Global News

Breaking news & current latest Canadian news headlines; national weather forecasts & predictions, local news videos, money and financial news; sports stats and scores.

Russia’s war in Donbas picks up speed, Ukraine says.

Click to play video: 'Russia accuses Ukraine of using civilians as ‘human shields’'

WATCH: Russia accuses Ukraine of using civilians as ‘human shields’ – Apr 27, 2022

Ukraine said Thursday that Russia’s offensive in the east picked up momentum, with several towns coming under intense attack as Moscow’s forces attempt to surround Ukrainian troops.

In a reminder of the horrific toll the war has taken since it began Feb. 24, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres visited towns outside the capital of Kyiv where evidence of mass killings of civilians was found after Russia’s retreat from the area.

The fighting gathered pace after Russia suddenly cut off natural gas to two NATO nations on Wednesday, in what was seen as a bid to punish and divide the West over its support for Ukraine ahead of the potentially pivotal battle in the eastern industrial region of the Donbas.

The General Staff of Ukraine’s military said Russian forces were “exerting intense fire” in several places as they pushed on with the second phase of their invasion.

The most intensive action was around Donetsk and close to Kharkiv, which lies outside the Donbas but is seen as key to Russia’s apparent bid to encircle Ukrainian troops there.

Tatiana Pirogova spoke of the intense fear of living under constant bombardment.

“It’s not just scary. It’s when your stomach contracts from pain” the Kharkiv resident said. “When they shoot during the day, it’s still OK, but when the evening comes, I can’t describe how scary it is.”

The General Staff said that over the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian forces have repelled six attacks in the Donbas, control of which is now Moscow’s primary focus ever since its initial offensive faltered and failed to take the Ukrainian capital.

Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai said the Russian army shelled the residential area in his region “29 times by aircrafts, multiple rocket launches, tube artillery and mortars.”

Satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press also showed evidence of intense Russian fire on Mariupol in recent days. The images show how concentrated attacks have greatly damaged a central facility at the Azovstal steelworks, the last redoubt of Ukrainian fighters in the key battleground city.

An estimated 1,000 civilians are sheltering along with about 2,000 Ukrainian fighters in the steelworks, a massive Soviet-era complex with a warren of underground facilities built to withstand airstrikes.

Russia, meanwhile, said a city under its control in the south also came under fire.

With the war now in its third month, Guterres on Thursday toured towns outside Kyiv, including Bucha, that have seen some of the most horrific attacks of the war.

“Civilians always pay the highest price,” he said as he visited the bombed out suburb of Irpin. “And this is something everyone should remember, everywhere in the world. Wherever there is a war the highest price is paid by civilians.”

Evidence of atrocities was discovered in the towns Guterres visited on Thursday after the Russians retreated from the area in the face a fiercer than expected Ukrainian resistance, bolstered by Western arms.

In what could be a further Ukrainian counterattack, a series of explosions boomed near the television tower late Wednesday in southern Ukraine’s Kherson, which has been occupied by Russian forces since early in the war. The blasts at least temporarily knocked Russian channels off the air, Ukrainian and Russian news organizations reported.

Ukraine has urged its allies to send even more military equipment so it can continue its fight.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that “up to date, NATO allies have pledged and provided at least 8 billion U.S. dollars in military support to Ukraine. And we see the importance of further stepping up our support to Ukraine.”

While Russia’s initial blitz was stunted — and it suffered the humiliating loss of a massive warship — Britain’s Defence Ministry said the Russian navy still has the ability to strike coastal targets in Ukraine.

In an intelligence briefing posted Thursday morning, the ministry says that about 20 Russia naval vessels, including submarines, are currently operating the Black Sea zone.

But the ministry says Russia isn’t able to replace the guided-missile cruiser Moskva, which sank earlier this month in the Black Sea, because the Bosporus Strait remains closed to all non-Turkish warships. Russia also lost the landing ship Saratov, which was destroyed by explosions and fire on March 24.

While it presses its campaign in the east, Moscow has also piled on the pressure by leveraging its biggest export product —energy, cutting off NATO members Poland and Bulgaria from its natural gas on Wednesday.

European leaders blasted that decision as “blackmail,” saying the move and the Kremlin’s warning that it might cease shipments to other countries is a failed attempt to divide the West over its support for Ukraine.

The tactic against the two EU countries could eventually force targeted nations to ration gas and deal another blow to economies suffering from rising prices. At the same time, it could deprive Russia of badly needed income to fund its war effort.

The gas cuts do not immediately put the two countries in any dire trouble. Poland, especially, has been working for many years to line up other suppliers, and the continent is heading into summer, making gas less essential for households.

Gazprom said it shut off the two countries because they refused to pay in rubles, as President Vladimir Putin has demanded of “unfriendly” nations. The Kremlin said other countries may be cut off if they don’t agree to the payment arrangement.

European countries have balked at Russia’s demand for rubles. Moscow has since proposed a system that it says satisfies its demand — but that the Europeans say means they are still paying in either euros or dollars.

“Europe (and) Germany will make payments in euros and others may pay in dollars, and not in rubles,” Germany’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Wednesday. “The conversion, once the payments have been made, is a matter for Gazprom. We have discussed this with the European Union. We will continue down this path.”

Still, the cutoff and the Kremlin warning that other countries could be next sent shivers of worry through the 27-nation European Union. Germany is the world’s biggest buyer of Russian energy, and Italy is also a significant consumer, though they, too, have been taking steps to reduce their dependence on Moscow.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Selecting colors for a website is an important part of the web design development process. Colors can influence a site user’s perception, mood, and...
Останні новини
Ukrainian court hands down first verdict in Crimea deportation case.

Ukrainian court hands down first verdict in Crimea deportation case.

The Ukrainian court passed the first sentence in a case of the deportation of the population from the temporarily occupied Crimea. A local "judge" who was involved in the deportation of Crimean residents from the temporarily occupied peninsula was...


Three barges, one carrying toxic methanol, pinned against Ohio River dam.

Three barges, one carrying toxic methanol, pinned against Ohio River dam.

A barge transporting 1,400 tons of methanol is one of three pinned against a dam on the Ohio River in Kentucky. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful news brands that deliver c...

1 91

Officials release bodycam video from Nashville school shooting.

Officials release bodycam video from Nashville school shooting.

Officials have released the body camera video showing officers racing through a Nashville Christian elementary school after three children and three staffers were fatally shot by an active shooter. NBC’s Tom Llamas reports. Warning: Some viewers m...

'Nothing is more inspiring': Luke Bryan on supporting up-and-coming artists - ABCNL.

'Nothing is more inspiring': Luke Bryan on supporting up-and-coming artists - ABCNL.

ABC News' Kayna Whitworth sat down with country music superstar Luke Bryan to talk about his latest tour and the future of country music as he returns to "American Idol" for its latest season. ABC News Live Prime, Weekdays at 7EST & 9EST WATCH the...

How the 1950s far-right group the John Birch Society influences today's GOP - ABCNL.

How the 1950s far-right group the John Birch Society influences today's GOP - ABCNL.

ABC News' Kayna Whitworth spoke with Matthew Dallek about his new book "Birchers: How the John Birch Society Radicalized the American Right" and its impact on the modern-day Republican Party. ABC News Live Prime, Weekdays at 7EST & 9EST WATCH the ...

Top Story with Tom Llamas - March 28 - NBC News NOW.

Top Story with Tom Llamas - March 28 - NBC News NOW.

At least 39 people are dead after a fire at a migrant center in Mexico, California braces for another atmospheric river, a federal judge orders Mike Pence to testify in a special counsel probe into Donald Trump, and protests intensify across Franc...

Hannity: These police officers are heroes

Hannity: These police officers are heroes

WARNING: Graphic footage—Fox News host Sean Hannity reacts to the dramatic body cam footage showing moment Nashville police enter school to neutralize shooter in Tuesday's opening monologue. #foxnews #hannity Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox ...