UK to send MORE weapons to Zelensky’s troops as he calls for meeting with Putin

THE UK is set to provide Ukraine with more military equipment, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a phone conversation with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Boris Johnson told Mr Zelensky more armoured vehicles, drones and anti-tank weapons would be sent to Ukraine, a Downing Street spokesman said.

The No 10 spokesman said this was a demonstration of “our support and solidarity with the Ukrainian people”.

Meanwhile, President Zelensky has again called for a meeting with Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, in an effort ‘to end the war’.

“I think that whoever started this war will be able to end it,” he told a news conference at a metro station in the heart of the Ukrainian capital.

He was “not afraid to meet” Putin if it would lead to a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine, he added.

“From the beginning, I have insisted on talks with the Russian president,” said Zelensky.

“It’s not that I want (to meet him), it’s that I have to meet him so as to settle this conflict by diplomatic means. We have confidence in our partners, but we have no confidence in Russia,” he added.

Follow our Russia-Ukraine live blog below for up-to-the-minute updates…

  • Russia condemned for continuing shelling during Orthodox Easter

    The Ukrainian parliament’s human rights ombudsman has said Russian forces continued deadly attacks even on the eve of Orthodox Easter.

    “On the eve of one of the biggest Orthodox holidays, the Russian army continued to actively shell peaceful cities in Ukraine and kill civilians,” Liudmyla Denisova said.

  • Turkey ready to assist in negotiations with Ukraine

    President Erdogan told President Zelensky during a telephone call that Turkey is ready to give all possible assistance during the negotiation process between Ukraine and Russia,.

    Mr Erdogan said the evacuation of the wounded and civilians in Mariupol must be ensured.

    He added that Turkey viewed the guarantor issue positively in principle.

  • Afternoon, Milica Cosic now taking over the blog. I’ll be with you until 10pm tonight.

  • Zelensky issues another warning

    ZELENSKY has issued yet another warning to Vladimir Putin in his lengthy press conference in Kyiv’s metro.

    He warned that if Russian forces kill any of the last soldiers defending Mariupol’s steel plant, Ukraine will abandon peace talks with Moscow.

    The Ukrainian President also said that Ukraine will pull out of peace talks if Russia holds an independence referendum in the occupied city of Kherson.

    Mariupol remains a strategically important city and has been battered by Russia for weeks.

    Officials say planned evacuations have been halted by intense shelling in the city.

  • UN and Red Cross call for immediate end to fighting

    The United Nations and Red Cross have both called for an immediate end to fighting in Mariupol so that civilians have a chance to escape.

    The UN’s Ukraine crisis coordinator Amin Awad said: “The longer we wait, the more lives will be at risk”, according to a statement quoted by the AFP news agency.

  • ‘Unsteady and distracted’ – Putin fuels Parkinson’s rumours

    FRAIL-looking Vladimir Putin stoked rumours of failing health last night as he was seen biting his lips, fidgeting distractedly and appearing unsteady at a church service.

    The tyrant – dogged by claims he has Parkinson’s or terminal cancer – gurned while clutching a candle near the altar at a midnight mass for Orthodox Easter.

    It came days after dishevelled Putin, 69, was seen gripping a table and tapping his foot in video that Kremlin watchers claimed showed a drastic decline in his physical state.

    Last night he appeared less bloated than in recent weeks as he stood unaided at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral alongside the city’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

    Brief TV footage showed little obvious sign of the telltale tremors often associated with Parkinson’s.

    But viewers saw the ageing autocrat appearing to shift uncomfortably, sticking out his tongue and chewing his lips.

  • Nearly three million have fled

    The Polish Border Guard have said that more than 2.9 million people have fled Ukraine to Poland since the war began.

    The number of people crossing the border into Poland has fallen significantly in recent weeks.

  • Zelensky releases new Easter video

    President Zelensky has released a new video marking Orthodox Easter, a major festival in Ukraine.

    In the video he said: “Last year we celebrated Easter at home because of the pandemic. This year, we also celebrate the resurrection of Christ not as we used to. Because of another virus. Because of the plague called war.

    “Both last year’s and this year’s threat are united by the same thing: nothing can defeat Ukraine.”

  • US State Department confident of Ukrainian victory

    Ukraine’s President Zelensky says he’s expecting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary for Defence Lloyd Austin to visit Kyiv today.

    Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme the Department of State spokesperson Ned Price said he was confident Zelensky would prevail in the war.

    “This is going to be a victory for Ukraine; it is going to be a strategic defeat for Russia,” he said.

  • Putin to meet UN chief next week – reports

    Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Moscow next week, Interfax quoted the Kremlin as saying.

    Guterres on Wednesday separately asked Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to receive him to discuss steps to bring about peace.

    Russia had previously complained Guterres had not tried to contact the Kremlin leader since the start of what Russia calls its special military operation in Ukraine.

  • All you need to know about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

    Everything you need to know about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine…

  • Trump reveals how he’d deal with Putin

    DONALD Trump has revealed how he would deal with Vladimir Putin and the word he’d NEVER let the Russian leader use if he were still in charge.

    The former US President told Piers Morgan in the exclusive TalkTV interview that he’d approach Putin very differently amid his brutal attack on Ukraine.

    Trump said he believes Putin has been using nuclear threats during the war in Ukraine to frighten other nations – making the Russian leader think “no one will attack him.”

    Putin thinks that everyone is “stupid and afraid to talk about it” so he keeps on threatening with the destructive weapons, according to Trump.

    But if he was still President, Donald Trump said he would have a completely different strategy to Joe Biden.

    Instead of cowering away, Trump insisted he would tell Putin “we’re going to have problems” if he keeps threatening with the word ‘nuclear.’

  • Mariupol humanitarian corridor

    Another attempt is being made to let women, children and the elderly escape the city of Mariupol.

    Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereschuk said the mission was planned from 12:00 local time.

    However previous efforts to facilitate escapes, including on Saturday, have failed, with both sides accusing the other of breaking agreements.

  • Zelensky didn’t hold back

    During Zelensky’s Saturday news conference in the Kyiv metro he described those who had planned and carried out the Odesa attack as “bastards”.

    A mother and her three-month-old baby were among the fatalities after an Odesa building was hit by missiles on Saturday.

    Visibly angry, he said the baby was just one-month-old when the war started.

    “It’s simply horror… they just don’t care,” he added, stressing that the Black Sea city was struck on the eve of Orthodox Easter – a major festival in the Orthodox calendar.

  • Russia preparing to deploy devastating ‘Satan 2’ nuclear missiles

    Russia is preparing to deploy its devastating intercontinental ballistic missile, dubbed ‘Satan 2’, by this autumn, the country’s military has claimed.

    Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Roscosmos space agency, revealed the Kremlin’s ambitious target to launch the Sarmat ICBM only days after Russia test-launched the missile.

    The deadly projectile, nicknamed Satan 2, can fly 11,000 miles, carry more than 12 warheads and has the potential to destroy an area the size of the United Kingdom.

    Rogozin said a unit is to be deployed to Uzhur, around 1,800 miles east of Moscow, with the Satan-2 later this year, according to the state-run Tass news agency.

  • Putin accuses ‘elite British SAS troops of posing as MEDICS

    VLADIMIR Putin has accused elite British SAS troops of potentially posing as MEDICS to carry out “sabotage and guerrilla warfare” in Ukraine.

    Russia’s top state investigative body has said it is looking into reports claiming Brit special forces have been deployed to western Ukraine.

    The Special Air Service is an elite military force trained to conduct special operations, surveillance and counter-terrorism.

    Russian security sources claim about 20 SAS members have been sent out to the Lviv region, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency reports.

    In a statement, Moscow’s Investigative Committee (IC) said it would follow up the report that they had been sent in “to assist the Ukrainian special services in organising sabotage on the territory of Ukraine”.

    It claimed that “at least two groups of specialists in sabotage and guerrilla warfare from the British Special Air Service (SAS) have been sent to the Lviv region”.

  • Tributes to mum and three-month-old baby killed in Russian missile strike

    Tributes have poured in for a mum and her three-month-old baby killed in a Russian missile strike on Odesa.

    Valeria Hlodan and her daughter Kira were among eight people to die in Saturday’s barbaric attack which left 18 others injured.

    Her husband Yuriy led tributes by posting a photo of his late wife and daughter.

    The distraught dad wrote: “My dear ones, Kingdom of Heaven! You are in our hearts!”.

    The picture was shared on the Ukrainian parliament’s official Twitter account.

    “A charming young mother and her three-month-old child,” the tweet read.

  • Ukraine repelled Russian attacks

    The UK’s Defence Intelligence, in it’s latest report, has said: “Ukraine has repelled numerous Russian assaults along the line of contact” in the country’s eastern Donbas region this week.

    “Despite Russia making some territorial gains, Ukrainian resistance has been strong across all axes and inflicted significant cost on Russian forces.” The Ministry added.

  • Brit fighters trapped in bunkers with starving Ukrainians

    Up to 20 Brit fighters were last night trapped in bunkers pounded by Russian airstrikes as they mounted a defiant last stand in Mariupol.

    They are holed up with hundreds of starving civilians — including children and women filmed pleading for mercy yesterday.

    One observer said of the scene beneath the fortress-like Azovstal steelworks: “They are desperately holding out — it’s like the Alamo.”

    It came as a three-month-old baby was among at least six people killed by a missile strike in Odessa.

    The Mariupol Brits are volunteers with the Ukrainian army who have vowed to never surrender.

    They fear being tortured and killed if captured — but face starvation after Mad Vlad Putin’s forces cut off supplies.

  • Eight killed in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region

    Regional head Serhiy Haidai has said eight people have been killed and two injured in Russian shelling of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region.

    In a Telegram post, he writes that six people died when the towns of Hirske and Zolote were bombarded on Saturday.

    Separately, two people – both women – were found dead under the rubble of a destroyed house in the town of Popasna, which was hit several days ago.

  • Zelensky: All those who issued ‘shameful orders’ will face a tribunal

    During his press conference yesterday evening, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky was asked if he would like Vladimir Putin to face a tribunal.

    Within this question, he was also asked what the threat would be if the US and UK stopped providing Ukraine with weapons.

    “It’s not that I want the Russian leader to stand trial, but all those who issued those shameful orders, they will all face a tribunal, I am convinced of this,” said President Zelensky.

    He added: “It takes years but we will wait, if someone like me doesn’t live long enough, our children will live long enough.”

    He continued: “I don’t consider it an option that our partners [the US and UK] won’t hand over the weapons that they have promised to us.

    “I don’t consider such a possibility – they have no alternative.”

  • US visit Ukraine

    The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary for Defence Lloyd Austin will visit Kyiv today, according to Zelensky.

    They would be the first top US officials to visit since the invasion, however Washington has not yet commented on the visit.

  • Zelenksy to meet Blinken today

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he will have a meeting with the United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken today.

    Zelensky has added that he is grateful for help from the US and the UK.

    He said the US must influence other European countries to supply weapons to Ukraine and he would like it to happen faster.

  • Zelensky issues another warning

    ZELENSKY has issued yet another warning to Vladimir Putin in his lengthy press conference in Kyiv’s metro.

    He warned that if Russian forces kill any of the last soldiers defending Mariupol’s steel plant, Ukraine will abandon peace talks with Moscow.

    The Ukrainian President also said that Ukraine will pull out of peace talks if Russia holds an independence referendum in the occupied city of Kherson.

    Mariupol remains a strategically important city and has been battered by Russia for weeks.

    Officials say planned evacuations have been halted by intense shelling in the city.

  • Zelenksy urges Russians to step out of ‘virtual reality’

    Sky News’ security and defence editor Deborah Haynes spoke to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday.

    Haynes asked the president about comments he made where he said Russians need to learn the truth about their country’s behaviour domestically and on the world stage.

    Zelensky replied: “A human being who wants to know the truth will find the truth… that person will find the answers… when we don’t just sit with our eyes glued to Russian propaganda TV.”

    He added: “If they want to find out the truth they have to accept the truth.”

    Mr Zelenksy continued: “They have to leave this computer game which is life in the Russian Federation, it’s virtual reality, they have to step out of it, they have to remove their 3D glasses and return to the civilised world.”

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