Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, has claimed that there remains a “real” danger of a third world war, in interviews with Russian media, though he said peace talks would continue and an agreement would be signed at some point. He said deliveries of western weaponry to Ukraine meant the NATO alliance was “essentially engaged in war with Russia”.
About 15,000 Russian troops have been killed since the start of the invasion, the UK defense secretary, Ben Wallace has said. Speaking in parliament on Monday afternoon, he added that 2,000 armored vehicles had been destroyed or captured, including 530 tanks. Russia is believed to have lost more than 60 helicopters and fighter jets.
The UK will send a small number of Stormer missile launching vehicles to Ukraine, and the overall amount of military aid could rise to £ 500m ($ 637m). The UK has sent 5,361 light anti-tank weapons (NLAWs) and 200 Javelin anti-armor missiles, and will provide 250 Starstreak anti-air missiles.
Five railway stations in central and western Ukraine were hit by Russian airstrikes in the space of one hour on Monday. Oleksander Kamyshin, the head of Ukrainian Railways, said five train stations came under fire causing an unspecified number of casualties, as most of Ukraine was placed under an unusually long air raid warning for two hours on Monday morning.
Russia should be “weakened to the point where it can not do things like invade Ukraine”, the US defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, said after he and the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, visited Kyiv and pledged a further $ 713m to help Ukraine in its war effort. Blinken said Russia was “failing” in its war aims, while Ukraine was succeeding. He added that the US had put in place a strategy of “massive support for Ukraine, massive pressure against Russia” from across NATO.
Russia’s foreign ministry said it had expelled 40 German diplomatic staff in a retaliatory move after Berlin expelled the same number of Russian diplomats. Russia’s foreign ministry said it had taken the decision after Germany declared a “significant number” of officials at the Russian embassy in Berlin “undesirable” on April 4.
A senior Russian diplomat has been quoted as saying that a ceasefire in Ukraine would not be “a good option” and claimed that Kyiv may use it to “stage provocations”. Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the UN, said: “Ukraine is undermining our efforts to open humanitarian corridors so we do not think a ceasefire is a good option now.”
The Ukrainian defense ministry said the shelling of a government building in Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria was a “planned provocation” by Russia. Obviously, this case is one of a number of provocative measures organized by the FSB [the Russian security service] to instil panic and anti-Ukrainian sentiment, ”the ministry’s defense intelligence department said, according to CNN.
Sweden and Finland have agreed to submit simultaneous membership applications to the US-led NATO alliance as early as the middle of next month, local media have reported. The story was broken by the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti, and Swedish government sources appeared to confirm the news to domestic media.
A statue in Kyiv erected to show solidarity between Ukraine and Russia is to be taken down, according to the city’s mayor. The bronze statue showing two workers standing stand by side will be dismantled on Tuesday. A second sculpture will be covered up. They were both installed in 1982 and lie underneath the People Friendship Arch near the Dnieper River.
The office of the prosecutor of the international criminal court (ICC) has joined an EU-backed team investigating crimes in Ukraine in an unprecedented move. Karim Khan QC announced on Monday that the ICC had become a participant in the joint investigation team (JIT), whose members are Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. The JIT involves international cooperation in criminal matters under the auspices of Eurojust, the EU agency for criminal justice cooperation.