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Live Updates | Ukraine opens corridors out of Mariupol, more

A view inside the Mariupol Theater damaged during fighting in Mariupol, in the territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Monday, April 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov)

A view inside the Mariupol Theater damaged during fighting in Mariupol, in the territory under the government of the Donetsk People’s Republic, eastern Ukraine, Monday, April 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov)

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LVIV, Ukraine — Seven humanitarian corridors will be opened on Tuesday, including from the beleaguered port city of Mariupol and Russian-controlled Berdyansk, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on the Telegram messaging app.

According to Vereshchuk’s message, residents of Mariupol and Berdyansk will be able to leave for Zaporizhzhia on their own. Corridors will also be opened from the city of Tokmak in the Zaporizhzhia region and the cities of Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Popasna and Hirske in the Lugansk region.

Vereshchuk said in the same message that Russian troops “are not allowing anyone to enter Mariupol” and that the Russians “blocked the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross” in the settlement of Manhush just to the west. from Mariupol.

Vereshchuk said that after negotiations, the Red Cross representatives “were released overnight and sent to Zaporizhzhia.”

It was not immediately clear from Vereshchuk’s statement whether Russia had agreed to stop fighting along the announced corridors. Some of Ukraine’s efforts to evacuate civilians through humanitarian corridors had previously failed as fighting along them continued despite agreements with Russia.

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINE WAR:

— Russia faces growing outrage over new evidence of atrocities

— World reacts with horror to images of civilians killed in Ukrainian cities

— Zelenskyy to address UN amid outrage over civilian deaths

– The main envoy from Japan brings back 20 Ukrainians from Poland

— Go to https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine for more coverage

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

LONDON — British defense officials say Ukrainian forces have retaken more territory as Russian troops continue to retreat into northern Ukraine.

The British Ministry of Defense said Ukrainian forces “recaptured key ground” after forcing Russian units to withdraw north of kyiv and around the northern town of Chernihiv. The ministry said “low-level fighting is expected to continue in parts of the newly retaken areas, but to decrease significantly during this week as the rest of the Russian forces withdraw.”

In an intelligence update posted online, the UK says many Russian units “will likely require significant re-equipment and refurbishment before they are available to redeploy for operations in eastern Ukraine”.

Ukrainian and Western officials have said Russia is refocusing its offensive on the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine.

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BERLIN — The German president admits policy mistakes toward Russia in his former post as foreign minister.

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier twice served as foreign minister to ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel, most recently from 2013 to 2017, and before that as chief of staff to ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. At that time, Germany was pursuing dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin and cultivating close energy ties.

Steinmeier told ZDF television on Tuesday that “we have failed on many counts”, including efforts to encourage Russia towards democracy and respect for human rights.

The president acknowledged that “there were different assessments” of Russia among European countries. He added: “It is true that we should have taken more seriously the warnings of our Eastern European partners, in particular concerning the post-2014 period” and the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Sticking to the project was a mistake that cost Germany “a lot of credit and credibility” in Eastern Europe, he said. Chancellor Olaf Scholz suspended the pipeline the week Russia invaded Ukraine.

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LVIV, Ukraine – The Ukrainian General Staff announced Tuesday morning that Russia is regrouping its troops and preparing for an offensive in Donbass.

“The goal is to establish full control over the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” the update posted on the General Staff’s Facebook page reads.

In the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the Russian army is focusing its efforts on taking control of the cities of Popasna and Rubizhne, as well as establishing full control over Mariupol, the General Staff said . Other towns and localities in the two regions are under continuous bombardment.

Russian troops also continue to blockade Kharkiv, according to the General Staff.

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BANGKOK — A World Bank report says commodity supply disruptions, financial strains and rising prices are among the shocks from the war in Ukraine that will slow Asian economies in the coming months.

The report released on Tuesday predicts slower growth and increased poverty in the Asia-Pacific region this year. Growth in the region is estimated at 5%, down from the initial forecast of 5.4%. He predicts that China, the region’s largest economy, will grow at a rate of 5%.

The report says “multiple shocks” are compounding problems for people and businesses, and governments whose finances have been strained by the pandemic have less capacity to help.

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UNITED NATIONS — A senior official in the global campaign against the use of landmines is urging Russia to end the use in Ukraine of these weapons that too often kill and maim civilians.

Alicia Arango Olmos, Colombia’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva and this year’s chair of states parties to the 1997 convention banning the production and use of landmines, expressed deep concern over media reports that Russia uses landmines in its war in Ukraine. .

She pointed to Human Rights Watch, which said on March 29 that a Ukrainian explosive ordnance disposal technician had located prohibited antipersonnel mines in the eastern region of Kharkiv a day earlier.

The rights group said Russia is known to have the type of mines that were discovered, but Ukraine does not.

Arango Olmos told a news conference on Monday that Ukraine is one of 164 states parties to the convention, but Russia is not.

Monday was the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

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LVIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he spoke to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday about events in Bucha in what appear to be deliberate killings in the city ​​on the outskirts of the capital kyiv.

“No place for Russia in the UN Human Rights Council,” Kuleba said on Twitter. “Ukraine will use all available UN mechanisms to gather evidence and hold Russian war criminals to account.”

Videos and photos of streets in Bucha littered with corpses of what appeared to be civilians, some with their hands tied behind their backs, sparked global revulsion, calls for tougher sanctions and Russia’s suspension from the first UN human rights body, the Human Rights Watch. Rights Council.

According to Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova, the bodies of 410 civilians have been removed from towns in the Kyiv region that were recently recaptured from Russian forces.

Associated Press reporters reported seeing dozens of bodies in various locations around Bucha, northwest of the capital.

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PARIS — The French Foreign Ministry announced on Monday that France had decided to expel “numerous” Russian diplomats, saying their “activities were contrary to our security interests”.

The announcement came hours after Germany said it was expelling 40 diplomats and Lithuania said it was expelling the Russian ambassador and recalling its envoy to Moscow. No figures were immediately given on the number of people expelled by France.

German news agency dpa quoted German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser as saying the expelled diplomats are those “whom we attribute to Russian intelligence services”.

Faeser says that “we will not allow this war of criminal aggression to be waged as an information war in Germany as well.”