LVIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s General Staff reports Tuesday morning that Russia is regrouping its troops and preparing for an offensive in Donbas.
“The goal is to establish full control over the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” the update posted on the General Staff's Facebook page says.
In the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the Russian military are focusing their efforts on taking control of Popasna and Rubizhne cities, as well as establishing full control over Mariupol, the General Staff said. Other towns and settlements in the two regions are subject to continued shelling.
The Russian troops also continue to block Kharkiv, according to the General Staff.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:
— Russia faces growing outrage amid new evidence of atrocities
— World reacts with horror at images of slain civilians in Ukraine towns
— Zelenskyy to address UN amid outrage over civilian deaths
— Japan’s top envoy brings back 20 Ukrainians from Poland
— Go to https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine for more coverage
BANGKOK — A report by the World Bank says disruptions to supplies of commodities, financial strains and higher prices are among the shocks from the war in Ukraine that will slow economies in Asia in coming months.
The report released Tuesday forecasts slower growth and rising poverty in the Asia-Pacific region this year. Growth for the region is estimated at 5%, down from the original forecast of 5.4%. It anticipates that China, the region’s largest economy, will expand at a 5% pace.
The report says “multiple shocks” are adding to troubles for people and for businesses and that governments whose finances have been stretched by the pandemic have less capacity to help.
UNITED NATIONS — A top official in the global campaign against the use of land mines is urging Russia to halt the use in Ukraine of these weapons that too often kill and maim civilians.
Alicia Arango Olmos, Colombia’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva and this year’s president of the state parties to the 1997 convention banning the production and use of land mines, expressed deep concern at media reports that Russia is using land mines in its war in Ukraine.
She pointed to Human Rights Watch which said on March 29 that Ukrainian explosive ordnance disposal technician located banned anti-personnel mines in the eastern Kharkiv region a day earlier.
The rights group said Russia is known to possess the type of mines that were discovered, but Ukraine doesn’t have them.
Arango Olmos told a news conference Monday that Ukraine is one of the 164 state parties to the convention, but Russia is not.
Monday was the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
LVIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said he spoke Monday with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres about events in Bucha in what appear to be deliberate killings in the town on the outskirts of the capital Kyiv.
“No place for Russia on the UN Human Rights Council,” Kuleba said on Twitter. “Ukraine will use all available UN mechanisms to collect evidence and hold Russian war criminals to account.”
Videos and photos of streets in Bucha strewn with corpses of what appeared to be civilians, some with their hands tied behind their back, have led to global revulsion, calls for tougher sanctions, and Russia’s suspension from the U.N.’s premiere human rights body, the Human Rights Council.
According to Ukraine’s prosecutor-general Iryna Venediktova, the bodies of 410 civilians have been removed from Kyiv-area towns that were recently retaken from Russian forces.
Associated Press journalists have reported seeing dozens of the bodies in various spots around Bucha, northwest of the capital.
PARIS — The French foreign ministry announced Monday that France has decided to expel “numerous” Russian diplomats, saying their “activities were contrary to our security interests.”
The announcement came hours after Germany said it was expelling 40 diplomats and Lithuania said it expelled the Russian ambassador and will recall its envoy in Moscow. No number was immediately given for how many are being expelled by France.
German news agency dpa quoted German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser as saying that the diplomats being expelled are those “whom we attribute to the Russian intelligence services.”
Faeser says that “we won’t allow this criminal war of aggression to also be conducted as an information war in Germany.”