US secretary of state Blinken meets Zelenskyy in Kyiv


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has visited Kyiv, according to a Ukrainian presidential adviser.

He met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and was expected to discuss the country’s request for more weapons to repel the Russian invasion.

This is the first visit by a senior US official since Russia invaded Ukraine 60 days ago – and Mr Zelenskyy had announced the planned visit during a news conference in an underground train station on Saturday.

The situation in Ukraine on day 58 of the war (Friday 22 April)

Mr Zelenskyy had said he expected the Americans to produce results, warning: “You can’t come to us empty-handed today, and we are expecting not just presents or some kind of cakes, we are expecting specific things and specific weapons.”

The president had also said that more weapons would allow Ukrainian forces to “immediately” retake territories that are “temporarily occupied” by Russian troops.

Key developments:

• Ukraine has proposed talks with Russia over the fate of civilians and troops who remain in Mariupol

• No humanitarian routes were established out of Mariupol on Sunday – Ukrainian officials hope to try again on Monday

• Boris Johnson described Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine as “nauseating” and “blatant aggression” during a call with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

• An unspecified number of civilians were killed by Russian shelling in Ukraine’s Luhansk region on Sunday, local officials claim

• The war in Ukraine is entering its third month with no end in sight – with many thousands of people killed, millions becoming refugees, and cities reduced to rubble

Emergency service workers rescue the residents from a damaged building after a missile strike in Odesa Oblast, Ukraine April 23, 2022. Pic: State Emergency Service Of Ukraine in Odesa Oblast
This building was damaged after a missile strike in Odesa on Saturday. Pic: State Emergency Service Of Ukraine in Odesa Oblast

Eight people killed in missile attack on Odesa

Meanwhile, a three-month-old baby girl was among eight people killed after Russia fired cruise missiles at the Black Sea port city of Odesa, according to Ukrainian officials.

Speaking about the casualties, Mr Zelenskyy said: “The war started when this baby was one-month-old. Can you imagine what is happening?

“They are just b******* – I don’t have any other word for it – just b*******.”

The baby’s mother and grandmother were also killed, and 18 people were injured, according to reports.

Read more:
How the Azovstal steelworks became the final outpost in the brutal battle for Mariupol
What are Russia’s plans for the war’s ‘second phase’ – and why do they include Moldova?

Boris Johnson spoke to Mr Zelenskyy on Saturday and confirmed Britain would supply new weapons to support Ukraine.

A readout of the call published by No 10 said: “The prime minister confirmed that the UK is providing more defensive military aid, including protected mobility vehicles, drones and anti-tank weapons.”


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