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Russia-Ukraine war latest: Zelenskiy pushes for oil embargo to curb Russia’s ‘sense of impunity’, UK pledges to send more arms – live | Ukraine

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07:25

A school and several apartment buildings were hit by shelling in Ukraine’s Luhansk and Dnipro regions early on Sunday morning, wounding one person and causing a fire, officials said.


A school and a high-rise apartment building were shelled in the city of Sievierodonetsk in the besieged region of Luhansk, the region’s governor said.

Several apartments burned down and residents were evacuated from the building.


“Two high-rise buildings in a new district of the city, as well as a high school building came under heavy fire from the Russian army,” Serhiy Gaidai wrote on Telegram.

“Fortunately, no casualties,” he added.

In the central city of Dnipro, one person was wounded when a building was hit. The shelling sparked a fire that was eventually put out, regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko said in a seperate post.


A missile hit a building in the Pavlograd district of the Dnipro, Reznichenko said.


The Guardian could not immediately confirm the reports.

07:17

Residents in the besieged region of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine will be able to evacuate the area today with nine trains ready for civilians to flee, the Luhansk regional governor has said.

Serhiy Gaidai announced the news in an update on Telegram early this morning, with most trains set to leave for cities in the west such as Lviv.

07:09

We are receiving unconfirmed reports that another top Russian general has died in battle in Ukraine.

Colonel Alexander Bespalov, the commander of the 59th Guards Tank Regiment, was reportedly killed in battle by Ukrainian defence forces.

It would be the ninth colonel Russian president Vladimir Putin has lost since Russian invaded Ukraine on 24 February.

A funeral was reportedly held for Bespalov on Friday in the Russian city of Ozersk, according to local media reports.

Ukraine’s ministry of defence estimates that Russia has lost more than 19,000 personnel.

07:03

Russia seeks to bolster troop numbers with discharged personnel, UK MoD says

In response to mounting losses, the Russian armed forces is seeking to bolster troop numbers with personnel discharged from military service since 2012, according to the latest British intelligence report.

Efforts to generate more fighting power also include trying to recruit from the unrecognised Transnistria region of Moldova, the report added.

An earlier report said Russia’s withdrawal from northern Ukrainian has left evidence of “disproportionate targeting” of civilians, mass graves, the use of hostages as human shields.

Russia’s departure from northern Ukraine leaves evidence of the disproportionate targeting of non-combatants including the presence of mass graves, the fatal use of hostages as human shields, and mining of civilian infrastructure.

Russian forces continue to use IEDs to inflict casualties, lower morale, and restrict Ukrainian freedom of movement. Russian forces also continue to attack infrastructure targets with a high risk of collateral harm to civilians, including a nitrate acid tank at Rubizhne.”

An earlier report claimed Russian forces continue to use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to inflict casualties, lower morale, and restrict Ukrainian freedom of movement.

06:58

Towns and villages surrounding Kyiv have been left reeling after Russia’s failed campaign to seize the capital.

The Russian retreat has revealed scores of civilian deaths and devastation inflicted upon homes, apartment buildings and civilian infrastructure.

Images from Borodianka, about 50km north-west of Kyiv, reveal the extent of the destruction.

A car rides in front of a destroyed apartment building in Borodianka, Ukraine. Photograph: Alexey Furman/Getty Images
A handmade picture of Virgin Mary is seen among the rubble of a destroyed apartment building in Borodianka, Ukraine.
A handmade picture of Virgin Mary is seen among the rubble of a destroyed apartment building in Borodianka, Ukraine. Photograph: Alexey Furman/Getty Images
Rescue workers clear the rubble of an apartment building in Borodianka.
Rescue workers clear the rubble of an apartment building in Borodianka. Photograph: Alexey Furman/Getty Images
Leo, 22, a volunteer from the US, prays by the destroyed apartment building on April 9, 2022 in Borodianka, Ukraine.
Leo, 22, a volunteer from the US, prays by the destroyed apartment building on April 9, 2022 in Borodianka, Ukraine. Photograph: Alexey Furman/Getty Images
Two cyclists push their bicycles in front of a destroyed apartment building in Borodianka, Ukraine.
Two cyclists push their bicycles in front of a destroyed apartment building in Borodianka, Ukraine. Photograph: Alexey Furman/Getty Images
06:53

Ukraine is ready for a tough battle in east, Zelenskiy says

Ukraine is ready for a tough battle with Russian forces amassing in the east of the country, president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Saturday.

In case you missed his earlier news conference, the president warned that while the threat to the capital had receded, it was rising in the east.

This will be a hard battle, we believe in this fight and our victory. We are ready to simultaneously fight and look for diplomatic ways to put an end to this war.”

Ukranian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak said Zelenskiy and Russian president Vladimir Putin would not meet until after the country defeated Russia in the east, which would bolster its negotiating position.

We are paying a very high price. But Russia must get rid of its imperial illusions,” he said, according to the Interfax Ukraine news agency.

Air-raid sirens sounded in cities across eastern Ukraine, which has become the focus of Russian military action after the withdrawal from around Kyiv.

Ukrainian officials have urged civilians in the east to flee.

06:43

A recently discovered grave with dozens of Ukrainian civilians has been found in Buzova, a liberated village near the capital Kyiv, local officials said.

Taras Didych, head of the Dmytrivka community that includes Buzova and several other nearby villages, told Ukrainian television that the bodies were found in a ditch near a petrol station. The number of those who died is yet to be confirmed.

“Now, we are returning to life, but during the occupation we had our ‘hotspots’, many civilians died,” Didych said.

The Guardian is not able to immediately verify the reports.

Many towns and villages surrounding the capital, including Makariv, Bucha, Irpin and Dmytrivka, sustained heavy casualties during the first month of war.

As the towns revert back to Ukrainian control, discoveries of mass graves and civilian casualties have triggered a wave of international condemnation, in particular over deaths in the town of Bucha, northwest of the capital.

06:36

UK pledges to send more arms

Boris Johnson has pledged a major new infusion of British arms and financial aid to help counter the expected deadly new phase in Russia’s military offensive during a surprise trip to Kyiv on Saturday.

After meeting with Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the Johnson said:

Ukraine has defied the odds and pushed back Russian forces from the gates of Kyiv, achieving the greatest feat of arms of the 21st century.

It is because of president Zelenskiy’s resolute leadership and the invincible heroism and courage of the Ukrainian people that Putin’s monstrous aims are being thwarted. I made clear today that the United Kingdom stands unwaveringly with them in this ongoing fight, and we are in it for the long run.

We are stepping up our own military and economic support and convening a global alliance to bring this tragedy to an end, and ensure Ukraine survives and thrives as a free and sovereign nation.”

Johnson promises ‘support so that Ukraine is never invaded again’ on surprise trip to Kyiv – video

No 10 said Britain would send 120 armoured vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems to Ukraine. The missiles can do serious damage to Russian warships and could be used to tackle the Russian navy siege of Black Sea ports. The UK pledged £100m in military assistance last week, including another 800 anti-tank missiles, more anti-aircraft weapons, “suicide drones”, which hover over the battlefield before attacking a target, and helmets, body armour and night-vision goggles.

06:30

Without oil embargo, Russia has ‘sense of impunity’, Zelenskiy says

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy delivered another signature national address, noting that his country “does not have time to wait” while pushing for an oil embargo on Russia.

Ukraine does not have time to wait. Freedom does not have time to wait. When tyranny launches aggression against everything that keeps peace in Europe, action must be taken immediately.

It is necessary to act in a principled fashion. And the oil embargo should be the first step. At the level of all democracies, the whole civilised world.

Then Russia will feel it. Then it will be an argument for them – to seek peace, to stop pointless violence.”

The Ukrainian president urged for “more painful restrictions” on Russia’s cash flow, primarily upon oil and gas.

First of all this applies to the oil business. The democratic world can definitely give up Russian oil and make it toxic to all other states.

Oil is one of the two sources of Russian self-confidence, their sense of impunity.”

Zelenskiy also pushed for gas sanctions, saying over time this “will also be shut down”.

“It’s just inevitable. Not only for safety, but also for environmental reasons,” he added.

06:20

Summary and welcome

It is 8.30am on Sunday in Ukraine as the country braces for an escalation in attacks in the east and evacuations continue.

Here’s where things stand:

  • Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has warned his country “does not have time to wait” while pushing for an oil embargo on Russia in his latest national address. “Oil is one of the two sources of Russian self-confidence, their sense of impunity,” he said.
  • Zelenskiy said his country is ready for a tough battle with Russian forces amassing in the east of the country. “This will be a hard battle; we believe in this fight and our victory. We are ready to simultaneously fight and look for diplomatic ways to put an end to this war.”
  • The British prime minister, Boris Johnson, pledged a major new infusion of British arms and financial aid during a surprise trip to Kyiv on Saturday. Johnson said the UK and its partners and allies will provide support so that “Ukraine will never be invaded again”. The UK confirmed it will send 120 armoured vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems.
  • Johnson praised Zelenskiy’s “resolute leadership and the invincible heroism”. “Putin’s monstrous aims are being thwarted,” Johnson said. The reputations of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and his government have been “permanently polluted” by war crimes against civilians in Ukraine, he added.
  • Russia’s withdrawal from northern Ukraine has left evidence of “disproportionate targeting” of civilians, mass graves, the use of hostages as human shields, according to the latest British intelligence report. The report also claimed Russian forces continue to use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to inflict casualties, lower Ukrainian morale and restrict freedom of movement.
  • The Ukrainian military said its soldiers thwarted eight Russian attacks in the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, according to its latest operational report as of 6am this morning.
  • Five people have been killed in east Ukraine shelling, according to the Donetsk governor. Four were reported killed in the city of Vugledar, and one in the town of Novomikhaylovka.
  • Towns and villages surrounding Kyiv have been left reeling after Russia’s failed campaign to seize the capital. In the town of Borodianka, north-west of Kyiv, rescue teams are sorting through the rubble of houses destroyed in Russian bombardments, looking for those missing.
  • Ukraine carried out a prisoner exchange with Russia on Saturday, the third such swap since the start of the war, with 12 soldiers confirmed to be coming home, the Ukrainian deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, wrote online.
  • A total of 4,553 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors on Saturday, fewer than the 6,665 who escaped on Friday, Vereshchuk said. Ten humanitarian corridors to evacuate people from embattled areas across the country had been agreed on Saturday.
  • The European Commission is pledging €1bn to support Ukraine and countries receiving refugees fleeing the war following Russia’s invasion, said the commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen.
  • The Czech Republic has delivered tanks, multiple-rocket launchers, howitzers and infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine among military shipments that have reached hundreds of millions of dollars and will continue, two Czech defence sources told Reuters.
  • The Austrian chancellor, Karl Nehammer, met Zelenskiy earlier on Saturday, following a visit to the city of Bucha to the north-west of Kyiv, where mass civilian graves and street killings by Russian forces were discovered last week.
  • Russia has reorganised the command of its battle operations in Ukraine, installing a new general with extensive experience in Russian operations in Syria, according to western officials. The commander of Russia’s southern military district, Gen Alexander Dvornikov, now leads the invasion. “It speaks to a Russian acknowledgement that it is going extremely badly and they need to do something differently,” an official told CNN while a seperate source told the BBC: “We would expect the overall command and control to improve.”
  • Ukraine has banned all imports from Russia, one of its key trading partners before the war with annual imports valued at about $6 billion, and called on other countries to follow suit. Ukraine’s minister for economic development and trade, Yulia Svyrydenko, made the announcement in a statement on Saturday.
  • Nato is working on plans for a permanent military presence on its border in an effort to battle future Russian aggression, The Telegraph is reporting, citing Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
  • Protesters staged a self-described “die-in” outside Downing St in London on Saturday, holding ‘babies’ and signs covered in fake blood in protest against the massacre in the town of Bucha. A similar protest took place outside the White House in Washington D.C.





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