Ukrainian authorities have discovered a mass burial site of more than 440 bodies in the eastern town of Izium which was recaptured from Russian forces, a regional police chief said. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy compared the discovery to what happened in Bucha near Kyiv at the start of the war, Reuters reported. “Russia is leaving death behind everywhere and must be held responsible for it,” he said.
European Union chief Ursula von der Leyen has said she wants Russian President Vladimir Putin to be brought before the international criminal court on war crimes in Ukraine. “That Putin has to lose this war and face his actions is important to me,” she told German broadcaster Bild on Thursday.
Ukraine lost nearly 15% of its grain storage capacity during the war, threatening its role as a key food supplier to the world, says a report. The US government-backed Conflict Monitor said the Russians seized 6.24 million tons of food storage capacity and another 2.25 million tons of capacity in Ukrainian hands was destroyed, reported Agence France-Presse. As a result, farmers were running out of space to store their produce for shipment, which could discourage planting for the next crop, especially winter wheat, the report said.
Pope Francis says it is morally right for countries to supply arms to Ukraine to help defend itself against Russian aggression. “It is a political decision which can be moral, morally acceptable, if taken under conditions of morality… Self-defense is not only lawful but also an expression of love for the fatherland”, a- he declared. “Someone who doesn’t defend himself, who doesn’t defend something, doesn’t like it. those who defend [something] to like.”
Vladimir Putin thanked Chinese leader Xi Jinping for his ‘balanced’ approach to Ukraine crisis and slammed Washington’s ‘ugly’ policyin a meeting that followed a major setback for Moscow on the battlefield. Putin told his Chinese counterpart on Thursday: “We understand your questions and concerns in this regard, and we will certainly offer a detailed explanation of our position on this issue at today’s meeting, even if we already have some. talked about earlier.”
Germany will supply Ukraine with additional armored vehicles and rocket launchers, but will not supply battle tanks that Kyiv has long requested, says German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht. She said on Thursday that Soviet-made BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles would also be heading “very quickly” to Ukraine from Greece.
The 35-nation board of governors of the UN nuclear watchdog passed a resolution demanding that Russia end its occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, reports Reuters. Thursday’s resolution is the second on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine adopted by the board of directors of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
US President Joe Biden announced a new $600 million arms package for Ukraine, according to a White House memo sent Thursday to the State Department. Reuters reports that the memo does not detail how the money will be used, but sources said it was to include ammunition and more Himars rocket systems.
The United States imposed new sanctions on 22 Russian individuals and two Russian entities. These people include Maria Alexeyevna Lvova-Belova, Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights, who led Russia’s efforts to deport thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia and forced the adoption of Ukrainian children in Russian families. Entities include Task Force Rusich, a neo-Nazi paramilitary group that saw combat alongside the Russian military in Ukraine.
Ukrainian volunteer doctor captured by Russian forces in their deadly siege of Mariupol has given devastating testimony before US lawmakers on Thursday, recounting his experiences of torture, death and terror. Yuliia Paievska, who was detained in the port city in March and held by Russian and pro-Russian forces for three months, spoke to the Helsinki Commission, a government agency set up in part to promote respect for human rights of man at the international level.