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Ukraine latest: Zelensky says Russian aggression is threat to ‘entire European project’



President Zelensky has called on further support and an embargo on Russian oil and gas – after Boris Johnson visited Kyiv

Boris Johnson has said the West will supply Ukraine with the equipment it needs to ensure it can never again be invaded by Russia after holding surprise talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.

Following the Prime Minister’s unannounced visit to the Ukrainian capital, Downing Street said Britain would be sending 120 armoured vehicles as well as new anti-ship missile systems.

Appearing alongside Zelensky in a recorded broadcast clip, Johnson said the West would continue to “ratchet up” sanctions on Moscow as he praised the courage of the Ukrainian resistance.

“I think that the Ukrainians have shown the courage of a lion, and you Volodymyr have given the roar of that lion,” he said.

“The UK and others (will) supply the equipment, the technology, the know-how, the intelligence, so that Ukraine will never be invaded again.

“So Ukraine is so fortified and protected – that Ukraine can never be bullied again. Never be blackmailed again. Never be threatened in the same way again.”

Meanwhile, President Zelensky has said that Russia’s invasion is a threat to all of the democracies in Europe.

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Here are the latest updates on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Zelensky: Russia is targeting all of Europe

Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said Russia is targeting all of Europe with its aggression against Ukraine, and that stopping the invasion is essential for the security of all democracies.

In his late-night address to Ukrainians, the president said Russian aggression “was not intended to be limited to Ukraine alone” and the “entire European project is a target for Russia”.

“That is why it is not just the moral duty of all democracies, all the forces of Europe, to support Ukraine’s desire for peace,” he said. “This is, in fact, a strategy of defence for every civilised state.

“This will be a hard battle, we believe in this fight and our victory. We are ready to simultaneously fight and look for diplomatic ways to put an end to this war.”

Zelenskiy thanked the leaders of the UK and Austria for their visits on Saturday to Kyiv, and pledges of further support, and repeated his call for a complete embargo on Russian oil and gas, which he called the sources of Russia’s “self-confidence and impunity”.

PM’s walkabout in Kyiv

Boris Johnson left the UK on Friday evening with a small delegation of officials, arriving at the Polish border yesterday morning.

He was then escorted to Kyiv, where he held a meeting with President Zelensky on Saturday afternoon at the Mariinskyi Palace, the presidential residence.

The pair were also pictured walking through the streets of Kyiv after the meeting.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in Kyiv for talks with Ukraine’s President Zelensky

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has travelled to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a ‘surprise’ visit.

In a photo shared on the Embassy of Ukraine to the UK’s Twitter page, the two leaders were seen sitting across from each other at a table, with the Union flag and Ukraine’s national flag in the background.

The Embassy account captioned the image with the word: “Surprise” followed by a winking emoji.

At the time of writing, Downing Street officials have not commented on the nature of the discussion taking place between the pair.

10 humanitarian corridors agreed for Saturday

Ten humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from Ukraine’s besieged regions have been agreed for today (Saturday), Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

The planned corridors include one for people evacuating by private transport from the city of Mariupol, Vereshchuk said.

Zelensky calls for ‘firm global response’ to station attack

President Volodymyr Zelensky called for a “firm global response” after a missile strike killed 52 people at a train station in eastern Ukraine where civilians had gathered to flee a feared Russian offensive.

“This is another Russian war crime for which everyone involved will be held accountable,” Zelensky said in a video message.

The remains of a large rocket with the words “for our children” in Russian is pictured next to the main building of a train station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine (Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)

“World powers have already condemned Russia’s attack on Kramatorsk. We expect a firm global response to this war crime,” he added.

World leaders condemned the attack in the Donetsk capital, with US President Joe Biden accusing Russia of being behind a “horrific atrocity” that the French condemned as a “crime against humanity.”

50 dead after attack on Kramatorsk train station

Ukrainian authorities have said that at least 50 people have died following an attack on a train station in Kramatorsk earlier today.

It was believed that around 4,000 people were in and nearby the station in eastern Ukraine when a Russian rocket hit the building.

The transport hub was being used to facilitate the evacuation of women and children before a full assault began in the east of the country.

Remnants of a rocket were found at the scene with the words “for our children” written on the side in Russian.

Boris Johnson announces £100m in UK military aid to Ukraine

Britain is to send a fresh package of “high-grade” military equipment to Ukraine amid signs Russian forces are preparing for a new offensive in the east of the country.

Boris Johnson said the UK would be sending £100 million of kit including more Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles, anti-tank weapons and “precision munitions” such as drones capable of loitering in the sky until directed to their target.

Following talks in Downing Street with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the two leaders condemned the “unconscionable” strike on a crowded railway station at Kramatorsk – suggesting the Russians were guilty of war crimes.

Mr Johnson praised Germany’s “seismic” efforts to end its dependence on supplies of Russian oil and gas.

But following the disclosure that the EU has spent 35 billion euros on Russian hydrocarbons since the start of the invasion while sending just one billion euros in aid to Ukraine, Mr Scholz acknowledged that change would take time.

Priti Patel under fire over ‘delays’ in processing Ukraine visas

The Home Secretary has apologised after coming under fire over “delays” in the time it is taking for Ukrainian refugees to arrive in the UK.

But Priti Patel denied visa requirements and checks are slowing the process and causing delays, insisting the UK will “absolutely see changes in numbers” as work continues.

Around 12,000 people had arrived in the UK under Ukraine visa schemes as of Tuesday, according to Home Office figures.

Some 10,800 people had arrived under the Ukraine family scheme but only 1,200 had made it to the UK as part of the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme, provisional data published on the department’s website shows.

As of Thursday, about 79,800 applications had been submitted to the schemes and 40,900 visas had been granted.

Of these, 43,600 applications were for the sponsorship scheme, with 12,500 visas issued.

Out of 36,300 requests made for family visas, 28,500 had been approved.

EU imposes sanctions on Putin’s daughters

The European Union has imposed sanctions on two adult daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of a new package of measures targeting Russia’s economy, businessmen and oligarchs, according to two officials.

The EU included Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova in an updated list of people facing an assets freeze and travel ban.

The updated list of individuals and entities sanctioned has not been published yet.

The move from the European bloc follows a similar move two days earlier by the US and UK.

Dozens of civilians feared dead after rocket strike on train station in east Ukraine

More than 30 people have been killed and over 100 wounded in a Russian rocket strike on a railway station in east Ukraine, the state railway company said.

Ukrainian Railways claimed that two rockets hit the station in the city of Kramatorsk on Friday (8 April).

The city is used for the evacuation of civilians from areas under bombardment by the Russian army, Reuters reported.

In a statement, Ukrainian Railways said: “Two rockets hit Kramatorsk railway station.”

“According to operational data, more than 30 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded in the rocket attack on Kramatorsk railway station,” it later added.

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