The pope called for a ceasefire ahead of Easter, “not with the aim of accumulating more weapons and ammunition, but so that we can create peace.” The Pope went on to say, “What kind of victory is putting a flag on a pile of ruins?”.
Nothing is impossible for God (Lk 1:37). He can even bring an end to a war whose end is not in sight, a war that daily places before our eyes heinous massacres and atrocious cruelty committed against defenseless civilians. #PrayTogether #Peace pic.twitter.com/tp5Yeq9gxm
– Pope Francis (@Pope) April 10, 2022
British intelligence claims that in order to increase the manpower in the Russian army, Russia is calling back into service soldiers who have been discharged from service from 2012 onwards.
An analysis of satellite photographs of the American company Maxar shows a long convoy of the Russian army passing through the town of Veliki Burlock towards the city of Kharkiv. The photos show a 13-kilometer convoy passing through on April 8 in a town in eastern Ukraine. Maxar notes that the convoy includes armored vehicles, artillery-carrying trucks and support equipment.
Earlier, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said that Russia was focusing its combat efforts on eastern Ukraine and that it would try to occupy Odessa, Kharkiv and Mariupol. Major General Kirilo Budanov, a senior Ukrainian intelligence official, said Russian forces were reorganizing in eastern Ukraine and planning to advance towards Kharkiv.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vershchuk says that Kyiv has agreed on nine humanitarian corridors to help people escape the harsh fighting in the east of the country. “All roads to the humanitarian corridors in the Luhansk region will work as long as there is a ceasefire by the occupying Russian forces,” Warszczuk announced on her telegram channel.
Earlier, area governor Sarhai Gaidi wrote in a telegram that nine trains had departed today to escape the residents.
A grave containing the bodies of dozens of Ukrainian citizens was found this morning in the village of Buzova near Kyiv, according to a Ukrainian official. Taras Didich, head of the Dmitrivka community that includes Bozova, told Ukrainian television that the bodies were found in a ditch, near a gas station. The death toll has not yet been confirmed.
“Now we are coming back to life, but during the occupation we had our ‘hot spots’, many civilians died,” Didich said yesterday.
Finland, numbering 5.5 million people, has traditionally been militarily neutral, in part to avoid provoking its eastern neighbor Russia, with which it shares a border of about 1,300 kilometers. The invasion of Russia by Ukraine on February 24 has led to an increase in public support for NATO membership: from 30% of the Finnish public has not yet invaded to 60% now, according to a series of polls conducted in the country. Said former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stab.
NATO officials told CNN that talks on Sweden and Finland joining the alliance had become “extremely serious” since the Russian invasion, and U.S. State Department officials said the issue came up at a meeting last week attended by foreign ministers from Stockholm and Helsinki.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zlansky tonight called for the imposition of “more painful restrictions” on Russia’s cash flow, and especially on its oil and gas business. “First of all, it applies to the oil business. The fully democratic world can give up Russian oil and make it toxic to all other countries,” he said, adding: “Oil is one of the two sources of Russian self-confidence, for their sense of impunity-punishment.”
“Ukraine has no time to wait. Freedom has no time to wait. When tyranny acts aggressively against everything that maintains peace in Europe, action must be taken immediately,” Zlansky said. “Action must be taken in principle, and the oil embargo should be the first step. At the level of all democracies, of the whole civilized world. Then Russia will feel it. Then it will become an argument for them to seek peace, to stop the pointless violence,” he argued.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zalansky / Photo: Associated Press, Ukrainian Presidential Press Office
Zalansky also called for sanctions on Russian gas, saying: “It is simply inevitable. Not only because of security, but also for environmental reasons.”
The Ukrainian president said his country was ready for battle with the Russian forces gathering in the east of the country. “It will be a tough battle, we believe in this struggle and in our victory. We are ready to fight and at the same time look for diplomatic ways to put an end to this war,” he explained.
In an interview with the AP, Zalansky reiterated his request for weapons from countries around the world and even stated that he is committed to peace despite the attacks by Russia.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who met with Zalansky in Kiev yesterday, has pledged to supply Ukraine with a large amount of British weapons and financial aid, including 120 armored vehicles and anti-ship missile systems. The Reuters news agency reports that the Czech Republic has provided Ukraine with tanks, rocket launchers, cannons and infantry vehicles worth hundreds of millions of dollars. According to two sources in the Czech Ministry of Defense, military shipments to Ukraine are expected to continue.