Live Updates l Blinken says US diplomats will visit Kyiv again – The Journal

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said US diplomats plan to return to Ukraine as soon as possible

LVIV, Ukraine – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said US diplomats plan to return to Ukraine as soon as possible.

Blinken made the comment during an interview with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. An overnight statement said Blinken told Kuleba that America “plans to return to Kyiv as soon as possible.”

He said diplomats had made “first visits” to Lviv to prepare.

The United States evacuated its embassy in kyiv in February just before Russia launched its war against the country. The United States had brought diplomats across the Polish border every day to work in Lviv, a city in western Ukraine about 470 kilometers (290 miles), before stopping the practice .

Lviv has been largely spared the conflict, although a missile strike a few days ago targeted a railway facility near the city.

The United States is one of Ukraine’s biggest backers in the war, providing billions in aid and weaponry.

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINE WAR:

– Ukrainian forces fight Russia’s brutal advance in the eastern region of Donbass

– Wives of Mariupol defenders appeal for evacuation of final resistance soldiers

– Some Ukrainians cross the front line towards homes, despite the dangers

– Ukrainian women learn to demine during a course in Kosovo

– Angelina Jolie makes a surprise visit to Ukraine and meets children

Follow all AP stories on Russia’s war on Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

LVIV, Ukraine – The British military says the Russian ruble will be used as currency in a Ukrainian town that Moscow seized earlier in the war.

The British military has written that the city of Kherson will begin a four-month transition from the Ukrainian hryvnia to the ruble from Sunday. Britain’s Ministry of Defense said the move “indicates Russia’s intention to exert strong political and economic influence in Kherson over the long term.”

He added: “Enduring control of Kherson and its transport links will increase Russia’s ability to maintain its advance to the north and west and improve the security of Russia’s control over Crimea.”

Kherson lies about 450 kilometers (280 miles) southeast of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. Russia seized the city just across the Crimean peninsula in early March.

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KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy switched to Russian in his nightly video address to urge Russian soldiers not to fight in Ukraine, saying even their generals expected thousands of them to die.

He said Russia was recruiting new troops “with little motivation and little combat experience” for units that were emptied in the first weeks of the war so that those units could be sent back to battle.

He said Russian commanders fully understood that thousands of them would die and thousands more would be injured in the coming weeks.

“Russian commanders lie to their soldiers when they tell them that they can expect to be held seriously responsible for refusing to fight and also don’t tell them, for example, that the Russian army is preparing trucks extra cold stores to store the bodies.. They don’t tell them about the new losses that the generals expect,” Zelenskyy said on Saturday evening.

“Every Russian soldier can still save his own life. It is better for you to survive in Russia than to perish on our land,” he said.

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STOCKHOLM – Sweden says a Russian military plane violated Swedish airspace.

The incident happened on Friday evening in the Baltic Sea near the island of Bornholm.

In a statement on Saturday, the Swedish armed forces said a Russian AN-30 propeller plane flew into Swedish airspace and briefly entered it before leaving the area.

The Swedish Air Force dispatched fighter jets which photographed the Russian aircraft.

Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist told Swedish Public Radio the breach was “unacceptable” and “unprofessional”.

In a similar incident in early March, four Russian warplanes violated Swedish airspace over the Baltic Sea.

Both Sweden and neighboring Finland are considering joining NATO after Russia invaded Ukraine. Moscow warned that such a decision would have consequences, without giving details.

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LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed the progress of the UN effort to evacuate residents of the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol and “offered the UK’s continued economic and humanitarian support” during a meeting on Saturday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskky.

“The Prime Minister reiterated that he is more determined than ever to strengthen Ukraine and to make (Russian President Vladimir) Putin fail, noting how hard Ukrainians are fighting for their freedom,” the Prime Minister said. Johnson’s office in Downing Street.

“He confirmed that the UK would continue to provide additional military aid to give the Ukrainians the equipment they needed to defend themselves,” the statement said.

The United Nations tried to negotiate an evacuation in the port city where some 100,000 civilians are. According to Ukrainian officials, up to 1,000 civilians live under a Soviet-era steel mill in Mariupol.

Ukraine did not say how many fighters were also at the plant, but the Russians put the number at around 2,000.

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A Russian rocket attack has destroyed an airstrip in Odessa, Ukraine’s third-largest city and a key Black Sea port, the Ukrainian military said on Saturday.

In a Telegram post, Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command said there was no way the Odessa runway could be used following the rocket attack.

Local authorities have urged area residents to shelter in place as Ukraine’s UNIAN news agency, citing military sources, reported that “several” explosions were heard in Odessa.

The Odessa regional governor said the rocket was fired from Russian-occupied Crimea. Maksym Marchenko said no injuries were reported.

Russian forces have embarked on a major military operation to seize significant parts of southern and eastern Ukraine, the country’s industrial heartland, and capture the Black Sea and Eastern Sea coasts. Azov.

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KYIV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s national grid operator says it has restored “reliable” power to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, around the site of the 1986 nuclear reactor disaster.

“In the afternoon, the last necessary 330 kV power transmission line was put into operation,” state-owned Ukrenergo wrote in a Telegram post on Saturday.

According to the same article, Ukrenergo also restored another 330 kV line in the northern region of Kyiv last night, helping to stabilize the capital’s energy supply. He said the reconstruction of new transmission lines in and around Kyiv was still ongoing.

Oleksiy Onoschenko, 42, rescues books from his house destroyed during the Russian occupation in Irpin, on the outskirts of kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A car is pictured damaged by shrapnel from an explosion in Irpin, on the outskirts of kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Local residents close the windows of a building with plywood after a Russian shelling in Dobropillya, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

The body of a civilian lies in an apartment as Russian shelling continues in a village recently retaken by Ukrainian forces near Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

This recent but undated handout photo provided Friday, April 29, 2022 by the wife of a member of the Azov regiment shows a woman comforting an injured man inside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, eastern from Ukraine. (Anonymous via AP)

People sit in a bus during the evacuation of Lyman, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

A boy looks out of a bus during an evacuation of civilians in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)

A couple kiss in central kyiv on Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Destroyed houses are pictured in Irpin, on the outskirts of kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A Ukrainian serviceman walks through a basement used as a bomb shelter during Russian attacks in a village recently retaken by Ukrainian forces near Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Ukrainian women wait for the start of a religious service to commemorate the victims of the Russian occupation in Zdvyzhivka, on the outskirts of kyiv, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Spouses, relatives and activists take part in a rally calling on international leaders to organize a humanitarian corridor for the evacuation of Ukrainian military and civilians from Mariupol, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in central kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

A man pays respect to foreign citizens killed during the Russian-Ukrainian war near a memorial sign reading ‘Foreigners killed by Putin’ in a central square in kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. The names of foreigners killed are written on the Ukrainian Flags. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

A woman receives humanitarian aid from a volunteer in Lyman, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

People walk past wrecked military vehicles in Bucha, on the outskirts of kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A view of a destroyed railway bridge over the Siverskiy Donets river near Raigorodka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Destroyed houses are pictured in Irpin, on the outskirts of kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A Ukrainian serviceman speaks with a resident of a basement used as a bomb shelter during Russian attacks in a village recently retaken by Ukrainian forces near Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

An elderly couple drink tea in the basement of their home in Lyman, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

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