Russian Central Bank Cuts Interest Rate To 14 Percent, Predicts Economy Will Shrink By Up To 10 Percent

On April 29, Marieopol faded from the besieged port city of Hopes for an evacuation of civilians, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy noted there was little hope for broader peace talks with Moscow.

Zelenskiy’s office said that an operation was planned to get civilians out of the massive Azovstal steel plant, where some 2,000 Ukrainian fighters are holed-up together with about 1,000 civilians.

But there was no sign of an evacuation of the day’s end, and Zelenskiy later expressed concern over the prospect of overt pessimism in Russia, blaming the Russian public on the atrocities of the public.

“People (Ukrainians) want to kill them. When that kind of attitude exists, it’s hard to talk about things,” Interfax quoted him as saying.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discusses what is happening under the aegis of Kyiv.

On April 28, when UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he had been under intense negotiations, the steel plant from evacuate civilians had been under heavy attack. east.

Previous evacuation attempts have collapsed.

Zelenskiy said the constant “brutal” bombardments on infrastructure and residential areas show that Russia wants to empty [the Donbas region] of all people. “Speaking in his Nightly Address to the Nation on April 29, the said:” Therefore, our land of defense, of our people of defense, is literally a life for a fight. “

He said the cities and towns of the Donbas will survive only in Ukraine.

“If the Russian invaders are able to realize their plans even partially, then they have enough artillery and aircraft to turn into the entire Donbas. As they did with Mariupol. ”

Live Briefing: Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine

RFE / RL’s Live Briefing Russia’s invasion of the major developments, how Kyiv is fighting back, the plight of civilians, and Western reaction. For all of RFE / RL’s coverage of the war, click Here.

Zelenskiy said Mariupol, once the most developed city in the region, was now a “Russian concentration camp among the ruins.”

Kharkiv, a major city to the north, is “brutal,” he said, without elaborating.

Donbas is known in the region as one of the two eastern provinces in Russia.

Russia has refocused its capital from some towns and villages in the east, but says Moscow’s gains have come at a huge cost.

“We have serious losses but the Russians’ losses are too big … they have colossal losses,” said presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych.

In Washington, Congress prepared for US President Joe Biden’s request for $ 33 billion in support Ukraine, a massive jump in funding that includes more than $ 20 billion in weapons, ammunition, and other military aid.

The invasion began on February 24, representing a dramatic increased US involvement in the conflict.

Zelenskiy thanked Biden and the American people on Twitter.

“We defend common values ​​- democracy and freedom.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) said lawmakers hoped to pass the aid package “as soon as possible.”

President Vladimir Putin this week threatened unspecified retaliation for Western arms deliveries to Ukraine, and Lavrov said earlier this week that the West should not be underestimated.

But Lavrov took a step back from those comments on April 29, saying Russia did not consider itself to be at war with NATO.

Ukrainian officials said on April 29 pounded the entire front line of the eastern Donetsk region with regards to rockets, artillery, mortar bombs, and aircraft to regrouping Ukrainians.

US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby said Putin has shown that “civilians of the United States live for utter disregard.” “The coldest and most depraved sort of Russia’s war in Ukraine,” Kirby told reporters at the Pentagon.

“I do not think we are fully appreciated to the degree that he would visit that kind of violence and cruelty,” Kirby said in response to a reporter’s question about whether he thought Putin was acting rationally.

The Pentagon spokesman said he could not assess what Putin’s mind was saying but that “depravity” had been shown to civilians.

Earlier on April 29, RFE / RL announced the death of one of its journalists, Vira Hyrych, in a missile strike hit in Kyiv.

Hyrych’s body was found in her apartment building of the amid the wreckage, RFE / RL’s Ukrainian Service said.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of our Ukrainian Service Staff Vira Hyrych in Kyiv overnight. We have lost a dear colleague who will be remembered for her professionalism and dedication to our mission,” RFE / RL President Jamie Fly said in a statement.

“We are shocked and angered by the senseless nature of her death at home and for the country she loved. Her memory will inspire our work in Ukraine and beyond for years to come,” he added.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said Hyrych was going to bed when a Russian ballistic missile hit her apartment.

“Russia’s barbarism is incomprehensible,” Nikolenko said.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov claims that “long-range, high-precision” missiles had hit rocket manufacturer Artem.

The factory has been hit.

The United States is still trying to find a military target for a military strike or whether Russia may have simply “sent a message to the international community,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said on MSNBC.

The attack was an attack on the Ukrainian state, the Ukrainian people, and “those who are doing nothing more than the truth,” Price said. This fight in life. ”

Reporting with AFP, AP, Reuters, and dpa

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