Ukraine is braced for a renewed Russian offensive on its eastern front as Russian forces withdraw from the shattered outskirts of Kyiv to regroup and intensify their attacks across Donbas.
Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, called on Nato allies to supply more weapons to bolster Ukraine’s war effort, including war planes, heavy air defence systems, missiles and armoured vehicles. Speaking at Nato headquarters, where foreign ministers of member states are meeting later on Thursday, Kuleba said three items were on his agenda for when he talked to the allies and held bilateral meetings: “Weapons, weapons and weapons”. The UN general assembly will vote later on Thursday on whether to suspend Russia from the UN human rights council.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said the new package of western sanctions against Russia were “not enough” and without more painful measures and supply of weapons, Russia would view the actions as permission to launch a new bloody attack.
Russia’s defence ministry said it used missiles to destroy four fuel storage facilities in the Ukrainian cities of Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Chuhuiv. The ministry said the facilities were used by Ukraine to supply its troops near the cities of Mykolaiv and Kharkiv and in the Donbas region in the south-east of the country.
Russian air attacks are now focused mainly on areas of eastern Ukraine and Russian forces are trying to encircle Ukrainian troops in the region, according to the Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych.
At total of 10 humanitarian corridors will be open for civilian evacuations across Ukraine today, but Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said residents trying to leave Mariupol would again have to use their own vehicles. The mayor of Mariupol said more than 100,000 people still needed urgent evacuation from the city, and that more than 5,000 civilians, including 210 children, had been killed since the start of Russia’s invasion.
The Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the US supplying Ukraine with weapons would “not contribute to the success of Russian-Ukrainian talks”.
Poland’s deputy foreign minister Marcin Przydacz said the country needed financial assistance over the arrival of 2.5 million of Ukrainian refugees, many of them children.
The Greek foreign minister, Nikos Dendias, said Athens would ask the international court of justice at The Hague to investigate war crimes in Mariupol.
Ukraine and Hungary again exchanged barbed words. Ukraine’s foreign ministry said it considered Hungary’s willingness to pay for Russian gas in roubles an “unfriendly act”. Hungary’s foreign minister, Péter Szijjártó, confirmed that fuel for his country’s nuclear power plants had arrived by air from Russia, and restated that Budapest did not support proposals for European energy sanctions against Russia.
Defence ministers from Black Sea coastal countries held a video call to discuss the war in Ukraine, mines floating in the sea and regional security, the Turkish defence ministry said, adding that the ministers called for an immediate ceasefire.
Russia’s communications watchdog said it was taking punitive measures against Google, including a ban on advertising the platform and its information resources, for allegedly violating Russian law. Roskomnadzor accused YouTube of being one of the “key platforms” it claimed was spreading fake information about Russia’s conduct in the war.
YouTube suspended the account of Wang Jixian, a Chinese national in Odesa who has criticised Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. He was reported to the platform for content containing “suspected violence”.
The number of alleged Russian war crimes Ukraine says is under investigation has increased to 4,820, according to a recent update from the country’s prosecutor general’s office.
The Australian foreign minister, Marise Payne, said Australia was imposing sanctions on 67 Russians over the invasion of Ukraine. Austria, meanwhile, is to expel four Russian diplomats.