Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on social media Tuesday that Ukrainian authorities have captured pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, who was at-large after escaping house arrest in February.
Medvedchuk is Putin’s closest ally in Ukraine, with Medvedchuk claiming that Putin was the godfather of his daughter.
Medvedchuk was placed on house arrest under accusations of treason in May 2021 stemming from his involvement in a scheme to transfer oil and gas licenses from Crimea to Russia.
He was also charged with disclosing Ukrainian military secrets.
Biden calls Russian actions in Ukraine ‘genocide’ for the first time
President Biden called the actions of Russian forces “genocide” for the first time on Tuesday, a classification he had previously shied away from using.
“I called it genocide because it’s become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out even the idea of being Ukrainian. The evidence is mounting,” Biden told reporters after appearing to reference the term earlier Tuesday.
In comments on inflation earlier Tuesday, Biden said that the prices Americans pay shouldn’t depend on whether a dictator “commits genocide” against another country, an apparent shot at Russian President Vladimir Putin and his decision to invade Ukraine.
“We’ll let the lawyers decide, internationally, whether or not it qualifies,” Biden later clarified in his answer to reporters in Iowa, “but it sure seems that way to me.”
US could expand type of weapons sent to Ukraine, including Mi-17 helicopters
President Biden is planning to expand the type of weapons the U.S. will send to Ukraine, according to Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson.
Part of the expansion could include sending Mi-17 helicopters that can be equipped to attack armored vehicles, an official told the post.
The Mi-17 is a Soviet-era helicopter and was designed in the mid-70s. They are the same helicopters that have been previously used by the Afghan Air Force.
The news comes as the Biden administration is set to announce on Wednesday an additional $750 million in military assistance to Ukraine, which comes on top of the $1.7 billion the U.S. has sent to Ukraine since the start of the war.
Senior Russian official suggests Russia may resume death penalty
Former Russian President and Deputy Chief of Security Council Dmitry Medvedev hinted at the possibility that Russia may soon make the death penalty legal again, according to reports from the Russian media outlet Komsomolskaya Pravda.
Medvedev’s statement comes after Russia parted ways with the Council of Europe last month, which bound the country to a moratorium on the death penalty.
Medvevdev also claimed that members of the Russian military have been subject to torture when captured by Ukrainian forces, saying their have been incidents of Russian service members having their throats cut and being shot in the knee.
But according to author and former DIA intelligence officer Rebekah Koffler, Medvedev’s statement is another example of Russia’s attempt to spread disinformation.
“Moscow is running another disinformation operation to normalize the narrative of the death penalty as it seeks justification to use it against captured Ukrainian military personnel or domestic opposition members,” Koffler told Fox News Tuesday. “Putin recently invoked the Stalin-era ‘Red Terror’ tactics, calling on Russian citizens to turn in perceived traitors to Russian authorities.
“He wants to instill fear on both Russians and Ukrainians who may consider anti-Russian government activities such as protests.”
US, UK to continue providing assistance to Ukraine, welcome imposition of ‘severe costs’ on Russia
President Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke Tuesday to affirm their joint-commitment to continue providing security and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing war against the country, and welcomed the imposition of “severe costs” on Moscow.
The White House said the leaders spoke Tuesday to discuss Johnson’s recent visit to Ukraine.
“President Joseph R. Biden Jr. spoke today with Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom about the Prime Minister’s recent visit to Ukraine,” the White House said Tuesday.
Biden to announce additional $750 million in military assistance to Ukraine
President Biden is expected to announce an additional $750 million in weapons for Ukraine, according to reporting from Reuters.
Biden will reportedly pay for the assistance using Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows him to articles and services without approval from lawmakers.
The new assistance will be added to what has already been $1.7 billion in military assistance given to Ukraine by the U.S. since the Russian invasion in February.
Putin has ‘no game change’: Former Ukrainian infrastructure minister
‘Our nation is not scared, but we are furious’: Ukrainian parliament member
US military assistance reaching Ukraine daily
State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that U.S. security assistance is entering Ukraine every single day and being used effectively on the battlefield.
Price said the U.S. has kept up a consistent flow of equipment, enough that U.S. anti-armor and anti-tank systems vastly outnumber the amount of armored vehicles and tanks Russia has in the country.
Putin, in rare trip outside Moscow, says Ukraine invasion was ‘right decision’
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that his country’s invasion of Ukraine was the “right decision” during his first known trip outside of Moscow since the bloody assault began on Feb. 24.
Putin made the comment while visiting the Vostochny space base in far eastern Russia on the 61st anniversary of the Soviet Union’s Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human to enter space.
“On the one hand, we are helping and saving people, and on the other, we are simply taking measures to ensure the security of Russia itself,” Putin said Tuesday, repeating a claim that Russia has used to justify the invasion. “It’s clear that we didn’t have a choice. It was the right decision.”
For more on this story: Putin, in rare trip outside Moscow, says Ukraine invasion was ‘right decision’
Ukraine official says ‘everything possible’ being done to help Mariupol soldiers
Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter Tuesday that Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the country’s military is doing “everything possible” to help soldiers dealing with supply issues in the besieged city of Mariupol.
His message comes after a Marine unit in the city on Sunday issued a dire warning indicating that its healthy numbers are dwindling as ammunition, food, water and other crucial items are at risk of running low.
“If the Kremlin now hates something more than Ukraine, it is the word ‘Mariupol,'” Podolyak said. “1.5 months our defenders defend the city from the Russian horde, which is 10+ times larger. They are kept under bombardment and bite into every meter of the city. They make Russia pay a very high price.”
“Our soldiers remain trapped in the city and have problems with supplies,” he continued. “The country’s military and political leadership is aware of the problem, monitors the situation in real time and has more information than is known on social networks.”
“The President and the leadership of the Armed Forces are doing everything possible (and impossible) to find a solution and help our soldiers,” Podolyak also said. “But we cannot communicate our plans and actions publicly without informing the enemy. Please treat this with understanding.”
Bucha mayor: More than 400 civilian bodies found so far
Bucha Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk said Tuesday that 403 civilian bodies have been found so far in the city outside Kyiv since the start of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24.
Only 163 of those victims have been identified, he added.
Fox News’ NaNa Sajaia contributed to this report.
Ukraine foils Russian cyberattack on power grid
Ukrainian officials said Tuesday they have foiled a planned cyberattack by Russian military hackers on the country’s power grid.
They say the country’s computer emergency response thwarted an attack planned by hackers from Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency that intended to knock electrical substations offline last Friday.
The State Service of Special Communications said on its website that malware was discovered designed to destroy data on computers.
There was no immediate explanation of how the attack was defeated, though the Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine thanked Microsoft and the cybersecurity firm ESET in a separate bulletin.
GRU hackers twice successfully attacked Ukraine’s power grid, in the winters of 2015 and 2016.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Ukraine Marine unit in Mariupol: ‘Gradually we are coming to an end’
Ukrainian Marines trying to defend the city of Mariupol
from the onslaught of the Russian army says they’ve been fighting for more than a month without resupply of ammunition, food and water – but now the “mountain of wounded makes up almost half of the crew.”
The dire warning from the 36th Navy Brigade, which was posted to Facebook on Sunday, suggests cracks are starting to form in Ukraine’s fierce defense of Mariupol.
“From the beginning… we have been defending Mariupol for 47 days,” the Marines wrote. “We were bombed from airplanes, we were shot from artillery, tanks and other fire materials. We kept the defense worthy by doing the impossible. But any resources have a potential to run out.”
“For more than a month, the Marines fought without refilling ammunition, without food, without water… [but now] the mountain of wounded makes up almost half of the crew,” it continued. “Those who have unbroken limbs and can walk, return in order.”
The Marines also say their unit is “dying but fighting” and “gradually we are coming to an end.”
For more on this story: Ukraine Marine unit in Mariupol: ‘Gradually we are coming to an end’
Obama reacts to Russia’s Ukraine invasion: ‘Putin has always been ruthless’
Former President Barack Obama revealed in a Tuesday morning interview about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that Vladimir Putin “has always been ruthless against his own people as well as others.”
Obama, speaking to NBC’s “Today” Show, described the Russian president as someone who has always been “wrapped up in this twisted, distorted sense of grievance and ethnic nationalism.
“What we have seen, with the invasion of Ukraine, is him being reckless in a way that you might not have anticipated eight, ten years ago, but you know, the danger was always there,” Obama said.
For more on this story: Obama reacts to Russia’s Ukraine invasion: ‘Putin has always been ruthless’
Ukraine releases video of Russia drone dismantling – and here’s what they found
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry has released a video purportedly showing that a Russian military
surveillance drone isn’t as high-tech as it seems, with features like a taped-on Canon DSLR camera and a fuel tank sealed with a plastic water bottle cap.
The alleged do-it-yourself modifications were revealed in footage of what Ukraine says is one of its soldiers taking apart a Russian Orlan-10 drone that crashed on its soil.
“This is seriously real, not fake,” the soldier says while examining the aircraft’s fuel tank, according to a translation posted on YouTube.
“It says ‘fuel,’ ‘ignition’ and here as you can see a bottle cap, typical plastic bottle cap that was cut, possibly mineral water bottle, and it was attached to the body of the UAV to be used like this,” he continues, joking that “Russia is not Russia without a bottle.”
In another portion of the video, the soldier purportedly shows how a consumer Canon DSLR camera was attached to the drone with Velcro tape.
For more on this story: Ukraine releases video of Russia drone dismantling – and here’s what they found
Ukraine not getting what it needs to ‘end war sooner,’ running out of ‘time’ and ‘lives’: Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
said Tuesday his forces still are not getting all that they need from supporting allies to “end the war sooner” as Kyiv braces for an eastward campaign from Russia.
“Our armed forces are beating the occupiers with wisdom and well-thought-out tactics,” Zelenskyy said in an address to the nation. “But when it comes to the necessary weapons, we still depend on the supply, on our partners.
“Unfortunately, we are not getting as much as we need to end this war sooner,” he added.
The Ukrainian president said he is not only pushing allies for more heavy-armored vehicles and artillery, but he continues to stress the need for jets.
Zelenskyy argued these hot ticket items were crucial in combating Russian forces and unblocking access to Mariupol – a southern port city that has been heavily pummeled by shelling and is believed to be partially besieged by the invading troops.
Russia may have used phosphorus munition in Mariupol: Ukraine
Zelenskyy: ‘To be brave is to be Ukraine’
At least 9 dead in overnight attacks across Ukraine: report
Over 6,200 explosive devices were found and neutralized: Ukraine
Ukraine’s State Emergency Service found 6,252 explosive devices, which were then neutralized.
Ukraine’s foreign ministry shares video of Mariupol drama theater destroyed by Russia’s military
Russia’s military losses as of April 12: report
Ukraine’s military destroyed four tanks, seven aerial targets, spokesman says
Ukraine’s soldiers destroyed four tanks, five armored units, 26 vehicles and eight enemy artillery systems during skirmishes in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Spokesman Oleksandr Shtupun said in a statement.
The Ukrainian Air Force also struck seven air targets: one plane, two helicopters and four unmanned aerial vehicles, Shtupun added.
Ukraine’s National Guard accused Russia of using ‘chemical agents’ in Mariupol attack
Ukraine’s National Guard Azov regiment has accused Russia of using chemical weapons during an assault on the southern port city of Mariupol Monday afternoon, according to a report.
The missile attack included a “poisonous substance” that resulted in “disastrous consequences” for its victims, some of whom now suffer from “respiratory failure, vestibulo-atactic syndrome,” Azov leader Andriy Biletsky said on Telegram.
The U.S. and the U.K. have been unable to confirm the use of a chemical agent in the attack.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the attack potentially included “tear gas mixed with chemical agents” and that the U.S. would continue to investigate the claim.
Russia’s latest attack on Mariupol comes amid a six-week siege on the city, which has left more than 10,000 civilians dead, according to its governor.
Corpses “carpeted through the streets” of Mariupol, said Mayor Vadym Boychenko, who also predicted the death toll could exceed 20,000.
About 120,000 civilians remain in the city, desperate for food and water, the mayor added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
UK working to confirm reports of chemical attack in Ukraine
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said her government was looking to confirm reports that Russian forces used chemical agents in an attack on Mariupol.
“Any use of such weapons would be a callous escalation in this conflict and we will hold Putin and his regime to account,” Truss said on Twitter Monday.
Ukraine: Over 4,300 people evacuated Monday
The Ukrainian government assisted in the evacuation of 4,354 people from Mairupol and other Ukrainian cities on Monday, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a statement.
On Telegram, Vereshchuk said over 550 people from the group were evacuated from Mairupol while another nearly 3,300 were evacuated from the towns of Polohy, Vasylivka, Berdiansk and Melitopol.
Over 500 people were also evacuated out of Lysychansk, Sievierodonetsk, Rubizhne, Kreminna and Popasna, the deputy minister added.
The individuals were mostly taken to Zaporizhia, Ukrinform reported.
Click here for Monday’s live coverage