Russia-Ukraine live news: Zelenskyy prepares for ‘tough battle’ | Russian-Ukrainian War News

  • In the Ukrainian town of Barkinkove, just west of Kramatorsk, where a missile struck a train station packed with evacuees on Friday, volunteers are arming themselves to join the front line against Russian troops expected to regroup in the east of Ukraine.
  • The death toll from the Kramatorsk train station bombing has risen to 52. Russia denies responsibility, saying the missiles responsible for the attack were only used by Ukraine’s military.
  • Ukraine says that more than 4,500 people have been evacuated from their cities through humanitarian corridors.
  • YouTube has blocked Duma TV which broadcasts from the lower house of Russia’s parliament.
INTERACTIVE Russia Ukraine War Who controls what Day 45
(Al Jazeera)

Here are the latest updates:

Ukrainian-Chilean families protest in Santiago

Dozens have gathered outside the Russian embassy in Santiago to denounce the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and protesters, including Ukrainian residents in Chile, unfurled a large banner in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

Some went to bed, clutching stuffed animals to honor child victims of war. A large banner read: “Support Ukraine.”

“We are doing everything possible to help my people,” said Alina Prus, a Ukrainian living in Chile. “Being here for many of us is a very emotional situation. Several of us have families who are now experiencing the horror of what war means.”

Protest against the war in Santiago
A child holds the Ukrainian flag during an anti-war protest in Santiago. [File: Pablo Sanhueza/Reuters]

Third prisoner exchange underway

kyiv says 26 Ukrainians are returning home after a prisoner swap with Russia.

“By order of President Zelenskyy, the third prisoner exchange was carried out. Twelve of our military are returning home, including a female officer,” says Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk on Telegram.

Fourteen civilians, including nine women, were also on their way home, it added.

Zelenskyy: ‘It is important to stop this war’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he is committed to pushing for peace as he renewed his call for countries to send more weapons ahead of an expected uptick in fighting in the country’s east.

He made the comments in an interview with The Associated Press a day after at least 52 people were killed in an attack at a train station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk.

“No one wants to negotiate with a person or persons who tortured this nation. Everything is understandable. And as a man, as a father, I understand that very well,” Zelenskyy said. But “we don’t want to miss opportunities, if we have them, for a diplomatic solution.”

“You have to fight, but fight for life. You can’t fight for dust when there’s nothing and no people. That is why it is important to stop this war,” he said.

Displaced Ukrainian football club opens tour

The Ukrainian football club, Shakhtar Donetsk, kicked off a series of charity games in a government-backed “World Tour for Peace”, with the names of heavily bombed cities emblazoned on their jerseys.

The club’s tour aims to raise money for the Ukrainian army in the war against Russia and also to help Ukrainian refugees displaced by the war.

Their first game on Saturday was a 1-0 loss to Greek league leaders Olympiakos.

Soccer clubs across Europe have been offering to play matches against Ukrainian clubs and host youth players after the Russian invasion in February.

Ukrainian football club
The match between Olympiakos and Shakhtar Donetsk took place at the Karaiskaki Stadium in Piraeus, Greece. [Louiza Vradi/Reuters]

Residents of the kyiv suburb line up to receive food

Remaining civilians in Bucha line up to receive food donated by the local church in the hard-hit kyiv suburb, where Ukrainian forces and journalists reported evidence of war crimes after Russian soldiers withdrew.

Volunteer Petro Denysyuk told The Associated Press that he and other friends of the church began providing food, with a wide variety of staples and hot meals.

“We have met with the youth of our church and have prepared food for those in need,” said Denysyuk. “We prepare pilaf, boiled eggs, prepared meat, sausage, noodles.”

Russia’s ‘imperial illusions’ must be defeated: Ukraine

Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak says President Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin will not meet until the country defeats Russia in the east, which would strengthen their negotiating position.

“We are paying a very high price. But Russia must get rid of its imperial illusions,” she said, according to the Interfax Ukraine news agency.

Ukrainian authorities have urged civilians in the east of the country to flee. On Friday, authorities said more than 50 people were killed in a missile attack on a train station. in the city of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region, where thousands of people had gathered to evacuate.

‘Never intimidated again,’ UK PM says, offering weaponry

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered financial and military support during a surprise visit to Ukraine.

At a meeting in kyiv, Johnson told President Zelenskyy that Britain would provide armored vehicles and anti-ship missile systems, along with additional World Bank loan support.

The support is intended to ensure that “Ukraine can never again be bullied, never blackmailed again, never again threatened in the same way,” Johnson said.

‘Hard battle’ ahead, warns Ukraine’s president

Ukraine is ready for a tough battle with Russian forces building up in the east of the country, says Zelenskyy.

The Ukrainian leader met with Austrian Foreign Minister Karl Nehammer in kyiv and warned at a joint news conference that while the threat to the capital had receded, it was growing in the east.

“This will be a tough battle, we believe in this fight and in our victory. We are ready to fight and simultaneously look for diplomatic ways to end this war,” Zelenskyy said.

Ukraine says 4,532 people evacuated from cities

A total of 4,532 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors on Saturday, down from the 6,665 who escaped on Friday, according to a senior official.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential administration, made the announcement in an online post.

Five killed in shelling in eastern Ukraine: Donetsk governor

Russian shelling killed five civilians and injured five others in two cities in eastern Ukraine, the local governor said on Telegram.

“Today, five people died after the Russian shelling in the Donetsk region,” Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko posted on Telegram. Four of them died in the city of Vuhledar and one in the city of Novomykhalivka, he added.

Youtube blocks Russian parliament channel

YouTube blocked Duma TV, which broadcasts from Russia’s lower house of parliament, prompting an angry response from officials who said the world’s most popular streaming service could face restrictions in response.

On Saturday, a message on YouTube said that the Duma channel had been “terminated for a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service.”

YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc’s GOOGL.O, has come under pressure from Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor and officials were quick to respond.

Find news updates for April 9 here.

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