US to provide $670m in global food assistance amid crisis

Russian invasion of Ukraine disrupted global food supplies, leading to what a US official says is a ‘staggering crisis’.

  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he has arrived in Ukraine following talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
  • The European Commission has proposed a one-year suspension of import duties on all Ukrainian goods.
  • The White House vows to press for the release of Paul Whelan, a former US Marine who is imprisoned in Russia on spying accusations.
  • A number of rockets have hit the centre of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, producing a series of explosions, the RIA news agency said.
(Al Jazeera)

Here are all the latest updates:

US allocating $670m to international emergency food operations

The US Department of Agriculture and US Agency for International Development will together contribute nearly $700m to international food aid efforts in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the agencies have said.

The money will go to emergency food operations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Yemen. Of the announced sum, $282m will come from the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust (BEHT), which is co-managed by the agencies, while USDA said it would additionally provide $388m for transportation, shipping, and other costs.

The Ukraine war is leading to a “staggering global food crisis”, said USAID Administrator Samantha Power.

Ukraine plans to rename streets linked to Russia

A number of Ukrainian cities plan to rename streets and squares associated with Russia under a process of “de-Russification” following Moscow’s invasion.

Ihor Terekhov, mayor of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, said that as soon as the war with Russia ends he would table a bill to his city council to rename places with Russian-affiliated names.

“Even without these names, there will be too many scars that will remind us for a long time about what kind of neighbour is beyond our eastern and northern borders,” he wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

White House says supplemental Ukraine aid request could come Thursday

The White House has said that a supplemental budget request that includes aid for Ukraine could be sent to Congress as soon as Thursday.

The plan will cover military, humanitarian and economic assistance for Ukraine, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

White House vows to press for release of Paul Whelan

The White House has vowed to keep pressing for the unconditional release of former US Marine Paul Whelan, who is imprisoned in Russia and accused of spying.

A US-Russia prisoner swap that obtained the release of Trevor Reed, also a former US Marine, brought a spotlight on Whelan, who holds US, British, Canadian and Irish passports.

Whelan was sentenced to 16 years on espionage charges in June 2020.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Read all the updates from Wednesday, April 27 here.

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