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Russia says its flagship 'Moskva' ship has sunk

April 14, 2022

Russia's Defense Ministry said the warship sank while being towed to port after suffering damage from a fire. Ukraine earlier said it had struck the ship with missiles.

'Moskva' takes part in a naval artillery drill
Moskva took part in fighting in Syria and was also deployed near Crimea in the early days of the 2014 crisisImage: Russian Navy Black Sea Fleet/TASS/dpa/picture alliance
  • Russian flagship in Black Sea has sunk, says Russia
  • Former Ukrainian Foreign Minister says Kyiv "disappointed" with Germany
  • Ukraine's Zelenskyy says Germany did not inquire about Steinmeier visit
  • Kyiv hopes to resume evacuations via humanitarian corridors
  • Wladimir Klitschko tells DW Kyiv is coming "back to life"

This live updates article is now closed.

Ukraine's Zelenskyy thanks Ukrainians for 50 days of resistance

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the Ukrainian people for 50 days of resistance to Russia's invasion of the country in his daily video address published late on Thursday.

"Thanks to God, the armed forces of Ukraine and our people — we have defended most of our country," Zelenskyy said.

"50 days of our defense is an achievement. An achievement of millions of Ukrainians," he added.

"To put it mildly, nobody was convinced that we would survive."

Ukraine play-off with Scotland rearranged to June 1

Ukraine's 2022 World Cup play-off with Scotland will take place on June 1, FIFA has announced. The one-off match will be held at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

FIFA had postponed the initial date of March 24 at Ukraine's request.

The winners of the match will play Wales on June 5 in Cardiff.

Wales, Scotland and Austria, who were also in contention until losing in Cardiff, also supported the request.

Russia was expelled from the World Cup in February "until further notice" by FIFA and UEFA.

Germans should save energy to reduce reliance on Russian imports

Germany's economy minister Robert Habeck said that Germans should start saving energy as a way to become more independent from Russian gas and oil.

"Every kilometer not driven is a contribution to making it easier to get away from Russian energy supplies. We are also protecting the climate," Habeck said in interview with Funke Media Group.

Habeck said that it was possible to cut individual energy consumption by 10%.

"Wherever possible, one could work from home one or two days a week again - initially on a voluntary basis," Habeck added.

Is Germany ready to go all in on Ukraine?

Russia poses nuclear threat — CIA

CIA director William Burns warned on Thursday that Moscow could use a tactical or low-yield nuclear weapon in light of setbacks suffered in Ukraine.

"Given the potential desperation of President Putin and the Russian leadership, given the setbacks that they've faced so far, militarily, none of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons," Burns said.

Russia put its nuclear forces on high alert shortly after the invasion began on February 24. However, Burns said that the United States had not seen "a lot of practical evidence" of actual deployments.

Will Putin's war go nuclear?

US 'Moskva' sinking a 'big blow' for Russia's Black Sea fleet

After Russia confirmed their Black Sea flagship "Moskva" had sunk, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the incident would "have an effect on their capabilities."

"This is a big blow to the Black Sea fleet, this is... a key part of their efforts to execute some sort of naval dominance in the Black Sea," Kirby told CNN.

Russia says warship 'Moskva' has sunk: DW's Konstantin Eggert

People in Mariupol are being 'starved to death,' WFP chief tells AP

The head of the World Food Program, David Beasley, told the AP news agency that his agency and other aid organizations have trouble getting access to civilians in Ukraine.

"I don't see any of that easing up. I just don't see it happening right now," he told AP. Activists are also struggling with the lack of manpower and fuel in the war-torn country.

Beasley specifically decried the situation in the besieged port city of Mariupol, saying that Russian forces have been blocking humanitarian aid.

"We will not give up on the people of Mariupol and other people that we cannot reach. But it's a devastating situation: the people being starved to death," he said.

Mounting evidence of Russian war crimes

Germany seizes superyacht linked to Russian oligarch Usmanov

After weeks of investigation, German police officially seized a vessel belonging to Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov. The 156-meter (1,680-feet) long "Dilbar" is believed to be one of the world's most expensive superyachts, with Forbes magazine estimating its value at $600 million (€555 million).

German authorities had struggled to determine the owner of the ship anchored in Hamburg. Luxury yachts are usually listed as property of holdings or shell companies registered in tax havens to hide their real owners. Eventually, they determined that the 68-year-old Usmanov had taken possession of the ship when it was finished in 2016 and subsequently passed the ownership to his sister Gulbakhor Ismailova.

Both Usmanov and his sister are targeted by sanctions that Western countries introduced against Russia over the war in Ukraine. Authorities in various EU countries have seized dozens of luxury ships and properties owned by pro-Kremlin businessmen.

Biden hints at being willing to visit Ukraine

The US government was considering sending senior officials into Kyiv, US President Joe Biden said, as the focus of the conflict moved towards eastern Ukraine.

"We're making that decision now," Biden told reporters when asked about US representatives visiting the Ukrainian capital.

Moreover, the US president appeared to say that he was also willing to visit Kyiv.

When a reporter asked Biden if he himself would go, Biden answered "Yeah."

Russia says its Black Sea flagship 'Moskva' has sunk

The heavily damaged "Moskva" warship has sunk while being towed to port, the Russian Defense Ministry said late on Thursday.

Previously, Ukrainian forces said they had hit the ship with a missile strike. Russians denied the ship had been struck and said a fire had broke out on board, causing ammunition to explode.

In their statement on the sinking, Russian officials said that the ship sunk "in stormy conditions" due to hull damage "sustained during the fire from detonating ammunition."

They also repeated that all crew members had been evacuated.

Kharkiv governor says over 500 civilians killed in Ukraine region

Ukrainian officials said 503 civilians were killed in the country's second largest city, Kharkiv, and the surrounding region since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

The death toll also includes 24 children, according to Kharkiv Governor Oleg Synegubov.

"This is an innocent civilian population, we will not forgive them for any life!" he wrote on Telegram.

Kharkiv, which had a pre-war population of 1.5 million, is located some 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Russian border. It faced heavy bombing since the fighting started although Russian forces have not entered the city.

Fleeing Ukraine: 'Bullets and bombs don't know skin colour'

Ukraine makes fresh calls for German weapons

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has called on Germany to make a "quick decision" on weapons deliveries to Ukraine.

Speaking to German public broadcaster ARD, Kuleba said: "Germany is playing a leading role in Europe and we are counting on that leadership."

"I hope that (German Chancellor Olaf) Scholz will make a positive decision," Kuleba told ARD.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine led to a U-turn in Germany's policy of not sending weapons to areas of conflict.  Berlin pledged to supply Kyiv with anti-tank weaponry and missiles. Before the invasion and the shift in policy, Germany had offered helmets and medical supplies.

Baerbock: Ukraine needs 'most of all, heavy weapons'

French embassy to return to Kyiv 'very soon'

France's foreign ministry said on Thursday that its embassy in Ukraine would return to Kyiv. France had made the decision to move the embassy earlier in March following Russia's invasion.

"This redeployment will happen very soon and will allow France to deepen its backing for Ukraine even further in all spheres to face the war unleashed by Russia on February 24," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

German FM says Finland and Sweden 'welcome' in NATO

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock says countries should be at liberty to choose their defensive partnerships of their own accord.

"It is the right of every country ... to freely choose its defence alliances," Baerbock said while on a visit to Niger.

"If Finland and Sweden choose to do so, then they are welcome," Baerbock said but stressed that the decision rested solely with with Finland and Sweden.

Germany's top diplomat was commenting after Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Wednesday said that she expected lawmakers in Helsinki to reach a decision on possible NATO membership "within weeks."

Russia's security council head, Dimitry Medvedev said that if Sweden and Finland were to join NATO then "we can no longer speak about nuclear-free status for the Baltics."

On Thursday, Medvedev mentioned on his Telegram channel the possibility of deploying nuclear-armed vessels in the region, which would place Finland and Sweden at risk.

Ukraine rejects Russian claims of border area attacks

Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council has rejected Russia's claims that attacks were launched around the border area between the two countries.

In a statement the council accused Russia of mounting "terror attacks" on its own territory in an effort to incite "anti-Ukrainian hysteria."

"There have been several terrorist attacks on the Russian border, in which the Russian leadership accuses Ukrainian sabotage and intelligence groups," it added.

Russia had earlier accused Ukraine of mortar shelling a town Klimovo in the western Bryansk region reporting eight people had been injured. Later, the Russian version was changed and Ukraine was accused of sending two helicopters to bomb Klimovo.

The latest information on the location of Russian troops in Ukraine
The latest information on the location of Russian troops in Ukraine

Ukraine's rail workers are a 'second army'

DW spoke with Alexander Kamyshin, CEO of Ukrainian Railway, about running rail services during the Russian invasion.

Kamyshin said that Russian shelling affects "from at least one to three stations" per day, but the railway workers keep repairing tracks, bridges and stations "because that's the lifeline of the country and that's the lifeline of passenger traffic and of humanitarian aid."

"After the real army, railwaymen are the second army of Ukraine," Kamyshin said. "We start repairing the tracks once the shelling is over and in a few hours we are ready to move on."

Kamyshin did however say the railway workers have also suffered. "We lost 94 people and 99 are injured."

War and resistance in Kyiv

Ukrainian central bank says economy could shrink by a third

Ukraine's economy will gradually recover after the Russian invasion, but GDP may shrink by at least a third in 2022, the National Bank of Ukraine reported on Thursday.

According to its statement, private consumption will decline due to the the millions who have fled the country, there will be growing unemployment and declining income and savings on secondary expenditures.

Inflation could exceed 20%, but will remain under control, the regulator predicts.

Putin accuses Western banks of failing to make payments for Russian gas

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Western banks of failing to make payments for Russian gas on Thursday. "There are defaults on export deliveries of Russian energy resources," Putin said during a meeting about the development of Russia's energy sector.

"Banks from these extremely unfriendly states are withholding the transfer of payments," the president said. In late March, Putin demanded that EU countries pay for deliveries of Russian gas in Russian roubles.

Putin also warned against any embargo on Russian gas and oil, something Ukraine has been calling for. He reiterated that Russia wants to sell more of its raw materials to other regions of the world in future.

IMF says war in Ukraine threatens global economy

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that Russia's invasion of Ukraine has weakened the economic outlook of most of the world's countries.

Kristalina Georgieva said that high inflation was also "a clear and present danger" to the global economy.

"For the first time in many years, inflation has become a clear and present danger for many countries around the world. This is a massive setback for the global recovery. In economic terms, growth is down and inflation is up. In human terms, people’s incomes are down and hardship is up."

Georgieva said that Russia's war in Ukraine had led to economic downgrades of 186 countries and had disrupted trade in energy and grain, causing fears of food shortages in Africa and the Middle East.

War in the world's breadbasket

Germany will help restore the football stadium in Chernihiv

Germany and Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund are ready to help restore the Chernihiv football stadium destroyed during the Russian occupation, Ukrainian Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko wrote on Facebook after talks with Germany's Commissioner for Culture Claudia Roth.

According to Tkachenko, Borussia Dortmund said the move was also a nod to the Ukrainian football player Andriy Yarmolenko who started his career in Chernihiv and played in Dortmund in 2017/2018.

The Ukrainian minister also stressed that Germany underlined its unchanged stance on the importance of moving the 45th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee from the Russian city of Kazan.

30 Ukrainians return home in prisoner swap with Russia

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk reported that 30 prisoners of war were being returned to the country as part of the fourth exchange of captives with Russia, following an order from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

"Five officers and 17 servicemen were exchanged. Also eight civilians, including one woman, were released. In total, 30 of our citizens are going home today," Vereshchuk said in a Facebook post.

She didn’t mention how many Russians were exchanged in a swap.

Russians unlikely to succeed in Donbas, military analyst tells DW

Military analyst and former general in the UK armed forces, Chris Deverell, told DW that he believes "the Russians have given up on trying to take Odesa" and instead send any troops that are freed up from Mariupol into Donbas.

However, Deverell doesn't think the Russians will have much progress there. The Ukrainians are "well dug in" and are "well equipped or certainly increasingly well equipped by Western munitions and weapons," adding that around half of Ukrainian forces may be already deployed in that region.

"The Russian armed forces would have to get considerably more effective to do so… I don't think they're going to succeed even with their more limited objectives," Deverell told DW.

"What they can do is a lot of damage to Ukrainian infrastructure and kill a lot of civilians," he said, adding that "I think the volume of munitions fired by the Russians is going to increase, and it's going to be horrible."

Ukraine claims it hit Russian flagship

Ex-boxing champ Wladimir Klitschko says Kyiv getting back to life

The brother of Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko, who is fighting against invading Russian troops as a member of Ukraine's territorial defense forces, about the situation in the capital and eastern Ukraine, has been speaking to DW about the situation on the ground in the Ukrainian capital.

The former boxing heavyweight champion, who is fighting against invading Russian troops as a member of Ukraine's territorial defense forces, said the city was coming back to life but that great caution was still needed.

"In the past days, you could tell that Kyiv is getting back to life, so to speak. You see more people on the streets as well as more cars on the roads," he said.

"But even though the city is getting back to life, we need to be really cautious about how many people come back to the city, to the capital, because we do believe that Russians will not be going anywhere, but will still be aiming at the capital."

Klitschko also denied reports from the Russian side that the besieged port city of Mariupol had fallen to the invaders, but said the situation there was dire.

Wladimir Klitschko speaks with DW

"I'm proud of our country, women and men, for standing together against this senseless war and Russian aggression, especially in the city of Mariupol," he said.

We are prepared for anything, as we were for the past, in the worst case for attacks with chemical weapons," he said, adding: "Obviously, we need to have supplies and support from the free world and our allies and partners on the humanitarian side, military equipment" and the continuance of sanctions on Russia. 

Russian governor reports clashes on the Russian-Ukrainian border

The governor of Russia's western Bryansk region Alexander Bogomaz accused the Ukrainian army of mortar shelling of houses in the village of Klimovo.

"Two residential buildings were damaged as a result of the shelling and there were casualties among the residents", Bogomaz said on his Telegram channel. According to him, seven people were wounded, including a child.

Earlier on Thursday, Russian authorities said mortars had landed near a border facility in the same Bryansk region.

However, the head of the Ukrainian Border Guard Service Serhii Deineko reported on fire from the Russian border guards that was recorded on Wednesday in Chernihiv region.

The situation on the Ukrainian-Russian border remains difficult. Earlier, Russian troops were withdrawn from the Chernihiv region in northeastern Ukraine, which borders Russia's Bryansk region.

Contradictory reports about the Russian warship

Russia's Defense Ministry said that sailors had contained a fire on board the Moskva missile cruiser, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea fleet, and that measures were being taken to tow it back to port.

The ministry also announced the cruiser's main weaponry had not been damaged and that its crew had been evacuated onto other ships in the Black Sea.

However, Ukraine's southern military command said in a Facebook post that Moskva was hit with a Neptune missile on Wednesday, causing significant damage, and that the ship had started sinking.

The southern military command also mentioned that Russian rescue ships were hampered by ammunition exploding on board as well as bad weather.

DW is unable to verify the statements of Russian Defense Ministry and Ukrainian southern military command.

The Moskva was originally built in the Soviet era and was previously deployed in the Syria conflict where it served as naval protection for the Russian forces' Hmeimim airbase.

A map showing the stats on Russian Navy cruiser Moskva that was damaged and evacuated off coast of Odesa
The Russian vessel was damaged off the coast of Odesa

Russia weighs options if Finland or Sweden join NATO

Russian President Vladimir Putin will consider measures to strengthen Russia’s security should Finland or Sweden join the NATO military alliance

Finland, which shares a 1,300-kilometer (810-mile) border with Russia, and its neighbor Sweden have said they are considering joining the alliance. 

In a conference call with reporters, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the defense ministry still needed time to draft its response to any such move. He said Putin would assess the proposals once they were presented to him. 

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said her country would decide in the next few weeks. 

Peskov's comments came after Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, said Russia would have to bolster its defenses in the region and that this would include deploying nuclear weapons.

Medvedev, Russia’s president from 2008 to 2012 who also served as prime minister under Putin, said Russia would need to strengthen its naval and air forces in the Baltic region. 

He noted that the development would more than double the land border between NATO states and Russia. He also indicated Russia would be moved to deploy nuclear weapons in the region if the countries did join.

"Until today, Russia has not taken such measures and was not going to," Medvedev said. "If our hand is forced well... take note it wasn't us who proposed this," he added. 

President of the Czech Senate visits Ukraine

President of the Senate of the Czech Republic Milos Vystrcil together with Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk visited Borodyanka, a small Ukrainian town in Kyiv region that was devastated during the Russian occupation.

"In the Czech Senat we know what is happening in Ukraine, yet we consider it necessary and right to see the monstrosities with our own eyes. To tell those who claim that there is no looting, barbaric acts, brutality: we have seen that you are wrong", Vystrcil wrote on Twitter.

Former UN official: Russian war crimes in Ukraine 'undeniable'

DW spoke with Andrew Gilmour, a former UN assistant secretary general for human rights and executive director of the Berghof Foundation for conflict resolution in Berlin, about the hopes for peace in Ukraine.

Gilmour highlighted the importance of Ukraine making peace on its own terms, not on what the West wants and said that it is "undeniable" that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed by Russia in Ukraine.

However, he warned against using the term genocide, saying it's "too early to tell."

"But don't forget, Nuremberg was based on crimes against humanity. These are not petty crimes," he added.

The former UN assistant secretary general for human rights also warned western powers to "stop talking about attacks on the rules-based order."

"The vast majority of the world look at the West and say, look what you did in Iraq, Afghanistan, in Libya, in Yemen, in Palestine. Who the hell are you to talk about attacks on the UN rules-based order?" he added, saying this could alienate countries that are neither aligned with NATO nor Russia.

Why is the Donbas so important to Putin?

Hundreds of Ukrainian firms relocate

According to Ukraine's Ministry of Economy, at least 300 Ukrainian companies have been relocated from the war zone to safer areas.

"Already 300 companies have moved their facilities and personnel to the western regions of Ukraine under the relocation program. 121 of them are already working", the ministry reported in a statement.

In total, about one and a half thousand Ukrainian companies have announced their intention to move to a safe place, the statement said.

Green lawmaker urges Scholz to give way on weapons 

After a visit to Western Ukraine, Green Party politician Anton Hofreiter told DW he thought Germany needed to change course and supply heavy weapons to Ukraine. 

Hofreiter, the head of the Bundestag's Europe's Committee, criticized Chancellor Olaf Scholz for not doing so. 

"Wiith his actions, the chancellor is not only damaging the situation in Ukraine, but he is doing massive damage to Germany's reputation in Europe and in the world."

"Finally, get off the brakes and give way," Hofreiter urged. 

The Green poltician added that he considered it a mistake that German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had been uninvited from a visit to Ukraine with other heads of state. However, he said he understood the decision of the Ukrainian government, which has been calling for Berlin to do more to help.  

"Ukraine is under massive pressure and it does not want symbolic gestures of solidarity but concrete action," Hofreiter said. 

DW's Alexandra von Nahmen reports from Kyiv

Mariupol's mayor says city remains Ukrainian 

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko has rejected Russian claims of the capture of the port in the southeastern Ukrainian city. "I consider it a false report," Boychenko told German broadcaster ARD by videolink. 

"My stance is, of course, skeptical; Russian lies we hear at every turn, which is why I recommend using only verified information." 

"We are firmly convinced: Mariupol was, is and will remain a Ukrainian city."

"Our defenders have been defending the city for over 50 days, and Mariupol has grown close to the hearts of Ukrainians. That's how it is and that's how it will stay." 

Mariupol has been under siege since the first days after the Russian invasion on February 24. Meanwhile, the city, once home to more than 400,000 people, has been largely destroyed. 

Boychenko has said the siege has killed more than 10,000 civilians with the death toll possibly standing at 20,000. He claims that Russian forces have brought mobile cremation equipment to dispose of evidence of war crimes

Russia 'likely' to succeed in Mariupol

Ukraine hopes humanitarian corridors can open

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says nine humanitarian corridors have been agreed for Thursday to evacuate civilians.

They include a route for people to leave the besieged city of Mariupol by private car.

Other corridors from Berdiansk, Tokmak and Enerhodar, and in the eastern Luhansk region are to operate if occupying Russian forces stop their shelling, Vereshchuk added.

Ukrainian authorities are urging people in Ukraine's southeastern Donbas area to move west quickly ahead of a feared, large-scale Russian offensive to capture the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Russian warship in Black Sea damaged in blaze

A Russian warship in the Black Sea was "seriously damaged" as a result of a fire that detonated stored ammunition, Russia's defense ministry said.

The ministry said the cause of the fire was being determined and that the crew had been evacuated.  

The missile cruiser is the flagship of Russia's Black Sea fleet. It was the vessel that became known earlier in the war when it called on Ukrainian soldiers defending the strategic Snake Island to surrender.

Earlier, the governor of the Odesa region said that Ukrainian forces had hit the Moskva with missile strikes.

"Neptune missiles guarding the Black Sea caused very serious damage to the Russian ship. Glory to Ukraine!" Odesa regional governor Maksym Marchenko said.

Ukraine war: Odesa prepares for the worst

However, the Ukraine presidency says it is unclear what happened.

The Moskva was originally built in the Soviet era and was previously deployed in the Syria conflict where it served as naval protection for the Russian forces' Hmeimim airbase.

Russian superyacht seized by Fiji police

Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov's superyacht has been seized by police in the Pacific country of Fiji.

The 106-meter yacht, which is worth about $325 million (€298 million), docked in Fiji on Tuesday. Reuters reported that the captain of the vessel was being questioned on how it came to Fiji without customs clearance.

Kerimov has been sanctioned by the United States and the European Union.

"The United States is committed to finding and seizing the assets of the oligarchs who have supported the Russian Federation's brutal, unprovoked war of choice against Ukraine," the US embassy in Fiji said.

Australia imposes sanctions on Russian enterprises

Australia imposed sanctions on 14 Russian state-owned enterprises on Thursday, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a statement.

Sanctioned firms include truckmaker Kamaz, the shipping companies SEVMASH and United shipbuilding Corp, and Russian Railways.

Sanctions will also be applied to electronic company Ruselectronics, which is responsible for around 80% of all of Russia's electronics components.

US State Department defends Biden's use of term 'genocide'

US State Department official Victoria Nuland defended President Joe Biden's labeling of alleged atrocities committed in Ukraine as "genocide."

"I am going to predict that what President Biden called it is what we will ultimately likely find when we are able to gather all of this evidence," she said in an interview with CNN.

"What is happening on the ground is not an accident," Nuland said. "It is an intentional decision by Russia, by its forces to destroy Ukraine and its civilian population."

Biden said that it will be up to international lawyers to determine whether the acts of Russian forces fit the definition of "genocide."

Biden calls Putin's war in Ukraine 'genocide'

Ukraine's Zelenskyy says Germany did not inquire about Steinmeier visit

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Berlin never asked about a potential visit by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Kyiv.

Zelenskyy's remarks come after Steinmeier claimed that Ukraine did not want him to visit the country. Steinmeier said that Polish President Andrzej Duda had requested he join a joint trip with the leaders of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

"I as president and our office have not received any official inquiries from the Federal President and the Office of the Federal President regarding a visit to Ukraine," Ukrainian news agency UNIAN reported Zelenskyy as saying.

However, multiple German news agencies cited officials at the embassy in Kyiv as saying that they had received written notice on Tuesday that Steinmeier's visit was not desired, with the same message also communicated via other back channels. 

Fmr Ukrainian FM Pavlo Klimkin speaks to DW

Steinmeier snub shows Ukraine's 'frustration' with Germany

Kyiv has said it would welcome a visit from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz after apparently snubbing President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who holds a largely ceremonial role.

Former Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin suggested Steinmeier's offer to visit Kyiv might have been rejected because of overall "disappointment" and "frustration" about Berlin's role in the crisis.

"It's about sanctions, it's about German stubbornness," Klimkin told DW, adding that Russian oil and gas were big issues. "And of course, it's about military assistance."

When asked about how Kyiv could get Germany to impose an embargo on Russian oil and gas in accordance with its demands, Klimkin said that it should bring "German politicians to places where the Russians committed acts of genocide, like Bucha."

Are Russian gas and oil sanctions next?

"It's not about politics, it's about moral reality," Klimkin said, claiming that Russia wants to see the "extinction of Ukraine and [its] statehood." He went on to say that Russian President Vladimir Putin had deemed Ukraine the "anti-Russia."

Klimkin said that there was a perception in Ukraine that Germany was complicit in enabling Moscow to build up its war machine by buying Russian oil and gas and accused Berlin of doing "nothing" over many years to counter the Kremlin.

"I personally warned the German government hundreds of times," Klimkin stressed. "But nothing has been done."

Summary of events in Ukraine-Russia crisis on Wednesday

Dmytro Shyvytskyy, the governor of the north-eastern Ukrainian region of Sumy, said more than 100 bodies had been found after the withdrawal of Russian forces.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was "right" to describe Russia's aggression in Ukraine as "genocide" after US President Joe Biden used the term. French President Emmanuel Macron refused to apply the label to the actions of Russian forces, saying it wouldn't help de-escalate the situation.

War crimes charges over Ukraine face hurdles

Russia's Foreign Ministry announced sanctions against hundreds of lawmakers in the United States and Canada.

US President Joe Biden announced an additional $800 million (€735 million) in military assistance to Ukraine.

Russia's Defense Ministry said if attacks on Russian territories continue, its forces will strike Ukraine's command "centers."

The presidents of three Baltic states and Poland met with their Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the capital Kyiv. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was not among the European presidents to visit the Ukrainian capital, despite being in Poland on Tuesday.

dj, kb, rc, sdi/jsi, msh, rs (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)

Rail workers keep Ukraine running amid war