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Russia-Ukraine war – live: Kyiv says its drones destroyed six military planes in blow for Putin’s forces

In Europe
April 06, 2024

Ukraine says its drones have destroyed at least six military aircraft and badly damaged eight others, in what would be one of the country’s most successful cross-border strikes in the war.

The assault, in Russia’s southern city of Rostov-on-Don, came as Kyiv’s forces stepped up their assaults on Russian soil.

Huge explosions rocked the Morozovsk military airfield, more than 60 miles from the border, footage showed. As one drone hit what was believed to be a power station, it erupted into a large fireball.

Officials said about 20 airfield staff were killed or injured.

But Russian defence officials claimed they intercepted 44 Ukrainian drones and that only a power substation was damaged.

Morozovsk airfield was used by Russian bombers that have been launching guided aerial bombs at Ukraine’s cities and frontline positions, they said.

The Russian defense ministry said nine more drones were intercepted over the border regions of Kursk, Belgorod, Krasnodar and the nearby Saratov region, bringing the total of attack drones deployed by Ukraine overnight to 53.

Table of Contents

Key Points

  • Drone strikes hit southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don

  • Moscow-Nato relations at direct confrontation level, Kremlin says

  • Ukraine and Russia blame each other for Zaporizhia attacks

  • Russian drone attack kills at least four in Ukraine’s Kharkiv

  • Russian defence minister warns French counterpart in rare call

Cameron to press US Republicans to back military aid

21:00 , Jane Dalton

Foreign secretary David Cameron will travel to the United States next week to urge politicians to approve a package of military aid for Ukraine.

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has held up a bill for months that would supply $60 billion in military and financial aid.

Lord Cameron said he would meet Mr Johnson to urge him to pass the aid package.

“Speaker Johnson can make it happen in Congress. I am going to go see him next week and say we need that money, Ukraine needs that money,” he posted.

In February, Cameron urged Republican lawmakers not to “show the weakness displayed against Hitler” in the 1930s.

Ukraine claims it destroyed Russian warplanes in one of its biggest drone attacks of the war

20:00 , Jane Dalton

Ukrainian officials claimed Friday they used a barrage of drones to destroy at least six military aircraft and badly damage eight others at an airfield in Russia’s Rostov region, while Russian defense officials claimed they intercepted 44 Ukrainian drones and that only a power substation was damaged in the attack.

The assault appeared to be one of Kyiv‘s biggest air attacks in the war, coming as its forces step up their assaults on Russian soil. The Associated Press could not independently verify either side’s claims.

Ukraine claims it destroyed Russian warplanes in one of its biggest drone attacks of the war

Russian minister casts prospective Ukraine peace talks as Western plot to win hesitant Global South

19:00 , Tom Watling

Russia’s top diplomat warned Thursday that prospective negotiations to end the fighting in Ukraine could be successful only if they take Moscow‘s interests into account, dismissing a planned round of peace talks as a Western ruse to rally broader international support for Kyiv.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov charged that Ukraine’s Western allies are currently involved in a massive diplomatic blitz to persuade as many countries of the Global South as possible to join a meeting in Switzerland to discuss a potential peace plan.

Russian minister casts prospective Ukraine peace talks as Western plot to win hesitant Global South

‘Pure barbarity’: Rescuers killed as Russia launches ‘double tap’ drone attack on Kharkiv

18:00 , Tom Watling

Resistance by Kharkiv’s vastly outnumbered defenders has infuriated Vladimir Putin, as Askold Krushelnycky discovers at the scene of a cruel attack on brave Ukrainian rescue workers

‘Pure barbarity’: Rescuers killed in Russian ‘double tap’ drone attack on Kharkiv

Ukraine and Russia blame each other for Zaporizhia attacks

16:58 , Jane Dalton

A Russian air attack on Ukraine’s southern city of Zaporizhia, home to Europe’s largest nuclear plant, killed two people and injured six more, the regional governor said.

A nine-year old boy was among the injured, Ivan Fedorov added on the Telegram messenger. It was unclear what was hit but an image posted by the governor showed a cafe with shattered windows.

Separately, the Russian state-run RIA news agency quoted the press service of the Russian-controlled facility as saying that Ukrainian military drones attacked the nuclear power plant. However, it caused no damage to its critical infrastructure, it said.

A series of blasts were reported in the city of Zaporizhia on Friday afternoon.

The Zaporizhia nuclear plant (REUTERS)

The Zaporizhia nuclear plant (REUTERS)

Scandals blight Denmark’s buildup of its armed forces as it eyes possible threats from Russia

16:00 , Tom Watling

A series of scandals has blighted Denmark’s Armed Forces at a time when the Scandinavian country and member of the NATO alliance is building up its defenses, chiefly as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The events have so far led to the dismissal this week of Denmark’s top military chief, Gen. Flemming Lentfer, who failed to inform the defense minister about an incident on the frigate HDMS Iver Huitfeldt last month while deployed to the Red Sea, where it was part of a U.S.-led operation to defend commercial shipping against Houthi militants.

Scandals blight Denmark’s buildup of its armed forces as it eyes possible threats from Russia

Several Russian spies uncovered in Nato HQ

15:40 , Jane Dalton

Several Russian personnel have been expelled from Nato headquarters amid espionage claims, Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg told Germany’s Bild tabloid in an interview released on Friday.

“We realised that they were carrying out activities that were not actually diplomatic work, but intelligence work,” Stoltenberg was quoted as saying by Bild.

There was no immediate comment from Nato.

In rare call, Russian defense minister warns French counterpart against sending troops to Ukraine

15:10 , Tom Watling

Russia’s defense minister warned his French counterpart against deploying troops to Ukraine in a rare phone call Wednesday and noted that Moscow is ready to take part in talks to end the conflict.

Sergei Shoigu told French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu that if Paris follows up on its statements about the possibility of sending a French military contingent to Ukraine, “it will create problems for France itself,” according to a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry. It didn’t elaborate.

The conversation followed French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments in February, in which he said that the possibility of Western troops being sent to Ukraine could not be ruled out.

In rare call, Russian defense minister warns French counterpart against sending troops to Ukraine

Russian bomb destroys Medics Without Borders office in eastern Ukraine

14:40 , Tom Watling

A Russian bomb has destroyed a Medics Without Borders (MSF) office in Pokrovsk near the frontline in eastern Ukraine, the organisation has reported.

“Today, April 5th at around 3am, our MSF office in Pokrovsk, in the Donetsk region, in Ukraine was bombed and completely destroyed,” a statement read. “All our staff are safe. Five civilians who were close to the office were injured.”

Ukraine’s prosecutor general said a 14-year-old boy was among those injured in the attack.

The small city in Donetsk Oblast has been regularly hit by Russian forces, who are just over 30 miles away in the recently-occupied city of Avdiivka.

Here are some of the latest photos from Ukraine

14:10 , Jane Dalton

Below are some of the latest photos from Ukraine.

​​A Ukrainian infantry soldier of the 23rd Mechanised Brigade waits to head toward the frontline in the Avdiivka direction (AFP via Getty Images)

​​A Ukrainian infantry soldier of the 23rd Mechanised Brigade waits to head toward the frontline in the Avdiivka direction (AFP via Getty Images)

Ukrainian servicemen stan next to the coffin of their fallen fellow Vadym Popelniuk, born in 1991, after a religious service in Independence Square in Kyiv (AP)

Ukrainian servicemen stan next to the coffin of their fallen fellow Vadym Popelniuk, born in 1991, after a religious service in Independence Square in Kyiv (AP)

A worker clears the rubble at DTEK's power plant which was hit by a Russian missile in Ukraine (AP)

A worker clears the rubble at DTEK’s power plant which was hit by a Russian missile in Ukraine (AP)

Ukraine and Russia each intercept drones

13:40 , Jane Dalton

In a conflicting version of events, Russia’s defence ministry said 44 drones were intercepted and destroyed in the Morozovsky district, more than 60 miles from the border.

Rostov governor Vasily Golubev said eight people near the airfield targeted by Ukraine were injured.

Russian military bloggers confirmed an attempted attack by Ukrainian drones on a military air base in Morozovsk but said there were no casualties at the base and no damage to warplanes.

The Russian defence ministry said nine more drones were intercepted over the border regions of Kursk, Belgorod, Krasnodar and the nearby Saratov region, bringing the total of attack drones deployed by Ukraine overnight to 53.

Ukraine’s air force said it intercepted 13 Russian drones launched overnight at the southern regions of Odesa, Zaporizhia and Dnipropetrovsk, but five missiles got through. Authorities did not report any casualties.

Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, suffered drone attacks on Wednesday (EPA)

Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, suffered drone attacks on Wednesday (EPA)

Russian military planes destroyed in Ukrainian attack, say officials

13:30 , Jane Dalton

Ukrainian officials say they have used a barrage of drones to destroy at least six military aircraft and badly damage eight others at an airfield in Russia’s Rostov region.

Russian defence officials, however, claim they intercepted 44 Ukrainian drones and that only a power substation was damaged.

The assault appears to be one of Kyiv’s biggest air attacks in the war, coming as its forces step up their assaults on Russian soil.

The overnight attack, which officials said was conducted by Ukraine’s Security Service in co-operation with the army and Ukrainian intelligence, targeted a military airfield near Morozovsk in Russia.

They said about 20 airfield staff were killed or injured.

Morozovsk airfield is used by Russian bombers that have been launching guided aerial bombs at Ukraine’s cities and frontline positions, the officials say.

If true, the attack would be among Ukraine’s most successful cross-border strikes.

Germany says Russia very likely responsible for Baltic GPS disruptions

13:00 , Tom Watling

Russia is very likely to have been behind a series of disturbances affecting GPS navigation in the Baltic region, the German Defence Ministry said on Thursday, pointing to the Kaliningrad exclave as a source of the problem.

“The persistent disruptions to the global navigation satellite system are very likely of Russian origin and are based on disruptions in the electromagnetic spectrum, including those originating in the Kaliningrad Oblast,” a spokesperson for the ministry told Reuters, confirming a report by news website t-online.

The spokesperson declined to give details on how Berlin made its assessment or the exact nature of the disruptions, citing “reasons of military security”.

Kaliningrad is Russian territory wedged between Lithuania and Poland on the coast of the Baltic Sea.

The Russian embassy in Berlin declined to comment on the matter.

Last month, a government source told Reuters that Russia was believed to have jammed the satellite signal on an aircraft used by British defence minister Grant Shapps when it flew close to Kaliningrad.

The aviation industry has voiced concern over a surge in GPS interference linked to conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East.

The jamming of GPS signals can be disruptive to commercial airliners but they can usually navigate by other means.

Ukrainian man who helped Russia target missile strike on pizzeria jailed for life

12:30 , Tom Watling

A Ukrainian man has been jailed for life for helping Russia target a missile strike on a pizzeria in the eastern city of Kramatorsk last year.

“A local resident was sentenced to life imprisonment for guiding the occupiers’ missile attack on the pizzeria in Kramatorsk,” the office of the war-torn country’s prosecutor general said on Wednesday.

The 27 June attack on Ria Pizza killed 13 people, including novelist Victoria Amelina, and wounded 61. The attack also destroyed several nearby structures.

Ukrainian man who helped Russia target missile strike on pizzeria jailed for life

NATO weighs a plan to provide long-term military help to Ukraine as Russian troops assert control

12:00 , Tom Watling

NATO is debating a plan to provide more predictable military support to Ukraine in coming years as better armed Russian troops assert control on the battlefield, the organization’s top civilian official said Wednesday.

“We strongly believe that support to Ukraine should be less dependent on short-term, voluntary offers and more dependent on long-term NATO commitments,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said before chairing a meeting of the alliance’s foreign ministers in Brussels.

NATO weighs a plan to provide long-term military help to Ukraine as Russian troops assert control

Dialogue must remain open with Russia, Italy defence minister says

11:30 , Tom Watling

Communications with Russia must remain open despite its attack on Ukraine, Italy’s defence minister said on Friday, commenting on recent talks between his French and Russian counterparts.

On Wednesday, French Armed Forces Minister Sebastien Lecornu had a phone conversation with Russia’s Sergei Shoigu – the first since October 2022 – during the course of which France condemned Russia’s “war of aggression” in Ukraine.

France later denied Russian claims that it expressed willingness to hold dialogue on Ukraine or discuss possible peace negotiations when the two countries’ defence ministers spoke on Wednesday.

“Although the Russian Federation has invaded a sovereign country, and for this reason Italy and France always support and will support Ukraine, it is important (…) that channels of confrontation and dialogue are also kept open,” Italy’s Guido Crosetto said in a statement.

Crosetto, who spoke to Lecornu on Thursday, added that “tough and critical” communication, is essential to achieve the goal of stopping the Russian attacks and to be able to “create the conditions for a just peace”.

Italy's Defence Minister Guido Crosetto takes part in a NATO Defence Ministers' meeting (REUTERS)

Italy’s Defence Minister Guido Crosetto takes part in a NATO Defence Ministers’ meeting (REUTERS)

At 75, is timid, hesitant Nato now showing its age?

11:00 , Tom Watling

On the alliance’s landmark anniversary, historian Sten Rynning says the future of European security may depend on whether it can convince three steadfastly neutral countries to sign up

At 75, is timid, hesitant Nato now showing its age?

Russian minister casts prospective Ukraine peace talks as Western plot to win hesitant Global South

10:30 , Tom Watling

Russia’s top diplomat warned Thursday that prospective negotiations to end the fighting in Ukraine could be successful only if they take Moscow‘s interests into account, dismissing a planned round of peace talks as a Western ruse to rally broader international support for Kyiv.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov charged that Ukraine’s Western allies are currently involved in a massive diplomatic blitz to persuade as many countries of the Global South as possible to join a meeting in Switzerland to discuss a potential peace plan.

Russian minister casts prospective Ukraine peace talks as Western plot to win hesitant Global South

Ukraine staged major attack on Russia’s Morozovsk military air base, Kyiv source says

09:56 , Tom Watling

Ukraine attacked Russia’s Morozovsk military air base in the Rostov region, destroying six Russian warplanes in a joint operation conducted by the SBU security service and military, a Kyiv intelligence source told Reuters on Friday.

Reuters could not independently verify the claim. The source did not say how the attack was conducted but that eight more warplanes had also been damaged.

Russia’s RIA news agency cited the Russian defence ministry earlier as saying Russian air defences had downed 53 Ukrainian drones overnight, most of them over the Rostov region.

The source said the Morozovsk air base was used by Russian tactical bombers like the Sukhoi Su-24 and Su-24M that Moscow’s air force uses to fire guided bombs at the Ukrainian military and frontline towns and cities.

The source described the operation as an important one.

Ukraine has significantly stepped up its drone attacks on targets in Russia in recent weeks, focusing on oil refineries in an effort to reduce Russian oil revenue.

Unable to rapidly produce long-range missiles and with limited access to those made by Western allies, Kyiv has focused on developing long-range uncrewed vehicles to strike back at Russia, which has used a sprawling arsenal of missiles and drones to bomb Ukraine.

Germany’s defense minister overhauls the military command as he seeks ‘war-capable’ armed forces

09:30 , Tom Watling

Germany‘s defense minister on Thursday announced a plan to streamline and reorganize the country’s military command as part of efforts to make the armed forces of NATO’s most populous European member “war-capable.”

Chancellor Olaf Scholz set in motion a big increase in military spending shortly after Russia‘s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, which he described as a “turning point.” Defense Minister Boris Pistorius last year took on the job of overhauling the military, the Bundeswehr, after years of neglect and in November called for a review of its structure.

Germany’s defense minister overhauls the military command as he seeks ‘war-capable’ armed forces

The true toll of the war in Ukraine is measured in bodies. This man brings them home, one at a time

09:00 , Tom Watling

The smell in the car is sick and sweet, the overpowering scent of corpses that have lain too long in muck and ruin, the ones the dogs didn’t devour. Oleksii Yukov, a 38-year-old martial arts instructor who leads a team of volunteer body collectors in Ukraine, doesn’t notice.

He is on the phone with one of the mothers. She heard her son was injured in battle and left behind, but she’s not sure where.

“He was left to die and now they are telling me that ‘he died as a hero!?’” she says, choking out words between sobs.

The true toll of the war in Ukraine is measured in bodies. This man brings them home, one at a time

‘Pure barbarity’: Rescuers killed as Russia launches ‘double tap’ drone attack on Kharkiv

08:30 , Tom Watling

Resistance by Kharkiv’s vastly outnumbered defenders has infuriated Vladimir Putin, as Askold Krushelnycky discovers at the scene of a cruel attack on brave Ukrainian rescue workers

‘Pure barbarity’: Rescuers killed in Russian ‘double tap’ drone attack on Kharkiv

Ukraine says it downed 13 drones launched by Russia overnight

08:00 , Tom Watling

Ukraine‘s air force shot down all 13 drones used in Russia’s overnight attack on southern regions, the Ukrainian military said on Friday.

Shahed drones were destroyed over the Zaporizhzhia, Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk regions. Russia also used two S-300/S-400 missiles and three Iskander-M ballistic missiles in the attack.

One of the attacks targeted energy infrastructure in the Odesa region but air defences repelled all four drones, Ukraine‘s southern group of forces said on the Telegram messaging app. The debris damaged several private residences and farm buildings in Zaporizhzhia, the statement said.

Local officials also reported explosions in an attack in the eastern city of Kharkiv, a regular target of Russian attacks, late on Thursday. The region’s governor, Oleh Syniehubov, said the attack damaged four cars and a five-storey building with no casualties reported as of Friday morning. Russia has stepped up attacks on Ukrainian grid infrastructure in recent weeks, aiming to disrupt the country’s power and energy network.

Russia has fired thousands of Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones at Ukraine (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Russia has fired thousands of Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones at Ukraine (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Russia calls Swedish plans for NATO base in Baltic a provocation – RIA

07:45 , Tom Watling

Russia’s foreign ministry said on Friday Sweden’s plans to set up a NATO military base on the Gotland island in the Baltic Sea were a provocation that would turn the sea into an area of geopolitical confrontation, the RIA news agency reported.

The ministry said this would increase risks for shipping in the Baltic.

Russian governor of Rostov-on-don region: air defence destroys more than 40 airborne targets

07:30 , Tom Watling

The governor of Russia’s Rostov-on-Don region said early on Friday that air defence units had destroyed more than 40 airborne targets, though an electricity substation was damaged.

Vasily Golubev, writing on the Telegram messaging app, said the drone attacks had focused on Morozovsk district, northeast of Rostov-on-Don, which lies on Ukraine‘s eastern border. Golubev said work was under way to restore power supplies in affected areas.

The attack may have been targeting a military airfield in Morozovsk, Rostov Oblast, where bombers Su-24, Su-24M, and Su-34 are based.

Ukraine has for months launched drone attacks on several Russian regions on its borders.

Russia says it downed 53 Ukrainian drones overnight, RIA reports

07:16 , Tom Watling

Russian air defences downed 53 Ukrainian drones overnight, most of them over the Rostov region, the RIA news agency cited the Russian defence ministry as saying on Friday.

One drone was downed in the Saratov region where an airbase for Russian strategic bombers is located. Drones were also downed over the Kursk, Belgorod and Krasnodar regions, the ministry said.

Nato members agree to look for more air defence systems for Kyiv

07:00 , Jane Dalton

Nato alliance members agreed on Thursday to scour their arsenals for more air defence systems to protect Ukraine from Russian ballistic missile attacks, as the alliance marked a 75th anniversary overshadowed by the war on its borders.

“Allies understand the urgency,” Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said after Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba met counterparts and appealed for new additional air defence systems, especially US-made Patriot missiles.

“Allies will now go back and look into their inventories, look into if there are any ways they can provide more systems, in particular Patriots, but also of course ensure that the systems which are already there have the ammunition but also the spare parts (they need),” Mr Stoltenberg said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “I believe based on what I heard today that everyone, including the United States, is going to double back, and if necessary double down, on finding the resources that Ukraine continues to need.”

Neither official spelled out any specific pledge or aid target.

Earlier, as a ceremony with birthday cake and marching bands could not mask the sombre mood in Brussels, Mr Kuleba said: “I didn’t want to spoil the birthday party for Nato, but I felt compelled to deliver a very sobering message on behalf of Ukrainians about the state of Russian air attacks on my country.”

Mr Kuleba and Mr Stoltenberg (Getty Images)

Mr Kuleba and Mr Stoltenberg (Getty Images)

In pictures: Shelling in occupied Donetsk

06:00 , Jane Dalton

A member of Russia’s emergencies ministry inspects a flat damaged by shelling in what Russian-installed authorities called a Ukrainian military strike (Reuters)

A member of Russia’s emergencies ministry inspects a flat damaged by shelling in what Russian-installed authorities called a Ukrainian military strike (Reuters)

Local residents remove debris outside an apartment building hit by shelling (REUTERS)

Local residents remove debris outside an apartment building hit by shelling (REUTERS)

An apartment hit by shelling (REUTERS)

An apartment hit by shelling (REUTERS)

Russia says Swedish plans for Nato base in Baltic a provocation

05:59 , Arpan Rai

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has called Sweden’s plans to set up a Nato military base on the Gotland island in the Baltic Sea a provocation that would turn the sea into an area of geopolitical confrontation, the Russian state agency RIA news reported.

The ministry said the move would increase risks for shipping in the Baltic.

Russian forces ‘enter Ukrainian suburb’

05:49 , Arpan Rai

Russian forces have entered a suburb of the city of Chasiv Yar in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, an adviser to the Russian-appointed regional head said.

Chasiv Yar, located about 10km (6m) west of Bakhmut, has served as an important staging point for Ukrainian troops in the area.

Ukrainian officials have not commented on Russian claims of entering Donetsk city.

The Russian advance was confirmed by the US-based think-tank the Institute for the Study of War, which cited geolocated footage and said Ukrainian forces halted their advance, and Russian state news RIA agency.“

Russian forces conducted a roughly reinforced company-sized mechanised assault towards Chasiv Yar (west of Bakhmut) on 4 April and advanced up to the eastern outskirts of the settlement.

Geolocated footage published on 4 April shows Russian forces conducting a roughly reinforced company-sized mechanised assault against Chasiv Yar.

“The footage indicates that the Russian mechanised column advanced along a section of the T-0506 (Khromove-Chasiv Yar) highway to the eastern outskirts of the Kanal micro-district (the easternmost part of Chasiv Yar) before Ukrainian forces prevented Russian forces from making further advances into Chasiv Yar.

“A Ukrainian soldier stated that Ukrainian forces destroyed 11 out of the 25 Russian armoured vehicles that participated in the mechanised assault, although Ukrainian officials have yet to provide more details on the assault,” it said.

Ukraine jails man who helped Russia bomb a pizzeria last year

05:13 , Arpan Rai

A Ukrainian resident has been jailed for life for helping Russia target a missile strike on a pizzeria last year, prosecutors said.

“A local resident was sentenced to life imprisonment for guiding the occupiers’ missile attack on the pizzeria in Kramatorsk,” the office of Ukraine’s prosecutor general said yesterday.

The attack claimed the lives of 13 people including novelist Victoria Amelina after a Russian ballistic missile ripped through the popular “Ria Pizza” restaurant on 27 June.

Officials said the man was recruited to carry out the task by an intelligence official in the Russian-controlled part of the eastern Donetsk region and was asked to gather information about the restaurant.

“The convict agreed to the offer. In the city centre, he noticed cars with military licence plates in the car park and military themselves in the restaurant,” the prosecutor general’s office said.

It added that the convicted man also covertly recorded two videos of the site, which he immediately sent to his handler via Telegram before covering up evidence of his actions.

The man has been jailed for life over charges of “confiscation of property for high treason”, officials said.

Zelensky frightened by prospect of second Trump presidency

04:30 , Jane Dalton

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in January invited former US president Donald Trump to visit Ukraine, but only on condition that he deliver on his words to “stop the war in 24 hours”:

Zelensky says he is frightened by prospect of second Trump presidency

Russian governor says air defence destroys more than 40 airborne targets

04:29 , Arpan Rai

The governor of Russia’s southern Rostov-on-Don region said air defence units had destroyed more than 40 airborne targets in an early morning attack.

An electricity substation was damaged in the attack, he said.

The drone attacks had focused on Morozovsk district, northeast of Rostov-on-Don, which lies on Ukraine’s eastern border, said Vasily Golubev.

He added that work was under way to restore power supplies in affected areas.

Russian minister casts prospective Ukraine peace talks as Western plot

04:14 , Arpan Rai

Russia’s top diplomat has claimed that prospective negotiations to end the Russian war in Ukraine could be successful only if they take Moscow’s interests into account, dismissing a planned round of peace talks as a Western ruse to rally broader international support for Kyiv.

Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov charged that Ukraine’s Western allies are currently involved in a massive diplomatic blitz to persuade as many countries of the Global South as possible to join a meeting in Switzerland to discuss a potential peace plan.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with about 70 foreign ambassadors to Moscow, Mr Lavrov argued that the West is seeking to boost attendance at the planned round of negotiations in Switzerland by claiming that its participants would be free to discuss only certain aspects of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s peace plan, such as ways to ensure global food security.

Russian minister casts prospective Ukraine peace talks as Western plot to win hesitant Global South

‘Pure barbarity’: Rescuers killed as Russia launches ‘double tap’ drone attack on Kharkiv

04:05 , Arpan Rai

Ukraine’s second-largest city has been rocked by a “double tap” drone strike in which a first wave of missiles fired at residential buildings was followed by another attack timed to hit rescuers.

An Iranian-made Shahed drone slammed into a street yards from a building that had been hit an hour previously, exploding near firefighters and ambulance crews who were helping the injured and searching for survivors still under rubble.

Three firefighters were killed in the attack early on Thursday – two instantly and a third while being transported to hospital. A woman living in one of the targeted buildings was killed, and a dozen more were injured.

The death of one of the firefighters was witnessed by his son, who was in the same crew. He was seen falling to his knees and crying while other rescue workers tried to console him.

Askold Krushelnycky reports from the scene:

‘Pure barbarity’: Rescuers killed in Russian ‘double tap’ drone attack on Kharkiv

Russia downs Ukrainian drone, sparking fire

03:00 , Jane Dalton

A fire broke out near a central market in the southern Russian city of Kursk on Thursday after air defence units downed a drone, one of four intercepted over the region, governor Roman Starovoit said.

Writing on the Telegram messaging app, Mr Starovoit said emergency services had been dispatched to the scene. He said one drone had struck a private home and two fires had broken out linked to that. He reported no casualties.

Ukraine’s military has repeatedly fired drones at three Russian border regions – Belgorod, Kursk and Voronezh. Its forces have also shelled border areas, particularly in Belgorod region.

More aid for Kyiv urgently needed, says Blinken

01:40 , Jane Dalton

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said more aid was urgently needed for Ukraine following a Nato meeting of foreign ministers.

He added that the message from allies in Brussels was clear that the US Congress vote on the aid cannot happen soon enough.

Mr Blinken, in Brussels, said support for Ukraine was especially important as countries such as China, North Korea and Iran were helping Russia build up its defence industrial base.

He also asserted that Ukraine would eventually join Nato, as support for the country remained “rock solid” among member states.

Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said he briefed Mr Blinken on Russia’s increased air terror against Ukrainian cities and communities, including the use of ballistic missiles, and urged America to find ways to provide additional “Patriot” air defence systems as soon as possible.

It feels like 1939 again in Europe, says Polish PM – recap

01:00 , Jane Dalton

Europe is in a “pre-war era” reminiscent of 1939 and nobody will feel safe if Ukraine is defeated by Russia, Donald Tusk has warned:

It feels like 1939 again in Europe, says Poland’s Donald Tusk

‘Pure barbarity’: Rescuers killed as Russia launches double drone attack on Kharkiv

Friday 5 April 2024 00:05 , Jane Dalton

In recent weeks, Kharkiv has faced relentless Russian attacks, which appear to be driven by revenge rather than military strategy, writes Askold Krushelnycky:

‘Pure barbarity’: Rescuers killed in Russian ‘double tap’ drone attack on Kharkiv

‘It’s as though it happened yesterday’: The suburb where the war’s worst atrocities took place

Thursday 4 April 2024 22:55 , Jane Dalton

Two years on from the massacre in the suburbs, Bucha is evolving – but for those who suffered the worst of Russian atrocities, time has not dulled the pain of loss:

Life has returned to Ukraine’s Bucha. But 2 years after the killings, some families can’t move on

Ukraine strikes may have hit 15% of Russian refinery capacity, says Nato official

Thursday 4 April 2024 21:55 , Jane Dalton

Ukrainian strikes on Russian refineries may have disrupted more than 15% of Russian capacity, a Nato official has said.

They added that the alliance believed Moscow still lacked sufficient munitions and manpower to launch a successful offensive.

Some Ukrainian strikes have gone as far as 1,000km into Russian territory.

“In terms of damage, the strikes have probably disrupted more than 10% of Russia’s refinery capacity, maybe more than 15%. Depending on the extent of the damage, repairs could take considerable time,” the official said.

“I think what we see here are fewer and fewer of these types of Russian energy, critical infrastructure that are safe from potential strikes and a greater and greater impact, I think, on the Russian economy.”

According to Reuters calculations, around 14% of Russia’s refining capacity has been shut down by drone attacks.

Damaged Russian refineries will get back to normal operations by early June, the Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday, citing Russian energy minister Nikolai Shulginov.

Smoke billows after Ukraine's SBU drone strikes a refinery (via REUTERS)

Smoke billows after Ukraine’s SBU drone strikes a refinery (via REUTERS)

Finland keeps Russian border closed

Thursday 4 April 2024 20:55 , Jane Dalton

Finland will extend the closure of its border crossing points with Russia beyond the current April 14 deadline “until further notice” due to a high risk of organized migration orchestrated by Moscow, the Finnish government says:

Finland to keep border with Russia closed until further notice

Russia and West join forces to tackle trade in ‘blood diamonds’

Thursday 4 April 2024 19:55 , Jane Dalton

In case you missed it: The United States and its allies are feuding with Russia over its diamond production, but they have joined forces to crack down on the trade in “blood diamonds” that helped fuel devastating conflicts in Africa:

Russia and West join forces to tackle trade in ‘blood diamonds’ despite feud over Moscow’s diamonds

Russia likely to have been behind GPS disruption, says Germany

Thursday 4 April 2024 19:00 , Jane Dalton

Russia is “very likely” to have been behind a series of disturbances affecting GPS navigation in the Baltic region, the German defence ministry has said, pointing to the Russian Kaliningrad exclave as a source of the problem.

“The persistent disruptions to the global navigation satellite system are very likely of Russian origin and are based on disruptions in the electromagnetic spectrum, including those originating in the Kaliningrad Oblast,” a spokesperson for the ministry told Reuters, confirming a report by news website t-online.

The spokesperson declined to give details on how Berlin made its assessment or the exact nature of the disruptions, citing military security.

Kaliningrad, sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland on the coast of the Baltic Sea, was cut off from Moscow when Lithuania became independent during the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 but still houses the Russian Baltic Fleet.

Map showing Kaliningrad (Google Maps)

Map showing Kaliningrad (Google Maps)

Russian minister dismisses peace talks as Western plot

Thursday 4 April 2024 18:00 , Jane Dalton

Russian minister casts prospective Ukraine peace talks as Western plot to win hesitant Global South

Six civilians killed in Ukrainian attacks, Russia claims

Thursday 4 April 2024 16:50 , Jane Dalton

Officials in Russian-controlled parts of southern and eastern Ukraine say six civilians have been killed in Ukrainian attacks.

A Russian official in Kherson region, Andrey Alekseenko, said two people died in a village where one drone struck a car and a second drone was fired at a passenger who had managed to crawl away.

He said a separate attack killed two members of a repair crew working to restore mobile communications. Another person was in hospital in critical condition.

Russian-installed officials in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine said two people had been killed there by Ukrainian shelling, and nine others were wounded.

Russia and Ukraine deny targeting civilians. The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission said in February that more than 10,000 civilians had been killed in Ukraine and nearly 20,000 wounded.

A Ukrainian military sapper places red flags next to a part of a Russian cluster bomb while demining a field in Kherson region (Reuters)

A Ukrainian military sapper places red flags next to a part of a Russian cluster bomb while demining a field in Kherson region (Reuters)

Nato to send us extra air defences, says Ukrainian foreign minister

Thursday 4 April 2024 15:35 , Jane Dalton

Nato allies have agreed to identify and find air defence systems in their arsenals to send to Ukraine to defend itself, foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has said.

“Allies will undertake an exercise of allocating or finding this – identifying these additional air defence systems in order to bring them to Ukraine, to provide them to Ukraine and help defend our skies,” he said in Brussels where he attended a Nato summit.

United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Ukraine would eventually join Nato as support for the country remained “rock solid” among member states.

“Ukraine will become a member of Nato. Our purpose at the summit is to help build a bridge to that membership,” Mr Blinken said.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Dutch Foreign Minister Hanke Bruins Slot talk to UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron (EPA)

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Dutch Foreign Minister Hanke Bruins Slot talk to UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron (EPA)

Attack despicable and cynical, says Zelensky

Thursday 4 April 2024 14:58 , Jane Dalton

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky called the strikes that killed first responders in Kharkiv a “despicable and cynical attack” and renewed his plea for more air defence systems from the West.

“Strengthening Ukraine’s air defence capabilities directly translates into saving lives,” he posted.

Other first responders have also been victims of the fighting. The World Health Organisation said ambulance workers and other health transport staff face a high risk of injury or death.

“Many emergency teams come under fire either on the way to a call or at their bases,” WHO said in a report.

“This is a horrifying pattern,” Dr Emanuele Bruni, WHO’s incident manager in Ukraine, said.

“These attacks threaten their safety and further devastate communities that have been living under constant shelling for more than two years.”

In pictures: Kharkiv attack

Thursday 4 April 2024 14:35 , Jane Dalton

Emergency workers try to save people while fire rages (EPA)

Emergency workers try to save people while fire rages (EPA)

 (EPA)

(EPA)

 (AFP via Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

German defence minister wary of doubling structures on Ukraine Nato fund

Thursday 4 April 2024 13:00 , Tom Watling

A proposal by Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to create a €100 billion (£86bn) fund for Ukraine is worth considering, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said on Thursday, but he added that it was important to prevent the doubling up of structures.

Such a fund would also have to take into consideration the national contributions already made by Nato countries, Mr Pistorius told a press conference in Berlin.

German defence minister wary of doubling structures on Ukraine Nato fund (REUTERS)

German defence minister wary of doubling structures on Ukraine Nato fund (REUTERS)

Macron says he has no doubt Russia will target Paris Olympics

Thursday 4 April 2024 12:45 , Tom Watling

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that he has no doubt Russia will malevolently target the Paris Olympics this summer.

“I have no doubt whatsoever, including in terms of information,” Mr Macron said in response to a reporter’s question about whether he thought that Russia would try to target the Olympics.

The French leader’s comments, delivered at an event in Paris for the inauguration of the new Olympics aquatic centre, represent his most explicit acknowledgment to date of foreign threats to the security or smooth running of the games.

The Games will take places amid a complex global backdrop, with Russia’s war in Ukraine and Israel’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza complicating efforts to safeguard the Olympics.

Mr Macron has in past months adopted a tougher stance against Russia, vowing that Moscow must be defeated, and has not ruled out that European troops may one day go to Ukraine, although he has made clear that France has no intention of instigating hostilities against Russia.

His government has also adopted a tougher line against alleged Russian disinformation efforts across Europe.

Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne said France will propose EU-wide level sanctions on those behind spreading disinformation amid what Paris sees as growing efforts by Russia to destabilise the bloc.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Tony Estanguet, president of the Paris 2024 Olympics Organising Committee, attend the inauguration of the Olympic Aquatics Center (CAO) in Saint-Denis, near Paris (AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron and Tony Estanguet, president of the Paris 2024 Olympics Organising Committee, attend the inauguration of the Olympic Aquatics Center (CAO) in Saint-Denis, near Paris (AP)

Russia launches drone attack on Kharkiv that kills 4 people and wounds 12

Thursday 4 April 2024 12:30 , Tom Watling

Russian troops launched waves of Shahed drones against the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv overnight, killing four people and wounding 12, regional Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said Thursday.

Russia attacked Ukraine’s second-biggest city with at least 15 drones, some of which were shot down by air defense.

Three rescuers were killed when Russia struck a multistory building damaged in an earlier strike. Six people were wounded at that location. Another 14-story building was hit by a drone, killing a 69-year-old woman.

Russia launches drone attack on Kharkiv that kills 4 people and wounds 12

Russia says backup power line to Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has gone down

Thursday 4 April 2024 12:00 , Tom Watling

A backup power line supplying the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine has gone down, the Russian-controlled management of the plant said on Thursday.

Ukraine‘s state-run nuclear power company, Energoatom, said the main 750 kilovolt (kV) power line, recently restored by Ukrainian engineers, was still running.

The six reactors at the Zaporizhzhia plant, held by Russia and located close to the front line of the war in Ukraine, are not in operation but it relies on external power to keep its nuclear material cool and prevent a catastrophic accident.

The Russian management said on Telegram that the reasons for the outage, which had not caused any change in the radiation level, were being investigated.

It said the problem was with the 330 kV “Ferosplavnaya” power line. This is a backup which, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was restored in the middle of last month after an outage of more than three weeks.

The main 750 kV “Dniprovska” power line went down for almost five hours on 22 March, highlighting what the IAEA said were “ever present dangers to nuclear safety and security” from the Russia-Ukraine war.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe's largest, is seen in the background of the shallow Kakhovka Reservoir (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, is seen in the background of the shallow Kakhovka Reservoir (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

At 75, is timid, hesitant Nato now showing its age?

Thursday 4 April 2024 11:30 , Tom Watling

On the alliance’s landmark anniversary, historian Sten Rynning says the future of European security may depend on whether it can convince three steadfastly neutral countries to sign up

At 75, is timid, hesitant Nato now showing its age?

Czechs to give tens of millions of euros for Ukraine ammunition plan, PM says

Thursday 4 April 2024 11:00 , Tom Watling

The Czech Republic will donate tens of millions of euros to an initiative it is leading to buy hundreds of thousands of artillery ammunition rounds for Ukraine, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said.

Two years after Russia’s full-scale invasion, the most pressing need for Ukraine is artillery ammunition as the sides use heavy cannon fire to hold largely static, entrenched positions along the 1,000-km (620-mile) front line.

The Czech-led donation effort has won over about 18 countries, with Germany pledging the highest contribution so far, 576 million euros for 180,000 artillery rounds.

Fiala said on CNN Prima News television on Wednesday night that the Czech contribution would be in the higher hundreds of millions of crowns, which equals low tens of millions of euros.

“This roughly corresponds to the share that a country of our size and prosperity should put in,” Fiala said.

The Czechs, through a team of government officials and private companies, have sought at least 800,000 large-calibre ammunition rounds from countries around the world, with first deliveries to Ukraine expected by June.

But Czech officials have said the number is not final, and there was more ammunition available globally if more funding is secured.

Zelensky deplores ‘despicable and cynical’ Kharkiv attack

Thursday 4 April 2024 10:30 , Tom Watling

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of committing a “despicable and cynical” attack on Kharkiv overnight, which killed at least four people and injured a dozen more.

Russia-Nato relations at level of direct confrontation, Kremlin says

Thursday 4 April 2024 10:23 , Tom Watling

Relations between Russia and Nato have slid to the level of direct confrontation as the US-led military bloc is already involved in the conflict in Ukraine and continues to expand towards Russia’s borders, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

Zelensky finally calls for younger soldiers in bid to plug shortfall in troops

Thursday 4 April 2024 10:00 , Tom Watling

Ukraine has annnounced it will lower the military conscription age in an effort to replenish its depleted ranks after more than two years of war.

The new mobilization law, from 27 to 25 , came into force a day after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed it. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed it last year.

It was not immediately clear why Zelenskyy took so long to sign the measure into law. He didn’t make any public comment about it, and officials did not say how many new soldiers the country expected to gain or for which units.

Zelensky finally calls for younger soldiers in bid to plug shortfall in troops

Here are some of the latest photos from the Kharkiv attack

Thursday 4 April 2024 09:25 , Tom Watling

Below are some of the latest photos from the overnight Russian attack on Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine

This photograph shows a residential building damaged as a result of a missile attack in Kharkiv (AFP via Getty Images)

This photograph shows a residential building damaged as a result of a missile attack in Kharkiv (AFP via Getty Images)

A crater can be seen next to a damaged fire truck in Kharkiv (AFP via Getty Images)

A crater can be seen next to a damaged fire truck in Kharkiv (AFP via Getty Images)

Ukraine says 350,000 residents have lost power after strikes on Kharkiv

Thursday 4 April 2024 09:02 , Tom Watling

About 350,000 residents were cut off from power supply in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv and the surrounding region after an overnight Russian drone attack on Thursday, the Energy Ministry said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app.

Russia has been attacking Ukraine‘s energy system with missiles and drones in recent weeks.

Russian drone attack kills at least four in Ukraine’s Kharkiv, officials say

Thursday 4 April 2024 08:24 , Tom Watling

Russian drones hit high-rise apartment blocks and private homes in Kharkiv on Thursday, killing at least four people in Ukraine‘s second-largest city, officials said.

Kharkiv Regional Governor Oleh Synehubov put the death toll at four, including three rescue workers in a repeat strike at the site of one attack. Writing on the Telegram messaging app, he also said that 12 people were injured, with three in serious condition.

Russia used at least 15 drones in the Kharkiv attacks, Mr Synehubov wrote.

Ukraine‘s military shot down 11 Shahed drones out of 20 launched at the country overnight, the General Staff said.

Residential buildings, stores, a medical facility and cars were damaged in the attack, the Kharkiv prosecutor’s office said on Telegram.

Drones also hit the Zmiivska thermal power plant in the region, the governor said, keeping up pressure on an energy system that has come under repeated attack from Russian air strikes in recent weeks.

Pictures and videos from Kharkiv showed ladders from fire trucks operating under floodlights and extending to shattered apartments at the top of high-rise blocks.

Ukrainian broadcaster Suspilne reported that one of the strikes caused serious damage to apartments on three floors of a 14-storey building. It said emergency crews had been unable to work for at least an hour for fear of further strikes.

An education facility, cultural centre and private residence in the Dnipropetrovsk region were also hit by drones, the region’s governor said, adding that no casualties were reported.

Rescuers evacuate a wounded local resident from a residential building damaged during a Russian drone strike in Kharkiv (REUTERS)

Rescuers evacuate a wounded local resident from a residential building damaged during a Russian drone strike in Kharkiv (REUTERS)

At least three rescue workers were injured in a second Russian strike that hit the site of the original explosion in Kharkiv. This technique is known as a ‘double tap’ (REUTERS)

At least three rescue workers were injured in a second Russian strike that hit the site of the original explosion in Kharkiv. This technique is known as a ‘double tap’ (REUTERS)

First responders work on the scene of an overnight drone attack in Kharkiv (EPA)

First responders work on the scene of an overnight drone attack in Kharkiv (EPA)

Ukraine plans to destroy Crimean bridge used by Russia by July

Thursday 4 April 2024 07:25 , Arpan Rai

A senior Ukrainian military intelligence official has said Kyiv is aiming to destroy the Kerch bridge in Crimea, used as a lifeline by Russia to transport munitions and artillery for its invasion, “in the first half of 2024”.

Senior officials from Ukraine’s HUR military intelligence service have said they are eyeing a third blow to the bridge after two previous attempts caused significant damage, describing another operation as “inevitable”, reported The Guardian.

The 12-mile long bridge connecting Crimea and Russia carries heavy significance for Moscow, both logistically and psychologically, as a key artery for military and civilian supplies and as an assertion of Kremlin control of the peninsula it illegally annexed in 2014.

The bridge is the longest in Europe and a subject of considerable pride in Russia, while invoking disdain for Ukrainians who see this as a symbol of Russian control over their territory.

Seven children and families returned home

Thursday 4 April 2024 07:00 , Jane Dalton

Seven more Ukrainian children and their families were returned home from Russian-occupied territories in Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts, ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets has said, The Kyiv Independent reported.

At least 19,500 children have been confirmed as abducted by Russia since the start of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and fewer than 400 have been returned home, according to the Children of War database.

“Some of the families went through true horror under occupation and became the witnesses of Russians looting homes of the locals, forcing (Ukrainians) to take Russian passports, abusing Ukrainians, forcing children to learn by ‘Russia’s world’ canons,” Lubinets wrote on his Telegram channel.

Russia’s security head says the US shares blame for deadly concert hall attack

Thursday 4 April 2024 06:02 , Associated Press

The head of Russia’s national security council contended that the United States shares blame for the attack by gunmen on a Moscow concert hall that killed 145 people, even though a branch of the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility.

Since the 22 March attack at the Crocus City Hall, the deadliest on Russian soil in two decades, Russian officials including President Vladimir Putin have repeatedly claimed, without presenting evidence, that it was organized by Ukraine, which has been fighting a Russian invasion for more than two years.

An affiliate of Isis claimed responsibility for the attack and Kyiv has consistently denied involvement.

Russia’s security head says the US shares blame for deadly concert hall attack

France rejects Russian claims of possible dialogue on Ukraine

Thursday 4 April 2024 06:00 , Arpan Rai

France did not show any readiness for dialogue on Ukraine during talks between the French and Russian defence ministers earlier yesterday, a French government source said.

“It is not true,” the source said after Russia’s defence ministry had made the claim in a statement.

The government source said the focus of the call, initiated by France, had been to discuss the heightened terrorism threat.

Russia’s security head says US shares blame for concert hall attack

Thursday 4 April 2024 06:00 , Jane Dalton

Russia’s security head says the US shares blame for deadly concert hall attack

Nato weighs a plan to provide long-term military help to Ukraine

Thursday 4 April 2024 05:22 , Arpan Rai

Nato is debating a plan to provide more predictable military support to Ukraine in coming years as better armed Russian troops assert control on the battlefield, the organisation’s top civilian official said today.

“We strongly believe that support to Ukraine should be less dependent on short-term, voluntary offers and more dependent on long-term Nato commitments,” Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said before chairing a meeting of the alliance’s foreign ministers in Brussels.

“The reason why we do this is the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine. It is serious,” Mr Stoltenberg told reporters. “We see how Russia is pushing, and we see how they try to win this war by just waiting us out.”

The plan is to have Nato coordinate the work of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group — a forum of around 50 countries that has regularly gathered during the war to drum up weapons and ammunition for Ukraine — rather than the US European Command.

NATO weighs a plan to provide long-term military help to Ukraine as Russian troops assert control

Putin’s target is US presence in eastern Europe, says expert

Thursday 4 April 2024 05:00 , Jane Dalton

The lowering of Ukraine’s conscription age is a signal that the country is facing up to the reality that it’s in a war of attrition and of competition for resources, said Orysia Lutsevych, head of the Ukraine forum and deputy director of the Russia and Eurasia programme at the Chatham House think tank in London.

Volodymyr Zelensky was hoping for a relatively quick end to the war, she said. But he realises that Putin “is not just fighting Ukraine. His main enemy is the United States and its presence in Eastern Europe.”

The initial enthusiasm for going out to fight against the Kremlin’s forces has waned, though public support for the war remains high.

Ukraine currently forbids men younger than 60 from traveling abroad. Many Ukrainian men are evading the draft by hiding at home or trying to bribe their way out of the battle. Commanders say they don’t have enough soldiers to launch offensives, and barely enough to hold positions during intensifying Russian assaults.

Russia’s population is more than three times the size of Ukraine‘s, and president Vladimir Putin has shown a willingness to force men to the front if not enough volunteer.

Russian defence minister warns French counterpart in rare call

Thursday 4 April 2024 04:50 , Arpan Rai

Russia’s defence minister warned his French counterpart against deploying troops to Ukraine in a rare phone call today and noted that Moscow is ready to take part in talks to end the conflict.

Sergei Shoigu told French defence minister Sébastien Lecornu that if Paris follows up on its statements about the possibility of sending a French military contingent to Ukraine, “it will create problems for France itself,” according to a statement from the Russian defence ministry. It didn’t elaborate.

The conversation followed French president Emmanuel Macron’s comments in February, in which he said that the possibility of Western troops being sent to Ukraine could not be ruled out.

The call marked the first such contact between Russian and French defence ministers since October 2022.

In rare call, Russian defense minister warns French counterpart against sending troops to Ukraine

Russian drone kills four in Ukraine’s Kharkiv

Thursday 4 April 2024 04:23 , Arpan Rai

At least four people were killed in the early hours of this morning after Russian drones hit high-rise apartment blocks and private homes in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, officials said. The victims include rescue workers as the drones targeted the site of one attack in a repeat assault.

Kharkiv governor Oleh Synehubov said the death toll stands at four, with 10 injured, one in serious condition.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov also confirmed the death toll and said four people died at the scene of one attack, at least three of them drivers of emergency vehicles killed after they had arrived at the scene and a new strike occurred.

Mr Terekhov said there had been five drone strikes. One had triggered a fire, part of another building had collapsed, and at least three vehicles were seriously damaged.

One person was killed in a strike on private homes in another city district, Terekhov said.

Mr Synehubov said one of the injured was a nurse caught in a later, secondary blast.

Pictures and video posted online showed ladders from fire trucks operating under floodlights and extending up to shattered apartments at the top of high-rise blocks.

Mr Terekhov told Suspilne public television that signs of life had been detected from one person beneath rubble.

Recap: Ukraine ‘stops Russia’s advance west of Avdiivka’

Thursday 4 April 2024 04:00 , Jane Dalton

Last month, the Ukrainian military said its forces halted a Russian advance outside Avdiivka:

Ukraine says it has finally stopped Russia’s advance west of Avdiivka

‘Building destroyers’: The Russian glide bombs changing the war

Thursday 4 April 2024 03:00 , Jane Dalton

Russia’s deadly new weapon is proving devastating for Ukrainian defensive positions on or near the front line. Tom Watling reports:

The glide bombs changing the face of the war on Ukraine’s eastern front lines

Russia considers removing Taliban from list of terror groups

Thursday 4 April 2024 02:00 , Jane Dalton

Russia considers removing Taliban from list of terror groups ahead of upcoming talks

In pictures: Ukraine fights on

Thursday 4 April 2024 01:00 , Jane Dalton

Members of the 37th Marine Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in a French armoured fighting vehicle during military drills on Wednesday:

 (REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

 (REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

 (REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

Villages wiped out, says Kherson chief

Wednesday 3 April 2024 23:59 , Jane Dalton

Some villages in the occupied Kherson region in southern Ukraine no longer exist, the exiled head of the military administration of the city of Oleshky has reportedly said.

Tetiana Hasanenko told Radio Svoboda of the constant shelling and complete lack of electricity, water and gas, according to The Kyiv Independent.

The situation in Oleshky in Kherson is deteriorating under Russian occupation, Ms Hasanenko said.

This year, 21 civilians have been wounded and seven killed under Russian occupation, she added, describing the situation as “simply catastrophic”.

“These are not complete numbers, these are only those people we have become aware of,” she said.

“Civilians are constantly dying.”

Oleshky was also hit by Russia’s destruction of the Kakhovka Dam last year, and suffered widescale flooding.

EU leaders to discuss agenda including Ukraine

Wednesday 3 April 2024 22:59 , Jane Dalton

European Council president Charles Michel is about to start talks with several European Union leaders on the bloc’s goals for the nex five years, including Ukraine:

EU Council chief travels to Romania for talks on agenda for future with other bloc leaders

Germany’s AfD asks candidate to ‘clarify’ Russian cash report

Wednesday 3 April 2024 21:59 , Jane Dalton

The leadership of Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) has asked one of its politicians to “clarify” a report that he received money from a pro-Russian news portal, amid growing scrutiny across Europe of right-wing parties’ links to Moscow.

Petr Bystron, a member of the German Bundestag and an AfD candidate in this summer’s European Parliament elections, has strongly denied the report.

In a letter on Wednesday, AfD leaders Alice Weidel and Tina Chrupalla said Mr Bystron must explain his position on the matter by Thursday afternoon “to dispel all allegations beyond doubt and so that our party’s federal executive committee is able to react accordingly”.

German magazine Der Spiegel and Czech newspaper Denik N alleged that Mr Bystron had received money from the portal Voice of Europe after the Czech government last week sanctioned the operators and backers of the platform due to suspected Russian influence.

The Czech foreign ministry said the operators had sought to stir up sentiment in Europe against support for Ukraine through interviews with pro-Russian politicians. The portal also conducted interviews with the AfD’s top candidate in the European Parliament elections, Maximilian Krah.

A Spiegel journalist also said the Czech authorities had incriminating audio evidence of Mr Bystron.

In an interview with the Funke Media Group, he said: “I did not accept any money to promote pro-Russian positions.”

Kremlin denies new mobilisation plan

Wednesday 3 April 2024 20:57 , Jane Dalton

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has denied Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s assertion about a new Russian mobilisation this summer, Russian news agencies have reported.

Mr Zelensky said Russian authorities were allegedly “preparing the mobilization of 300,000 additional military personnel” by 1 June.

“This is not true,” Mr Peskov told Tass.

France tells Russia it condemns war

Wednesday 3 April 2024 20:09 , Jane Dalton

French Armed Forces Minister Sebastien Lecornu has held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu during the course of which he had reaffirmed that France condemned Russia’s “war of aggression” in Ukraine, Mr Lecornu’s office said.

It was the first call between the two leaders since October 2022, a spokesperson for France’s defence ministry said.

Recap: ICC prosecutor and officials discuss compensation for Ukraine

Wednesday 3 April 2024 19:20 , Jane Dalton

Ministers and officials from dozens of countries are gathering in the Netherlands for a conference on restoring justice in Ukraine. Among speakers will be the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, which has issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and military officers linked to the war:

The ICC prosecutor and government officials are discussing justice and compensation for Ukraine

Finland signs Ukraine security deal

Wednesday 3 April 2024 18:30 , Jane Dalton

Finland’s president has signed a 10-year security deal with Ukraine in Kyiv, where president Volodymyr Zelensky said he believed Russia planned to mobilise 300,000 new troops for its war by June.

The pact signed by president Alexander Stubb and Mr Zelensky made Finland the eighth Nato member this year to commit to long-term security cooperation and defence backing for Kyiv.

Finland, which shares a 1,340-km (830-mile) border with Russia, joined Nato a year ago.

Mr Stubb said Finland would also send 188 million euros in additional military aid, including air defences and heavy-calibre ammunition. That sum took Finland’s overall defence contribution to around 2 billion euros during the war.

“We are not giving this military support only for Ukraine to defend itself, we are giving this military support for Ukraine to win this war,” Stubb told a news conference in Kyiv.

Norway follows its neighbor Denmark in planning an increase in conscripted soldiers

Wednesday 3 April 2024 17:45 , Tom Watling

Norway is to increase the number of conscripted soldiers from the present 9,000 to 13,500, the Norwegian government said Tuesday.

“We must have enough people with the right skills at the right time,” Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said. “We will need more people with professional military expertise going forward.”

The country’s armed forces will see a gradual increase in the number of conscripts for initial service each year, Arild Gram said, adding that several billion kroner (several hundred million dollars) will be invested in the Norwegian Armed Forces’ facility at Terningmoen, north of Oslo, where the NATO member will gather all new recruits. He did not specify precisely how much oil-rich Norway will spend.

Norway follows its neighbor Denmark in planning an increase in conscripted soldiers

Russia’s security head says the US shares blame for deadly concert hall attack

Wednesday 3 April 2024 17:09 , Tom Watling

The head of Russia‘s national security council on Wednesday contended that the United States shares blame for the attack by gunmen on a Moscow concert hall that killed 145 people, even though a branch of the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility.

Since the March 22 attack at the Crocus City Hall, the deadliest on Russian soil in two decades, Russian officials including President Vladimir Putin have repeatedly claimed, without presenting evidence, that it was organized by Ukraine, which has been fighting a Russian invasion for more than two years.

An affiliate of the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack and Kyiv has consistently denied involvement.

Russia’s security head says the US shares blame for deadly concert hall attack

Zelensky finally calls for younger soldiers in bid to plug shortfall in troops

Wednesday 3 April 2024 16:39 , Tom Watling

Ukraine has annnounced it will lower the military conscription age in an effort to replenish its depleted ranks after more than two years of war.

The new mobilization law, from 27 to 25 , came into force a day after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed it. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed it last year.

It was not immediately clear why Zelenskyy took so long to sign the measure into law. He didn’t make any public comment about it, and officials did not say how many new soldiers the country expected to gain or for which units.

Zelensky finally calls for younger soldiers in bid to plug shortfall in troops

Nato countries to start planning new Ukraine aid structures, Stoltenberg says

Wednesday 3 April 2024 16:11 , Tom Watling

Nato countries have not yet taken a decision on the structure of future aid for Ukraine, but agreed on Wednesday to move forward with planning on the matter, Nato’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said.

“Today we didn’t take any final decisions on what format we will establish, but we agreed to initiate planning,” Mr Stoltenberg told reporters after a meeting of Nato foreign ministers.

The ministers met to discuss how to put military support for Ukraine on a long-term footing, including a proposal for a 100 billion euro ($107 billion) five-year fund and a plan seen as a way to “Trump-proof” aid for Kyiv.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg look on as they stand for a group photo on the day of a Nato foreign ministers meeting (REUTERS)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg look on as they stand for a group photo on the day of a Nato foreign ministers meeting (REUTERS)

Russia says new South Korean sanctions are ‘unfriendly’ and vows to respond

Wednesday 3 April 2024 15:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russia considers South Korea’s decision to impose sanctions against Russian individuals and entities as an “unfriendly” move and will respond in due course, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

South Korea has imposed sanctions against two Russian vessels which it says were carrying military cargo to North Korea. Seoul said on Tuesday it had also sanctioned two Russian organisations and two Russian citizens linked to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes.

“This is an unfriendly move by Seoul and is deeply regrettable. The imposition of – I emphasise – illegitimate sanctions will have a negative impact on relations with Russia,” Zakharova told reporters at her weekly briefing.

“Russia is developing good neighbourly ties with friendly North Korea in accordance with the norms of international law, without harming the national security of (South Korea),” she added.

Ties between Moscow and Pyongyang have strengthened following North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s visit to Russia‘s far east last year.

Court orders a detained Russia-US journalist to remain in custody for two more months

Wednesday 3 April 2024 15:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A court in Russia on Monday ordered a detained Russian-American journalist to be held in jail for two more months pending investigation and trial, in a further step in the Kremlin’s crackdown on dissent and free speech.

Alsu Kurmasheva, an editor for the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Tatar-Bashkir service, was taken into custody on Oct. 18 and charged with failing to register as a foreign agent while collecting information about the Russian military. Later, she was also charged with spreading “false information” about the Russian military.

A court in Tatarstan Monday ordered her to remain behind bars at least until June 5.

Court orders a detained Russia-US journalist to remain in custody for two more months

Moscow preparing to launch a ‘big attack’ this summer, Ukrainian military officers warn

Wednesday 3 April 2024 14:27 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russia is preparing to launch a “big attack” this summer that could plummet Ukraine into crisis, high-ranking Ukrainian military officers have warned.

The officers who served under General Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s former commander-in-chief of armed forces, told POLITICO that Russia is gathering resources and is likely to “launch a big attack around August” but warned it could be sooner.

One of the military sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “There’s nothing that can help Ukraine now because there are no serious technologies able to compensate Ukraine for the large mass of troops Russia is likely to hurl at us.

“We don’t have those technologies, and the West doesn’t have them as well in sufficient numbers.”

NATO weighs a plan to provide long-term military help to Ukraine as Russian troops assert control

Wednesday 3 April 2024 14:03 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

NATO is debating a plan to provide more predictable military support to Ukraine in coming years as better armed Russian troops assert control on the battlefield, the organization’s top civilian official said Wednesday.

“We strongly believe that support to Ukraine should be less dependent on short-term, voluntary offers and more dependent on long-term NATO commitments,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said before chairing a meeting of the alliance’s foreign ministers in Brussels.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ukraine lowered the military conscription age from 27 to 25 to help replenish its depleted ranks after more than two years of war. A shortage of infantry combined with a severe ammunition shortfall has helped hand Russian troops the initiative.

NATO weighs a plan to provide long-term military help to Ukraine as Russian troops assert control

NATO has returned to ‘Cold War mindset’ as it marks 75th anniversary, Russia says

Wednesday 3 April 2024 13:32 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russia said that NATO had returned to a Cold War mindset as the alliance marks its 75th anniversary this week.

“Today, in relations with Russia, the bloc has returned to Cold War settings,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters.

She said NATO has no place in the “multipolar world” that Moscow says it seeks to build in order to end U.S. dominance, but that it remains the focus of Russian attention.

President Vladimir Putin launched what he called his “special military operation” in Ukraine in 2022 with the stated aim of preventing NATO from expanding its footprint close to Russia. But the war has served to galvanise the alliance, which has expanded to 32 members by admitting Finland and Sweden.

NATO foreign ministers were meeting in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss proposals that would give the alliance a more direct role in coordinating the supply of arms, ammunition and equipment to Ukraine.

Western governments say they are helping Ukraine fight for its survival in the face of Russia‘s invasion. Zakharova said NATO’s history was “full of aggressive adventures that brought wars and destruction to many nations”, and its anniversary was no cause for celebration.

Putin vows to find the masterminds of the Moscow concert hall attack and urges tighter security

Wednesday 3 April 2024 13:01 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed Tuesday to track down the masterminds of the Moscow concert hall attack that left 144 people dead in the worst assault on Russian soil in two decades, and urged the country’s law enforcement agencies to tighten security at mass gatherings.

Putin has repeatedly sought to link the March 22 attack to Ukraine and the West despite the Islamic State group’s claim of responsibility and Kyiv‘s vehement denial.

Speaking at a meeting with top officials of the Interior Ministry that oversees the nation’s police force, Putin said it is important to determine “not only the perpetrators of this outrage, but all links in the chain and its beneficiaries.”

Putin vows to find the masterminds of the Moscow concert hall attack and urges tighter security

Japan’s support for Ukraine is unwavering, PM Kishida tells Zelensky

Wednesday 3 April 2024 12:35 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said his country’s support for Ukraine was unwavering during a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday, the foreign ministry in Tokyo said.

Zelensky said in a post on X he briefed Kishida on the battlefield situation and emphasized the need to step up sanction pressure on Russia and create a mechanism for confiscating frozen Russian assets.

“Prime Minister Kishida said he would like to express heartfelt respect for the courage of President Zelensky and the people of Ukraine, and that Japan will not waver in its position of standing together with Ukraine,” the ministry said in a statement.

 (AP)

(AP)

‘Building destroyers’: The Russian glide bombs changing the face of the war on Ukraine’s eastern front

Wednesday 3 April 2024 12:10 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Winged explosives weighing up to 1,500 kilograms – and nicknamed the ‘building destroyer’ – have had a devastating impact wherever they have been used, writes Tom Watling. Kyiv is battling them as best it can but needs Western allies to step up and provide more weapons, air defences and ammunition:

In a Ukrainian stronghold near the front line, less than 20 miles from the eastern city of Donetsk, a winged bomb is seen hurtling towards a multistorey building.

The 1,500-kilogram explosive hits the structure in the town of Krasnohorivka, erupting into a fireball before engulfing the whole building in a plume of grey and black smoke.

The camera, filming from several hundred metres away, shakes as the ground beneath it rocks from the aftereffects of the explosion.

The glide bombs changing the face of the war on Ukraine’s eastern front lines

NATO ministers mull 100 billion euro military fund for Ukraine

Wednesday 3 April 2024 11:42 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

NATO foreign ministers met on Wednesday to discuss how to put military support for Ukraine on a long-term footing, including a proposal for a 100 billion euro ($107 billion) five-year fund and a plan seen as a way to “Trump-proof” aid for Kyiv.

The proposals by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg would give the Western alliance a more direct role in coordinating the supply of arms, ammunition and equipment to Ukraine as it fights Russia‘s invasion, diplomats say.

The plans will be discussed during a two-day meeting in Brussels that will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and prepare for a July summit of alliance leaders in Washington.

“We need to shift the dynamics of our support,” Stoltenberg said as he arrived at the Brussels meeting.

“We must ensure reliable and predictable security assistance to Ukraine for the long haul, so that we rely less on voluntary contributions and more on NATO commitments. Less on short-term offers and more on multi-year pledges.”

He declined to confirm levels of funding and said the aim was for a decision to be taken at the July summit.

Ukraine lowers its conscription age to 25 to plug a shortfall in troop numbers fighting Russia

Wednesday 3 April 2024 11:20 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukraine on Wednesday lowered the military conscription age from 27 to 25 in an effort to replenish its depleted ranks after more than two years of war following Russia’s full-scale invasion.

The new mobilization law came into force a day after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed it. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed it last year.

It was not immediately clear why Zelenskyy took so long to sign the measure into law. He didn’t make any public comment about it, and officials did not say how many new soldiers the country expected to gain or for which units.

Ukraine lowers its conscription age to 25 to plug a shortfall in troop numbers fighting Russia

Russia says foreign minister Lavrov to meet China’s Wang soon

Wednesday 3 April 2024 11:04 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will soon meet his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

At the meeting, Lavrov and Wang will discuss Ukraine and the situation in the Asia-Pacific region, among other issues, Zakharova told a weekly briefing.

The meeting could lay the groundwork for a trip to China that Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to make in May. Five sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last month that Putin would hold talks there with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in what could be the Kremlin chief’s first overseas trip of his new six-year presidential term.

 ((Olga Maltseva /Pool Photo via AP)

((Olga Maltseva /Pool Photo via AP)

NATO seeks accord on more robust support to Ukraine to show Russia cannot win war

Wednesday 3 April 2024 10:39 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday the members states will discuss an accord to increase support to Ukraine in a more predictable way to send the message to Russia that it cannot win the war.

At the start of a NATO summit in Brussels, Stoltenberg told reporters that Ukraine needs more and new money from NATO over many years.

However, he declined to comment on a possible $100 billion aid fund for Ukraine specifically.

 (REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

Putin ally points finger at Ukrainian special services for concert shooting, cites no evidence

Wednesday 3 April 2024 10:19 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Top Russian security official Nikolai Patrushev said on Wednesday that “Ukrainian special services” were behind last month’s deadly concert shooting near Moscow and that Ukraine was under the control of the United States, state media reported.

Patrushev, secretary of the Security Council, provided no evidence for Russia‘s latest claim of Ukrainian involvement. Ukraine has denied having anything to do with the attack that killed at least 144 people, and the United States has said Islamic State militants bore sole responsibility.

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Cameron calls for increased Nato spending amid Ukraine conflict

Wednesday 3 April 2024 10:00 , Tom Watling

British Foreign Minister David Cameron on Wednesday will call for Nato allies to bolster defense spending and production in support of Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

“Allies need to step up and spend more on defence in the face of continued Russian aggression and a more dangerous world,” Lord Cameron will say in a speech on the occasion of 75 years of NATO history since its founding April 4, 1949.

The British minister will ask the allies to endorse British-led initiatives to procure Nato standard missiles and munitions for the Ukrainian armed forces. The UK has spent billions of dollars in its support for Ukraine since 2022 when the invasion began.

“With Ukraine closer to Nato than ever, we must sustain the critical support Ukraine needs to win the war,” Lord Cameron will say.

Speaking at a meeting of Nato’s foreign ministers, Cameron will also welcome Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom to the Nato alliance.

Sweden officially joined Nato in March, two years after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced it to rethink its national security policy and conclude that support for the alliance was the Scandinavian nation’s best guarantee of safety.

Lord Cameron also pointed to Nato’s commitment to integrating Ukraine into the alliance, reaffirming all allies’ consensus on Ukraine’s future Nato membership.

In February, Britain had announced a new package of sanctions against Russia and said it was seeking to diminish Russian President Vladimir Putin’s weapons arsenal and war chest.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron is expected to call for increased defence spending at a Nato summit later today (PA Wire)

Foreign Secretary David Cameron is expected to call for increased defence spending at a Nato summit later today (PA Wire)

Ukraine expects power exports to resume on Wednesday, ministry says

Wednesday 3 April 2024 09:30 , Tom Watling

Ukraine expects significant electricity exports to rebound on Wednesday, but the volumes are still well below levels prior to Russia’s recent missile attacks on the Ukrainian power system, Ukraine‘s energy ministry has said.

Ukraine‘s electricity imports reached a record high at the end on March after a string of Russian missile strikes on critical infrastructure caused blackouts in many regions.

The attacks, the largest of which came on 22 March , have caused major damage to generating and transmission facilities, forcing Kyiv to halt power exports and rely on imports.

“No shortage of electricity is expected. Ukraine‘s energy system is stable and balanced,” the ministry said in a statement.

It said power exports were expected to reach 1,487 megawatt hours (MWh) on Wednesday.

The ministry said Ukraine could also import 5,415 Mwh in periods of maximum consumption.

Ukraine imported 10,867 Mwh on Tuesday with no exports, the ministry said.

The head of national grid company Ukrenergo Volodymyr Kudrytskyi told Reuters on Monday that recent Russian attacks had caused significant damage to the power system, but a total collapse is unlikely.

Flames and smoke rise from a blaze at an electricity facility after a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine on 22 March (AP)

Flames and smoke rise from a blaze at an electricity facility after a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine on 22 March (AP)

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