Russia-Ukraine war: what we know on day 41 of the Russian invasion | Ukraine

  • US president Joe Biden called the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, a “war criminal” and said he would call for a war crimes trial as global outrage over claims of civilian killings by Russian soldiers in the Ukraine town of Bucha continued to mount. “We have to gather the information. We have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to continue to fight, and we have to get all the detail [to] have a war crimes trial. This guy is brutal and what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous,” he said on Monday.

  • The European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said the EU was ready to send investigations teams to Ukraine to document alleged Russian war crimes and crimes against humanity. She said she had spoken to Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy about the “dreadful murders” that were uncovered over the weekend.

  • Zelenskiy visited Bucha, about 45km north-west of Kyiv, wearing body armor and surrounded by military personnel on Monday. He spoke of the death and destruction in the recently liberated towns of Stoyanka, Irpin and Bucha. “The cities are simply ruined,” he said, adding that authorities had begun an investigation into possible war crimes. Zelenskiy said there was information to suggest more than 300 people were killed and tortured in Bucha alone.

  • The Ukrainian president addressed western leaders, criticizing what he described as delayed action against Russia. “Did hundreds of our people really have to die in agony for some European leaders to finally understand that the Russian state deserves the most severe pressure?” he asked. Referring to military aid, he said: “If we had already got what we needed … we could have saved thousands of people.”

  • Zelenskiy will address the United Nations security council on Tuesdayafter he said it was in Kyiv’s interest to have an open investigation into the killing of civilians in Ukraine.

  • Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said evidence of civilian killings in Bucha were just the “tip of the iceberg”. Speaking at a joint press conference with the UK foreign minister, Liz Truss, he said the “horrors of Bucha, Mariupol, and other places” demanded “serious G7 and EU sanctions”.

  • The bodies of five civilians, including the mayor, were found with their hands tied in the village of Motyzhyn, 45km west of Kyiv, Ukrainian said authorities. The mayor, Olga Sukhenko, her husband and their son, were abducted by Russian troops on 24 March, police said. “They tortured and murdered the whole family of the village head,” Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior ministry, said.

  • Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, said the town of Borodyanka would be the worst-hit by Russia’s invasion in the Kyiv region. Speaking on national television, Venediktova said the number of victims in Borodyanka, about 23km west of Bucha, would be higher than anywhere else but did not provide further details.

  • Zelenskiy said the country is preparing for “even more brutal activity” of Russian forces in the east and south of Ukraine. “We know what they are going to do in Donbas,” he said. Ukraine’s defense ministry spokesperson Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said Russia is attacking the cities of Rubizhne and Popasna in the eastern Luhansk region, while preparing an attack on the city of Severodonetsk and working to capture Mariupol.

  • US national security adviser Jake Sullivan appeared to corroborate the claims, saying “Russia is repositioning its forces to concentrate its offensive operations in eastern and parts of southern Ukraine” and this new phase of Russia’s invasion “could be measured in months or longer”.

  • The Red Cross said that a team sent to help evacuate civilians from Mariupol is being held by police in Russian-controlled territory. The team was stopped on Monday while carrying out humanitarian efforts to help lead a safe passage corridor for civilians and “is being held in the town of Mangush20km west of Mariupol,” ICRC spokeswoman Caitlin Kelly told AFP.

  • Russia has backed a new, self-proclaimed mayor of Mariupol, who is collaborating with Russian forcesReuters reported.

  • Washington is working on more economic sanctions against Russia to be announced this week, Sullivan said, adding that “options that relate” to the country’s lucrative energy industry are on the table.

  • UK foreign secretary Liz Truss said she will be working with allies to ban Russian ships from western portscrack down on Russian banks, and agree to “a clear timetable to eliminate our imports of Russian oil, gas and coal”.

  • The US will request Russia’s removal from the UN human rights council. During a visit to Romania, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations, called for the international body to suspend Russia.

  • The head of the office of the Ukrainian president, Andriy Yermak, said a “very big historical mistake” was made when “specific Allied countries and specific leaders started a game with Russia” 14 years ago at the Nato summit in Bucharest, according to comments published on the website of Ukraine’s presidential office.

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