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What has happened in the last hours in Ukraine

On the 56th day of the war initiated by Russia against Ukraine, these are the key data at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20:

Putin tests a new intercontinental missile system “unique in the world”. Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced the first full test of the new RS-28 ‘Sarmat’ intercontinental ballistic missile. The missile has been launched from Plesetsk (northwest Russia) and has reached Kamchatka (east), more than 5,000 kilometers away. According to Putin, this missile “will be unique in the world for a long time” and will make those “trying to threaten” Russia think. The US has confirmed that, according to international agreements, it was aware that these tests were going to take place because Russia had warned of them.

The evacuation of Mariupol continues. The port city of Mariupol (southeast) has become a symbol of the Ukrainian resistance, but the situation is increasingly difficult. As reported by the Ukrainian authorities, the evacuations of this city besieged by the Russian Army have continued in recent hours, but fewer than the 6,000 people who were expected to escape have managed to leave. The Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, has reported that at least 1,000 civilians, especially women, children and the elderly, are in the underground shelters of the Azovstal steel plant, the last bastion of the Ukrainian resistance in this town. According to the Ukrainian authorities, 500,000 citizens of the country have been deported to Russia without their consent.

Moscow negotiation offer. In the midst of the Russian offensive to occupy the Donbas area (east), the Kremlin has delivered new negotiation proposals to Ukraine. “Now it is our turn to analyze, compare and draw conclusions, including those of a political and legal nature,” said Mijaílo Podoliak, Zelensky’s main adviser. But the president himself has later assured in a meeting with the press that he has not received the Russian negotiation offer: “I have not heard anything about this nor, for sure, seen anything. I am convinced that they have not sent us anything.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has assured that the outcome of the talks with Ukraine now depends entirely on kyiv’s willingness to take Moscow’s demands into account.

Guterres asks for meetings with Putin and Zelensky. UN Secretary General António Guterres has asked to meet with the Russian and Ukrainian presidents. Guterres has sent letters to the rulers requesting these meetings to reach an agreement to stop the war.

Charles Michel speaks in kyiv about the EU sanctions on Russian oil and gas. The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, visited Ukraine this Wednesday and held a meeting in kyiv with Zelensky. Michel has expressed his conviction that “sooner or later” the EU sanctions will also affect Russian oil and gas.

Germany will stop importing Russian oil by the end of the year. “We will cut oil in half by the summer and be at zero by the end of the year, and then gas will follow,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said during an official visit to Latvia.

The “Ukrainian special operation” will arrive in Russian schools in September. The Russian view of the occupation of Ukraine will begin to be taught in Russian schools on September 1. “Those Monday lessons will be given in what for the time being we call Conversations about what really matters”, indicated the Russian Minister of Education, Sergei Kravtsov. The next year in schools the flag will also be raised and the anthem will be heard nationwide at the beginning of each week.

PHOTO: Several people leave Mariupol this Wednesday. (Reuters/Alexander Ermochenko)