Russian forces pounded targets in eastern Ukraine on Sunday as Austria’s leader planned to meet President Putin and Washington pledged to give Ukraine “the weapons it needs” to counter a new Russian offensive.
* Russian forces fired rockets into Ukraine’s Luhansk and Dnipro regions, Ukrainian officials said, destroying an airport and wounding at least five people.
* The death toll from an attack on a train station on Friday in Kramatorsk rose to 57, while 109 were wounded, Ukrainian officials said.
* British military intelligence said Russia was seeking to strengthen troop numbers with personnel discharged from military service since 2012.
* Explosions were heard in Ukraine’s northeastern city of Kharkiv and in Mykolaiv, a city near the Black Sea, Ukrainian media reported on Sunday.
* Ukraine’s deputy prime minister said 2,824 people were evacuated on Sunday through humanitarian corridors, including 213 from Mariupol, which has been under siege for weeks.
* The head of Russia’s republic of Chechnya said there would be a Russian offensive not only on Mariupol but also on Kyiv and other cities.
* Austrian Chancellor Nehammer said he would meet Putin on Monday in Moscow, the Russian leader’s first face-to-face meeting with a European Union counterpart since the invasion.
* Ukrainian President Zelenskiy discussed possible additional sanctions on Russia in a call with German Chancellor Scholz and praised what he said was a favorable change in Germany’s position towards Kyiv.
* Finland and Sweden look poised to join NATO, The Times reported on Monday.
PRAYERS AND PROTESTS
* Pope Francis on Sunday called for an Easter truce in Ukraine, and in an apparent reference to Russia, questioned the value of planting a victory flag “on a heap of rubble”.
* The head of Russia’s Orthodox Church called on people on Sunday to rally around the government.
* Around 600 pro-Russian protesters in motorcade set off on a demonstration in Hanover, Germany. There was also a counter-demonstration of around 700 people supporting Ukraine, police said.
ECONOMY AND BUSINESS
* Russia will take legal action if the West tries to force it to default on its sovereign debt, Finance Minister Siluanov told the pro-Kremlin Izvestia newspaper on Monday.
* Ukraine’s economic output will likely contract by 45.1% this year, the World Bank said on Sunday.
* Ukraine has banned all imports from Russia and called on other countries to impose harsher economic sanctions.
* Russian bank VTB no longer controls its European subsidiary, German regulator BaFin said.
Source: Wolf Daily