Ukraine War Day 54: Russian Assault Continues, Missiles Hit Lviv, Kharkiv

Live Updates
  • As Russia continues its invasion into Ukraine, Ukrainian officials say Russian missiles hit the city of Lviv, killing at least seven people including a child.
  • Russian forces have refocused their efforts in the east and taken control of Kreminna in the Luhansk region. Ukrainian officials are urging residents to leave the region while they still can.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia wants to "literally finish off and destroy Donbas" as well as Mariupol and cities in the Donestsk and Luhansk regions.
  • Ukrainian officials said the chance for negotiations decreases as Russia escalates its attacks.
  • The Pentagon said that Russian military movements were setting "the conditions for more aggressive, more overt and larger ground maneuvers in the Donbas."
  • President Joe Biden plans to discuss "efforts to hold Russia accountable" during a video call with allies on Tuesday.
Ukraine War Day 54 Lviv Missile Attack
Smoke rises from the city following a Russian missile attack that allegedly killed at least seven people in Lviv, Ukraine on April 18, 2022. Joe Raedle/Getty

Live Updates For This Blog Have Ended.

Russian Warships Retreat in Black Sea After Moskva Blast

Ukraine says that several Russian warships in the Black Sea have forced to retreat less than a week after Russian Navy flagship Moskva was sunk by a Ukrainian missile attack.

An update shared to Facebook by Ukraine's Operational Command South on Monday night claimed that Russian ships containing missiles and paratroopers were forced to move "almost 200 km" from the Ukraine shoreline, although the threat of Russian missile attacks continued.

Last week, Ukraine claimed that Moskva was critically damaged due to a Ukrainian Neptune missile attack. Moscow has countered the claim by insisting that the warship sunk after a fire on board caused ammunition to detonate. The Pentagon has been unable to confirm how the Russian ship was destroyed.

The loss of Moskva was considered a major blow to the Russian Navy. Moskva, one of only three Russian "Slava-class" cruisers, was the same ship that was told to "f*** off" by Ukrainian troops stationed on Snake Island following a demand to surrender earlier in the war.

Biden to Hold Ukraine-Focused Video Call With Allies on Tuesday

President Joe Biden plans to discuss "efforts to hold Russia accountable" for its invasion of Ukraine in a video call.

As part of a daily release of the president's schedule sent to the members of the press, the White House announced Monday that the president would discuss "support" for Ukraine in a call with "allies and partners" on Tuesday morning.

"The President will convene a secure video call with allies and partners to discuss our continued support for Ukraine and efforts to hold Russia accountable as part of our close coordination," the White House said.

The release noted that the call would take place from the Situation Room and be closed to the press. It was not clear which allies or partners with whom the president would be speaking.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for further information.

As the military conflict continues, Biden has come under increasing pressure to show his support for Ukraine by making a personal visit to Ukraine, despite potential safety concerns. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a surprise visit to the country earlier this month.

The White House has not announced any plans for a visit. During a CNN interview on Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said "I think he will" when asked whether he thought Biden would visit.

U.S. Border Patrol Reports 5,000 Ukrainian Crossings in March

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had more than 5,000 encounters with Ukrainian citizens arriving in the U.S. during March, according to statistics released by the agency on Monday.

CBP encountered a total of 5,071 Ukrainians nationwide during the first full month of the Russia-Ukraine war, including 3,247 encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border and 156 at the U.S.-Canada border.

During an April 6 interview with CBS, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas noted that "close to 3,000" Ukrainians had entered country during the previous week. Mayorkas rejected criticism that the U.S. maintains a "double standard" for those from areas like Central America.

"What we do on an individualized basis is evaluate whether a Ukrainian family and frankly other families from other countries qualify for our discretionary authority for granting humanitarian parole," Mayorkas said.

"Do they present to us an urgent humanitarian condition that requires special treatment?" he added. "That's not specific to Ukrainians. We apply that across the board."

In early March, Mayorkas announced a program to grant Temporary Protected Status to Ukrainians who had already been residing in the country as of March 1, shielding them from potential deportation for at least 18 months.

On Monday, a Department of Homeland Security notice indicated that the program had been expanded to apply to Ukrainians residing in the U.S. since April 11.

Pentagon Says Russia is Conducting 'Shaping' Operations in Donbas

Russian military movements are setting the stage for a large assault on the southeastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, according to Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.

Kirby said during a press briefing Monday that recent Russian activity, including adding around 10 additional tactical groups to the region, indicated that the military was honing "the conditions for more aggressive, more overt and larger ground maneuvers in the Donbas."

"It's been, just over the last several days, you can see ... the Russians are doing what we call shaping," said Kirby. "We have seen the Russians continue to flow in enablers, capabilities that will help them fight in the Donbas going forward,"

"That's artillery, rotary aviation/helicopter support [and] command and control enablers," he added. "And we do believe that they have reinforced the number of battalion tactical groups in the east and the south of Ukraine."

Kirby also noted that Ukrainian forces were gearing up for an assault by increasing artillery, including 18 American 155mm Howitzers that were included in the $800 million assistance package announced last week.

As part of the package, a small group of Ukrainian military members will be trained by American forces outside of Ukraine. The U.S. is also providing 40,000 artillery rounds.

"It'll be a small number of Ukrainians that will be trained on the howitzers and then they will be reintroduced back into their country to train their colleagues," Kirby said.

Videos Show Kharkiv Sky Light up Tuesday from Russian Missiles

The night sky in Kharkiv, Ukraine appears to light up amid Russian airstrikes in videos shared to social media.

Russian attacks on parts of eastern Ukraine, including Kharkiv and Lviv, have escalated in recent days. A missile strike on Kharkiv hit a location of World Central Kitchen, a non-profit humanitarian aid group run by celebrity chef Jose Andres.

Two videos shared to Twitter by Rob Lee, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, provide vivid footage of explosions in the city. One video shows an explosion close to a parking lot, with car alarms going off in wake of the attack. A second video, taken from a distance, shows two large explosions lighting up the dark sky.

Lee also shared a video of missiles striking Lviv earlier on Monday, where Ukrainian officials said that at least seven people had been killed during the attack, while11 others were injured.

Belarus Threatens 'Destruction, Deaths' if Attacked by Others

A senior Belarusian official has reportedly threatened the neighboring countries of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia over a military buildup amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Belarusian Security Council Secretary Alexander Volfovich recently warned the countries that there would be "destruction, death, and explosions" if they launch attacks on Belarus, according to the Kyiv Independent.

Volfovich made the remarks during an appearance on the state-owned Belarus 1 television station, according to a Republic TV report that cited the Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti.

"They are aligning their infrastructure with an intention of, most likely, unleashing or planning an assault," Volfovich reportedly said. "I hope ordinary people in Lithuania and Poland are aware of what's happening in Ukraine."

"I believe they don't want the same because it's unlikely that they'll launch an attack on Belarus, and hostilities will be limited to Minsk only," he continued. "There will also be destructions, deaths, and explosions in their territories."

Belarus is a close ally to Russia. Although Belarus has not joined the war in Ukraine, the Russian military has used the country as a staging ground since the invasion began.

These 16 Countries Have Sent Diplomats Back to Battered Kyiv

Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared a list of 16 foreign embassies in Kyiv where diplomats have returned to work despite the ongoing Russian attack.

"Every day, more and more diplomatic representatives from other countries resume their jobs at Kyiv," the ministry said in a Facebook post on Monday. "This is one of the testimonies that the world supports and believes in Ukraine."

The post then listed the following 16 embassies: the European Union, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Turkey, Czech Republic, Slovenia, the Vatican, Moldova, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan.

The ministry concluded with a message of "Thanks to our friends for their support!"

The U.S. embassy in Kyiv closed within days of the Russian invasion, relocating its operations to Poland. Although several Republican lawmakers have recently called for the Kyiv embassy to reopen, U.S. officials have declined to set a firm timeline, according to Stars and Stripes.

Video Shows Multiple Cruise Missile Strikes in Lviv on Monday

A video shared on social media appears to show multiple Russian missiles striking in Lviv, where Ukrainian officials said at least seven people were killed and 11 others injured by the assault on Monday.

The video, which appears to have been taken at relatively close range from a tall building, shows at least three missiles diving into the ground and causing massive fireballs in Lviv. The footage was shared to Twitter by Rob Lee, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Regional military governor Maksym Kozytskyy said earlier on Monday that four Russian missile strikes had hit Lviv, leading to the first deaths recorded inside the city limits since the Russian invasion began, including the death of a child.

In addition to the deaths and injuries, Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said that around 40 cars were damaged and that shock waves had caused hotel windows to shatter.

"All the cities and villages are in the same situation," Sadovyi said during a news conference. "The aggressor is committing acts of genocide. They are killing innocent civilians."

269 Bodies, Execution Sites Found in Irpin

The bodies of 269 civilians along with seven "execution" locations were found in Irpin, First Deputy Chief of the Main Investigation Department of the National Police of Ukraine Serhiy Panteleev said Monday.

"Police have completed operational and investigative actions in Irpin and then established a detailed chronology of hostilities of Russian troops," Panteleev said during a briefing, according to the Kyiv Independent. "We examined 269 bodies of civilians killed in Irpin, as well as identified seven places of execution," he said.

Irpin destruction
Residents walk near destroyed structures on April 18, 2022 in Irpin, Ukraine. John Moore/Getty Images

Police and investigators say Russian troops stationed, slept and looted homes as well as shops in the area, the outlet added. Images released Monday show homes and structures destroyed across Irpin, located just outside of Kyiv.

Destruction in Irpin
Destroyed structures stand on April 18, 2022 in Irpin, Ukraine. John Moore/Getty Images

Russia Has Begun the Battle for Donbas, Zelensky Says

Russia's offensive to take control of eastern Ukraine has begun, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday.

"It can now be stated that Russian troops have begun the battle for Donbas, for which they have been preparing for a long time," Zelensky said in a video address late Monday. "A very large part of the entire Russian army is now focused on this offensive."

"And I am grateful to all our fighters, to all our heroic cities in Donbas, to Mariupol, and also to the cities of the Kharkiv region which are holding on, defending the fate of the whole state, repelling the forces of invaders. Rubizhne, Popasna, Zolote, Lysychansk, Severodonetsk, Kramatorsk and all others that have been with Ukraine all these years and forever."

The address came following escalated attacks against parts of eastern Ukraine, Kharkiv and Lviv Monday. At the end of March, the Pentagon reported Russian troops were "repositioning" from Kyiv into Belarus with the purpose of refitting troops to redeploy elsewhere in Ukraine.

Last week, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said another convoy appeared to be headed toward the eastern Ukraine city of Izium as part of the Russia's latest effort to focus forces in eastern Ukraine. Monday, Kirby said Russia is continuing to deliver more combat capabilities in the Donbas region. He has said Russia's more geographically-based focus could result in a more prolonged battle.

As the long-feared battle now gets underway in the east, Zelensky vows that Ukraine will continue to fight.

"No matter how many Russian troops are driven there, we will fight," Zelensky said Monday. "We will defend ourselves. We will do it every day."

Video Appears to Show Russian Warship Before It Sank

New video shows a Russian warship right before it sank in the Black Sea.

The short video appears to show the Moskva missile cruiser, Russia's flagship of its Black Sea Fleet, shrouded by a plume of black smoke.

The 3-second clip appears to be filmed from a nearby ship and shows what appears to be a tugboat near the Moskva vessel as it burns intensely, and leans toward one side. The video ends abruptly after a man shouts: "You f***ing idiot! What the f**k are you doing?"

Newsweek has been unable to confirm the authenticity of the video and image. The video appears to have first been circulated by Osint researchers who are following Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion against Ukraine.

Ukraine claims it sank the ship with a missile attack. Russian maintains the ship was damaged after an ammunition fire onboard. A U.S. defense official confirmed to the Associated Press last week that at least one Ukrainian missile hit the Moskva but would not provide any further details about the attack.

Residents Urged to Evacuate Luhansk Region

Ukrainians were urged to evacuate the Luhansk region Monday as Russian forces increase attacks in eastern Ukraine, the region's governor said.

"There are no safe places left in the region," Head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration Serhii Haidai warned on Telegram. "Evacuate, we can still save you."

Haidai said evacuations were planned Monday in areas including Popasna, Rubizhne, Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. He also said control has been "lost" in the town of Kreminna and "street fights are taking place." He said civilians trying to escape the town were shot at in their car at "point blank range."

"Russians shot dead people trying to leave Kreminna, four people killed," Haidai said Monday. "One seriously injured person is still at the scene. Doctors cannot reach her due to endless shelling."

Haidai said infrastructure is heavily damaged across the Luhansk region and an increasing number of communities are without water, gas and electricity. He said there is no water supply in Rubizhne or Popasna. Organizations continue efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to those remaining. Russia has reportedly been preparing a renewed offensive in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Luhansk evacuations
Serhii Haidai/Telegram

Russia Continues to Bolster Capabilities in South, East, Pentagon Says

Russia is "shaping and setting conditions for offensive operations yet to come" in the south and east in Ukraine, according to the Pentagon.

Russian forces are continuing to flow more combat capabilities in the Donbas, including artillery, helicopters and command and control enablers, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said at the daily press briefing.

More than 10 battalion tactical groups have also been added to reinforce Russian combat units already present in the south and east of Ukraine as Russian concentrated airstrikes and artillery in Mariupol.

The southern city has not fallen yet, Kirby said, despite "pounding" from the air and from long-range fires.

Ukrainian forces continue to resist and "bravely" defend Mariupol and secure towns in the Donbas, Kirby said.

Despite suffering significant losses over the past few weeks, Kirby said Russia still has a majority of its assembled combat power available to them.

Kirby said Russian is trying to learn from its mistakes in the north of Ukraine. He said the Russian forces are still struggling, however, with logistical sustainment and control and command issues.

The appointment of a new general to overall command in Ukraine indicates Russia is trying to take efforts to improve command and be more efficient in its attacks, Kirby added,

As bombardments continue, the U.S. assesses that Russia is "still struggling with a lot of these problems."

The U.S. will begin training Ukrainian military instructors on 15 American Howitzer artillery systems "in the coming days," Kirby said.

The training will take place outside of Ukraine and will include a small number of Ukrainians who will then go on to train other forces inside the country. Kirby said the training "won't take very long."

Kirby also said the U.S. could not yet confirm that Russian forces hit western weapon stocks near Lviv.

Russian reported that its forces destroyed a weapons depot near Lviv which help "large consignments" of weapons provided to Ukraine by the U.S. and Europe.

Kirby said the U.S. is still going over the battle damage assessment of targets and hits, but said there is no indication yet if western aid was the target or if it was hit or destroyed.

Top Chinese Officials 'Parrot' Some of Russia's Propaganda

U.S. assessments show China has yet to support Russia with weapons or supplies, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said Monday, warning of "strong" consequences in response to such assistance. However, Price said China has yet to condemn Russia's "brutality" in Ukraine.

"If the PRC were to provide weapons, supplies, or seek to help Russia evade sanctions, there would be strong consequences for that," Price said during Monday's briefing.

"Not only have we not seen the PRC condemn, as every country around the world should, the brutality that Russia's forces are carrying out against the Ukrainian people, we've actually heard senior PRC officials parrot some of the worst, some of the [Kremlin's] most dangerous propaganda."

He added that the U.S. is keeping a "close eye" on any level of support China may exhibit towards Russia. He also condemned the deadly strike Monday in Lviv and repeated the Pentagon's assessment that Russian strikes in recent days have targeted Ukraine's military installations.

"The fact is that Russia, more than just launching an invasion, more than just launching a war... is undertaking a campaign of terror," Price said. "A campaign of brutality, a campaign of despicable aggression against the people of Ukraine."

Price said the U.S. will continue to escalate financial sanctions against Russia until it stops its aggression in Ukraine. No timeline on a potential new sanctions package was given.

U.S. diplomats in Ukraine remain in Poland as of Monday. The State Department plans to re-establish a diplomatic presence on the ground in Ukraine as soon as its safe to do so.

Zelensky Submits Questionnaire for EU Membership

Ukraine has completed the first part of the questionnaire required for European Union membership.

The first part of the questionnaire was handed over to Matti Maasikas, the head of the EU delegation to Ukraine.

"The people of Ukraine are united by this goal -- to feel they are an equal part of Europe," Zelensky said as he handed two binders to Maasikas.

Ukraine completed the documents ten days after EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gave the paperwork to President Volodymyr Zelensky during their meeting in Kyiv earlier this month.

Olga Stefanishyna, the deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine, said Ukraine has already begun working on the second part of the document.

Ukrainian EU Membership
Ukraine handed over the first part of the questionnaire required for European Union membership. Above, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy receives a questionnaire to begin the process for considering his country's application for European Union membership from EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Friday, April 8, 2022. Adam Schreck/AP Photo

Moscow May Lose 200,000 Jobs Due to Sanctions

Hundreds of thousands of employees in Moscow may lose their jobs as more foreign companies withdraw from the Russian market, mayor says.

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said around 200,000 jobs are at risk due to increased sanctions on Russia.

"We continue to implement the plan to improve the sustainability of the capital's economy," Sobyanin wrote in a blog post Monday. "As planned, last week we approved the program to support employees at risk of dismissal.

Sobyanin said officials will allocate 3.36 billion rubles to implement these programs to support workers who may face unemployment.

"First of all, the program is addressed to employees of foreign companies that have temporarily suspended their activities or decided to leave Russia," he said. "According to our estimates, about 200,000 people are at risk of losing their jobs."

Dozens of companies have suspended operations in Russia due to its invasion into Ukraine, including McDonalds, Ikea, Apple, Zara and Disney.

Russia Wants to 'Wipe Out' Ukrainian Cities, Zelensky Says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia aims to destroy Ukrainian cities.

In a video address Sunday, the president said Russian forces "want to literally finish off and destroy Donbas."

"Destroy everything that once gave glory to this industrial region," he said. "Just as the Russian troops are destroying Mariupol, they want to wipe out other cities and communities in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions."

He told CNN's Jake Tapper that giving up the eastern part of the Ukraine is not on the table for peace negotiations.

Zelensky also noted reports of Russian forces torturing and abducting civilians.

"Torture chambers are built there [in southern Ukraine]," he said. "They abduct representatives of local governments, and anyone deemed visible to local communities."

He also called on Western countries to step up actions against the Kremlin.

"Everyone in Europe and America already sees Russia openly using energy to destabilize Western societies," he said. "All of this requires greater speed from Western countries in preparing a new, powerful package of sanctions."

Zelensky Address
In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks from Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 17, 2022. Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

Over 1,000 Civilians Have Disappeared, Ukraine Police Say

The Ukrainian National Police has documented nearly 900 criminal proceedings for the "enforced disappearance" of 1,110 civilians, according to the Ukraine Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Serhii Panteleyev, the Deputy Chief of the Main Investigation Department of the National Police of Ukraine, said these civilians were taken from de-occupied territories and areas still under Russian control.

Police have also reported the Russian forces have illegally imprisoned 544 Ukrainian civilians, Panteleyev said.

Additionally, Panteleyev said police have registered 2,750 civilians casualties, including 157 children, in occupied and de-occupied territories.

Police continue to search for missing personas, identify citizens and investigate war crimes, Panteleyev added.

More Than 4.9 Million Have Fled Ukraine

More than 4.9 million people have fled Ukraine in the first seven weeks of Russia's invasion, the United Nations estimates.

More than 2.78 million have entered Poland, according to U.N. refugee agency UNHCR. Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski said about 100,000, or one-third of the refugees in the city, are children and teens. Last week, the city opened a distance learning center for Ukrainian youth.

"Students, enrolled in the Ukrainian education system, have at their disposal rooms equipped with computers and the internet," the City of Warsaw said. "Education is one of the key activities related to their integration."

Warsaw learning centers for refugees
City of Warsaw

Where refugees are going, by country:

  1. Poland: 2.78 million
  2. Romania: 743,880
  3. Russia: 522,404
  4. Hungary: 461,539
  5. Moldova: 423,852
  6. Slovakia: 337,311
  7. Belarus: 23,469

*Estimates above provided by UNHCR as of 4/17

UNHCR says millions more are internally displaced or "stranded." Monday, UNICEF Ukraine said more than six million people in Ukraine are struggling to access drinking water.

"More than a month of intense hostilities in Ukraine devastated water and electricity networks, leaving over 4.6 million people with limited access to water," UNICEF Ukraine said. "In total, over 6 million people in Ukraine are struggling every day to have drinking water, one of the most essential human needs."

Easter bunny in Poland
Performer Ben Dusing, from Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, US, wears an Easter rabbit costume as he prepares to embrace Lilia at the Medyka border crossing in Poland on April 17, 2022. Rodrigo Abd/AP Photo
Refugees in Poland
A couple say goodby at the Medyka border crossing with Ukraine, in Poland, on April 17, 2022. Rodrigo Abd/AP Photo

Over 2,000 Civilians Killed, Including 205 Children

The United Nations reports nearly 4,900 civilian casualties in Ukraine, including more than 2,000 deaths, blaming shelling and air strikes as a major cause.

The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said 2,072 civilians have been killed and 2,818 injured in less than two months of Russia's invasion. However, the agency continues to warn actual figures are "considerably higher," as reports are pending in areas including Mariupol and Izium where "numerous civilian casualties" are suspected.

"Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes," OHCHR said.

OHCHR data:

  • 2,072 killed, including: 537 men, 327 women, 38 girls, and 60 boys, as well as 71 children and 1,039 adults whose sex is unknown.
  • 2,818 injured, including: 327 men, 253 women, 56 girls, and 61 boys, as well as 155 children and 1,966 adults whose sex is unknown.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office estimates child casualties top 567, including 205 deaths. Juvenile prosecutors say more than 352 children have been injured. The office also cautions its numbers are not final as "work is underway to establish them in places of active hostilities, in the temporarily occupied and liberated territories."

Lviv strike
Emergency workers clear up debris after an airstrike hit a tire shop in the western city of Lviv, Ukraine on April 18, 2022. Philip Crowther/AP Photo

Putin Says Sanctions Against Russia Have Failed

Russian President Vladimir Putin says ongoing sanctions against Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine have failed, the Associated Press reports.

"The strategy of the economic blitz has failed," Putin said in virtual remarks with top economic officials Monday, according to the AP.

Putin said the West "expected to quickly upset the financial-economic situation, provoke panic in the markets, the collapse of the banking system and shortages in stores."

The U.S., E.U. and other partners have coordinated to impose what they've called "severe" economic sanctions against Russia. The most recent wave of sanctions followed the reported atrocities in Bucha, where hundreds were found dead. Sanctions have targeted major Russian financial institutions, Russian oligarchs, lawmakers and bans on Russian oil imports. The E.U. has also announced long-term plans to become more energy independent.

Putin claims Russia has "withstood the unprecedented pressure," as the ruble as strengthened and trade surplus hit historic levels in 2022, AP adds. He argued Western sanctions have backfired in the U.S. and Europe, pointing to increased inflation. However, the inflation rate in Russia has also dramatically risen as consumer prices are up 17.5% as of April, the outlet said.

Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on economic issues via videoconference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia on April 18, 2022. Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Ukrainian Officials Discuss Reconstruction, Development Efforts

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting with Ukrainian government officials to discuss post-war reconstruction and development.

This plan has several parts and includes international audit companies, Ukrainian think tanks, parliamentary committees and ministries, according to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

At its core, the plan will cover material damage caused by the war, restore destroyed infrastructure capacity and carry out structural modernization of the Ukrainian economy.

Ukraine's integration into the European Union was also discussed at the meeting, according to Zelensky's office.

Resistance in Mariupol 'Severely' Testing Russian Forces

Ongoing resistance against Russian forces in the besieged city of Mariupol has slowed Russia's advance in other parts of Ukraine, the U.K. Ministry of Defence said Monday.

"Russian commanders will be concerned by the time it is taking to subdue Mariupol," the ministry said. "Concerted Ukrainian resistance has severely tested Russian forces and diverted men and materiel, slowing Russia's advance elsewhere."

Mariupol has been under relentless attack for several weeks, as upwards of 100,000 people remain in the city. Efforts to evacuate civilians and deliver humanitarian aid have repeatedly failed as Russian forces continue blocking the city. Those remaining are without food, water, heat or electricity.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said nearly every building in the city is destroyed. Ukrainian authorities say ongoing fighting and bombings, including against a maternity hospital and theatre, may have killed some 21,000 people, the Associated Press reports.

"The effort to capture Mariupol has come at significant cost to its residents," the U.K. Ministry of Defence said. "Large areas of infrastructure have been destroyed whilst the population has suffered significant casualties."

"The targeting of populated areas within Mariupol aligns with Russia's approach to Chechnya in 1999 and Syria in 2016. This is despite the 24 February 2022 claims of Russia's Defence Ministry that Russia would neither strike cities nor threaten the Ukrainian population."

The latest British intelligence shows areas in eastern and southern Ukraine under Russian control and contested areas. It also shows five likely axis of advance into eastern Ukraine, specifically the Donbas, and three likely axis of advance into southern Ukraine.

UK Ministry of Defence
UK Ministry of Defence/Twitter

At Least Seven Killed, 11 Injured After Strike in Lviv

A deadly missile strike has struck the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, officials report.

At least seven people were killed and 11 were injured, including one child, Monday after Russian launched four missile strikes, regional military governor Maksym Kozytskyy said.

The death toll may rise as rescue efforts continue.

"The rubble is still being dismantled, so the numbers [are] not final yet," said Kozytskyy. "Three are heavily injured, a child is mildly injured."

Ukrainian officials said the missiles struck three military targets and a tire-fitting garage.

Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi also reported about 40 cars were damaged or destroyed and hotel windows were shattered due to shock waves.

During a news conference, Sadovyi said there are "no safe or unsafe locations in Ukraine."

"All the cities and villages are in the same situation," he said. "The aggressor is committing acts of genocide. They are killing innocent civilians."

Lviv Building Struck by Russian Missile
Lviv Missile Strike