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Latest Developments in Ukraine: April 24


Ambulance workers help an injured Ukrainian serviceman to move to a hospital in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, April 23, 2022.

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.​

Recap of April 24
FIGHTING
* The U.K. defense ministry's latest intelligence update says that while Russia has made some gains, Ukraine has inflicted "significant cost" on Russian force.
HUMANITARIAN
* Pope Francis called for halt to attacks in Ukraine so aid can reach the exhausted population.
* The International Committee of the Red Cross is “deeply alarmed by the situation” in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
DIPLOMACY
* Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky met U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Kyiv.
* Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the need for the immediate evacuation of civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol.
* Ukraine proposed a "special" round of negotiations with Russia to be held in the shadow of Mariupol's Azovstal steel plant to discuss the fate of the civilians and Ukrainian troops still trapped in the city.

The latest developments of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT:

6:29 p.m.: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy congratulated President Emmanuel Macron on his re-election, calling the French president was a "true friend” in a tweet early Monday.

4 p.m.: Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky met U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Kyiv, his office said Sunday.

A military Orthodox priest blesses traditional food during the Easter celebration at the frontline position of 128 brigade of Ukrainian army near Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, April 24, 2022.
A military Orthodox priest blesses traditional food during the Easter celebration at the frontline position of 128 brigade of Ukrainian army near Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, April 24, 2022.

3:42 p.m.: In a video address from one of the country’s best-known landmarks, the 1,000-year-old Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered an Orthodox Easter message, saying Ukraine would overcome the darkness that Russia’s invasion had brought upon it.

“Today, we still believe in the new victory of Ukraine and we are all convinced that we will not be destroyed by any horde or wickedness,” Zelenskiy said, according to Reuters.

1:37 p.m.: Ukraine proposed on Sunday a "special" round of negotiations with Russia to be held in the shadow of Mariupol's Azovstal steel plant to discuss the fate of the civilians and Ukrainian troops still trapped in the city, an adviser to Ukraine's president said, according to Reuters. The talks would aim to establish an immediate ceasefire in Mariupol, "multi-day" humanitarian corridors, and the freeing or swapping of Ukrainian fighters trapped in the Azovstal plant, presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a video address.

11:05 a.m. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told CBS News in an interview broadcast Sunday that the current war will be “finished when we clean our territories from Russian occupants."

10:00 a.m.: Pope Francis called for halt to attacks in Ukraine on Sunday so aid can reach the exhausted population and urged leaders to "listen to the voice of the people," who fear an escalation, Reuters reported. Speaking to tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square, he noted that the day most Eastern Christians, including Orthodox and Catholics in Ukraine and Russia, celebrate Easter coincided with the two month mark of the war. "Instead of stopping, the war has become more harsh," he said from the window of the official papal study.

Worshipers stand next to their traditional cakes and painted eggs prepared for an Easter celebration during a religious service at a church in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, April 24, 2022.
Worshipers stand next to their traditional cakes and painted eggs prepared for an Easter celebration during a religious service at a church in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, April 24, 2022.

9:05 a.m. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the need for the immediate evacuation of civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol. The two spoke on the eve of Erdogan’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

8:30 a.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement on the occasion of Orthodox Easter which is being marked this year amid Russia’s “war of aggression.”

7:30 a.m.: The International Committee of the Red Cross is “deeply alarmed by the situation” in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol. “Immediate and unimpeded humanitarian access is urgently required to allow for the voluntary safe passage of thousands of civilians and hundreds of wounded out of the city, including from the Azovstal plant area,” an ICRC statement said Sunday.

6 a.m.: Al Jazeera reports that so far the Russian invasion has killed 213 children and injured 389 more, according to Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office.

5:13 a.m.: The Washington Post reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin attended midnight Mass for Orthodox Easter. According to Reuters, he joined other congregants in proclaiming “truly [Christ] is risen."

4:14 a.m.: Sunday is Orthodox Easter, one of the most important holidays for many Ukrainians. Reuters reports that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual head of Eastern Orthodox Christians worldwide, said "an indescribable human tragedy is unfolding" in Ukraine.

Reuters reports that he hoped this year's Easter would be "the impetus to open humanitarian corridors, safe passages to truly safe areas for the thousands of people surrounded in Mariupol."

3:10 a.m.: The regional head of Ukraine's eastern Luhansk region says that Russian shelling killed eight people and injured two more on Saturday, the BBC reports.

2:02 a.m.: The U.K. defense ministry's latest intelligence update says that while Russia has made some gains, Ukraine has inflicted "significant cost" on Russian forces. "Poor Russian morale and limited time to reconstitute, re-equip and reorganize forces from prior offensives are likely hindering Russian combat effectiveness," the update says.

1:07 a.m.: CNN reports that Ukraine's military says it hit 17 air targets on Saturday.

“Air Force and Land Forces anti-aircraft missiles struck nine operational-tactical drones, three aircraft and five cruise missiles,” a statement from the country's defense ministry read.

12:01 a.m.: Al Jazeera reports that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Ukraine will exit peace talks if Russian troops kill Ukrainians holed up in a steel plant in Mariupol or conduct referendums for independence in other occupied territories.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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