Russia-Ukraine war: What happened today (April 13)
As Wednesday draws to a close in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key developments of the day:
Russia continues to build up its military for the expected offensive in eastern Ukraine, including ground troops, artillery systems and helicopters. The Pentagon says Russian forces are gathering on the Russian side of the border and moving into Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, where Moscow has recognized two self-proclaimed separatist republics. Earlier, Russia's defense ministry said more than 1,000 Ukrainian marines surrendered in the port of besieged Mariupol. Ukrainian officials said a brigade of its marines in the area successfully completed a maneuver to reconnect with other Ukrainian forces. Neither claim has been independently verified. Mariupol remains contested, the Pentagon said.
The U.S. is sending another $800 million worth of weapons systems and other security assistance to Ukraine. This includes artillery systems, artillery rounds, armored personnel carriers and additional helicopters. To date, the U.S. has sent over $2 billion worth of military assistance to Ukraine.
The Kremlin decried as "unacceptable" President Biden's comment that Russian President Vladimir Putin is committing genocide in Ukraine. The U.S. historically has rarely used the word genocide, a violation of international law that is harder to prove than war crimes or crimes against humanity, as it requires evidence of intent. Biden had escalated his rhetoric in a Tuesday speech, as he blamed the Russian invasion for higher gas prices. A National Security Council representative said the shift in rhetoric from previously accusing Russia of atrocities and war crimes did not indicate a shift in the U.S. response.
The presidents of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have traveled to Kyiv. They are the latest European leaders to visit Ukraine with a message of political support and military assistance. Earlier, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson toured Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Economists warn Russia is on the verge of defaulting on its foreign debt for the first time since the Bolshevik Revolution more than a century ago. The country has blown past two payment deadlines on bonds sold to foreign investors, which it was supposed to pay in dollars. Citing severe sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies, Russia made the payments in rubles.
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Ukrainian Holocaust survivors flee war again — this time to Germany.
Some 600 companies have withdrawn from Russia to some degree, Yale researchers say.
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Russian forces assemble in eastern Ukraine ahead of an anticipated offensive.
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