Odessa was bombed from the air by Russian forces, who targeted fuel depots last night, while Ukrainian troops have taken full control of the Kyiv region, but President Volodymyr Zelensky warns that the Russians are now also focusing on southern and eastern Ukraine, where the self-proclaimed separatist republics are located in the Donbas region.
According to the British Ministry of Defense, Vladimir Putin’s army has become more active in the air lately.
The Kiev chief negotiator says talks with the Russian delegation have reached a point where direct communication could be seen between Presidents Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin. However, Russia said on Sunday that peace talks had not progressed enough to meet at the highest level and that Moscow’s position on the status of Crimea and Donbas remained unchanged.
After the withdrawal of the Russians, there is growing evidence of the massacre and executions of Russian soldiers who allegedly killed children, the elderly, men and women.
Explosions, bombing in Odessa
Some of the Russian missiles that hit Odessa at dawn on Sunday were intercepted and shot down by Ukraine’s defense systems, Kyiv Independent reports. Odessa region military administration spokesman Serhiy Bratchuk confirmed the bombings. Fires broke out in some areas. Local authorities have warned locals to take shelter.
Several missiles hit an oil refinery in Odessa this morning. According to the Telegram, the city hall is currently limited to informing that “Odessa has been attacked from the air”, that “some missiles have been shot down by the air defense” and that “fires have been reported in some areas”.
The explosions (at least six of varying intensity) were felt miles away, and three columns of smoke rose from the affected complex and could be seen from all over the city.
Fuel storage terminals in Odessa are on fire, after multiple missile strikes early this morning hit the port area of the southern Ukrainian city. We counted at least five separate impact points, having been woken by large explosions that were felt across Odessa. @GMB @itvnews pic.twitter.com/a3X2LI7cGF
— Richard Gaisford (@richardgaisford) April 3, 2022
Russian forces fired three rockets at the town of Mirhorod in the Poltava region, causing a fire at a fuel depot and destroying the runway at the local airport, said the head of the regional military administration, Dmytro Lunin. No casualties were reported.
The British Defense Ministry said that Russia has accelerated airstrikes to southeastern Ukraine in the past week. The ministry confirms a warning from President Volodymyr Zelensky, who said on Sunday night that Russia wants to conquer the south and east of the country. However, the defense ministry said that Ukrainian forces were preparing a major challenge for the Russians in the air, thus impeding their ability to control the region on the ground.
Corpses of civilians killed on the street by Russian forces in Bucha
The Russians allegedly killed all men between the ages of 18 and 60 in Bucha, near Kyiv, local media reports. Mayor says people of all ages, including women, were killed. Horrible images of the bodies of civilians killed on the streets by Russian forces have also been published by the Ukrainian Army. They say at least 20 dead bodies were found on the streets. Attention! Images that can affect you emotionally!
New Srebrenica. The Ukrainian city of Bucha was in the hands of ?? animals for several weeks. *Local civillians were being executed arbitrarily*, some with hands tied behind their backs, their bodies scattered in the streets of the city.#RussianWarCrimes pic.twitter.com/outzejdidO
— Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) April 2, 2022
Ex-international prosecutor asks arrest warrant for Putin
Former international prosecutor Carla Del Ponte has called on the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin as soon as possible following a month-long war against Ukraine.
“Putin is a war criminal,” the 75-year-old Swiss lawyer, who investigated war crimes in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, said in an interview with Le Temps.
An international arrest warrant is needed for Putin and other Russian leaders to answer for the crimes committed in Ukraine since the beginning of the invasion on February 24, she says.
In five weeks of war, thousands of Ukrainians were killed, several million Ukrainians were forced to flee their homes, and entire neighborhoods in some cities were destroyed by bombing. For Carla Del Ponte, the issuance of an arrest warrant is a signal that “an investigation has been carried out.”
Lithuanian documentary filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius killed in Mariupol
Lithuanian documentary filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius, 46, was killed in Mariupol on Saturday, according to local media and colleagues, Reuters report. According to Nexta, a rocket hit the car in which the filmmaker was. He was taken to hospital, but could not be rescued.
According to media reports, a rocket hit the car in which the filmmaker was traveling. Kvedaravi?ius was rushed to the hospital, but he could not be saved. pic.twitter.com/5L9v0c8arx
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) April 3, 2022
Kvedaravicius was known, among other productions, for his documentary “Mariupolis”, which premiered at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival.
Baltic countries have stopped importing Russian gas
Baltic countries have stopped importing Russian natural gas, which “has not been supplied to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania since April 1,” the head of Latvian storage company Conexus Baltic Grid said on Saturday.
“Years ago, my country made decisions that now allow us to easily sever our ties with the aggressor,” Uldis Bariss, CEO of Conexus Baltic Grid, told Latvian radio. “If we can do that, so can the rest of Europe!” He said.
The Baltic countries are now served by underground gas reserves in Latvia.
On Twitter, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda urged the rest of the European Union to follow the example of the Baltic countries: “As of this month, there is no Russian gas in Lithuania,” he said.
The United States has banned imports of Russian oil and gas after the invasion of Ukraine, but not the EU, which supplies about 40 percent of Russia in 2021.
Moscow’s announcement on Thursday to force buyers from “unfriendly” countries to pay for Russian gas in rubles from Russian accounts, however, could change the game.
Germany, which is particularly dependent on Russian gas, said on Friday it wanted to consider the concrete consequences of the Kremlin decree, which was intended mainly to support the ruble. Berlin, like other EU countries, refuses any payment in rubles to Moscow.