Ukraine latest: UK to send Stormer vehicles

Volodymyr Zelensky met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Kyiv

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russia is failing in its war aims and “Ukraine is succeeding”.

His visit to Kyiv with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was the highest-level US visit to the capital since the Russian invasion.

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They told Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky and his advisers that the US would provide more than $300m (£234m) in foreign military funding and had approved a $165m (£128m) munitions sale pounds sterling).

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (right) and Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) speak with reporters after returning from their trip to Kyiv, Ukraine (Photo: Getty)

Mr. Blinken told reporters near the Polish-Ukrainian border: “We had the opportunity to directly demonstrate our continued strong support for the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people. It was, in our opinion, an important time to be there to have face-to-face conversations in detail.

Mr Austin said Mr Zelensky’s response to help was a deep appreciation for what was given, but “he has the mindset that they want to win and we have the mindset that we want to help them win”.

Blinken also said US diplomats returning to Ukraine should take over consulate staff in Lviv, western Ukraine, before returning to Kyiv. They previously said diplomats would start returning this week. The United States Embassy in the capital will remain closed for the time being.

  • Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has confirmed that the UK is sending a “small number” of Stormer armored vehicles to Ukraine.
  • At least five people have been killed after Russian rockets hit two towns in Ukraine’s central Vinnytsia region, officials said.
  • Russia has made only “minor advances” in its campaign to take the Donbass region, according to the latest update from the Defense Ministry.
  • Russian shelling continues in eastern Ukraine, and civilians have been killed in Kharkiv and Donetsk.
  • Efforts to help civilians flee the beleaguered port city of Mariupol have again collapsed, Ukraine said.

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

Last update: Monday, April 25, 2022, 10:13 PM

New mass grave discovered in Mariupol, according to Ukrainian officers

A new mass grave has been discovered in the city of Mariupol, Ukrainian officers said.

Bodies were found about 10km north of the town, which has been a key location in fighting in recent weeks.

Mayor Vadym Boychenko said authorities are currently working to determine how many people were buried in the grave.

It comes after satellite images appeared to show mass graves in the area.

Donald Trump ‘threatened’ Putin to invade Ukraine

Donald Trump has said that when in office he “threatened” Russian President Vladimir Putin over the threat to invade Ukraine.

The former US president opened up about his conversations with the Russian leader during an interview with Piers Morgan.

He said, “I told him what our answer would be, and he said, ‘Really?’ And I said, “Really.”

“I threatened him like he had never been threatened before.”

Mr Trump also criticized Germany’s relationship with Russia, revealing that he had clashed with former German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the country’s dependence on Russian energy.

Five dead in missile attacks on the transport network

At least five people have been killed after Russian rockets hit two towns in Ukraine’s central Vinnytsia region, officials said.

According to local officials, 18 people were injured in strikes against transport infrastructure in Zhmerynka and Kozyatyn.

“The enemy is trying to hit critical infrastructure,” the regional governor was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Putin must leave Ukraine, including Crimea – Wallace

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace offered his views on what “success” in Ukraine might look like, and he said Putin must be forced into a full withdrawal from the country.

Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the Commons Defense Select Committee, asked, “What does success look like in Ukraine? Are we doing enough to prevent Ukraine from losing, but not enough to win? What is our strategy?

“Is it to push Russia back from the pre-February lines or to liberate the whole Donbass region? If it is in Europe’s wider security interests to see Putin humiliated in Ukraine, then the whole continent must be liberated, that must be our strategic goal.

Mr. Wallace replied: “Our strategic objective is twofold. The first is that Putin must fail in Ukraine, he must fail in his invasion and I think he is on the right track to do so. He must fail in his occupation of Ukraine and I think he has definitely failed to do so.

“At the end of the day, it’s as much about Ukraine’s choice as anyone else’s – that Ukraine gets to choose where it wants to settle for peace. We will do all we can to support them.

“For my part, I don’t just want Putin beyond the pre-February borders. He invaded Crimea illegally, he invaded Donetsk illegally and he should comply with international law and in the long term leave Ukraine.

Ben Wallace confirms his intention to send Stormer armored vehicles to Ukraine

As reported last week, the UK is sending a number of Stormer armored vehicles to support Ukraine’s defense against Russian airstrikes.

In a statement to parliament, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the armored vehicles will give Ukrainian forces “enhanced short-range anti-aircraft capabilities, day and night.”

The Stormer anti-aircraft vehicle pictured firing a Starstreak missile

Mr Wallace told the Commons that ‘as we can see from the demands of Ukrainians there is still a lot to do’.

He added: “So, for this reason, I can now announce to the House that we will be offering a small number of armored vehicles equipped with launchers for these anti-aircraft missiles.

“Stormer vehicles will give Ukrainian forces enhanced short-range anti-aircraft capabilities, day and night.”

Russia attacks train stations in Ukraine

Five train stations were attacked in central and western Ukraine, Ukrainian officials said.

These are important targets for the Russians, given their use to supply the Ukrainian resistance and also to transport civilians away from the conflict.

Writing on Telegram, Vitalii Koval, the head of the Rivne regional military administration, said: “The enemy launched two missile strikes on the railway infrastructure.

“The damage is being assessed, there are no casualties. We strongly recommend that you take cover during the air raids.”

A man carries shards of twisted metal from a Russian rocket from fields near a train line on April 25, 2022 near Lviv, Ukraine (Photo: Getty)

Russia makes only ‘minor advances’ in Donbass

Russia has made only “minor advances” in its campaign to take the Donbass region, according to the latest update from the Defense Ministry.

It reads: “Russia has made minor progress in some areas since it focused on fully occupying Donbass. Without sufficient logistical and combat support assets in place, Russia has yet to achieve a significant breakthrough.

“Russia’s decision to besiege rather than attack the Azovstal Steelworks in Mariupol means that many Russian units remain stationary in the city and cannot be redeployed. The Ukrainian defense of Mariupol also exhausted many Russian units and reduced their combat effectiveness.

“The Russian Ministry of Defense has proposed that compensation payments for families of deceased servicemen be overseen by servicemen rather than civilian officials. This likely reflects a desire to hide the true extent of Russia’s losses from the domestic population. »

Ukraine succeeds – Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russia is failing in its war aims and “Ukraine is succeeding”.

His secret visit to Kyiv with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was the highest-level US visit to the capital since the Russian invasion in late February.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (R) and Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) speak to reporters after returning from their trip to Kyiv

They told Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky and his advisers that the US would provide more than $300m (£234m) in foreign military funding and had approved a $165m (£128m) munitions sale pounds sterling).

In footage later released by Ukraine’s presidency of the meeting, Mr Blinken hailed “the extraordinary courage, leadership and success you have had in repelling this horrible Russian aggression”.

“We’ve gotten used to seeing you on video around the world, but it’s great, it’s good to see you in person,” he said with a smile.

Fire breaks out at Russian oil depot

Two fires broke out early this morning in the Russian city of Bryansk, near the Ukrainian border, according to Russian media, citing the emergency services.

No reason was given for the incidents and there was no immediate indication they were war-related, despite Russia previously accusing Ukraine of an airstrike on the same area.

Western opinions on the outcome of the Russian-Ukrainian war are mixed

Officials from the US and UK governments spoke to the media this morning and gave slightly different views on how they see the war unfolding.

In an interview with the BBC’s Sunday Morning political program, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said he was confident Ukraine would win the conflict.

“It will be a victory for Ukraine, it will be a strategic defeat for Russia,” he said.

But, speaking to the same broadcast, British Government Minister Oliver Dowden hinted that he believed Russia could still pull it off.

When asked if he thought Russia could win, he replied: “It has always been a possibility for Russia to emerge victorious.

“We don’t want that to happen.”

Chester T. Johnson