April 14 – The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet was seriously damaged and its crew evacuated on Thursday, following an explosion on board that Ukraine said was caused by a missile strike.

FIGHTING

* The governor of Kharkiv region said four civilians had been killed and 10 wounded in Russian shelling of Kharkiv city on Thursday. Reuters could not verify his remarks.

* Russian television broadcasts clips of what it says is the surrender in the besieged port of Mariupol showing unarmed men in military fatigues walking with their hands up towards masked soldiers.

* Ukraine says nine humanitarian corridors have been agreed for Thursday to evacuate civilians from eastern cities including Mariupol, if occupying Russian forces stop shelling.

* Analysts say Russia beefing up forces for a new assault in eastern Donbas region, setting the stage for a protracted battle certain to inflict heavy losses on both sides. 

* Ukraine towns of Kramatorsk and Kostiantynivka are likely to be targeted by Russia for levels of violence seen in other urban centres since Moscow invaded, British military intelligence says.

DIPLOMACY

* U.S. President Biden said for the first time that Russia’s invasion amounts to genocide.

* A mission of experts set up by Organization for Security and Cooperation and Europe nations has found evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity by Russia in Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilians. 

* Senior U.S. officials are weighing whether to send a top cabinet member to Kyiv in show of solidarity, a source said. 

* Australia imposed targeted financial sanctions on 14 Russian state-owned enterprises.

ECONOMY AND BUSINESS

* President Vladimir Putin told Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer that Austria’s supply of gas can continue to be paid for in euros, Nehammer quoted as saying by news agency APA. 

* Russia can redirect energy exports away from the West to countries that really need them while increasing domestic consumption of oil, gas and coal, Putin said.

* Britain said it had imposed new sanctions on 206 individuals in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

QUOTES

“We are finding terrible things: buried and hidden bodies of people who were tortured and shot, and who died as a result of mortar and artillery fire,” Andriy Nyebytov, head of Kyiv region police, says in televised comments that could not immediately be verified.

SOURCE: REUTERS

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