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LIVE UPDATES: Organization of American States Votes to Suspend Russia's Status as Permanent Observer

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Russia launched a military operation in February, striking Ukrainian military infrastructure with high-precision weapons. President Vladimir Putin stated that the op was started in order to rescue the people of Donbass, who have been suffering from an eight-year-long war, waged by Ukrainian troops.
Russian forces and Donbass militias continue advancing amid the special operation in Ukraine, tightening the siege around last remaining radicals in the city of Mariupol.
In total, Russia has eliminated a variety of Ukrainian military equipment, including 140 warplanes, 106 helicopters, around 500 drones, almost 2,400 tanks and other armoured vehicles, and over 1,000 artillery pieces.
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Table of contents
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03:43 GMT 22.04.2022
US Congress Working on Dozens of Draft Bills on Further Sanctions on Russia, Foreign Ministry Says
A U.S flag waves on the car of U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan next to the main entrance to the Russian Foreign Ministry building during Sullivan's visit to the Ministry in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. Sullivan delivered a U.S. response to the Russian demands for security guarantees over NATO and Ukraine.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.04.2022
US Congress Preparing Dozens Draft Bills on New Sanctions Against Russia, MFA Says
23:36 GMT 21.04.2022
US Conglomerate Koch Industries Plans to Withdraw From Russia Over Sanctions, Reports Say
The US conglomerate Koch Industries is working on the strategy of withdrawing from the Russian market over the sanctions, media reported.

According to The Hill newspaper, Koch Industries owns the Guardian Industries companies that has two glassworks plants in Russia.

“Sanctions announced in early April, combined with the Russian government’s response and other actions, have made conditions untenable for Guardian to continue operations in Russia,” President and Chief Operating Officer of Koch Industries Dave Robertson said in a letter to employees, as quoted by The Hill.

He added that another cause of the decision was the Russian proposed bill that make it illegal to comply with foreign sanctions.
22:49 GMT 21.04.2022
US in Contact With Ukraine on Collecting Alleged Evidence of Possible War Crimes, Garland Says
The US Justice Department is in contact with the Ukrainian prosecutor general about collective efforts to gather alleged evidence of possible war crimes in Ukraine, Attorney General Merrick Garland said.

"We have now been in contact with the Prosecutor General of Ukraine... They've collected a group of international allies to assist and so we are helping in the collection of evidence and the preservation of evidence relating to possible war crimes - Yes we are," Garland said during a press conference on Thursday when asked if US prosecutors are helping collect evidence about potential war crimes involving Russia and Ukraine.
21:57 GMT 21.04.2022
Ambassador Antonov Was Not Allowed to Speak at OAS Special Meeting During Which Russia’s Status as Permanent Observer Was Suspended, Embassy Says
Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said in a statement on Thursday that he was not allowed to speak during the Organization of American States (OAS) meeting when a vote took place to suspend Russia's status as permanent observer.

"During the special meeting on this topic, Russia as the permanent observer to the Organization was denied the opportunity to speak at the meeting either before or after voting on the document," Antonov said.
21:56 GMT 21.04.2022
Russian Ambassador to US Condemns OAS' Decision to Suspend Russia’s Status as Permanent Observer, Calls It Grave Mistake
21:30 GMT 21.04.2022
Phoenix Ghost Drones Developed by US in Response to Ukrainian Requirements
The Phoenix Ghost drones have been developed by the United States in response to Ukrainian requirements and will require minimal training, a senior US defense official said during a press briefing.

"What I can tell you about the Phoenix Ghost [drone] is this was rapidly developed by the [US] Air Force in response specifically to Ukrainian requirements," the official said on Thursday. "It will require some minimal training for knowledgeable UAS [unmanned aircraft systems] operators to be able to use it and we are going to be working through those training requirements directly with the Ukrainian Armed Forces."

The Phoenix Ghost drones provide similar capabilities to the Switchblade but not exactly the same ones as there are some differences in the capabilities for the Phoenix, the official clarified.

Later in the day, Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby explained that the Phoenix Ghost drone had been in development by the US Air Force before the beginning of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine on February 24. The discussions that Pentagon had with Ukrainians made the US defense officials believe that this drone system will “nicely suit their needs, particularly in eastern Ukraine.”
21:14 GMT 21.04.2022
US Not Going to Conduct Operations in Black Sea to Unblock Ukrainian Ports, Pentagon Says
The United States is not going to be involved in operations in the Black Sea, including in any attempts to break the alleged Russian blockade of Ukrainian sea ports, amid Moscow's ongoing special operation there, Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby said on Thursday.

“If you are asking is the United States Navy going to get involved in operations in the Black Sea? The answer is no, in terms of breaking a blockade [of Ukrainian ports] like this,” Kirby said during a press briefing.
20:51 GMT 21.04.2022
US Not in Talks With Russia About Lifting Sanctions, White House Advisor Says
The United States is currently not in discussions with Russia about the prospect of lifting Western sanctions imposed on Moscow, US Deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh said on Thursday.

"We have channels of communication that are still open, but we're not at the point at which we're talking about sanctions relief," Singh said during a virtual panel discussion with the Bretton Woods Committee.

Singh said Western sanctions will have profound impact on Russia's supply chains and its productive capacity over time, including its military industrial complex.

The advisor also said that creating leverage through sanctions matters when it comes to negotiations for a diplomatic solution in Ukraine.

Any sanctions relief talks with Russia will be led by Ukraine, not the United States, and must include certain security guarantees, Singh said.
20:40 GMT 21.04.2022
US Continues to See No Indication of Chinese Military Support for Russia, Pentagon Says
The United States continues to see no indication of support of Russia's military by the Chinese government, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said on Thursday.

"We continue to see no indication that the Chinese have provided military assistance to Russia," Kirby said during a press briefing.
20:00 GMT 21.04.2022
US Defense Secretary Austin to Host Several Counterparts for Ukraine Defense Consultative Group at Ramstein Air Base on April 26
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will host several of his counterparts for a Ukraine Defense Consultative Group meeting in Germany on April 26, Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby said on Thursday.

"I can announce that the Secretary will be hosting a number of his counterparts for a Ukraine Defense Consultative Group at Ramstein Air Base on the 26th next week," Kirby said.
19:34 GMT 21.04.2022
Organization of American States Votes 25-0 to Suspend Russia's Status as Permanent Observer
The Organisation of American States has voted 25 to 0 to suspend Russia’s status as permanent member at the organization, St. Lucia's Ambassador to the OAS Elizabeth Darius-Clarke announced after the vote, which was broadcast live.

“The permanent council hereby declares the draft resolution Suspension of the Status of the Russian Federation as a Permanent Observer of the Organization of American States approved,” said Darius-Clark, whose country chairs the council for the months of April to June.

The results of the vote were 25 in favor versus 0 against, with 8 abstentions and one nation (Nicaragua) absent.
19:10 GMT 21.04.2022
World Bank Assesses About $60 Billion Worth Of Damage In Ukraine
The World Bank Group assesses that Ukraine has taken $60 billion worth of damage in the ongoing conflict in the country, President David Malpass said on Thursday.
"The World Bank Group has completed an early assessment of the physical damage... in terms of buildings and infrastructure, [and] the narrow costs are roughly $60 billion," Malpass said during a roundtable discussion on Ukraine alongside officials from the IMF and Kiev.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal requested during the meeting an estimated $600 billion for reconstruction efforts.
18:44 GMT 21.04.2022
Russian MoD Briefs on Special Operation to Protect Donbass:
Russia opens humanitarian corridors in Kharkov, Lugansk, Donetsk and Crimea directions towards Russia every day from 10.00 Moscow time; is ready to launch humanitarian corridors in any other directions as soon as possible;
The Ukrainian side has announced three corridors in the Zaporozhye, Krivoy Rog and Nikolaev directions as of today, none of them towards Russia;
Russian, DPR and LPR military strictly observe the ceasefire on all routes;
Ukraine's SBU officers are recruiting armed gangs in Zaporozhye to intimidate locals who, in their view, are not "patriotic" enough;
International organisations are suspending all deliveries of humanitarian aid to Odessa due to massive theft of food and medical supplies by officials of the city and the region's military administrations;
14,877 people have been evacuated from dangerous areas in Ukraine, DPR and LPR to Russia, despite obstacles created by Kiev;
Ukrainian nationalists continue to hold 6,134 foreigners hostage and use them as 'human shields';
76 foreign vessels remain blocked in 7 Ukrainian ports;
Russia has held 10 humanitarian missions in DPR, LPR and several Ukrainian regions over the past 24 hours, having delivered 436 tonnes of aid;
Russia has delivered 13,855 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Ukraine since 2 March.
18:06 GMT 21.04.2022
Denmark to Send Extra $90Mln in Military Aid to Ukraine
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Denmark will provide an additional $90 million in military aid to Ukraine, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Thursday.
"I have therefore informed you, President Zelenskyy, today of substantial new contributions, including almost 600 million Danish crowns, which is about 90 million US dollars, for weapons," the prime minister said at a press conference.
This donation will bring the total amount of aid given to Ukraine by Denmark to one billion Danish crowns ($145 million), she added.
Earlier in the day, the Danish prime minister and her Spanish counterpart, Pedro Sanchez, arrived in Kiev to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky and discuss the situation in the country.
17:46 GMT 21.04.2022
Chechen Leader Kadyrov Says Mariupol Has Been Liberated From Nationalists
17:22 GMT 21.04.2022
The PANERIAI memorial in memory of the 70000 Jews of Vilnius and its environs killed by Nazis and their accomplices during World War II, is pictured in Vilnius on February 16, 2016. - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.04.2022
World War II Memorial in Vilnius Defaced for Third Time in Month - Police
16:45 GMT 21.04.2022
Russian MoD: 14 Ukrainian Military Targets Hit in High-Precision Missile Strikes During the Day
140 Ukrainian planes, 106 helicopters, 512 drones, 254 anti-aircraft missile systems, 2,422 tanks and other armoured vehicles, 266 multiple rocket launcher systems have been destroyed since the launch of the Russian special operation, the MoD said.
16:23 GMT 21.04.2022
Ukrainian servicemen unpack Javelin anti-tank missiles, delivered as part of the United States of America's security assistance to Ukraine, at the Borispol airport, outside Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 11, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.04.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Russia Has Right to Consider US, NATO Arms Convoys in Ukraine 'Legitimate Targets', MFA Warns
15:23 GMT 21.04.2022
Russian Envoy: London Seemingly Uninterested in Fate of British PoWs in Donbass
15:22 GMT 21.04.2022
UK's Arms Supplies to Ukraine Will Not Influence Situation in Donbass, London Would Better Send Humanitarian Aid to Kiev - Russian Ambassador
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