Live: Russia warns attacks on Kyiv “will intensify”

Live: Russia warns attacks on Kyiv "will intensify"

Russia’s Defense Ministry warned on Friday that it would intensify attacks on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in response to attacks on Russian soil, after accusing Ukraine of targeting Russian border towns. Follow FRANCE 24’s live blog for the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT + 2).

10:23: Ukraine says they exchanged captured soldiers with Russia

Ukraine said on Friday that it was exchanging several captured troops with Russia in the southern part of the war-torn country, where Moscow’s invading forces have consolidated their greatest successes. “After tense negotiations, we managed to reach an agreement on a prisoner exchange near the village of Posad-Pokrovskoye, where four Russian soldiers were exchanged for our five,” said the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

Russian troops have captured the city of Kherson, which is the administrative capital of the region of the same name where Friday’s declared change took place. The exchange followed a statement from Kyiv on Thursday about a fourth exchange of prisoners since Russian forces invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that a total of 30 people on the Ukrainian side were involved in that exchange. This week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky offered to replace the pro-Kremlin tycoon Viktor Medvedchuk, one of the richest men in Ukraine, who was arrested by Kyiv after escaping house arrest, by Ukrainians captured by Russia.

9:47 a.m .: Russia says up to 30 “Polish mercenaries” were killed in Ukraine

Russia said on Friday it had killed up to 30 Polish mercenaries fighting for Ukrainian forces in the war-torn country’s northeastern Kharkiv region.

The Russian Defense Ministry said its strategic rocket forces “eliminated up to 30 Polish mercenaries” in an attack on the village of Izyumskoe, not far from the city of Kharkiv.

9:46 a.m .: Moscow warns attacks on Kyiv “will intensify”

Russia’s Defense Ministry warned on Friday that it would intensify attacks on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in response to attacks on Russian soil, after accusing Ukraine of targeting Russian border towns.

“The number and scale of missile attacks on targets in Kyiv will increase in response to any terrorist attacks or sabotage committed by the Kiev nationalist regime on Russian territory,” the ministry said in a statement. Russia hit a “military” plant outside Kyiv late Thursday with calibrated long-range missiles, it added.

9:37: Russia says they have taken Mariupol’s steelworks

Russia’s defense minister said its forces had also taken full control of the Ilyich steelworks in the besieged port city of Mariupol.

Russia said on Wednesday that 1,026 soldiers from Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade, including 162 officers, had capitulated near the steelworks. Mariupol, which has been surrounded by Russian troops for weeks, has seen the fiercest fighting and most extensive destruction since Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24.

9:07 a.m .: Ukraine says five dead in Russia’s attacks near Kyiv

Ukraine said on Friday that Russian attacks had killed five people in the eastern part of the country after President Volodymyr Zelensky said Moscow’s forces were aiming to “destroy” the region.

In a presidency report, Kyiv said two people had been killed and two others injured in the eastern Lugansk region, while another three had been killed and seven injured in the nearby Donetsk region.

The presidency said that “fighting continued along the entire front line” in Donetsk. In a speech late Thursday, Zelensky said “Donbas is Russia’s top target.”

“It is the Donbas that Russia wants to destroy. It is the Lugansk and Donetsk regions that Russian troops are destroying so that only stones remain and there are no people left at all.” The statement on Friday added that explosions were heard in the Vasylkiv area outside the capital and that according to initially available information, air defenses had been activated. Since Russian troops began withdrawing from regions of the capital last month, air sirens have been heard less frequently. Instead, they have focused on gaining control of the eastern Donbas region.

8:54 a.m .: Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister: Nine humanitarian corridors agreed on Friday

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said nine humanitarian corridors had been agreed for Friday to evacuate civilians, including by private car from the besieged city of Mariupol. Other evacuation routes include those from Berdiansk, Tokmak, Enerhodar and Sievierodonetsk.

8:44 a.m .: Governor of Luhansk region urges residents of six cities to evacuate

The governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk region, Serhiy Gaidai, on Friday urged residents of six cities to evacuate, adding that one person was killed and five injured in Russian shelling of the city of Kreminna. Gaidai wrote on the messaging app Telegram: “Do not hesitate and go while that opportunity remains. … Choose life, buses are waiting for you at the pick-up points. Like the trains, of which there are enough.”

08:02: Difficult to find alternatives to Russian thermal coal, says the head of Japanese energy companies

Alternatives for Russian thermal coal are difficult to find as the market becomes tighter, the head of a group representing Japanese power plants said on Friday.

“We want the government to provide maximum support (on the issue),” Kazuhiro Ikebe, chairman of the Japan Federation of Electricity Companies, said at a news conference. The Japanese government said earlier this month that it would ban coal imports from Russia in a broad escalation of sanctions after gradually reducing imports while looking for alternative suppliers.

07:07: Zelensky celebrates the determination of the Ukrainians 50 days into the invasion

A day that saw Moscow suffer a painful symbolic defeat with the loss of its flagship in the Black Sea Fleet, the President of Ukraine praised his people for their determination since Russia invaded in February and for making “the most important decision of their lives – to fight”.

In his evening speech, Volodymyr Zelensky told Ukrainians late on Thursday that they should be proud to have survived 50 days under Russian attack when the invaders “gave us a maximum of five”.

06:05: Loud explosions were heard in Kyiv

Powerful explosions were heard in Kyiv early Friday and airstrike sirens erupted over Ukraine as residents prepared for new Russian attacks after Moscow’s leading Black Sea warship sank after a fire.

The explosions appeared to be among the most significant in Ukraine’s capital region since Russian troops withdrew from the area earlier this month in preparation for fighting in the south and east.

03:30: France 24’s Rob Parsons says that the sinking of Moscow’s warships is a big blow for Russia

01:23: CIA warns that Putin is desperately threatening nuclear weapons

Russia’s setback in its invasion of Ukraine could prompt President Vladimir Putin to resort to a tactical or low-yield nuclear weapon, CIA chief William Burns said on Thursday.

“Given the potential desperation of President Putin and the Russian leadership, given the setbacks they have faced so far, militarily, none of us can take lightly the threat from a potential approach to tactical or low-yield nuclear weapons.” said Burns during a speech in Atlanta.

The Kremlin said it placed Russian nuclear forces on high alert shortly after the attack began on February 24, but the United States has not seen “much practical evidence” of actual deployments that would cause more concern, added Burns, who spoke with students at Georgia. Technical University.

“We are obviously very concerned. I know that President Biden is deeply concerned about avoiding a third world war, to avoid a threshold where, you know, nuclear conflict will be possible,” Burns said.

23:50: The sinking of warships a “big blow” for the Russian navy, says the Pentagon

The sinking of the Moscow warship after it was engulfed in an inferno was a “major blow” to Russia’s naval force in the Black Sea, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

“This is a big blow to the Black Sea Fleet, this is … a key part of their efforts to carry out some form of naval dominance in the Black Sea,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told CNN.

“This will have an effect on their capacity.”

22:22: Russia says that the flagship Moscow cruiser from the Black Sea Fleet has sunk

Russia’s Defense Ministry said the missile cruiser Moscow, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, sank as it was towed back to port in stormy weather following an explosion and fire, according to Russian news agencies.

“While being towed … towards the intended port, the ship lost its balance due to damage to the hull when fire broke out after ammunition exploded. Due to the choppy sea, the ship sank,” the state news agency TASS reported, the Defense Ministry quoted.

The ministry said earlier on Thursday that the Soviet-era ship had been severely damaged by the fire, which Ukraine said was the result of a missile strike.

20:47: “You use the nuclear card and it scares the West”

According to Dmitry Medvedev, Vice-President of the Russian National Security Council and a former Russian president, if Finland and Sweden join NATO – perhaps in the next few weeks or months – the Baltics will no longer be a non-nuclear zone, FRANCE noted 24 international commentators Douglas Herbert.

“He suggests that there will be nuclear weapons within reach […] homes for ordinary people in Finland and Sweden, “said Herbert.” It is bullying; it’s threatening. Russia reads from its script, its playbook: You use the nuclear card and it scares the West – it scares many people. “

Live: Russia warns attacks on Kyiv "will intensify"

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

Originally published on France24

Live: Russia warns attacks on Kyiv "will intensify"


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