’s president says his Polish counterpart suggested that they travel to Ukraine together with other leaders to show solidarity, but “that apparently wasn’t wanted in Kyiv.”

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s comments Tuesday, during a visit to Poland, came after German newspaper Bild quoted an unidentified Ukrainian diplomat as saying that he’s not welcome in Kyiv at the moment because he had close relations with Russia in the past.

Steinmeier said Polish President Andrzej Duda had suggested that they travel to the Ukrainian capital with the presidents of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to send “a strong signal of joint European solidarity with Ukraine.” He said he had been prepared to do so.

Steinmeier last week admitted mistakes in policy toward Russia in his previous job as foreign minister.

Steinmeier served twice as ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel’s foreign minister, most recently from 2013 to 2017, and before that as ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s chief of staff. In that time, Germany pursued dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin and cultivated close energy ties.



Zelenskyy thanks Lithuania for weapons and support

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Lithuania for "being the first to give (Ukraine) real help, to give us weapons" in an address to MPs.

"It was a historic manifestation of leadership," he said. "This is exactly the kind of leadership the whole continent needs now to truly save and uphold common values that are undoubtedly important to Europe."

He commended Lithuania for ending imports of Russian gas and encouraged other European states to do so.

"Specific deadlines must finally be set for each EU state in order to really abandon or at least significantly limit the consumption of Russian gas, oil, etc."

"Only then will the Russian leadership come to the conclusion that real peace must be sought."

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