Live updates | Officials: 2 dead after rocket fire down

KYIV, Ukraine – Two civilians died of shrapnel wounds after a rocket was fired near the southern Ukrainian city of Kakhovka, according to a Facebook post published by Kakhovka’s municipal authorities the same day.

“It was not a peaceful morning in Kakhovka. Five civilian residents with injuries were admitted to Kakhovka Municipal Hospital. Two killed, three wounded (one of them is in critical condition in intensive care, two have moderate injuries),” wrote Kakhovka Municipal Territorial Community.

The municipal body added that all five were hit by shrapnel after leaving their homes to see the remains of a rocket that was shot down over the nearby town of Tavriisk.

It was not immediately clear which of the warring sides had fired the weapon and who had shot it down.

The post continued to urge local residents to stay inside and stay away from windows if they hear shots or explosions.

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KEY DEVELOPMENT IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:

– Russia loses warshipsays attacks on Kiev will increase

– The port of Ukraine Mariupol withstands all odds

– War Crimes Watch: The woman who would make Putin pay

– Ukrainian mother pain at watching daughter’s funeral on the phone

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

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SECOND DEVELOPMENT:

The website of France’s state-owned radio station, RFI, appeared to be inaccessible in Russia on Friday after the country’s media and internet watchdog added one of its pages of critical coverage of the war in Ukraine to its register of blocked websites.

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The communications agency, Roskomnadzor, has restricted access to news sites this week in line with a ruling by Russia’s Attorney General on Tuesday, which mandates blocking businesses that publish “information that encourages mass disorder, extremist activity or participation in (public) mass events.” of the established order and unreliable information which is of public importance. “

According to the Roskomnadzor registry, authorities blocked an RFI article citing a story from the French magazine Le Figaro, which claimed that Russian soldiers raped women in Ukraine, but the television station said its entire website ended up being inaccessible in Russia. .

Earlier Friday, Roskomnadzor apparently cut off access to the Russian-language website of Russia’s top independent English-language news media, The Moscow Times, citing the same verdict.

On Wednesday, Russian state media also reported that the agency ordered a Russian streaming platform to remove all podcasts published by the BBC, whose Russian-language website was blocked in March along with US and German news organizations.

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MOSCOW – The wife of a Ukrainian politician held by Kiev on a charge of treason has accused Ukrainian security services of torturing her husband and fabricating his escape from house arrest at a news conference held in Moscow on Friday.

Oksana Marchenko, wife of Viktor Medvedchuk, the former leader of a pro-Russian opposition party and a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, described her husband as a “political prisoner” and claimed she did not know where he was. .

Medvedchuk was detained on Tuesday in a special operation carried out by the Ukrainian State Security Service or SBU. The 67-year-old oligarch fled house arrest several days before hostilities erupted on February 24 in Ukraine. He risks between 15 years and a life in prison accused of treason and complicity in a terrorist organization to mediate coal purchases for the separatist, Russia-backed Donetsk Republic of eastern Ukraine.

“I have no doubt that my husband was beaten within hours of his capture,” she told the news conference. “I am appealing for help in determining (his) real whereabouts. I am asking for help to stop the physical and mental torture.”

She did not present evidence in support of her claims, but referred to a televised statement from Ukrainian officials on Wednesday, who said that Kiev will aim to try Medvedchuk “as soon as possible, give him the appropriate verdict, get evidence from him and then exchange him “for Ukrainian prisoners held by Moscow.

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Russia’s top independent English-language news media says Russian authorities have blocked their Russian-language website due to critical coverage of the war in Ukraine.

The Moscow Times said on Friday that its Russian-language website has become inaccessible to some users, citing a decision by the prosecutor’s office to restrict access.

According to the news media, the authorities have separately blocked a page on the website with a story of 11 riot police officers who refused to fight in Ukraine. On Thursday, a journalist who first broke the story was jailed on charges of spreading false information about the Russian military.

The Moscow Times said it had not received any formal announcement from the government.

The Kremlin has been trying to control the narrative of the war from the moment its troops rolled into Ukraine. It called the attack a “special military operation” and increased pressure on independent Russian media, calling it a “war” or an “invasion”, blocking access to many news sites whose coverage deviated from the official line.

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KYIV, Ukraine – Mariupol City Council said on Friday that local residents report that Russian troops are digging up corpses that were previously buried in housing estates and do not allow any new burials “of people killed by them.”

“A guard has been appointed for each courtyard and does not allow Mariupol residents to lie down to rest dead relatives or friends. Why the excavation will be carried out and where the bodies will be taken is unknown,” reads a message on the messaging app Telegram.

The claim could not be independently verified.

Earlier this month, Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko told the AP that Russian forces had brought mobile cremation equipment to the city to dispose of the bodies of victims of the siege.

Boychencko said the Russian forces took many corpses to a huge shopping mall where there are storage facilities and refrigerators. “Mobile crematoria have arrived in the form of trucks: You open it and there is a pipe inside and these corpses are burned,” he said.

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KYIV, Ukraine – Seven people died and 27 were injured after Russian forces opened fire on civilian buses in the Ukrainian village of Borovaya near the northeastern city of Kharkiv, a spokesman for the regional prosecutor’s office told Ukraine’s Suspilne news website on Friday.

Ukrainian law enforcement agencies are working to determine the circumstances surrounding the attack, Dmytro Chubenko said. He added that investigators are also establishing the routes and destination of the vehicles transporting civilians across the Russian-controlled territory around Borovaya.

Chubenko said the Ukrainian authorities had initiated a criminal case in connection with a suspected “violation of the laws and customs of war, combined with premeditated murder.”

The allegations could not be independently verified.

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MOSCOW – Russia’s Defense Ministry on Friday promised to increase the “scope of missile attacks” on Kiev in response to Ukraine’s “diversions into Russian territory.”

The statement comes a day after Russian authorities accused Ukrainian forces of launching airstrikes on residential buildings in one of the country’s regions on the border with Ukraine, in which seven people were injured.

According to Russian officials, about 100 residential buildings were damaged in Thursday’s attack on the village of Klimovo in the Bryansk region. The Defense Ministry said Russian forces in Ukraine’s Chernihiv region shut down a Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter allegedly involved in the attack on the Bryansk region.

Authorities in another border region, Belgorod, also reported Ukrainian shelling on Thursday.

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LONDON – The British Ministry of Defense says the loss of Russia’s naval flagship is likely to force Moscow to change the way its naval forces operate in the Black Sea.

Moscow sank after being damaged under controversial circumstances. Ukraine says it has hit the vessel with missiles, while Moscow acknowledged a fire on board but no attack.

In an update published on social media on Friday, the British Ministry of Defense said that the Soviet-era ship, which returned to operational service last year after a major rebuild, “served a key role as both a command vessel and an air defense hub.”

It said the shipwreck “means that Russia has now suffered damage to two major naval assets since the invasion of Ukraine, the first being Russia’s Alligator-class landing ship Saratov on March 24. Both events are likely to prompt Russia to revise its maritime position in The Black Sea. “

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KYIV, Ukraine – President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Ukrainians on Thursday that they should be proud to have survived 50 days under Russian attack, as the Russians “gave us a maximum of five.”

In his video speech that evening, Zelenskyy called it “an achievement of millions of Ukrainians, of all those who on February 24 made the most important decision of their lives – to fight.”

Zelenskyy gave a comprehensive and almost poetic enumeration of the many ways in which Ukrainians have helped avert Russian troops, including “those who showed that Russian warships can sail away, even to the bottom” of the sea. It was his only reference to the Russian missile cruiser Moscow, which sank while being towed to port.

Zelenskyy said he remembered the first day of the invasion when many world leaders, unsure whether Ukraine could survive, advised him to leave the country.

“But they did not know how brave Ukrainians are, how much we value freedom and the opportunity to live as we want,” Zelenskyy said.

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OTTAWA, Ontario – Canada is sending troops to Poland to help care for, coordinate and resettle Ukrainian refugees in Poland, including some who will come to Canada.

More than 2.6 million Ukrainians have fled into Poland since the first Russian troops crossed into Ukraine on February 24, and over 2 million more have fled into other surrounding countries.

Defense Minister Anita Anand announced the deployment of up to 150 troops on Thursday, saying that the majority of the deployed troops will go to reception centers throughout Poland to help take care of and register Ukrainian refugees.

Another group is being sent to help coordinate international aid efforts.

Canada has deployed hundreds of additional troops to Eastern Europe since Russia’s invasion, as NATO’s military alliance seeks to both support Ukraine and prevent the conflict from expanding into a broader war.

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KYIV, Ukraine – The head of the UN World Food Program said people are being “starved to death” in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, and he predicted that the country’s humanitarian crisis is likely to worsen as Russia intensifies its attack in the coming weeks.

WFP CEO David Beasley also warned in an interview Thursday with The Associated Press in Kiev that Russia’s invasion of grain-exporting Ukraine risks destabilizing nations far from its shores and could trigger waves of migrants seeking better lives elsewhere.

The war, which began on February 24, “destroyed the people of Ukraine,” Beasley said, deploring the lack of access WFP and other aid organizations face in trying to reach those in need amid the conflict.

The fluid nature of the conflict, in which fighting has moved away from areas around the capital and towards eastern Ukraine, has made it particularly difficult to reach hungry Ukrainians.

WFP is now trying to place food supplies in areas that could be caught in the fighting, but Beasley acknowledged that there is “a lot of complexity” as the situation develops rapidly.

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