Here’s a quick summary of today’s events

  • Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, is expected to ask Washington for more heavy weapons when he meets the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, and the US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, later today. Blinken and Austin will be the most senior US officials to visit Kyiv since the war began two months ago. Zelenskiy announced the planned visit at a news conference on Saturday night. The White House has not responded.
  • Latest UNHCR data reveals almost 5.2 million Ukrainians have fled the country. More than 1,151,000 Ukrainians have left during April so far, compared with 3.4 million in the month of March alone. Beyond that, the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimates more than 7.7 million people have been displaced within Ukraine.
  • In his Easter Sunday message, Zelenskiy said the religious festival “gives us great hope and unwavering faith that light will overcome darkness, good will overcome evil, life will overcome death, and therefore Ukraine will surely win”.
  • Pope Francis has used the Orthodox Easter weekend to once again appeal for a truce in Ukraine “to ease the suffering of exhausted people”.
  • Ukraine says hundreds of its forces and civilians are trapped inside the Azovstal steel plant in the city of Mariupol, which Russia has been trying to take for two months. Although Moscow had earlier declared victory in Mariupol and said its forces did not need to take the factory, the Ukrainian authorities say Russian forces have resumed air strikes and are trying to storm the plant.
  • Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdoğan and Zelenskiy have discussed Mariupol during a telephone call. Turkey is ready to give all possible assistance during negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, the Turkish presidency said on Sunday.
  • The UN has called for an “immediate stop” to fighting in Mariupol so that civilians trapped in the city can be evacuated today.

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