Russo-Ukrainian war: explosions heard in the Kyiv region; Joe Biden to call Volodymyr Zelenskiy – live news | Ukraine
Ukrainian authorities report explosions near Kyiv early this morning.
Ukraine’s armed forces said “several” explosions were heard around 3 a.m. on Thursday in the Vyshgorod district, a district north of the city center, in an alert broadcast via its official Telegram account.
The head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration, Oleksiy Kuleba, also issued a telegram updatesaying:
We have information about several sounds of explosions in one of the communities of the Vyshgorod district. We clarify information. Emergency services are already functioning.
Kuleba urged the resident to seek shelter immediately.
According to Ukrainian emergency services, an air alert was issued across the region at 03:21.
Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine.
I’m Samantha Lock and I’ll bring you all the latest developments in a short time. Whether you’ve been following our coverage overnight or just passed by, here are the final lines.
Ukrainian officials report a series of explosions near Kyiv early this morning. The Ukrainian armed forces said “several” explosions were heard around 3 a.m. Thursday in the Vyshgorod district, a district north of the city center.
It’s 5 a.m. in Kyiv. Here is where we are:
Russia plans to disconnect Europe’s largest nuclear power plant from Ukrainian power grid, risking a catastrophic failure of its cooling systems, the Guardian said. Petro Kotin, the head of Ukraine’s Atomic Energy Company, said Russian engineers had drawn up a plan for a switch based on contingency planning if the fighting cut the remaining power connections. “The prerequisite for this plan was heavy damage to all lines that connect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to the Ukrainian system,” Kotin said.
At least 22 people were killed and 50 injured in a Russian rocket strike on a Ukrainian train station, as the country marked a grim Independence Day, and six months since the start of the invasion of Moscow. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the rockets hit a train at a station in the town of Chaplyne, about 145 km (90 miles) west of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. “Chaplyne is our pain today. At the moment there are 22 dead, including five burned in the car, an 11-year-old boy has died,” he said, adding that the death toll could rise as rescue operations continue. .
Zelenskiy says Russia has put the world “on the brink of a radioactive disaster”. “It is a fact that the Russian army has made the territory of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe a combat zone… Now all of Europe and all neighboring regions are under the threat of radioactive pollution “, he said Wednesday evening. Zelenskiy also called on the UN nuclear watchdog to take “permanent control” of the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
US President Joe Biden has confirmed additional military aid of $3bn (£2.5bn), including anti-aircraft missiles, artillery, anti-drone defenses and radar equipment. U.S. officials said the equipment, which will need to be ordered and won’t be delivered for months or years, represents a longer-term investment in Ukrainian security. This is the largest tranche of US military aid to date.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Ukraine for the third time since Russia’s invasion, urging the international community to “stay the course” in its support. Announcing £54million in support, he told Zelenskiy that Ukraine “can and will win the war”. Other senior politicians from across Europe traveled to Kyiv to show their support in person.
Moscow prepares to hold referendums in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, according to US intelligence. “We have information that Russia continues to prepare to hold these mock referendums in Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and the so-called people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk,” said Biden National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. “We also learned that the Russian leadership has asked officials to start preparing to hold mock referendums, especially in Kharkiv as well. And these referendums could start in a few days or a few weeks.
Plans by Russian-backed authorities to try Ukrainian prisoners of war in Mariupol would be a ‘travesty of justice’, said US Secretary of State spokesman Ned Price. “The planned show trials are illegitimate and a travesty of justice, and we strongly condemn them,” he said on Wednesday.
Russia has claimed that the slowdown in its military campaign in Ukraine was deliberate, and motivated by the need to reduce civilian casualties. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said: “Everything is being done to avoid casualties among civilians. Of course, it slows the pace of the offense, but we do it deliberately. Ukraine’s top military intelligence official Kyrylo Budanov said the Russian offensive was slowing down due to moral and physical fatigue in its ranks and Moscow’s “depleted” resource base.
Britain is importing no energy from Russia for the first time. Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures released six months after the start of the war revealed that in June UK imports from Russia had fallen by 97% and stood at only to £33m when the sanctions came into effect.