War in Ukraine exacerbates ‘already severe’ global food insecurity – live updates | News | DW
- Russia proposes new ceasefire for Mariupol steel plant
- Yellen and Lindner say war has exacerbated ‘already severe’ global food insecurity
- German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will visit the Baltics from Wednesday
- Ukraine set to dominate G20 finance ministers meeting, including Russian representation
This article was last updated at 03:49 GMT/UTC.
Moscow calls for the surrender of Mariupol
Russian forces again called on those still in the besieged Azovstal power plant to surrender by 2 p.m. Moscow time (1100 GMT). They also called on Ukrainian forces to lay down their arms.
Serhiy Volyna, the commander of the 36th Separate Marine Brigade, said his marines “could face our last days, if not hours.” He added: “The enemy outnumbers us 10 to one.”
Thousands of soldiers and civilians remain at the factory. The mayor of Mariupol described a “horrific situation” where up to 2,000 people, mostly women and children, are trapped without “normal” supplies like water and food.
US Treasury Secretary Blames War for Worsening Food Insecurity
Janet Yellen, the US Treasury Secretary, said Russia’s war on Ukraine was responsible for extending “already severe” global food insecurity. She said price and supply shocks had added to global inflationary pressures.
Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 10% of the world’s population faced chronic food insecurity, Yellen said. Economic models suggest that at least 10 million more people could be pushed into poverty because of the conflict.
Yellen said countries should avoid export bans that could drive up prices while boosting support for vulnerable populations and small farmers.
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner agreed, calling on countries “to keep agricultural markets open, not to stockpile and hold stocks, and not to impose unjustified restrictions on the export of agricultural products or nutrients”.
Both Russia and Ukraine are major agricultural exporters of foodstuffs, fertilizers and other products.
Even in a country like Germany with high purchasing power per capita, supermarket shelves are again displaying signs reminiscent of the COVID lockdown, asking customers to limit purchases of products like flour, oil sunflower and rice.
United States: Ukraine received aircraft and spare parts to strengthen the Air Force
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Ukraine received fighter jets and aircraft parts to bolster its air force.
“Right now they have more fixed-wing combat aircraft at their disposal than two weeks ago,” Kirby said, adding, “Other countries that have experience with this type of aircraft were able to help them get more aircraft into service.”
Kirby declined to specify how many planes or where they came from.
The Pentagon’s announcement comes a week after US President Joe Biden unveiled $800 million in military aid to Ukraine.
IAEA: “direct communications” to Chernobyl restored
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi said “direct communications” between Chernobyl and Ukraine’s national regulator had been restored.
The IAEA said contact between the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant, site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster when the reactor exploded due to human error in 1986, and Ukraine’s national regulator had been lost for “over a month” when Russian forces occupied the facility.
Grossi said: “It was clearly not a sustainable situation, and it is very good news that the regulator can now contact the factory directly when needed.”
According to the IAEA, Russia told it that its troops left the area on March 31 after occupying the site for five weeks.
Summary of Tuesday’s events in Russia’s war on Ukraine
The UN has said the number of people who have fled Ukraine has reached 5 million, with an additional 7 million people internally displaced by the fighting.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said 76 prisoners of war were being returned to the country as part of the fourth captive exchange with Russia.
Russia says it has opened a corridor for Ukrainian troops trapped in a steelworks in the besieged city of Mariupol to leave if they agree to surrender their weapons.
The Russian Defense Ministry has demanded that steps be taken to release civilians from the Azovstal metallurgical plant in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol. Azovstal is the last remaining pocket of Ukrainian resistance in the key southeastern port.
According to the governor of the Luhansk region, Russian forces seized the town of Kreminna, a town of about 18,000 people, in eastern Ukraine.
Four people, including three emergency service officials who were defusing unexploded ordnance, were among the dead in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, the city’s mayor said. Kharkiv is close to the front lines and has faced repeated shelling from Russian forces.
US President Joe Biden discussed further steps regarding the war in Ukraine during a call with G7, NATO and EU leaders. Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have pledged to send more artillery weapons to Ukraine.
Ukraine’s allies have agreed to provide artillery to fight a Russian advance, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, while again ruling out direct NATO involvement in the conflict.
Czech authorities have opened a preliminary investigation into possible war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.
The British Ministry of Defense said Russian shelling and strikes on the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine continued, but Ukrainian forces had managed to repel many attempted advances. Britain announced its intention to revoke the status of the Moscow Stock Exchange as a recognized stock exchange in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The European Commission has given the green light to a 20 billion euro ($21.6 billion) German program to help companies affected by the fallout from the war in Ukraine. The EU executive also approved Polish state aid of €836 million to support farmers affected by rising fertilizer prices.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres denounced Russia’s new offensive in eastern Ukraine and called for a four-day truce to mark Orthodox Holy Week.
You can rewatch our April 19 live updates here.
ar/msh (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)