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Latest Developments in Ukraine: April 17

By VOA News April 17, 2022

Recap of April 17

FIGHTING

* Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia's shelling on Kharkiv has been constant, saying, "This is nothing but deliberate terror."

DIPLOMACY

* Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told CBS Sunday there have not been any recent diplomatic communications between Russia and Ukraine at the level of their foreign ministries.

* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke Saturday with the leaders of Britain and Sweden about how best to help those defending Mariupol and the tens of thousands of civilians trapped inside the besieged city.

ECONOMY

* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he spoke with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva about Ukraine's financial stability and the country's post-war reconstruction.

The latest developments of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT:

8:28 p.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian troops in southern Ukraine have been carrying out torture and kidnappings, and he called on the world Sunday to respond, The Associated Press reported. "Torture chambers are built there," Zelenskyy said in an evening address to the nation. "They abduct representatives of local governments and anyone deemed visible to local communities."

6:18 p.m.: Kharkiv Mayor Igor Terekhov, criticizing Russian forces for not letting up its bombing campaign on Orthodox Palm Sunday, urged all citizens who could find shelter to do so, The Associated Press reported. He added that if they were able to leave, they should, saying the city would help them relocate.

4:47 p.m.: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly address that Russia's shelling on Kharkiv has been constant. "This is nothing but deliberate terror: mortars, artillery against ordinary residential quarters, against ordinary civilians," Zelenskiy said.

3:15 p.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he spoke with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva about Ukraine's financial stability and the country's post-war reconstruction, according to a Reuters report. He tweeted: "Discussed with IMF Managing Director Georgieva the issue of ensuring Ukraine's financial stability & preparations for post-war reconstruction. We have clear plans for now, as well as a vision of prospects. I'm sure cooperation between the IMF & Ukraine will continue to be fruitful."

2:38 p.m.: Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said he would attend the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Washington this week and will seek more financial assistance for Ukraine, Reuters reported.

2 p.m.: Ukraine has filled out a questionnaire to receive European Union candidate status, according to Ihor Zhovkva, a deputy chief of staff for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, The Kyiv Independent reported. Now the European Union is expected to decide on giving candidate status to Ukraine.

1:30 p.m.: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told CBS news there have not been any recent diplomatic communications between Russia and Ukraine at the level of their foreign ministries and that the situation in Mariupol, which he described as "dire", may be a "red line" in the path of negotiations.

1:15 p.m.: Russia is worried about increased activity of NATO forces in the Arctic and sees risks of "unintended incidents" occurring in the region, TASS news agency cited Russian ambassador-at-large Nikolai Korchunov as saying.

12:30 p.m.: Head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag that the EU is not considering an outright ban on Russian oil, as it would only lead to shortages, rising market prices, and "ultimately strengthen Putin." The Kyiv Independent quoted Von der Leyen as saying the EU is "developing smart mechanisms that will allow oil to be included in the next sanctions package."

12:15 p.m.: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports it has spoken with Ukrainians from Mariupol and activists in Astrakhan in southern Russia, who say that they were brought to the country by force. Ukraine has accused Russian forces of transporting thousands of civilians from devasted Ukrainian cities, seizing their documents and placing them in "filtration camps" established in separatist-controlled areas, RFE/RL reported.

12 p.m.: Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Sunday that his country is running a $5 billion-a-month deficit and needs financial support. "We are so grateful to American people, especially to President Bident for support of Ukraine," Schmyhal told ABC News's "This Week." "We need more sanctions from our West partners," Schmyhal said. "We need more ammunition to protect our country and European borders. We need more finances to support our people, our refugees, our internally displaced persons."

11 a.m.: Reuters reported that Ukraine has asked G7 nations for $50 billion in financial support and is also considering issuing 0% coupon bonds to help it cover a war-linked budget deficit over the next six months. Speaking on national television Sunday, the president's economic adviser Oleh Ustenko said these options were being actively discussed.

10:30 a.m.: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the world must be prepared for the possibility that Russia could resort to using nuclear weapons in its fight for Ukraine. "We should not be afraid but be ready," he told CNN's Jake Tapper Friday in an interview that aired Sunday. "For them, the life of the people is nothing."

10 a.m.: Austrian Chancellor Karl Niehammer, who last week visited the Ukrainian city of Bucha, told NBC News that he later traveled to Moscow to confront Russian President Putin with what he had seen. "I told him what I saw. I saw the war crimes. I saw the massive loss of the Russian army," Niehammer said. "He told me he will cooperate with an international investigation on the one hand; on the other, he told me that he doesn't trust the Western world."

9:45 a.m.: Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told ABC News that the country will continue to try to stop the war diplomatically, "But if Russians wouldn't like to have negotiations, we will fight to the end." "We need more sanctions from our West partners," Shmyhal said. "We need more ammunition to protect our country and European borders. We need more finances to support our people, our refugees, our internally displaced persons."

9:30 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told CNN an estimated 1,500 to 2,500 Ukrainian military have died so far and 10,000 have been injured; it is nearly impossible to estimate how many civilians have died, he said, especially in the south, where so many towns are blocked. Zelenskyy said 44,000 of Ukraine's finest troops are currently positioned at the southeastern city of Donbas; for that reason, he said, "What happens at Donbas could influence the entire course of the war," Zelenskyy said. While appreciative of the $800 million in new U.S. security aid to Ukraine, Zelenskyy said, "It will never be enough. Enough isn't possible."

8:20 a.m.: Ukraine said it was pausing the evacuation of civilians from the war-scarred east of the country for a day because of a failure to agree terms with Russian forces. "As of this morning, April 17, we have not been able to agree with the occupiers on a ceasefire on the evacuation routes. That is why, unfortunately, we are not opening humanitarian corridors today," Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

7:40 a.m.: The Washington Post reports that Serhiy Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk region, is urging civilians to evacuate to safer areas of Ukraine to avoid the possibility of Russia "forcibly deporting" them to remote regions of Russia where "cheap labor is needed."

7:45 a.m.: Britain's Defense Ministry said Russian forces continue to redeploy combat and support equipment towards eastern Ukraine, including locations close to Kharkiv and Severdonetsk. In a security update posted on Twitter, the ministry said Russian troops were "committed" to forcing Ukraine to "abandon its Euro-Atlantic orientation," and that strikes were being carried out throughout the east of the country as Russia "plans to renew its offensive activity."

Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine - 17 April 2022 Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/x9XjnFUY7YπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ #StandWithUkraine πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ pic.twitter.com/81fxQPbOye

β€” Ministry of Defence πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ (@DefenceHQ) April 17, 2022

7 a.m.: On Easter Sunday, Pope Francis made an impassioned plea for an end cruelty to the war in Ukraine and urged the faithful to appeal for peace and the end to and senseless destruction. "May there be peace for war-torn Ukraine, so sorely tried by the violence and destruction of this cruel and senseless war into which it was dragged," Francis said, speaking from the central balcony of St. Peter's Square.

5:36 a.m.: There's no indication Ukrainian fighters at the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the port city of Mariupol have surrendered, The Washington Post reports. Russian troops, who control most of the city except for the large plant, gave the Ukrainians holding out there a deadline to surrender, promising to spare their lives if they did. The Post and other media outlets have reported there was no sign in the hours after the deadline passed that large numbers of Mariupol defenders had given up.

3:30 a.m.:

#UPDATE Ukraine's President says the situation in Mariupol is "inhuman" and calls on the West to immediately provide heavy weapons, as Russia claims it is in control of almost all of the strategic port city and urges its last defenders to surrenderhttps://t.co/1AHP6cOzkg

β€” AFP News Agency (@AFP) April 17, 2022

2:47 a.m.: A missile attack in early hours of Sunday damaged infrastructure in the city of Brovary, near Ukraine's capital of Kyiv, Reuters reports. There were no details on the extent of the destruction or potential casualties.

12:58 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke Saturday with the leaders of Britain and Sweden about how best to help those defending Mariupol and the tens of thousands of civilians trapped inside the besieged city, the Associated Press reports.

Mariupol's fate can be decided either through battle or diplomacy, Zelenskyy said.

12:30 a.m.: Air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine early on Sunday, Reuters reported, and there were no immediate indications of a response to Russia's demand that Ukrainian forces in the besieged city of Mariupol start surrendering from 0300 GMT.

 



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