Live Updates: Russian Missiles Hit Oil Factory in Odessa

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Soldiers carry the coffin of 40-year-old senior lieutenant Oliynyk Dmytro during his funeral ceremony, after being killed in action, outside the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, Lviv, western Ukraine , Saturday, April 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

PA

The Russian military said it struck an oil processing plant and fuel depots around the strategic Black Sea port of Odessa.

The spokesman of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Major General. Igor Konashenkov said Russian ships and planes on Sunday fired missiles to hit the facilities, which he said were used to supply fuel to Ukrainian troops near Mykolaiv.

Konashenkov also said Russian strikes destroyed ammunition depots in Kostiantynivka and Khresyshche.

In an audio message published by Italian news agency ANSA, Italian photographer Carlo Orlandi said Odessa woke up at 5.45 a.m. on Sunday to military sirens, followed immediately by the sound of bombs falling on the port city for two planes.

He described a column of black smoke rising from the targets and flames coming from the buildings.

“What we can see is a dense screen of black smoke, and one explosion after another,” Orlandi said.

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINE WAR:

— A video by a Ukrainian blogger fuels false information about the Mariupol attack

– Ukrainian forces retake areas near kyiv for fear of traps

— Ramadan kicks off in much of the Middle East amid soaring prices

– Russia’s space chief says sanctions could jeopardize the International Space Station

— Ukrainian volunteer fighters from here and abroad: a photo gallery

— Go to https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine for more coverage

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

KYIV, Ukraine – The regional governor of Kharkiv said Russian troops continue to shell the city in northeastern Ukraine.

Kharkiv Regional Governor Oleh Synyehubov said on Sunday that Russian artillery and tanks had carried out more than 20 strikes on Kharkiv and its outskirts in the past 24 hours.

Synyyehubov said four people were injured in a Russian missile strike on Lozova in the southern Kharkiv region.

He said that in the town of Balakliia, Russian tanks hit a local hospital, damaging the building and prompting authorities to evacuate patients.

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LVIV, Ukraine — President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainian troops retaking areas around kyiv and Chernihiv were not allowing the Russians to retreat without a fight, but were “bombarding” them. They destroy everyone they can.

Zelenskyy, in his Saturday night video address to the nation, said Ukraine knew Russia had the strength to exert even more pressure on eastern and southern Ukraine.

“What is the purpose of the Russian troops? They want to take over Donbass and southern Ukraine,” he said. “What is our goal? To defend ourselves, our freedom, our land and our people.

He said a significant part of the Russian forces are tied up around Mariupol, where the city’s defenders continue to fight.

“Thanks to this resistance, thanks to the courage and resilience of our other cities, Ukraine has gained invaluable time, time that allows us to outmanoeuvre the enemy’s tactics and weaken their capabilities,” he said. Zelenskyy.

Zelenskyy again appealed to the West for more modern weapons, such as anti-missile systems and aircraft.

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A Ukrainian beauty blogger whom Russian officials accused of being a crisis actor when she was interviewed and photographed by The Associated Press in a bombed-out maternity hospital in Mariupol has appeared in new videos that are fueling new misinformation about the attack.

A Twitter account linked to the Russian government shared an interview with Marianna Vishegirskaya on Friday, in which the new mother says the hospital was not hit by an airstrike last month and told reporters at the AP that she didn’t want to be filmed. But AP reporting and recordings of AP reporters’ interactions with her contradict her claims.

In the interview, directed by Russian blogger Denis Seleznev and filmed by Kristina Melnikova, Vishegirskaya is asked to provide details about what happened in the hospital on March 9, the day of the attack. It is not known where Vishegirskaya is or under what conditions the interview was filmed.

Russian officials have repeatedly tried to cast doubt on the strike in Mariupol, a key military target for Moscow, as footage has gone viral and shed light on Russia’s attacks on civilians in Ukraine. .

In the new videos, Vishegirskaya says those huddled in the hospital basement after the attack believed the explosions were caused by “shelling”, not an airstrike, because “no one heard any sounds that would indicate bombs had been dropped from planes.

But eyewitness accounts and videos from AP reporters in Mariupol present evidence of an airstrike, including the sound of a plane before the explosion, a crater outside the hospital that made at least two stories deep and interviews with a police officer and a soldier at the scene who both referred to the attack as an “airstrike”.

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BUCHA, Ukraine — Ukrainian troops moved cautiously to retake territory north of kyiv on Saturday, even amid fears that Russian forces had left behind explosives.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that the departure of Russian troops was creating a “catastrophic” situation for civilians by leaving mines around houses, abandoned equipment and “even the bodies of those killed”. His claims could not be independently verified.

Ukrainian troops took up positions in the town of Bucha and were stationed at the entrance to Antonov Airport in Hostomel after recapturing the territory from Russian forces.

In Bucha, AP journalists counted at least 6 bodies of civilians scattered along a street and in the front yard of a house. Ukrainian soldiers, backed by a column of tanks and armored vehicles, tied cables to the bodies and pulled them from the street for fear they would be trapped. Soldiers also cleared barricades and inspected suspicious objects, placing red rags over remnants of unexploded ordnance to draw attention to the possibility of explosions.

Townspeople said the civilians were killed by Russian soldiers without apparent provocation.

Ukraine and its Western allies have reported mounting evidence that Russia is withdrawing its forces around kyiv and building up its numbers in eastern Ukraine. This visible change did not mean that the country was facing a reprieve from more than five weeks of war or that the more than 4 million refugees who fled Ukraine would soon return.

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CAIRO — The Muslim holy month of Ramadan — when worshipers fast from dawn to dusk — began at sunrise Saturday in much of the Middle East, where Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spiked skyrocketing energy and food prices.

The conflict has cast a pall over Ramadan, when large gatherings around meals and family celebrations are a tradition. Many had hoped for a happier Ramadan after the coronavirus pandemic kept the world’s 2 billion Muslims out of many rituals for the past two years.

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, however, millions of people in the Middle East are now wondering where their next meals will come from. Soaring prices are affecting people whose lives have already been disrupted by conflict, displacement and poverty from Lebanon, Iraq and Syria to Sudan and Yemen.

Ukraine and Russia account for a third of global wheat and barley exports, which Middle Eastern countries rely on to feed millions of people who subsist on subsidized bread and cheap noodles. They are also major exporters of other cereals and sunflower seed oil used for cooking.