Ukraine: Unhinged Putin vows to attack entire world – airports targeted in new threat

Ukraine: Maternity hospital bombed in Mariupol

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Maria Zakharova issued a warning that airports could be Russia’s next target.

The Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said: “We call on EU and NATO countries to stop the thoughtless flooding of the unviable Kyiv regime with the latest weapons systems in order to avoid enormous risk to international civilian aviation and other means of transport in Europe and beyond.”

It comes after the UK defence secretary Ben Wallace confirmed the UK would be sending Starstreak high-velocity portable missiles to help Ukraine “better defend its skies”.

The missiles travel at over three times the speed of sounds before spitting into three darts.

KEY EVENTS

  • Russian troops advance further towards Kyiv20:51
  • Russia warns it could target airports next13:57
  • Roman Abramovich added to UK sanctions list09:12
  • Putin warned of direct NATO action in Ukraine if Russia uses ‘despicable’ chemical weapon09:05
  • Britain to send ‘worlds fastest surface-to-air missiles’ to Ukraine08:36
  • Ukraine advisor confirmed economy devastated by Russia – $100bn in assets destroyed

    OLEG USTENKO, Chief Economic Advisor to President Volodymyr Zelensky, stated that over half of the Ukrainian economy has shut down in an event hosted by the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

    He also stated on Thursday that assets in infrastructure that are valued at over $100 billion have been destroyed since Russia’s attack on Ukraine 16 days ago.

    The estimate of the damage is “very approximate” and includes bridges, hospitals, equipment, and other physical assets.

    Financial experts and economists have issued stark predictions for Ukraine’s crippled economy, warning that financial assistance from the IMF and others will not cover the damage to the country’s output.

    Mr Ustenko appeared on the online event by the Peterson Institute and said that the conflict in Ukraine has led to 50 percent of Ukrainian businesses to shut down entirely.

    The remaining businesses that are still functioning are operating at a level much below their capacity.

    The chief advisor encouraged Western leaders to further tighten the sanctions on Russia including a complete ban on energy imports effective immediately after stating that the humanitarian situation “was worse than anyone can imagine.”

    Mr Ustenko referred to these imports from Russia as giving “blood money” to Putin and his regime.

    He added: “I understand that Europeans do not want to be cold…it is cold in Berlin and Paris, but much colder [for people] underground in Ukraine with no heating.”

    Jill Biden ‘prays that Zelensky is still alive’ everyday when she wakes up

    The First Lady paid tribute to military families and  troops in Kentucky during a last-minute visit to Fort Campbell where many troops were being deployed to bolster NATO borders in Poland.

    Speaking on the shock of the Russian invasion 16 days ago, Ms Biden had previously said: “We don’t know where it’s going to go. We just don’t know. And we’re all just holding our breath, aren’t we?”

    She added that she checks the television every day and “prays that Zelensky is still alive.”

    Concluding her speech at the military base in Kentucky, the First Lady said:

    “There are moments when we suddenly realise that history is being written in front of us – when we can almost feel ourselves cross the line that will divide our world into ‘before’ and ‘after’.

    “This is one of those moments.”

    France and Holland reject Ukraine’s fast-track EU membership plea – ‘It will not happen’

    On Thursday, 27 leaders of the European Union attended a meeting in Versailles, France, hosted by President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the conflict in Ukraine and fast-track Ukraine’s membership.

    However, the bloc appears to be split between Western and Eastern European countries when discussing Ukraine’s membership.

    Eastern European countries such as Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, who are decidedly at a higher risk of invasion from Russia, agree with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Ukraine should be given EU membership immediately.

    Meanwhile, Western European countries such as France and the Netherlands are heading the calls against Ukraine joining the Union, blaming the slow bureaucratic processes.

    Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte stated that the process of integrating a country into the European Union is a process that is not able to be fast-tracked.

    Mr Rutte stated: “This will not happen in the short term, because this is a whole process taking many years.

    “There is no such thing as a fast track. I want to focus on what we can do for Volodymyr Zelensky. EU accession is something for the long term, if at all.”

    French officials have also dashed Ukraine’s hopes of emergency access after President Macron said: “First of all, we must send a strong signal during this period to Ukraine and the Ukrainians. At the same time, we must be vigilant.

    “Can we open a membership procedure with a country at war? I don’t think so.”

    Boris Johnson expresses ‘deep upset’ over refusal of Ukraine no-fly zone – ‘Agonising’

    The Prime Minister spoke to Sky News’ Beth Rigby to state that despite almost daily phone calls with President Zelensky on how to aid Ukraine, NATO must not take that action for fear of the message it sends to President Putin.

    Speaking to Alex Crawford, a special correspondent for Sky News, Mr Zelensky accused the West of being indecisive on the no-fly zone issue, which he and other Ukrainian officials have called for.

    Mr Zelensky has repeatedly pushed western leaders on “closing the skies” in the fight against what he referred to as “the Nazis”.

    Boris Johnson said: “We’ve had some very frank conversations and ones which have been deeply upsetting because there is a line beyond which, quite frankly, the UK and NATO would be deemed to be in direct conflict with Russia.”

    The Prime Minister added: “It’s agonising, absolutely agonising. 

    “I’ve had this conversation at least a couple of times with Volodymyr but I think the difficulty is that it will require me to order RAF jets, UK pilots into the air with a mission to shoot down Russian fast jets.”

    Russian forces advance on Ukrainian capital

    Russian forces have made large advances on the ground in the past 24 hours after being stalled and are now three miles closer to Kyiv.

    it is thought that Russian troops could now be nine miles away from the city centre.

    A US defence official has said that in the past 24 hours Russian troops have moved in on the northwest routw into Kyiv and are advancing at the East of the capital along two parallel lines.

    Russian troops shell Mariupol every 30 minutes

    Mariupol’s mayor Vadym Boychenko said that Russian troops shell the city every 30 minutes. 

    He said that invaders have shelled residential areas in Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast, with artillery and rocket systems. 

    He also said they have prevented civilian evacuations.

    Twitter and Facebook remove post from Russian Embassy on hospital bombing

    Twitter and Facebook have removed a post from the UK’s Russian Embassy claiming that images of the aftermath of a bombing that occurred at a maternity hospital on Wednesday were faked. 

    President Zelensky said on Thursday that three people including a child were killed in the airstrike. 

    A spokesperson for Twitter said: “We took enforcement action against the Tweets you referenced as they were in violation of the Twitter Rules, specifically our Hateful Conduct and Abusive Behavior policies related to the denial of violent events.”

    Meta to change hate speech policy in relation to Ukraine conflict

    Meta will temporarily allow users of Instagram and Facebook in some countries to call for violence against Russians in the context of the invasion of Ukraine according to emails seen by Reuters on Thursday.

    Emails also showed that Meta is also temporarily allowing posts that call for the death of Putin or Belarusian President Lukashenko in countries including Russia, Ukraine and Poland. 

    The death threats will be allowed unless they target other individuals as well or have two indicators of credibility, such as the location or method.

    Russian troops advance further towards Kyiv

    Russian troops have been able to move forward in their advance on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. 

    Forces near Hostomel Airport are now 3 miles away from Kyiv city limits. 

    Another northeast advance is 25 miles east of Kyiv.

    US calls on Russia to safely allow Ukrainians to depart cities

    The US has called on Russia to safely allow Ukrainian civilians to depart towns and cities besieged by Russian forces. 

    Addressing reporters, Ned Price, a spokesperson for the US State Department said: “Putin’s military plan to quickly capture Ukraine, it is clear now has failed. So he’s now turning to a strategy of laying waste to population centres to try to break the will of the people of Ukraine, something he will not be able to do”.

    Mr Price added that Russian forces now encircle multiple cities and have destroyed critical infrastructure. 

    Russia says it will open up humanitarian corridors every day

    Russia has said that it will open up humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of Ukrainians every day at 10am Moscow time (7am GMT). 

    The Ukrainian government rejected a similar offer from the Kremlin earlier on in the conflict. 

    On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Moscow’s proposals to open up humanitarian corridors between Russia and Ukraine were “absurd”. 

    Johnson accuses Kremlin of preparing to use chemical weapons

    Boris Johnson has accused the Kremlin of preparing to use chemical weapons. 

    He said he feared Vladimir Putin’s “barbaric” regime could be preparing to use the banned weapons as Russian forces have failed to make the progress expected. 

    He said: “The stuff which you are hearing about chemical weapons is straight out of the Russian playbook.

    “They start saying that there are chemical weapons that are being stored by their opponents or by the Americans, so that when they themselves deploy chemical weapons – as I fear they may – they have a fake story ready to go.”

    VDL says Ukraine conflict is an attack on ‘people’s freedom’

    President of the European Commission Ursula von Der Leyen has said that the attack on Ukraine is not only an attack on Ukraine but an attack on people’s freedom to decide their own destiny. 

    In a tweet following an EU summit, she said: “This is a defining moment for the European Union.

    “This is not only an attack on Ukraine. 

    “This is an attack on people’s freedom to choose their own destiny. The very principle our Union is based on.  

    “We must show the power of our democracies.”

    Trudeau says Putin has chosen specifically to target civilians

    Canadian President Justin Trudeau has said that Vladimir Putin has deliberately chosen to target civilians. 

    He added that any further targeting of civilians will be met with the “severest of responses”. 

    Speaking to reporters in Warsaw, Mr Trudeau said: “Putin’s callous disregard for human life is absolutely unacceptable. It is very clear that he has made the choice to specifically target civilians now.

    “Putin needs to know that the consequences for his actions already will be severe, and further escalations by him, further targeting of civilians, further use of problematic ways to kill civilians is going to be met with the severest of responses both globally and individually on him.”

    Putin says sanctions will rebound on the West

    Vladimir Putin has said that Russia will emerge stronger and that sanctions placed on the country will rebound on the West.

     He said: “These sanctions would have been imposed in any case,” Putin told a meeting of the Russian government.

    “There are some questions, problems and difficulties but in the past, we have overcome them and we will overcome them now.”

    He added: “It is clear that at such moments people’s demand for certain groups of goods always increases, but we have no doubt that we will solve all these problems while working in a calm fashion,” he said.

    “Gradually, people will orient themselves, they will understand that there are simply no events that we cannot close off and solve.”

    “In the end, this will all lead to an increase in our independence, self-sufficiency and our sovereignty,” 

    Downing Street says tweet from Russian Embassy on Ukrainian hospital bombing is disinformation

    Downing Street has said that a tweet from the Russian Embassy claiming that images of the aftermath of a bomb that hit a Ukrainian maternity hospital yesterday had been faked is “disinformation”. 

    A spokesman for the Prime Minister told reporters: “It is clear that this is further disinformation.

    “You have seen the pictures of the people who were wounded during that attack, and you have seen what the Prime Minister said in his tweet yesterday.”

    Asked whether the Prime Minister would like to see social media platforms shut down the Russian Embassy’s accounts the spokesperson said: “That’s obviously a matter for Twitter, but we’ve been clear that that is disinformation.

    “You’ve seen the increase in the civilians that have been targeted and sadly wounded and killed on the basis of Russian attacks.”

    Good afternoon

    Good afternoon, I’m Olivia Stringer and I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the conflict in Ukraine, for the next eight hours. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

    Email: [email protected] 

    Twitter: @Livstringer_

    WATCH: Moment Putin’s attack convoy blown to pieces

    Footage shared by the Ukrainian armed forces shows a column of armoured vehicles being heavily attacked by anti-tank weapons.

    Russian aggression as Western intelligence suggests a change in “tactics” to combat the lull in their attack.

    The video appears to shows Russian column under heavy fire from Ukrainian defences showing how the Russian forces continue to be strongly resisted.

    The Russian forces were also engulfed in black and white smoke as they took incoming fire from a determined defender.

    The footage is believed to be from the Bovary area, northeast of Kyiv.

    Ukraine: Russian armoured vehicles targeted in Kyiv suburb

    Power supply restored to Chernobyl

    Russia’s energy minister said Belarusian specialists had restored electricity to Chernobyl. 

    The nuclear power plant lost power two days ago. 

    Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko instructed Belarusian specialists to ensure power supply was restored. 

    Ukraine warned there was a danger of radiation leakage on Wednesday but the UN nuclear watchdog saw “no critical impact on security”.

    Putin speaks to ministers about sanctions impact

    Vladimir Putin is speaking to his ministers about the impact the West’s sanctions are having on Russia. 

    During the meeting, Putin said Russia is adhering to its obligations on energy supplies. 

    He said Western sanctions were not legitimate, and governments are deceiving their own people. 

    Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Russia had taken measures to limit outflow of capital and that the country would service its external debts in roubles.

    Russia warns it could target airports next

    Russia has warned that Europe airports and transport could be the next target

    Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakhorova said called on the European Union and NATO to “stop the thoughtless flooding of the unviable Kyib regime in order to avoid enormous risk to international civilian aviation and other means of transport in Europe and beyond.”

    UK will continue to ‘tighten economic vice around Putin’

    Boris Johnson warned British troops who go AWOL to fight in Ukraine will face court-martial upon their return to the UK. 

    The Prime Minister spoke to broadcasters on the ongoing conflict where he said the UK will continue to “tighten the economic vice around the Putin regime” with further sanctions in the future.

    He said the UK will lead the conversation and make sure Putin “doubles down in violence”. 

    The PM also said there was “enough of a link” between the Putin regime and the fresh round of oligarchs sanctioned on Thursday. 

    Speaking on the latest update to the visa application scheme Mr Johnson said it was as “light touch” as possible”. 

    “I think people do understand that when you have got large numbers of people leaving from a war zone – some of them still armed, perhaps not all of their identities completely clear, their motivations completely clear – it is responsible to have checks,” he added.

    Kamala Harris visit Poland

    US Vice President Kamala Harris said Poland was doing “extraordinary work” with refugees during a visit to Warsaw. 

    Ms Harris said there should be an investigation into Russia’s conduct of war.

    She said: “Absolutely there should be an investigation and we should all be watching and I have no question that the eyes of the world are on this war and what Russia has done in terms of this aggression and these atrocities.”

    The vice president went on to come Poland for its “extraordinary work” with refugees fleeing the conflict.

    ‘We are very concerned about use of chemical weapons’, says Truss

    Liz Truss said the UK is “very concerned” about the potential use of chemical weapons in Ukraine. 

    Speaking to CNN the foreign secretary issued a warning to Vladimir Putin, saying it would be a “grave mistake” to use them. 

    Ms Truss also spoke on wether war crimes had been committed, saying they “absolutely” have. 

    She went on to say “we cannot trust a work” from Russia.

    “The Russians said they had no plans to invade, they’re now claiming there isn’t a war. We cannot trust a word they say. And we strongly believe there is evidence that appalling crimes are taking place and we are doing all we can to collect that evidence,” Ms Truss added.

    Russian convoy ‘within miles’ of Kyiv

    Vladimir Putin has commenced his devastating onslaught against Kyiv as a convoy of Russian tanks are “within miles”.

    Russian troops launched two attacks on Kyiv Wednesday, one via the western city of Irpin and another through the eastern district of Brovary.

    But Ukrainian defence forces have provided a powerful resistance with an intercepted radio message suggesting the convoy took heavy losses.

    Lithuania extends state of emergency

    Lithuania has imposed a stricter state of emergency over fears Moscow could threaten the country. 

    The new response limits rights to free expression and peaceful assembly, with critics calling it the toughest constraints on personal freedom since Soviet times. 

    Lituania is a NATO and EU member that was once a part of the Soviet Union.

    The new legislation, which passed parliament with 71 votes in favour out of 117 cast, banned public events in support of “Russia or Belarus actions which led to this state of emergency”

    In effect at least until April 20, the measure enables police to remove access to a media outlet for up to 72 hours for “disinformation”, “war propaganda” or “incitement of hate” relating to the invasion, parliament said.

    Government sanctions are ‘too slow’, says Starmer

    Sir Keir Starmer has compared the UKs response sanctioning Russia, to the response to the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. 

    The Labour leader said the “slow” response to imposing sanctions on oligarchs bears “echoes of Afghanistan”. 

    When asked about sanctions on Roman Abramovich, announced on Thursday, he said he is “frustrated” after Labour called for it “weeks ago”. 

    He said the UK needs to “go further and faster”.

    He added: “Every oligarch and those supporting Putin in any way should be sanctioned.

    “So, we want more sanctions against more people, further and faster, we will support the Government in this, support the whole House on this, but they do need to go further and faster.”

    Before and after Russian invasion

    Mazar Satelite images are able to show the impact the invasion has had on the besieged city of Mariupol. 

    The pictures show before and after shots of the city as it came under heavy Russian shelling. 

    UK fuel prices hit record high

    The average cost of petrol in the UK has hit a record high at 159.6p, up from 158.2 on Tuesday.

    The average cost of a litre of diesel also reached a new high of 167.4p, up from 165.2p.

    Macron and Scholz call for immediate ceasefire

    Olaf Schloz and Emmanuel Macron have spoken to Vladimir Putin, calling for an immediate ceasefire. 

    The German Chancellor and French President told the Russian President 

    that any resolution to the war in Ukraine needed to come through negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, the official said.

    The three agreed to remain in close contact in the coming days, a German government official said.

    Ukraine requests corridor to reconnect Chernobyl

    Ukraine has asked Russia to provide corridors to fix the power lines at the occupied Chernobyl site. 

    The nuclear power station remains disconnected from Ukraine’s energy grid for a second day, Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said. 

    Belarus President Alexandr Lukashenko has also instructed Belarusian specialists to ensure power supply. 

    Ukraine said on Wednesday there was a danger of a radiation leak at Chernobyl after electricity was cut off, but the UN nuclear watchdog saw “no critical impact on security”.

    ‘I do not believe so’- Lavrov asked on possibility of Nuclear War

    Sergei Lavrov said he does not believe the conflict with the West will lead to a nuclear war. 

    The Russian foreign minister gave a press conference following talks with Ukraine’s Dmytro Kuleba.

    Mr Lavrov told reporters: “I don’t want to believe, and I do not believe, that a nuclear war could start.”

    He said that rumours of a potential Russian attack against the former Soviet Baltic states “appear to be old hoaxes”.

    Mariupol under attack

    The City Council of Mariupol said the city is under attack from the air. 

    “Bombs are hitting houses,” the council said in an online post.

    Humanitarian convoys trying to reach the city had to turn back due to the fighting, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said. 

    Priti Patel announced changes to Ukrainian visa scheme

    Priti Patel has promised a streamlined online an application for Ukrainian refugees. 

    Those fleeing Ukraine will no longer need to go to an application centre before they come to the UK.

    Instead, they will receive “direct notification” if they are eligible for the scheme once their application has been considered and checked. 

    The Home Secretary announced the changes, which will come into force on Tuesday. 

    Ms Patel said: “In short, Ukrainians with passports will be able to get permission to come here fully online from wherever they are and will be able to give their biometrics once in Britain.

    “This will mean that visa application centres across Europe can focus their efforts on helping Ukrainians without passports.”

    West is ‘behaving dangerously’, says Lavrov

    Sergei Lavrov said the West is “behaving dangerously” saying Russia “did not attack Ukraine”. 

    Instead, he said Russia was defending the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

    The Russian foreign minister accused Ukraine “nationalists” of suing civilians as human shields adding that those who supplied weapons to Ukraine and mercenaries there should understand the danger of what they were doing.

    He said Russia has presented its proposals to Ukraine and wants a reply.

    Putin outsmarted as UK has TWO simple energy measures to ‘quickly’ cut ties with Russia

    Vladimir Putin’s energy grip over the UK could be severely weakened by two simple measures that would allow Britain to cut ties with Russia “quicker” than more North Sea drilling.

    At present, the UK meets around four percent of its gas demand directly from Russia — an expenditure equivalent to £6million per day under recent wholesale fuel prices – and indirectly imports far more.

    Analysis from the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has revealed that the Government’s plans to save energy by rolling out electric heat pumps and insulating more homes could cut out Russian gas faster than the proposed expansion of North Sea drilling.

    According to ECIU experts, only by using less gas overall can UK households lock in lower energy bills, as the price of gas, whether from Russia or the North Sea, is set by international markets.

    Talks unsuccessful in agreeing ‘humanitarian corridors’

    Negotiations to agree on “humanitarian corridors” in Ukraine have been unsuccessful. 

    Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kulebo and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov held the held talks in Antalya, Turkey before giving a press conference.

    Mr Kulebo said Lavrov was “not in a position to commit” to arranging the corridors but would “correspond with authorities”. 

    He said: “We also raised the issue of ceasefire 24-hour ceasefire to resolve the most pressing humanitarian issues. We did not make progress on this since it seems that there are other decision-makers for this.”

    Mr Kileba also said Ukraine cannot stop the ongoing war if the country that started it “had no desire to do so”, adding it was “not easy” to listen to his Russian counterpart.

    Ukraine’s foreign minister added that the two sides agreed to continue talks

    Kremlin will seek information on Mariupol hospital bombing

    The Kremlin said it would seek information from the Russian military after a children’s hospital was bombed in the besieged city of Mariupol.

    Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin doesn’t have “clear information” and will ask the military to “provide some information”. 

    Peskov also told reporters that Ukraine was kept proposing talks between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

    “Kyiv is constantly making such offers to us,” he said, adding that so far contacts have been elevated to foreign minister-level – Ukraine’s Dmytro Kuleba and Russia’s Sergei Lavrov were meeting in Turkey as he spoke.

    More than 2.3 million people flee Ukraine

    The UN said more than 2.3 million people have now fled Ukraine. 

    The migration agency said more than 112,000 are third-country nationals. 

    Most of the refugees have fled to neighboring countries including Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova. 

    No-fly zone would end war quick, says Polish ambassador

    A Polish ambassador said a Ukrainian no-fly zone would end the war quicker. 

    Bartosz Cichocki told broadcasters that every day “costs hundreds of human lives”. 

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been pleading for NATO to impose a no-fly zone, but the alliance fears it would draw it into direct conflict with Russia. 

    The Ukraine ambassador to Kyiv added: “This is an extension of the conflict that could be ended much faster precisely thanks to the closure of the airspace.”

    Roman Abramovich added to UK sanctions list

    Roman Abramovich has been added to the UK sanctions list. 

    The Chelsea Football Club owner will face a prohibition on transactions with UK individuals and businesses, a travel ban, and transport sanctions. 

    The Government document says he has had a “close relationship for decades” with the Russian President.

    “This association has included obtaining a financial benefit or other material benefits from Putin and the Government of Russia,” it says

    Several new oligarchs have also been targeted by the Government, including Abramovich’s former business partner Oleg Deripaska.

    Putin warned of direct NATO action in Ukraine if Russia uses ‘despicable’ chemical weapon

    James Heappey has warned NATO could intervene if Russia uses chemical weapons.

    The UK defense secretary warned Vladimir Putin that the use of such weapons has “triggered an international response” in the past. 

    He added: “I think he should reflect very urgently on what has happened to other countries where they have used them.”

    “President Putin needs to be clear that the use of chemical weapons is just the most despicable thing that anybody can imagine.

    “As horrid as the pictures we are seeing on our TV screens today of an artillery strike against a hospital (are), they are but nothing by comparison to the suffering and devastation that chemical weapons cause.”

    Foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine meet

    Ukraine foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov have met at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Antalya, Turkey. 

    The two were joined in talks by Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusolglu. 

    The talks are the highest-profile negotiations to take part so far in the war.

    Russia destroys over 2,900 military infrastructure facilities in Ukraine

    Russian troops have destroyed 2,911 Ukrainian military infrastructure facilities in Ukraine so far, according to Russian news agencies. 

    Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov was quoted saying that Russian forces had also taken control of a number of neighborhoods in besieged southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

    Britain to send ‘worlds fastest surface-to-air missiles’ to Ukraine

    The UK is set to send the Starstreak high-velocity portable missiles to help Ukraine “better defend its skies”.

    The missiles travel at over three times the speed of sounds before spitting into three darts. 

    Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “This system will remain within the definition of defensive weapons but will allow the Ukrainian forces to better defend their skies.”

    Russian army knew they were bombing hospital, Mariupol deputy mayor claims

    At least three people were killed in Russia’s attack on a maternity hospital in Mariupol on Wednesday, including a child.

    The deputy mayor Sergei Orlov said at least seventeen other were also injured, including pregnant women and doctors. 

    Mr Orlov told the BBC he is “absolutely sure” Russia knew about the facility. 

    He added: “

    “This is the third hospital that they have destroyed in the city. The previous day they destroyed hospital number nine by artillery shelling. This was a Covid hospital with 300 beds.

    “They have also attacked and destroyed a blood collection station in Mariupol. So, it is the third hospital, I’m absolutely sure they know what are their targets.”

    Horror warning as Putin tipped to unleash ‘dark activity’ to outsmart Truss masterstroke

    Vladimir Putin could use a number of deceptive tactics to evade sanctions place on Russia, an expert has said. 

    Julian Longson, CEO of maritime intelligence and tracking company Pole Star told Express.co.uk that Moscow could use similar tactics to those used “many times before” by countries such as North Korea and Iran.

    Mr Longson said that these tactics often come in the form of “dark activity”.

    He explained that this means “when a ship switches off its Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponder to avoid being tracked and monitored.”

    British soldiers leaving posts to fight risk UK being accused of a ‘belligerent’ in the war

    James Heappey said any British troops who go AWOL to fight in Ukraine risk Russia wrongly accusing the UK of being a “belligerent” in the war. 

    A “very small number” of British troups, around three of four have gone to Ukraine. 

    The defence secretary said anyone who makes the move will be “in an awful lot of trouble”. 

    He said: “It is illegal for British service personnel to, first of all, go absent without leave in the first place, but to go absent without leave in order to fight in a foreign war is simply unacceptable.

    “Service people who might think they are doing the right thing should reflect it is 100% not the correct thing to be doing.

    Evacuations begin for a third day in Sumy

    Civilians have begun leaving the city of Sumy through a “humanitarian corridor” for the third day following the agreement of a ceasefire. 

    Several thousands of people have left the besieged city in the past few days, including hundreds of international students. 

    Governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyy said: “The (evacuation) columns are leaving. The ceasefire has been agreed!”

    Russian forces making ‘little progress’ to Kyiv- UK Defence MInistry

    The UK Defence Ministry says Russian advances to Kyiv have made “little progress”.

    It said there has been a “notable decrease in overall Russian air activity” over Ukraine has been noted in recent days, “likely due to the unexpected effectiveness and endurance” of Kyiv’s air defences. 

    The ministry said a large Russian convoy northwest of the Ukrainian capital has suffered continued losses. 

    As casualties mount, President Putin will be forced to draw from across Russian armed forces and other sources to replace the losses, the UK ministry said.

    Ukraine and Russian foreign ministers to hold talks

    Ukraine’s foreign minister has arrived in Turkey for the first high-level talks with Russia since the invasion began over two weeks ago. 

    Dmytro Kuleba will meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. 

    Mr Kuleba has tempered expectations for a ceasefire agreement or other results from the meeting.

    Kuleba urged Lavrov to approach the talks “in good faith, not from a propagandistic perspective.”

    “I will say frankly that my expectations of the talks are low,” Kuleba said.

    He added: “We are interested in a ceasefire, liberating our territories and the third point is to resolve all humanitarian issues.”

    Good morning

    Good morning I’m Francesca Edwards, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on Russia and Ukraine for the next eight hours. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

    Email: [email protected]

    Twitter: @FrankieLEdwards

    Source: Read Full Article