- Explosions hit Kyiv in the north, Lviv in the west
- Zelenskiy says 2,500-3,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed
- About 20,000 Russian troops were killed, he says
- Ukraine says street fighting continues in Mariupol
- Russia’s Moscow – largest ship sunk in war for 40 years
KYIV, April 16 (Reuters) – Explosions were heard in Kiev and the western city of Lviv early Saturday, and the mayor of the Ukrainian capital said rescuers and doctors were working on the scene of an explosion on the outskirts of the city.
There were no immediate details of injuries or damage.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said about 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian troops had been killed in seven weeks of war with Russia and about 10,000 wounded, but there were no figures for civilian casualties.
Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
He told CNN on Friday that 19,000 to 20,000 Russian soldiers had been killed in the war. Moscow said last month that 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed and 3,825 wounded.
Reuters could not independently verify any of the pages’ numbers.
Russia on Friday promised to launch more attacks on Kiev, saying it had used cruise missiles for the Vizar factory on the outskirts of Kiev, which it said manufactured and repaired missiles, including anti-ship missiles.
The attack followed Thursday’s sinking of Moscow, the flagship of Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet.
Ukraine said one of its missiles had caused Moscow to sink, a strong symbol of its resistance to a better-armed enemy. Moscow said the ship sank while being towed in stormy seas following a fire caused by an explosion of ammunition and that more than 500 sailors were evacuated.
The United States believes that Moscow was hit by two Ukrainian missiles and that there were Russian casualties, even though the number was unclear, a senior U.S. official said.
None of the assessments could be verified independently.
Ukraine’s military said on Saturday that the presence of Russian warships in the Black Sea, armed with sea-fired missiles, suggests an increased possibility that Russia will use them to attack Ukraine’s defense industry and logistics infrastructure.
It also said Russia’s navy was active in the Sea of Azov to block the port of Mariupol, where fighting on the ground has intensified, as Ukraine said it was trying to break Russia’s siege.
Home to 400,000 people before Russia’s invasion, Mariupol has been reduced to rubble. Thousands of civilians have died and tens of thousands are still trapped. Read more
“The situation in Mariupol is difficult and tough. Fighting is going on right now. The Russian army is constantly urging additional units to storm the city,” Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk told a briefing. He said the Russians have not quite captured it.
Zelenskiy said the military situation in the south and east was “still very difficult”, while praising the work of his armed forces.
“Our military’s successes on the battlefield are truly significant, historically significant. But they are still not enough to purge our country of the occupying power. We will beat them some more,” he said in a late-night video call and called again. for allies to send heavier weapons and for an international embargo on Russian oil.
Zelenskiy has appealed to US President Joe Biden that the United States designate Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” joining North Korea, Cuba, Iran and Syria, the Washington Post reported, quoting people familiar with their conversation. Read more
A White House spokesman responded by saying, “We will continue to consider all options for increasing the pressure on Putin.”
Ukrainian Prime Minister Deny Shmyhal and top finance officials will attend meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington next week, sources told Reuters.
It will be the first chance for key Ukrainian officials to meet in person with financial officials from advanced economies since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. Read more
HOLDS OUT IN MARIUPOL
If Moscow conquers Mariupol, it would be the first major city to fall.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said it had captured the city’s Illich steelworks. The report could not be confirmed. Ukrainian defenders are believed to be mainly persevering in Azovstal, another large steelworks. Read more
Both factories are owned by Metinvest, the empire of Ukraine’s richest businessman and the backbone of Ukraine’s industrial east – which told Reuters on Friday that it would never let its companies operate under Russian occupation. Read more
Moscow has used its naval power to block Ukrainian ports and threaten a potential amphibious landing along the coast. Without Moscow, the largest warship sunk during conflict since Argentina’s General Belgrano in the 1982 Falklands War, its ability to threaten Ukraine from the sea could have been crippled.
Russia originally described its goals in Ukraine as “a special military operation” to disarm its neighbor and defeat nationalists there.
After its invading force was driven out of the outskirts of Kiev this month, Moscow has said its main war goal is to conquer the Donbas, the eastern region partly held by Russian-backed separatists since 2014.
Kyiv and its Western allies say it is false justification for an unprovoked war of aggression that has displaced a quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million people from their homes and led to thousands of deaths.
Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting from Reuters agencies; Written by Raju Gopalakrishnan; Edited by William Mallard
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.