Zelensky says scenes in Borodianka much more horrific than in Bucha

Zelensky says scenes in Borodianka much more horrific than in Bucha

The destruction left by Russian troops in the town of Borodianka outside of Kyiv is “much more horrific” than the situation uncovered in the nearby town of Bucha, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday. Earlier Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia had sustained “significant losses” in Ukraine since its troops entered on February 24. Read about the day’s events as they unfolded on our live blog. All times are Paris time [GMT+2].

This page is no longer being updated. Read more of France 24’s coverage of the war in Ukraine here.

4:32 am: Pentagon says Putin has given up on taking Kyiv but ‘significant battle’ still ahead for southeastern Ukraine

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin has given up on conquering Kyiv after his forces were soundly beaten back by the Ukrainian military.

“Putin thought that he could very rapidly take over the country of Ukraine, very rapidly capture this capital city. He was wrong,” Austin told a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee in Congress.

“I think Putin has given up on his efforts to capture the capital city and is now focused on the south and east of the country,” said Austin.

But the path of the overall war, six weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, remains uncertain, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, told the same hearing.

For Ukraine to “win” the fight, it needs to remain a free and independent nation, with its recognised territory intact, he said.

“That’s going to be very difficult. That’s going to be a long slog,” Milley said.

“The first part of it has probably been successfully waged,” he said of the war that began on February 24.

“But there is a significant battle yet ahead down in the southeast, down around the Donbas region where the Russians intend to mass forces and continue their assault,” he said.

“So I think it’s an open question right now, how this ends.”

2:12 am: Lviv sees new refugee influx as Ukraine warns civilians to flee Donbas

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk urged civilians in eastern Ukraine to evacuate to safer regions before it was too late, after Moscow announced plans to concentrate its forces in the east.

As a result, aid organisations in the western city of Lviv are welcoming a new wave of refugees. FRANCE 24 Chief International Affairs Editor Robert Parsons reports on the ground:

1:58 am: EU approves Russia coal embargo, proposes more arms to Ukraine

The European Union on Thursday said it had approved an embargo on Russian coal and the closing of the bloc’s ports to Russian vessels over the Ukraine war.

An official from the French presidency of the European Council said the moves spearhead a “very substantial” fifth round of sanctions against Moscow.

That package also includes a 10 billion euro ($10.9 billion) ban on exports to Russia, including high-tech goods, and the freezing of several Russian banks’ assets.

In addition to the sanctions, the EU also backed a proposal to boost its funding of arms supplies to Ukraine by 500 million euros, taking it to a total of 1.5 billion euros.

European Council President Charles Michel said on Twitter the package would be “swiftly approved”.

The new financial measures were proposed by the European Commission after the bodies of dozens of civilians were found last weekend in Bucha, near Kyiv.

It is the first time the Europeans have targeted the Russian energy sector, on which they are heavily dependent.

The EU nations import 45 percent of their coal from Russia, worth 4 billion euros a year.

The embargo will come into force at the beginning of August, 120 days after the publication of the new package in the EU’s official journal, expected on Friday.

1:28 am: WHO confirms over 100 attacks on health facilities in Ukraine

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said it had confirmed over 100 attacks on health services in Ukraine, as it called for humanitarian access to the besieged city of Mariupol.

“As of now, WHO has verified 103 incidents of attacks on health care, with 73 people killed and 51 injured, including health workers and patients,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference, calling it a “grim milestone.”

Of the confirmed attacks, 89 had impacted health facilities and most of the rest hit transport services, including ambulances.

“We are outraged that attacks on health care are continuing,” the WHO chief said, adding they constituted “a violation of international humanitarian law.”

Speaking at an earlier press conference in Lviv, WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge lamented that while health assistance had reached many “affected areas”, some were still out of reach.

“It’s true some remain very difficult. I think a priority definitely, I think we all agree, would be Mariupol,” Kluge told reporters.

12:38 am: Support for Ukraine wanes in General Assembly as UN votes to suspends Russia from Human Rights Council

The vote was 93-24 with 58 abstentions, significantly lower than the vote on two resolutions the assembly adopted last month demanding an immediate cease-fire in Ukraine, withdrawal of all Russian troops and protection for civilians. Still the vote was “humiliating” for Moscow, FRANCE 24’s Jessica Le Masurier reports from New York:

April 8, 12:10 am: Canada to offer up to C$1 bn in new financing to Ukraine

Canada will offer Ukraine up to C$1 billion ($794 million) in new loan resources via the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and provide an additional C$500 million in military aid, the Liberal government said on Thursday.

The announcements in the federal budget mean Canada has now committed more than C$1.2 billion in direct contributions to Ukraine, as well as offering up to C$1.6 billion in loan supports.

“This support has helped respond to the humanitarian crisis, and ensure that the Ukrainian government can continue to provide essential services,” the budget said.

Canada will offer up to C$1 billion in new loan resources to Kyiv through a new Administered Account for Ukraine at the IMF.

Since 2015, Canadian troops have been training Ukrainian forces in the west of the country. In January, Ottawa said the mission would be expanded.

Canada, which has announced more than C$90 million in lethal and non-lethal weaponry to Ukraine so far, said on Thursday it proposed to provide an additional $500 million in the 2022-23 fiscal year to provide further military aid.

11:25 pm: Biden calls signs of Ukraine atrocities an ‘outrage’ to humanity

US President Joe Biden on Thursday called the images emerging as Russian troops withdraw from parts of Ukraine an “outrage” to humanity, as he hailed Moscow’s expulsion from the UN Human Rights Council.

“Russia’s lies are no match for the undeniable evidence of what is happening in Ukraine,” Biden said in a statement.

“The signs of people being raped, tortured, executed – in some cases having their bodies desecrated – are an outrage to our common humanity.”

10:40 pm: Scene in Borodianka near Kyiv ‘much more horrific’ than Bucha, Zelensky says

The destruction left by Russian troops in the town of Borodianka outside of Kyiv is “much more horrific” than the situation uncovered in the nearby town of Bucha, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday.

“They have started sorting through the ruins in Borodianka,” Zelensky said in his daily address to the nation. “It’s much more horrific there, there are even more victims of Russian occupiers.”

Zelensky says scenes in Borodianka much more horrific than in Bucha

10:20 pm: Russian Nobel-winning editor attacked on train

Russian journalist and Nobel Peace prize laureate Dmitry Muratov was Thursday assaulted on a train by a person who sprayed him with paint, his newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported.

“An unknown assailant attacked the chief editor of Novaya Gazeta and Nobel prize winner in a train coach,” the independent publication said via Telegram.

“He threw oil-based paint mixed with acetone into the compartment. He shouted, ‘Muratov, that’s for our boys’,” the paper quoted Muratov as saying, in apparent allusion to Russian casualties in the Ukraine war.

“My eyes are burning terribly. I am going to try to wash it off,” Muratov was quoted as saying after the attack on a train headed from Moscow to the southeastern city of Samara.

8:00 pm: Ukraine says 26 bodies have been found under two ruined buildings in Borodianka

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova on Thursday said 26 bodies had been found under two ruined buildings in the Kyiv region town of Borodianka, which is been being searched by the authorities after Russian troops occupying it withdrew.

In a televised briefing, Venediktova did not say if the authorities had established the cause of death, but she accused Russian troops of carrying out air strikes on the town before they seized control of it.

“Borodianka is the worst in terms of destruction and in terms of the uncertainty about (the number of) victims,” she said.

7:59 pm: Revoke Russian investor passports, Zelensky urges Cyprus

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday urged Cyprus to revoke passports issued to Russians through an investment scheme and stop private yachts docking in its marinas. Zelensky made the plea during an address to the Cypriot parliament via live video link, the latest in a series of such speeches he has made to foreign legislatures after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I’m grateful to you for your moral stance. You reacted to the Russian invasion and banned the docking of Russian ships in your ports,” Zelensky said. He added that Cyprus has “tools to pressure” its traditionally close friend Russia, and urged Cypriot authorities to “close the ports” to all Russian private yachts.

7:53 pm: Kremlin says Russia has suffered ‘significant losses’ in Ukraine

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that Russia had sustained “significant losses” in Ukraine, which its troops entered on February 24 in what it calls a “special military operation”.

Russia’s defence ministry said on March 25, its most recent update, that 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed since the start of the campaign, and 3,825 had been wounded.

7:06 pm: Russia says it would have to ‘rebalance’ if Finland and Sweden join NATO

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that if Finland and Sweden joined NATO then Russia would have to “rebalance the situation” with its own measures.

Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which it says aims among other things to degrade Ukraine’s military potential and prevent it becoming a bridgehead for a NATO attack, has prompted the two Nordic countries to consider joining the US-led alliance.

If the two countries join, “we’ll have to make our western flank more sophisticated in terms of ensuring our security”, Peskov told Britain’s Sky News.

7:02 pm: ‘We must assume’ Russians committing more atrocities in Ukraine, Blinken says

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday it is likely that Russian forces are carrying out more “atrocities” in parts of Ukraine after bodies were found in the town of Bucha.

“For every Bucha there are many more towns Russia has occupied and more towns that it is still occupying, places where we must assume Russian soldiers are committing more atrocities right now,” Blinken told journalists after meeting foreign ministers from NATO and Ukraine in Brussels. He said the US had warned ahead of Russia’s invasion that part of the Kremlin’s “campaign plan was to inflict atrocities, was to target individuals, was to commit the kinds of crimes that we’re now seeing to terrorise civilian populations”.

“And so this, as we saw it, was part of the game plan all along,” he said.

5:59 pm: US, allies have supplied Ukraine 25,000 anti-aircraft weapons, US general says

Ukraine has received about 25,000 anti-aircraft weapons systems from the United States and its allies, helping Kyiv prevent Russia from establishing air superiority that would have aided Moscow’s ground invasion, the top U.S. general said on Thursday.

Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the United States and its allies had also supplied Ukraine with 60,000 anti-tank systems. “The Ukrainians … are very, very thankful, extraordinarily thankful,” Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

5:56 pm: Ukraine says it needs ‘weapons, weapons, and weapons’

“NATO will be supporting Ukraine with more weapons and also delivery of the weapons that they have already promised to Ukraine,” FRANCE 24’s Dave Keating reported from Brussels.

“We’ll get more details about what exactly that assistance is going to look like,” Keating continued. When Ukraine’s foreign minister entered this summit this morning, he said Ukraine needs three things: weapons, weapons, and weapons. So are they getting all the weapons that they want? That’s what we’re going to see here today. But we have very strong words there from the [NATO] Secretary-General Stoltenberg that they understand the gravity of the situation.”

5:54 pm: UN General Assembly suspends Russia from Human Rights Council

The United Nations General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council on Thursday with the US-led push garnering 93 votes in favor, while 24 countries voted no and 58 countries abstained.

5:50 pm: ‘Usual suspects’ supporting Russia at UN

As the UN assembly readies to vote on suspending Russia from the body’s Human Rights Council, “we’ve heard from countries that you might call the usual suspects when it comes to supporting Russia; we’ve heard already from Venezuela, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Kazakhstan that they will be voring against this resolution, saying that it’s politicised, that it won’t help move forward dialogue, that it will undermine efforts to move towards peace,” FRANCE 24’s Jessica Le Masurier reported.

5:49 pm: NATO members agree to strengthen support to Ukraine, Stoltenberg says

NATO members have agreed to strengthen support to Ukraine and are providing a wide range of weapon systems to the country, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday following a meeting of foreign ministers. Stoltenberg told reporters that NATO members also agreed to do more to help other partners and shore up their ability to defend themselves, including Georgia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Watch his speech here:

5:21 pm: German intelligence service has radio intercepts on Bucha killings

German intelligence services have intercepted radio traffic of Russian soldiers discussing the killings of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, Spiegel reported Thursday, in what would be new evidence linking Moscow troops to the deaths.

Some of the audio material collected appears to relate to victims found dead along a main street in Bucha, the magazine said, citing a closed-door parliamentary briefing given by Germany’s foreign intelligence service BND. Among the intercepts was a soldier’s description of how he and his platoon mates shot a person on a bicycle.

5:21 pm: Ukraine using landmines effectively against Russia, US general says

Ukraine is effectively using landmines in the conflict with Russia, forcing Russian armored vehicles into engagement areas where they are vulnerable to US-supplied anti-tank weaponry, the top US general told a Senate hearing on Thursday.

“That’s one of the reasons why you see column after column of Russian vehicles that are destroyed. So anti-tank or anti-personnel mines are very effective,” Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

4:43 pm: After Kyiv win, Ukraine still faces significant battle in southeast, US general says

Ukrainian forces have successfully managed to counter Russia’s attempt to take Kyiv but a significant battle is still ahead in the southeast of the country, the top US general said on Thursday.

“There is a significant battle yet ahead down in the southeast, down around the Donbas, Donetsk region where the Russians intend to mass forces and continue their assault,” General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers during a hearing.

4:42 pm: Conquering Mariupol will ‘take time’, pro-Russian separatist official says

A pro-Russian separatist official in eastern Ukraine said Thursday it was impossible to say how long it could take Moscow’s forces to fully seize the besieged city of Mariupol.

Mariupol, located in the country’s southeast between Russia-occupied Crimea and pro-Russian separatist regions in Ukraine’s east, has been the scene of some of the fiercest fighting.

Most recently, fighting has centred around the city’s Azovstal iron and steel works and port, said Eduard Basurin, a senior official in the self-proclaimed breakaway stronghold of Donetsk. In televised remarks, he described Mariupol’s industrial zone as a “city within a city”.

4:40 pm: India says focus is on stabilising economic ties with Russia

India is focused on stabilising its economic ties with Russia and is working to devise a payment mechanism to settle trade amid Western sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

“We have an etablished economic relation with Russia. Given the current circumstance post development in Ukraine, I think there is an effort by both sides to ensure that this economic relationship remains stable,” ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told a news conference.

3:51 pm: Novaya Gazeta opens outlet in Europe after suspending activities in Russia

Russian journalists from investigative paper Novaya Gazeta said on Thursday they were launching a new media outlet in Europe after their paper suspended its activities over warnings it received from the authorities.

Novaya Gazeta, whose editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov was co-winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, was among the liberal Russian media facing increased pressure in the wake of Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine.

Last month, the paper said it could no longer operate in Russia after receiving warnings from communications watchdog Roskomnadzor for failing to properly identify an organisation deemed a “foreign agent” by the authorities in its publications.

3:50 pm: Turkey offers to host future Ukraine-Russia peace talks

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday he had told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba that peace talks with Russia can be held in Turkey from now on.

Speaking after a NATO meeting in Brussels, Cavusoglu said there were still around 30 Turkish citizens, including their companions, stuck in Ukraine’s southern port city of Mariupol, where thousands of people are believed to have died after a month under Russian siege and relentless bombardment.

3:48 pm: ‘The road to Chuhuiv is deserted’

“The road to Chuhuiv is deserted; the debris from recent fighting litters the wayside,” FRANCE 24’s Catherine Norris-Trent reports. “This small town southeast of Kharkiv has been caught in the crossfire for weeks. Hiding from the bombs, thousands here are still living underground. Four hundred people are crammed into this network of bunkers; most have been living here non-stop since the first days of the war nearly six weeks ago. Among them, the elderly and nearly 80 children.”

3:47 pm:Thousands find refuge in Lviv transit centres

“Since the start of this war in Ukraine, some 200,000 people have come to Lviv in the west of the country; most of them have come through transit centres like this one, where they’re given initial accomodation, food, security, backup, and of course they have to go through security checks as well,” FRANCE 24 Chief International Affairs Editor Robert Parsons reported from Lviv. “After that, they’re redistributed around the country – to families, to churches, to anywhere that can take them and provide them with food.”

3:28 pm: Turkey says Bucha killings ‘overshadow’ Russia-Ukraine talks

Images of bodies found in the Ukrainian town of Bucha and other areas near Kyiv in the wake of a Russian pullback have scuppered the positive atmosphere that followed recent talks between Russia and Ukraine, Turkey said Thursday.

“The images from Bucha, Irpin and other regions are unacceptable. These scenes have overshadowed the negotiations,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told journalists after a NATO meeting in Brussels. “The emerging positive atmosphere, unfortunately, was overshadowed.”

3:23 pm: Ukraine dismisses Russian criticism of Kyiv over peace talks as propaganda

Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak dismissed comments by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday suggesting Kyiv had presented it with a draft peace deal that deviated from proposals both sides had previously agreed on.

Podolyak told Reuters in a written statement that Lavrov was not directly involved in negotiations and his statements were “of purely propagandistic significance”. Podolyak said Moscow wanted to divert attention from events in the town of Bucha, where Ukraine accuses Russian troops of killing civilians, and added: “That is how any such statements should be regarded.”

3:21 pm: More than 4.3 million Ukrainians flee war, UN says

More than 4.3 million Ukrainians have now fled their country since the Russian invasion, the United Nations said Thursday.

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, said 4,319,494 Ukrainians had fled across the border since the war began on February 24 – a figure up 40,705 since Wednesday. The agency says it is Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. The UN’s International Organisation for Migration estimates that 7.1 million internally displaced people had fled their homes but were still in Ukraine.

2:43 pm: Dnipro mayor urges women and children to leave as fighting intensifies

The mayor of Dnipro in central-eastern Ukraine urged women, children and the elderly on Thursday to leave the city because the conflict with Russia is expected to intensify in eastern regions.

The recommendation follows similar warnings by the authorities in the Luhansk region, which is east of Dnipro. The regional governor of Luhansk urged all residents on Wednesday to evacuate while they still could in relative safety.

“All those who have the ability, as I have already said, should leave. This involves women, children, the elderly, those who are not […] directly integrated into the economy,” said Dnipro’s mayor Borys Filatov in an online video address.

2:37 pm: Cyprus to revoke passports of four sanctioned Russians

Cyprus will revoke the passports of four sanctioned Russians who had received citizenship under an investment scheme discontinued in late 2020, government sources said on Thursday.

The names of the individuals were not disclosed, but they are on a list of more than 800 people sanctioned by the European Union in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and considered to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

2:36 pm: Russia accuses Ukraine of changing demands since Istanbul talks

Russia on Thursday accused Ukrainian negotiators of changing demands since last month’s talks in Istanbul, claiming that Kyiv was not interested in ending fighting.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that on Wednesday the Ukrainian side had presented its draft agreement. “It shows a departure from the most important provisions spelled out at the meeting in Istanbul on March 29,” he said.

In Turkey, “the Ukrainians clearly stated that future (international) security guarantees for Ukraine do not apply to Crimea and Sevastopol,” Lavrov said, referring to territory Moscow annexed in 2014.

2:35 pm: WHO says making contingency plans for possible ‘chemical assaults’

The World Health Organisation’s European head said on Thursday that the body was preparing for possible “chemical assaults” in Ukraine, in a sign it is taking warnings that have emerged from both the West and Moscow seriously.

“Given the uncertainties of the current situation, there are no assurances that the war will not get worse,” Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, said during a briefing from Lviv, Ukraine. “WHO is considering all scenarios and making contingencies for different situations that could afflict the people of Ukraine, from the continued treatment of mass casualties, to chemical assaults,” he said.

2:03 pm: Hungary breaks ranks with the EU on the issue of arming Ukraine

NATO countries are debating over whether or not they should provide hard weapons to Ukraine. There are worries that hard military equipment like tanks would be vulnerable to Russian attacks while they are within NATO territory. For its part, Hungary has said that not only will it not arm Ukraine, but it will not allow any arms to go through Hungary if they were to come from another country further west in the EU. FRANCE 24’s Dave Keating reports from Brussels.

1:44 pm: Ukrainian military says Russia likely to renew attack on Kyiv if it takes Donbas

Russia is likely to renew its attack on Kyiv if its forces succeed in taking full control of the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, the deputy chief of staff of Ukraine’s ground forces said on Thursday.

Speaking at an online briefing about efforts to defend the capital, Oleksandr Gruzevich said: “It is likely the enemy has not given up the goal of a second attack on Kyiv – there is such a threat.”

11:37 am: Ukraine warns of ‘last chance’ to flee Russian attacks in east

A Ukrainian official in the east of the county warned residents remaining there Thursday that time was running out to flee mounting Russian attacks, saying that all villages in the region were under attack.

“These few days may be the last chance to leave,” Lugansk regional governor Sergiy Gaiday wrote to residents on Facebook, cautioning that Russian forces were “trying to cut off all possible ways of taking people out”.

10:30 am: Ukraine’s Zelensky to meet EU’s von der Leyen on Friday

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will hold talks in Kyiv on Friday with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Ukrainian presidential spokesman Sergii Nykyforov said on national television.

He said other details of the talks would not be announced for security reasons. A European Union spokesman said on Tuesday that the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, would also travel to Kyiv this week.

9:49 am: UK says Russian artillery, air strikes continue along Donbas line of control

Russian artillery and air strikes are continuing along the Donbas line of control, British military intelligence said on Thursday in an update on Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The UK defence ministry said on Twitter that the main focus of Russian forces was to advance offensive operations in eastern Ukraine.

9:38 am: Ukraine urges Hungary to ‘get on the right side of history’ over Russia

Ukraine said on Thursday that Hungary’s position that it is prepared to pay in roubles for Russian gas was an “unfriendly” stance that was destroying the unity of the European Union over Russia’s invasion.

“If Hungary really wants to help end the war, here’s how to do it: stop destroying unity in the EU, support new anti-Russian sanctions, provide military assistance to Ukraine, and not create additional sources of funding for Russia’s military machine. It is never too late to get on the right side of history,” Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said.

9:26 am: Turkey says Black Sea countries discussed Ukraine war, floating mines

Defence ministers from Black Sea coastal countries held a video call on Thursday to discuss the war in Ukraine, mines floating in the sea and regional security, the Turkish Defence Ministry said, adding that the ministers had called for an immediate ceasefire.

In a statement, Ankara said the defence ministers of Turkey, Bulgaria, Georgia, Poland, Romania and Ukraine had met via video conference upon the invitation of Turkey, adding they held “very efficient” talks.

“Aside from the mines, the importance of cooperation in the Black Sea for peace, calm and stability was emphasised,” Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said after the meeting, according to his ministry, adding the ministers discussed possible steps to alleviate the humanitarian crisis and get aid to Ukraine.

Turkish military diving teams have so far detonated three separate floating naval mines in the Black Sea, while Romania has also defused a stray mine in its waters since the Ukraine war.

9:22 am: Russia says it destroyed fuel storage facilities in four Ukrainian cities

The Russian defence ministry said on Thursday its missiles had destroyed four fuel storage facilities in the Ukrainian cities of Mykolayiv, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Chuhuiv overnight.

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 far southeast.

8:25 am: Ukraine seeks ‘long-term solutions’ to help it win war with Russia

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who was holding talks with G7 and NATO nations on Thursday, said his country was seeking “long-term solutions” to help it win its war with Russia.

“I came here today to discuss three most important things: weapons, weapons, and weapons. Ukraine’s urgent needs, the sustainability of supplies, and long-term solutions which will help Ukraine to prevail,” Kuleba wrote in a tweet which he said was sent from NATO headquarters in Brussels.

8:07 am: Russian troops withdraw from outskirts of Kyiv, build up forces in the east

The Ukrainian defence ministry confirmed Pentagon reports this morning that Russia had withdrawn its military from the north of Kyiv and is now in the process of moving troops to the east of Ukraine. There has already been a considerable uptick in the fighting in the Donbas region. FRANCE 24’s Rob Parsons reports from Lviv.

7:36 am: Ukraine to press West for full energy embargo on Russia

Ukraine will keep up demands on the West for an oil and gas embargo on Russia after its invasion of the country, the Ukrainian foreign minister said on Thursday. Dmytro Kuleba also called for the dispatch of more planes, air defence systems, missiles and military vehicles from NATO allies.

“We will continue to insist on full oil and gas embargo,” he told reporters at NATO, speaking alongside Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

7:29 am: US ramps up sanctions on Russia

The Biden administration announced it would expand and increase some of the same types of sanctions that have been seen in the past, with full blocking sanctions on two major Russian banks. These sanctions, like the previous ones, include a carve-out for energy purchases. FRANCE 24’s correspondent Kethevane Gorjestani reports from Washington, DC.

6:05 am: Ukraine girds for renewed Russian offensive on eastern front

Ukraine braced for a climactic battle for control of the besieged country’s industrial east, as Russian forces withdrew from the shattered outskirts of Kyiv to regroup and intensify their offensive across the Donbas region, where authorities urged people to evacuate before time runs out.

The mayor of the southern port city of Mariupol said Wednesday that more than 5,000 civilians had been killed there. Meanwhile, in areas north of the capital, Ukrainian officials gathered evidence of Russian atrocities amid telltale signs that Moscow’s troops killed people indiscriminately before retreating over the past several days.

In his nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that the Russian military continued to build up its forces in preparation for a new offensive in the east, where the Kremlin has said its goal is to “liberate” the Donbas, Ukraine’s mostly Russian-speaking industrial heartland. But he said Ukraine, too, was preparing for battle.

“We will fight and we will not retreat,” he said. “We will seek all possible options to defend ourselves until Russia begins to seriously seek peace. This is our land. This is our future. And we won’t give them up.”

5:30 am: US Senate to vote on revoking Russia’s trade status, oil ban

The US Senate will take up legislation Thursday to end normal trade relations with Russia and to ban the importation of its oil. Both bills have been bogged down in the Senate, frustrating lawmakers who want to ratchet up the US response to Russia’s war with Ukraine.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to be held accountable for what Schumer said were war crimes against Ukraine.

The trade suspension measure paves the way for US President Joe Biden to enact higher tariffs on certain Russian imports. The bill banning Russian oil would codify restrictions Biden has already put in place through executive action.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

Originally published on France24

Zelensky says scenes in Borodianka much more horrific than in Bucha

Source: sn.dk

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