Ukraine news – live: EU announces new sanctions against Russia as Kremlin admits ‘significant’ losses

Putin spokesperson claims Bucha’s atrocities were staged

The European Union has approved new sanctions against Russia, including an embargo on coal imports.

It comes in the wake of the US saying there is evidence that Russian troops are engaged in torture and killings in war zones outside the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

The ban on coal imports will be the first EU sanction against Russia’s energy industry over the war in Ukraine, an official said on condition of anonymity as the official announcement had not yet been made.

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied that Russia was responsible for war crimes in a lengthy interview with Sky News.

He rejected suggestions that Vladimir Putin would appear in a war crimes court, saying, “We don’t see the possibility of that, we don’t consider it realistic.” But he admitted the “significant troop losses” are a “huge tragedy for us.”

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EU hits Russia with new sanctions, including embargo on coal imports

EU member states have approved new sanctions against Russia, including an unprecedented embargo on coal imports.

It comes after the US claimed there is evidence of Russian troops raping and torturing Ukrainian civilians.

The ban on coal imports will be the first EU sanction against Moscow’s lucrative energy industry during the war, an official told the AP news agency on Thursday, ahead of the official announcement.

Full story here Sam Hancock

Lamiat SabinApr 7, 2022 8:20 PM

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More than 100 people kidnapped from Melitopol ‘for no reason’

Ukrainian mayor Ivan Fedorov says Russian troops have kidnapped more than 100 people from Melitopol.

He said in a video message shared on Facebook: “Today, the total number of civilians kidnapped by collaborators and occupying soldiers exceeds 100 people.”

Russian soldiers had started kidnapping teachers from the Melitopol Pedagogical University, he said.

Melitopol in the south of Ukraine

(Google Maps)

According to a translation, Mr Fedorov said: “The occupiers continue to kidnap residents of Melitopol for no reason.

“After the failure of attempts to resume studies in schools, the invaders switched to kindergartens. I am sure that employees of pre-school educational institutions will not cooperate with the occupiers.

“An attempt by employees to resume college education also failed. Of the thousands of students, only a few were present. I thank the youth for their conscious position.”

Lamiat SabinApr 7, 2022 8:00 PM

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‘One dead and 14 injured in Kharkiv shelling’ – official says

At least one person was killed and 14 injured by shelling in Kharkiv, regional governor Oleh Synehubov said in a video address.

The Ukrainian army said earlier that Russian troops bombarded the city with grenades and rockets.

Russia denies targeting civilians.

Lamiat SabinApr 7, 2022 7:40 PM

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Russian diplomats ‘ordered to leave Montenegro’

Four Russian diplomats have reportedly been ordered to leave Montenegro over violations of diplomatic standards.

According to the newspaper, diplomats have a week to leave the ex-Yugoslav republic Pobyeda – citing sources from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro.

Montenegro already expelled a Russian diplomat in March, again for violating diplomatic standards.

North Macedonia and Slovenia, both ex-Yugoslav republics and NATO members, have also expelled a number of Russian diplomats from the country.

Lamiat SabinApr 7, 2022 19:28

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‘Twenty-six bodies under two buildings in Borodianka in Kiev’

Authorities in Ukraine have found 26 bodies under two destroyed buildings in the city of Borodianka, in the Kiev region.

Ukrainian Attorney General Iryna Venediktova did not say in a televised briefing whether authorities had determined the cause of death.

File photo of destroyed buildings in Borodianka, northwest of Kiev

(Nicolas Garcia/AFP via Getty Images)

She accused Russian troops of air strikes on the city before taking control of the city.

“Borodianka is the worst in terms of destruction and in terms of uncertainty about (the number of) victims,” ​​said Ms. Venediktova.

Rus denies targeting civilians.

Lamiat SabinApr 7, 2022 19:03

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Russia calls UN Human Rights Council suspension ‘illegal’

Russia has decided to relinquish its membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council after it was suspended.

It said a vote today by UN member states to suspend it from the Council was illegal and politically motivated.

(John Minchillo/AP)

This is reported by the RIA news agency, which quoted Gennady Kuzmin, deputy Russian ambassador to the UN.

The UN General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from the Council by 93 votes to 24, with 58 countries abstaining.

Lamiat SabinApr 7, 2022 6:40 PM

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Ukraine ‘uses people as shields’ – Kremlin spokesman Peskov

Vladimir Putin’s spokesman claimed in an interview with Sky News that the Ukrainian military uses “people as shields”.

Dmitry Peskov also called the devastation of the city of Bucha, in Kiev province, “fabricated and fake”.

Interviewer Mark Austin asked him, “Do you realize how grotesque that sounds?”

The destroyed city of Bucha

(EPA)

The Sky News presenter also asked the Kremlin official “how do you sleep at night” about the number of victims in Ukraine.

Mr Peskov said: “It’s not really about my night’s sleep. This is about Ukrainian military and Ukrainian personnel trying to use civilians as shields. They cover themselves with civilians and do not let them flee the city.”

File photo of Dmitry Peskov

(AP)

Peskov also claimed that the Kremlin forces “never fired on civilian objects” during the invasion, adding: “They only aimed and used high-precision missiles to attack military infrastructure in Ukraine.”

Peskov also claimed that the besieged Black Sea port city of Mariupol “will be liberated from nationalist battalions”.

He added: “And we hope it will happen sooner rather than later in surgery.”

Lamiat SabinApr 7, 2022 6:20 PM

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‘More credible reports of rape and torture by Russian troops’ – US

There are more credible reports that Russian soldiers tortured, raped and killed people in Ukraine, the US said.

This is according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who spoke to reporters at NATO after meeting with foreign ministers.

Antony Blinken, center, arrives for a meeting of NATO foreign ministers

(Virginia Mayo/AP)

He said Washington will let nothing stand in the way of sending Ukraine the weapons it needs in its fight against Russia.

The US is “keeping and building pressure on the Kremlin and its neighbors,” Mr Blinken also said.

Lamiat SabinApr 7, 2022 6:00 PM

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Australian officials, including prime minister, banned from Russia over sanctions

Hundreds of Australian government officials, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison, have now been banned from entering Russia.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it had imposed travel bans on 228 Australian members of government and MPs in response to sanctions imposed after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Lamiat SabinApr 7, 2022 5:41 PM

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UN votes to suspend Russia from Human Rights Council

The United Nations voted today to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council for invading Ukraine.

In total there were 93 votes in favor and 24 votes against. There were also 58 abstentions among the 193 members of the UN General Assembly.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsa, introduced the US-initiated resolution, saying, “Russia’s actions are unimaginable.”

After the vote, Dmytro Kuleba – Ukraine’s foreign minister – said: “War criminals have no place in UN bodies aimed at protecting human rights. Grateful to all the Member States who… have chosen the right side of history”.

Read the full story here Holly Bancroft

Lamiat SabinApr 7, 2022 5:40 PM

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