Red Cross tries again to evacuate Mariupol, Moscow accused of mining homes

Russia will end its cooperation on the International Space Station if the sanctions are not lifted

Russia will seek to end mutual cooperation on the International Space Station if Western sanctions against the country are not lifted, the head of the country’s space agency said on Saturday.

Dmitry Rogozin said in a series of tweets that US, European and Canadian space agencies responded to letters he sent asking for the lifting of sanctions against companies linked to the Russian aerospace industry.

“From our point of view, it is clear that the sanctions will not be lifted,” he wrote, adding that he considered “such a state of affairs to be unacceptable”.

Accordingly, he said he believed that the resumption of normal relations between Roscosmos and its ISS partners was only possible when the sanctions were lifted.

Proposals for the completion or termination of mutual cooperation “will be presented to the government of our country in the near future”, he added.

In separate comments to reporters broadcast on Russian state television, Rogozin stressed that Western partners need the ISS and “cannot do without Russia, because no one but us can deliver fuel at the station”.

Rogozin added that “only the engines of our cargo ship are capable of correcting the orbit of the ISS, protecting it from space debris.”

Former ICC prosecutor declares Putin a ‘war criminal’

GENEVA — The former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has called for an international arrest warrant to be issued against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Putin is a war criminal,” Carla Del Ponte told Swiss newspaper Le Temps in an interview published on Saturday.

In interviews given to Swiss media on the occasion of the release of her latest book, the Swiss lawyer who oversaw the ICC’s war crimes investigations in Rwanda, Syria and the former Yugoslavia, stated that clear war crimes were being committed in Ukraine.

She said she was particularly shocked by the use of mass graves, which recalls the worst of the wars in the former Yugoslavia.

“I hoped never to see mass graves again,” she told the Blick newspaper. “These dead have relatives who do not even know what has become of them. This is unacceptable.

Other war crimes she identified in Ukraine included attacks on civilians, the destruction of civilian buildings and even the destruction of entire towns.

Rockets hit theme park in Kharkiv, city council says

Several rockets hit a theme park in Kharkiv on Saturday morning, the city council said in a Telegram post, citing the park’s news service.

A 57-year-old gardener was injured in the strike at the Maxim Gorky Central Park for Culture and Recreation, the council said. He added that the man had been taken to hospital.

At least two attractions were damaged and the attack also destroyed trees, a performance stage and cafes, the council said.

NBC News was unable to independently verify the attack.

The mother of senior lieutenant Dmytro Oliinyk, 40, who was killed in action, cries while holding a Ukrainian national flag, during his funeral at Lychakiv Cemetery, in Lviv, Ukraine, on Saturday.

ALKIS KONSTANTINIDIS / Reuters

Russia declares top journalist and video blogger “foreign agents”

Russia has declared a top journalist, video blogger and six other media figures “foreign agents”, the latest in a series of such moves that critics say are aimed at stifling dissent.

The expanded list, released Friday night by the Justice Ministry, included Elizaveta Osetinskaya, a former editor of several Russian business newspapers that have published information about the business interests of people close to President Vladimir Putin.

The term “foreign agent” has negative Soviet-era connotations and subjects those listed to strict financial reporting requirements. It also requires them to preface anything they post with a disclaimer stating that they are foreign agents.

The list also included Maria Borzunova, a journalist with the independent channel TV Rain (Dozhd), herself declared a “foreign agent” last August and suspended from work after Russia blocked access to her website in March.

Evgeny Ponasenkov, a writer and video blogger known for his off-the-cuff witty remarks aimed at the government on social media and talk shows on state TV channels, has also been branded a “foreign agent”.

Pope says Kyiv visit ‘on the table’

Pope Francis confirmed to NBC News on Saturday that he was considering an invitation from the mayor of kyiv to visit the Ukrainian capital.

A trip was “on the table”, the pontiff said as he flew to Malta.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko invited Francis to visit the city in a letter last month. Klitschko said his presence there was “the key” to saving lives and achieving peace.

“We ask you, as a spiritual leader, to show your compassion, to stand with the people of Ukraine by jointly spreading the call for peace,” the letter reads.

It followed earlier invitations from Ukrainian Byzantine Rite Catholic leader Sviatoslav Shevchuk and Ukraine’s Ambassador to the Vatican, Andriy Yurash.

Death toll from strike against Mykolaiv state building rises to 31

The death toll from the explosion that destroyed the Mykolaiv state regional administration building on Tuesday morning has risen to 31, the Ukrainian state emergency service said on Saturday. He added that 34 people were injured in the blast.

“Rescuers continue to dismantle structures and remove the bodies of victims from the rubble in the regional state administration building in Mykolaiv,” the SES said in a statement posted on its official Telegram channel.

Regional Governor Vitaly Kim said shortly after Tuesday’s strike that a Russian missile hit the building, ripping a gaping hole in the structure and destroying his office.

Ukraine says seven humanitarian corridors will open on Saturday

Seven humanitarian corridors to evacuate people from besieged regions of Ukraine are planned for Saturday, Iryna Vereshchuk, the country’s deputy prime minister, said in a message posted on her Telegram channel.

The planned corridors include one for those evacuated by private transport from the city of Mariupol and by buses for residents of Mariupol outside the city of Berdyansk, Vereshchuk said.

Humanitarian corridors will also open in the southern towns of Severodonetsk and Popasna, as well as other parts of southern Ukraine that have been besieged by Russian forces, she said.

UK: Russian forces reportedly withdrew from Kyiv region airport

Russian forces have reportedly withdrawn from an airport near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, where fighting has been taking place since the Feb. 24 invasion, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Saturday.

Russian forces have withdrawn from Hostomel airport, located northwest of the capital, the UK said in a statement. update.

Ukrainian forces also retook some villages and “secured a key road in eastern Kharkhiv after heavy fighting”, according to the British assessment.

Kharkhiv is in northeastern Ukraine, near the Russian border.

Vice President Kamala Harris says regime change is not US policy

Vice President Kamala Harris reiterated that regime change in Russia is not US policy, days after the president remarked that Russian President Vladimir Putin should not stay in power.

“Let me be very clear: We’re not into regime change, and that’s not our policy. Period,” Harris said in an interview with MSNBC host Joy Reid that aired. Friday.

The vice president’s comments come after President Joe Biden, in a speech in Poland last week, said, “For the love of God, this man can’t stay in power,” referring to Putin.

A White House official said that day that Biden was not calling for Putin’s impeachment, and Biden said on Monday he was not talking about a change in US policy.

“I was expressing my outrage. He shouldn’t stay in power, just like bad people shouldn’t keep doing bad things. But that doesn’t mean we have a fundamental policy to do anything to overthrow Putin. in any way,” Biden said.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov reacted to Biden’s comments in Poland by telling Reuters “it’s not for Biden to decide” and that “the president of Russia is elected by the Russians.”

Harris said Russia had committed atrocities in Ukraine and called Russia’s invasion and attack “a war that was unleashed – unprovoked, unwarranted – against an entire population.”

Efforts are underway to protect the artworks of the National Gallery in Lviv

Venice is preparing special material to send to the National Art Gallery in Lviv and other museums in the Ukrainian city so that the works of art can be better protected during the war.

Mariacristina Gribaudi, director of the Venice Civic Museums Foundation, said in a statement on Friday that some 65,000 works of art and 2,000 sculptures had been placed in storage in Lviv as a precaution, but the objects were not sufficiently protected.

The Venice foundation will oversee a shipment of special fabrics that can cover paintings and graphic arts as well as furniture, costumes and glass or marble materials to protect objects from the majority of solvents and gases. The fabric also prevents mold and fungus growth while the artwork is in storage.

Polyethylene foam impact panels are also sent.

Venice museum experts also gave advice in a video call with Lviv gallery management on how best to store the artworks.

Russian forces abandon mines, says Zelenskyy

Minefields have been planted in areas where Russian forces have left or been pushed back, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address on Friday.

He said that in northern Ukraine, Russian forces either left or were pushed back and “a complete catastrophe is left behind”.

“First, the airstrikes can continue,” Zelenskyy said. “Secondly, they lay minefields on these territories, in houses, on equipment, even on dead bodies. There are a lot of tripwires, a lot of other dangers.”

He said that in the reclaimed territory, people have to wait until the land is cleared of explosives.

There has been some reduction in Russian forces deployed against Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, but US military officials said on Thursday this was not a general repositioning. On Friday, the mayor of the town of Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, said it had been recaptured by Ukrainian forces.

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