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Russian sniper hammers Ukrainian targets in the middle of Easter Sunday calling for peace

The Ukrainian army said Russian forces were continuing attacks in the east on Orthodox Easter Sunday.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Sunday that the Russians were firing at Ukrainian positions along the entire line of contact on the 60th day of the war.

She also said that the Russian army had intensified its offensive and offensive operations in the direction of Siverodonetsk, Kurakhiv and Popasna.

The General Staff added that Russian forces also continued to strike at the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol and hit it with air strikes, including long-range aircraft.

The shelling comes at a time when the Russians are pushing for their offensive in an effort to gain full control of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, which is partly held by Moscow-backed separatists.

The Russian military claims to have hit a Ukrainian explosives factory, several artillery depots and hundreds of other targets.

A spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense, Major General. Igor Konashenkov said on Sunday that the Russian army had used precision-guided missiles to destroy a powder and explosives factory near Pavlohrad in the Dnieper region of central Ukraine – according to its regional governor, a Russian missile killed at least one person in the Dnieper.

Konashenko also said that Russian forces had also hit several warehouses with artillery ammunition and missiles in Barvinovka, Nova Dmytrivka, Ivanivka, Husarivka and Velyka Komyshuvakh in the Kharkiv region.

He added that Russian artillery hit 423 Ukrainian targets overnight, including fortified positions and troop concentrations, while Russian warplanes destroyed 26 Ukrainian military targets.

He calls for the evacuation of Mariupol

A Ukrainian presidential adviser has called on Russia to allow civilians to leave a steelworks in Mariupol besieged by Russian forces.

Mykhailo Podoljak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenský, has called on Russia to declare a ceasefire in Mariupol on Orthodox Easter Sunday and immediately open a humanitarian corridor for civilians hidden in the giant Azovstal steel plant.

He also called on Russia to hold a round of talks to negotiate the departure of Ukrainian power plant defenders.

On Sunday, the child stands next to a wrecked vehicle in front of a damaged apartment building in the port city of Mariupol in the south of the country. (Alexander Ermochenko / Reuters)

Podoljak said on Twitter that the Russian army was attacking the power plant with heavy bombs and artillery fire and was gathering forces and equipment for the attack.

Svyatoslav Palamar, an Azov regiment officer defending the power plant, said in a video that on Eastern Sunday, the Russians continued to bury the power plant and shelled heavy artillery.

The fall of Mariupol, located in the Donbas, would secure Russia’s greatest military victory in the war and give it full control of the Donbas-Crimea ground corridor, the southern region that Ukraine occupied in 2014.

Easter is calling for peace

Zelensky spoke of hope and victory for his nation during a speech on Easter Sunday.

He said from the ancient Cathedral of St. Sophia that “today’s great holiday gives us great hope and unshakable faith that light will triumph over darkness, good will triumph over evil, life will triumph over death, and therefore Ukraine will surely triumph!”

He said that “the Lord and the holy light of heaven are on our side,” he added, “We are going through very difficult trials. Let us reach a just end to this journey – the beginning of a happy life and prosperity for Ukraine.”

The photo published on Saturday shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the Cathedral of St. Sofia in Kiev. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service / Reuters)

Zelensky said that “at Easter we ask God for great grace to fulfill our dream – this is another big day – the day when great peace will come to Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, religious leaders are calling for peace.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, called on Saturday to open humanitarian corridors in Ukraine, saying that a “human tragedy” was taking place in the country.

PHOTOS Ukrainians celebrate Orthodox Easter in the shadow of the war:

“Let us ask the Resurrected Redeemer to give this year (Easter) an impetus to open humanitarian corridors, safe passages to truly safe areas for thousands of people surrounded by Mariupol, civilians, including the wounded, the elderly, women and many children,” Bartholomew said during the midnight mass. in Istanbul. “The same is true for all other regions of Ukraine where indescribable human tragedy is taking place.”

Pope Francis again called for an Easter truce.

Without naming the country, Francis called on the aggressors to “stop the attack and help the suffering of the exhausted people.”

Francis told the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square that two months had passed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying that “instead of stopping, the war has worsened. Sadly, these days, which are the most sacred and solemn for all Christians, the deadly roar of weapons is louder. than the sound of bells announcing the Resurrection. “