Live Updates | Warsaw event seeks pledges for Ukraine | Political News

WARSAW, Poland – The head of the European Union’s executive branch is leading a fundraiser in Warsaw for Ukraine and people who fled the country.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was joined at the event by Polish President Andrzej Duda and – from a distance – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Saturday’s fundraising event is being held in Warsaw because more than 2.5 million of the 4.4 million people who have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began have arrived in Poland. Many have stayed, although some have moved to other countries.

Convened jointly by von der Leyen and Trudeau, it is designed to call on political leaders and celebrities from around the world to provide funding and other donations to the people of Ukraine.

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MOSCOW — YouTube has banned the channel of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, prompting government officials to renew long-standing threats against the platform.

The Duma TV channel reported on the ban on the messaging app Telegram, noting that it has 145,000 subscribers and over 100,000 million total views. In comments to Russia’s Interfax news agency, Google didn’t give a specific reason for the move, but said the company was complying with “all applicable sanctions and trade laws.”

Russia’s state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor demanded that YouTube unblock the channel. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday that the service “has given itself a verdict” and urged its users to “download and broadcast content to Russian platforms.” And fast.”

State Duma spokesman Vyacheslav Volodin called the move against the parliament’s YouTube channel “further evidence of Washington’s violation of citizens’ rights and freedoms.”

MILAN – Italy’s foreign minister has reportedly told staffers that Italy will reopen its embassy in the Ukrainian capital after Easter.

ANSA news agency quoted Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on Saturday as telling his ministry’s crisis team that Italy “will be among the first to return to Kyiv.”

He called it “another gesture to show support for the Ukrainian people, a concrete way to reiterate that diplomacy must prevail.”

Di Maio said the return will be coordinated with other European Union nations.

The EU itself announced the return of its ambassador on Friday. On Saturday, EU Ambassador Matti Maasikas tweeted a picture of an EU flag on a flagpole with the words “First things first”.

Kyiv, Ukraine – Austria’s prime minister says he expects further European Union sanctions against Russia but defended his country’s previous resistance to the halt to Russian gas supplies.

Chancellor Karl Nehammer spoke on Saturday after becoming the youngest of several European leaders to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv.

Nehammer told a press conference that “we will continue to tighten sanctions within the European Union until the war stops” and that a package of sanctions imposed this week “will not be the last”. He acknowledged that “as long as people are dying, any sanction is not enough”.

Austria, which gets most of its gas from Russia, is one of the countries resisting a supply freeze. Asked about that Saturday, Nehammer said EU sanctions were becoming “more precise” but that “sanctions are effective when they hit those they are aimed at and do not weaken those who impose sanctions on those who make war.” “.

Austria is militarily neutral and not a member of NATO.

LONDON – Britain’s Defense Ministry says Russian naval forces are launching cruise missiles into Ukraine to support military operations in the eastern Donbass region and around the cities of Mariupol and Mykolaiv.

In its briefing on Saturday morning, the ministry said the Russian Air Force is expected to step up activities in southern and eastern Ukraine to further support these operations.

The ministry said these actions are attempts to establish a land corridor between Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, and Russian-controlled parts of the Donbass region “that continue to be thwarted by the Ukrainian resistance.”

British officials also say Russia continues to target non-combatants, such as those killed in a rocket attack at Kramatorsk train station on Friday.

Kyiv, Ukraine – Ukraine’s rail operator says operations have halted at the Kramatorsk train station, which was damaged in a rocket attack on Friday, but evacuations of civilians continue through other stations in eastern Ukraine.

The company announced on Saturday that evacuations continued from the railway stations in Sloviansk and Pokrovsk in the Donetsk region, and from Novozolotarivka in the Luhansk region.

The statement from the messaging app Telegram said that “the railroads don’t stop keeping everyone safe.”

Kyiv, Ukraine — Ten humanitarian corridors for civilian evacuations are set to open in eastern Ukraine on Saturday, according to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk. The corridors will allow residents to exit a number of cities in the Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhia regions.

Those in Mariupol, Enerhodar, Tokmak, Berdyansk and Melitopol can evacuate to the city of Zaporizhia, while those in Severodonetsk, Lysykhansk, Popasna, Girske and Rubishne can evacuate to the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region.

WASHINGTON – Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country’s security service intercepted communications by Russian troops that provided evidence of war crimes.

“Soldiers talk to their parents about what they stole and who they kidnapped. There are records of POWs who have admitted killing people,” Zelenskyy said in an excerpt of an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes that aired on Friday.

“There are pilots in prison who had maps of civilian targets to bomb. Investigations are also being conducted on the remains of the dead,” he said in a translation provided by CBS.

Zelenskyy said that “anyone who made a decision, gave an order, carried out an order” is guilty of a war crime. When asked if he blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin, he said: “I do think he’s one of them.”

LVIV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the rocket attack on an eastern railway station as another Russian war crime and said Ukraine expected a tough global response.

“Like the Bucha massacres, like many other Russian war crimes, the Kramatorsk rocket attack should be one of the indictments before the tribunal that must be held,” he said during his late night video address to the nation on Friday.

The president told Ukrainians that great efforts were being made “to determine every minute who did what” so that those behind the attack could be held accountable.

Zelenskyi said he spoke to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday and called on the EU to impose a full embargo on Russian oil and gas.

“It is energy exports that make up the lion’s share of Russia’s income and allow the Russian leadership to believe in their impunity,” Zelenskyy said.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.

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