LONDON – Britain’s Defense Ministry says Russian forces are trying to respond to mounting casualties by increasing troop levels with personnel discharged from military service since 2012.
In an intelligence update on Twitter on Sunday, the ministry also said that the Russian military’s efforts to “generate more fighting power” include trying to recruit recruits from Transnistria, a breakaway region in Moldova that borders Ukraine. to recruit.
Russia maintains about 1,500 troops in the region, which is not recognized internationally.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:
— Zelenskyj: Russian aggression is not limited to Ukraine
– Zelenskyy says in an AP interview that he seeks peace despite atrocities
— Relations between Poland and Ukraine are seen as a target of Russian disinformation
– War Crimes Watch: A devastating walk through Bucha’s horrors
— Go to for more coverage
BORODIANKA, Ukraine – Firefighters on Saturday continued to search for survivors or dead in the rubble of destroyed buildings in a northern Ukrainian town occupied by Russian forces for weeks.
Borodianka residents expect to find dozens of victims under the rubble of several buildings destroyed during fighting between Russian forces and Ukrainian troops. The city is located about 75 kilometers northwest of the capital Kyiv and had more than 12,000 inhabitants.
Russian troops occupied Borodianka while advancing towards Kyiv to encircle it. They withdrew after heavy fighting in the last days of March. The city is without electricity, natural gas or other services.
A 77-year-old resident, Maria Vaselenko, said the bodies of her daughter and son-in-law had been lying under rubble for 36 days because Russian soldiers did not allow residents to search for loved ones or their bodies. She said her two teenage grandchildren fled to Poland but are now orphans.
“The Russians fired. And some people wanted to come and help, but they shot them,” she told the Associated Press. “They planted explosives under dead people.”
MARIUPOL, Ukraine — Shelling of Ukraine’s key port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov by Russian forces has collapsed several humanitarian corridors and seldom made conditions for people to exit.
As of Saturday, it was not clear how many people remained trapped in the city, which had a population of 430,000 before the war. Ukrainian officials have put the number at around 100,000, but earlier this week British defense officials said 160,000 people were trapped in the city.
Ukrainian troops have refused to give up the city even though much of it has been destroyed.
Resident Sergey Petrov said on Saturday that two shells had recently landed around him in quick succession, but none had exploded upon landing. He was in his garage at the time and said his mother later told him, “I was born again.”
“A grenade flew in and broke in two, but it didn’t explode, it looks like it landed not on the fuse but on its side,” he said.
He added when another shell flew in and hit the garage, “I’m in shock. I don’t understand what’s happening. I have a hole in my garage with smoke coming out of it. I run away and leave everything behind. I’ll come back in a few hours and find another grenade lying there, also unexploded.”
ATHENS, Greece – A Ukrainian football club on Saturday opened a series of charity matches at a government-backed ‘Global Tour for Peace’ that featured the names of heavily bombed cities on its jerseys.
The Shakhtar Donetsk club tour aims to raise money for the Ukrainian military in the war against Russia and to help Ukrainian refugees displaced by the war.
The first game on Saturday was a 1-0 defeat against Greek leaders Olympiakos.
Football clubs across Europe have offered to play matches against Ukrainian clubs and take in youth players after football was shut down in the country when Russia invaded in February.
Shakhtar was expelled from his native Donetsk in eastern Ukraine back in 2014.
Playing in the Athens area on Saturday, Shakhtar players replaced their names on the back of their shirts with the names of cities bombed by Russian forces, including Mariupol.
BUCHA, Ukraine — Civilians remaining in Bucha lined up on Saturday for food donated by the local church in the stricken Kyiv suburb, where Ukrainian forces and journalists reported evidence of war crimes after Russian soldiers pulled out.
As other civilians fled after the Russian invasion, most of those who remained in Bucha were elderly, poor, or unable to leave loved ones behind. Russian troops withdrew more than a week ago.
Volunteer Petro Denysyuk told The Associated Press that he and other friends of the Church had begun providing food, with a wide range of basic necessities and hot meals.
“We gathered with the youth of our church and prepared food for the needy,” Denysyuk said. “We prepared pilaf, boiled eggs, prepared meat, sausages, pasta.”
Ukrainian armed forces and journalists who came to Bucha saw bodies scattered on the streets, evidence of summary executions and the remains of people who could not have threatened soldiers. Russia has denied war crimes allegations and accused Kyiv of orchestrating them.
Kyiv, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked leaders of Britain and Austria for their visits to Kyiv on Saturday and pledges of further support.
In his daily nightly video address to the nation, Zelenskyy also thanked European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a global fundraiser that raised more than 10 billion euros ($11 billion) for fleeing Ukrainians their houses.
Zelenskyy said the democratic countries are united to end the war. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer were the latest of several European leaders to meet Zelenskyy in Kyiv.
“Because Russian aggression should not only be limited to Ukraine, but only to the destruction of our freedom and our lives,” he said. “The whole European project is a target for Russia.”
Zelenskyy reiterated his call for a full embargo on Russian oil and gas, calling it the source of Russia’s “confidence and impunity.”
“But Ukraine has no time to wait. Freedom has no time to wait. When tyranny begins its aggression against everything that keeps peace in Europe, immediate action must be taken,” he said.
He added: “And an oil embargo has to be the first step. Also by all democratic states, the entire civilized world. Then Russia will feel it. Then there will be an argument for them to seek peace, to stop the senseless violence.”
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https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2022/04/10/live-updates-uk-says-russia-trying-to-boost-troop-numbers/ Live Updates | Britain says Russia is trying to increase troop levels