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Ukraine-News: ++ More than 20 countries agree to attend Ukrainian meetings in Ramstein ++

More than 20 countries have so far confirmed participation in the Ukrainian conference, which is scheduled for next Tuesday at the US Air Force base in Ramstein. About 40 states were invited, US Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby said at the Pentagon on Friday (local time). He did not mention which countries had already agreed. Non-NATO countries are among them. The meeting does not take place under the auspices of the Alliance.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin invited the conference to a base in Rhineland-Palatinate. One of the goals of the talks is Ukraine’s continued security and sovereignty, Kirby said earlier. It should therefore be about Ukraine’s defense needs beyond the current Russian offensive war.

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The fact that more than 20 countries have already committed so quickly is a strong sign of the importance the United States and these countries attach to Ukraine’s defense needs, Kirby said on Friday. Responses from invited countries are still pending. The US government announced $ 800 million in new military aid to Ukraine this week.

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War in Ukraine – all events in live ticker:

16:52 – Another evacuation from Mariupol failed

Another attempt to evacuate civilians from Mariupol, according to the city administration, failed. A spokesman for the mayor’s office says the Russian army has dispersed a group of 200 people determined to flee and warned of possible shelling.

16:48 – Ukraine – Five dead in rocket attack on Odessa

According to Ukrainian sources, at least five people died in the afternoon rocket attack on Odessa. 18 others were injured, said President Volodymyr Zelenský’s chief of staff Andrij Jermak. According to the Ukrainian army, two missiles fell, hitting a military facility and two residential buildings. The air defense intercepted two more missiles.

16:31 – Fighting could massively restrict gas flow in the EU

Ukrainian gas pipeline operator Naftogaz warns of a serious disruption of Russian gas supplies to Europe as a result of hostilities. According to the state-owned company Naftogaz, a third of gas exports from Russia to EU countries could dry up if Russian forces continued to disrupt pipeline operations in the occupied areas of Ukraine.

16:15 – Russian attacks killed – Easter vigil curfew

Several people were again killed or wounded in Russia by Russian artillery and missile attacks. In the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, two people were killed and two others injured in Zolote on Saturday, Governor Serhiy Hajday told Telegram.

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War in Ukraine

The fighting cities of Popazna, Rubishna and Sieverodonetsk were heavily shelled by artillery and bombed from the air, sources said. According to the regional administration, three people were killed and seven were injured in the neighboring Donetsk region on Friday. Governor Oleh Synyehubov in the Kharkov area reported 2 dead and 19 injured as a result of 56 attacks in the last 24 hours. According to the authorities, eight people were injured by shelling in the southern Ukrainian region of Mykolaiv

15:56 – Almost 5.2 million people have fled Ukraine since the beginning of the war

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine two months ago, almost 5.2 million people have fled the country. 5,163,686 refugees have been registered so far, the UN refugee agency reported on Saturday. In April, just over 1.1 million Ukrainians fled their country – compared to 3.4 million in March. Women and children make up 90 percent of those who have fled abroad.

15:33 – Strack-Zimmermann gets a lot of support for the demand for weapons

Defense politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann received strong support at the FDP conference with her demand for heavy weapons to Ukraine. Given Russia’s war on aggression against Ukraine, Strack-Zimmermann bravely demanded a way forward. After her speech in Berlin on Saturday, she received a long round of applause from the delegates, who rose to the floor.

“All of us in NATO, in Europe, in Germany, are now experiencing a historic turning point, with the UN becoming more powerless and a rule-based order ending. This is a historical dimension, because if Russia wins this war, this campaign of extermination, it will mean a different Europe, “warned Strack-Zimmermann. She demanded that she not hide and not be affected by military escalation scenarios. At this time, heavy weapons need to be supplied to Ukraine.

15:08 – Ukraine – Missile attack on Odessa

According to local authorities, the port city of Odessa has been the target of a missile attack. The infrastructure has been affected, the short statement said.

14:50 – Moscow Patriarch calls for peace

Moscow Patriarch Kirill calls for peace in view of the upcoming Orthodox Easter, but avoids criticism of the war in Ukraine. He prays that the fighting will end as soon as possible and that the long-awaited peace will return, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said at a service in Moscow.

Pope Francis criticized Russia’s attack on Ukraine for Western Easter celebrations and later canceled a planned meeting with Cyril. He publicly supported the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin, thus irritating part of the Orthodox Church.

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14:45 – Ukraine – The Russian army begins to try to attack the steel plant

The Russian army resumed raids on the Ukrainian steelworks Azovstal in Mariupol. This was announced on Saturday by an adviser to the leadership of the Ukrainian presidential office Oleksij Arestovič. Russian forces also tried to overthrow the site. “The enemy is trying to completely crush the resistance of Mariupol’s defenders in the Azovstal region,” Arestovich said.

14:31 – Wüst accuses Chancellor Scholz of “hesitation” towards Russia

North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU) has accused Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) of “hesitating” about sanctions against Russia and arms supplies to Ukraine. “In this situation, you can only act in close coordination with our Western allies,” the top CDU candidate said on Saturday to launch the NRW-CDU’s central state election campaign. But the government is doing the opposite.

North Rhine-Westphalia Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst accuses Chancellor Scholz of “hesitation” towards Russia

Source: AFP / INA FASSBENDER

The traffic light government has always hesitated for a long time when it came to the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, sanctions against Moscow and military support to Ukraine. “Germany has never been as apathetic and isolated in Europe as it is today,” Wüst said. “The SPD Chancellor’s procrastination is a bad mistake.”

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14:09 – Italy wants to support Ukraine’s investigation experts

According to Foreign Minister Luigi Di Mai, Italy wants to support Italian experts in investigating possible war crimes in Ukraine. “During this hour, the Italian government decided to send scientific and forensic experts to support the International Court of Justice in verifying and proving war crimes,” the 35-year-old man told a left-wing Articolo Uno conference in Rome. On Saturday.

Di Maio named the northern regions of Ukraine as a place of action, “where Russian soldiers are said to have been tainted by cruel crimes, such as those found in Bucha before they withdrew.” The project will be coordinated by Italian Ambassador to Ukraine Pier Francesco Zazo, who is back in Kiev, explained a politician from the populist Five Stars Movement.

13:47 – Merz demands a government statement from Scholz on Russia and Ukraine

CDU Federal President Friedrich Merz asked Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) for a government statement on his course to Russia and arms supplies to Ukraine next week in the Bundestag. Scholz must say how he assesses the situation, and he should discuss the way with the opposition, the head of the EU faction said in Düsseldorf on Saturday …