As The Battle For Donbas Rages, Russians Blast A Mariupol Steel Plant Sheltering Civilians

As The Battle For Donbas Rages, Russians Blast A Mariupol Steel Plant Sheltering Civilians

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2 hr 17 min agoRussian foreign minister says new phase of Ukraine operation beginningFrom CNN’s Radina Gigova in London

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during a press conference in Moscow, Russia, on April 7. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AFP/Getty Images)Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday that a new phase of the fighting in Ukraine has started, and it will be “a very important moment of this entire special operation.”

“This operation in the east of Ukraine is aimed as it was announced from the very beginning to fully liberate the Donetsk and Luhansk republics,” Lavrov said in an exclusive video interview to India Today. “Another stage of this operation is beginning and I’m sure this will be a very important moment of this entire special operation.”

When asked repeatedly if Russia plans to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Lavrov said those allegations are coming from the Ukrainian side and specifically Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and that Russia historically has been against the use of nuclear weapons. 

“We never mentioned about this,” Lavrov said, referencing comments made by Zelensky alleging Russia may use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. 

When asked the same question again, Lavrov said: “When the Soviet Union and the US in 1987, Gorbachev and Reagan decided that they have a special responsibility for peace on this planet, they signed a solemn declaration that there could be no winners in a nuclear war and therefore a nuclear war must never be launched.

Responding to a question about civilian deaths in Ukraine and holding Russian military forces accountable for possible violations, Lavrov said, “We have our law, which prohibits the military to do anything which is not allowed under international humanitarian law,” adding “Any violations are absolutely registered and investigated.” 

He also said reports about atrocities committed by Russian forces in Bucha are “staged and played.” 

When asked about what exactly happed to the Russian cruiser Moskva, Lavrov directed the answer to the Russian Ministry of Defense. 

3 hr 17 min agoUK plans to revoke Moscow Stock Exchange’s status as a recognized exchangeFrom CNN’s Manveena Suri in New Delhi 

The office of the Moscow Exchange in the city of Moscow, Russia, on March 24. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)Britain on Tuesday announced its intention to revoke the Moscow Stock Exchange’s status as a recognized stock exchange, according to a statement issued by British tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). 

The removal of status means that investors will no longer be able to access certain UK tax benefits in the future when trading on the Moscow Stock Exchange. 

However, existing investments will be protected.   

The move is the latest in a string of sanctions the British Government has imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

“As we continue to isolate Russia in response to their illegal war on Ukraine, revoking Moscow Stock Exchange’s recognized status sends a clear message – there is no case for new investments in Russia,” British Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Lucy Frazer, said in the statement. 

The recognized stock exchange status is a classification given by HMRC for tax purposes, enabling securities traded on a recognized exchange to be eligible for certain tax treatments and reliefs. 

3 hr 35 min agoIMF slashes global economic growth forecast due to war in UkraineFrom CNN’s Julia Horowitz in London

Servicemen of the Ukrainian Military Forces move to their position in the Luhansk region of Ukraine on March 8. (Anatolii Stepanov/AFP/Getty Images)The International Monetary Fund has slashed its expectations for global economic growth over the next two years because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, comparing the ripple effects from the conflict to an “earthquake.”

“The economic effects of the war are spreading far and wide,” the organization said in its latest outlook, published Tuesday.

The IMF now expects the world economy to expand by 3.6% in both 2022 and 2023, a sharp deceleration from growth of 6.1% in 2021. The new forecasts reflect downgrades of 0.8 and 0.2 percentage points, respectively, from its January forecast.

The outlook assumes that the war remains confined to Ukraine, that further sanctions on Russia don’t target its huge energy sector and the effects of the pandemic continue to fade.

IMF says the conflict will hit Ukraine and Russia the hardest. The IMF expects Ukraine’s economy to shrink 35% this year, while the West’s efforts to punish Russia are poised to cause its economy to contract by 8.5%. But because the war has caused a spike in the price of energy and other commodities, worsening supply chain problems and feeding expectations for more persistent inflation, its effects will be felt almost everywhere.

“The war will severely set back the global recovery, slowing growth and increasing inflation even further,” the IMF said in its report, emphasizing that the world economy had not fully recovered from the coronavirus pandemic when Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.In Europe, which relies heavily on Russia to meet its energy needs, growth is now expected to slow to 2.8% in 2022, a downgrade of 1.1 percentage points versus January.

The United States is comparatively insulated. Yet weakness among its trading partners, as well as the Federal Reserve’s plans to quickly pull back pandemic-era support for the economy and raise interest rates, are weighing on the outlook. The IMF projects US growth of 3.7% in 2022 and 2.3% in 2023, down 0.3 percentage points since its last forecast.

While the report observes that “global economic prospects have worsened significantly” since the start of the year, it does not predict a recession, which the IMF typically calls when growth falls to 2.5% or lower.

But the IMF also notes uncertainty “well beyond the normal range” surrounding its projections because of the unprecedented nature of the shock. And the risks of an even greater slowdown, combined with persistently high inflation, are rising.

3 hr 51 min agoNetherlands will send “heavier material” to Ukraine, prime minister saysFrom CNN’s Alex Hardie

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the Dutch House of Representatives in The Hague, Netherlands, on March 31. (Bart Maat/ANP/AFP/Getty Images)The Netherlands will send “heavier material” to Ukraine, “including armored vehicles,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday.

In a tweet, Rutte said that he and the Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren had expressed their support to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone conversation, “as Russia begins a renewed offensive.”

“Together with allies, we are looking at the delivery of additional heavier equipment,” Rutte said.

Zelensky also tweeted after the phone call, saying that he had informed Rutte “about the a

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