War in Ukraine: Military digs ahead for expected confrontation with Russia in the east | world news



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Ukraine’s armed forces are digging in as the Russian military prepares for what is expected to be another massive attack in the east of the country.

Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine killed an untold number of civilians — at least 1,766, according to what the UN described as a massive undercount — and authorities have shared numerous stories of the occupying forces’ rape of both women and children.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that a “hard fight” must come in the east, as officials urge civilians to flee the region immediately.

Experts believe that another large-scale offensive will be launched within days, although questions remain about the ability of Russia’s exhausted and demoralized forces to take over much ground after Ukraine’s successful defense of Kiev.

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The situation on the ground on April 9, day 45 of the war

In other developments:

• UK sends 120 armored vehicles and anti-ship missile systems to Kiev
• Western and Ukrainian intelligence agencies indicate that Russian troops are moving south and east
• Russians use improvised explosive devices to damage Ukraine’s morale, British Defense says
• ‘Hasty withdrawal’ from the Kiev region saw Russians abandon tanks, vehicles and artillery
• Five children confirmed among the dead in Friday’s explosion at Kramatorsk . train station

Russia ‘stole radioactive material from Chernobyl’ – latest updates on Ukraine

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‘Be brave like Boris’

The British Ministry of Defense said on Sunday that Russia’s armed forces are making up for significant losses by returning former soldiers who had been discharged since 2012.

Russia is also trying to generate more fighting power by recruiting people from Moldova’s unrecognized Transistria region, the Defense Ministry added.

The Ukrainian army said Russian troops shelled the Ukrainian-occupied territory on Sunday, with artillery attacking the city of Kharkov in the northeast of the country.

Trenches are prepared for another expected attack
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Trenches are prepared for another expected attack

The ongoing siege of Mariupol also continues, now extending to nearly 50 days.

Mariupol is a strategically vital city that would enable Russia to build a land bridge between the occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk and those of Crimea.

In Mariupol, Russia is accused of deploying Chechen fighters, and residents have reportedly been without food, water and electricity since the beginning of the siege, making evacuations difficult and emergency relief even more difficult.

Bee at least 52 people were killed in an attack on civilians at the Kramatorsk train station in eastern Ukraine, described by Ukraine as a war crime.

The Russian authorities deny all responsibility and suggest that Ukraine bombed its own station.
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Debris lies on a road after the strike at Kramatorsk . train station

Additional atrocities have been committed at the feet of Russian soldiers in the town of Bucha and other towns outside the capital, where hundreds of bodies – many with their hands tied and showing signs of torture – were discovered after Russia’s withdrawal.

Russia has denied the war crimes and falsely claimed that the atrocities were staged.

President Zelenskyy said he expects more evidence of atrocities to be found once Mariupol is no longer blocked.

Ukrainian authorities believe an airstrike on a theater where civilians were hiding killed hundreds of people.

A woman cries as she tries to find her son's body among the rubble of a residential area destroyed during the Russian invasion of the city of Borodianka
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A sobbing woman searches the rubble of a residential building for her son’s body

A spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian military used air-launched missiles to hit Ukrainian S-300 air defense missile systems in the southern region of Mykolaiv and at an air base in Chuhuiv, a town not far from Kharkov.

The sea-launched cruise missiles also destroyed the headquarters of a Ukrainian military unit stationed further west in the Dnipro region, Konashenkov said. Neither the Ukrainian nor the Russian military claims could be independently verified.

More than 4.5 million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the conflict, according to the UN refugee agency.

The UK recently pledged to send armored vehicles to Ukraine for the first time as part of a new £100 million package, although it is uncertain whether these vehicles could play a role in the immediate defense of the east of the country.

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