Russia Ukraine war live: At least 10 hurt in missile attack on Kyiv as Putin’s envoy snubs Poland

RAF chief praises first Ukrainian pilots to complete training in UK

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At least 10 people have been injured in a Russian missile attack on Kyiv as the Ukrainian capital endured a third aerial bombing by Vladimir Putin’s forces in five days.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said a 16-year-old girl was among those rushed to hospital on Monday.

Russia fired at least two ballistic missiles at Kyiv from occupied Crimea in the daylight attack, but both were intercepted above the city, said Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv City Military Administration.

The Russian attacks also continued on Ukrainian port cities, as parts of Odesa were plunged into darkness after a Russian air attack damaged a high-voltage facility.

The Russian ambassador to Poland has snubbed a summons to appear at the country’s foreign ministry as Warsaw protested the encroachment of a Russian missile into Polish airspace. Russian officials have asked Poland to provide “evidence” before they will comply with the summons.

Poland’s military said its radar systems recorded the missile entering the country’s airspace for 39 seconds on Sunday, encroaching 2 km (1.24 miles) into Polish territory before travelling into Ukraine.

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As Russia mourns concert hall attack, some families are still wondering if their members are alive

Family and friends of those still missing after an attack that killed over 130 people at a suburban Moscow concert hall waited for news of their loved ones as Russia observed a day of national mourning on Sunday.

Events at cultural institutions were cancelled, flags were lowered, and TV entertainment and ads were suspended, according to state news agency RIA Novosti. A steady stream of people brought flowers to a makeshift memorial near the burnt-out concert hall.

The attack, which has been claimed by an affiliate of the Islamic State, is the deadliest on Russian soil in years.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain26 March 2024 05:30


Russia no longer using Crimean bridge to restock military supplies, says Ukraine

Russia is no longer using the main bridge to the Crimean peninsula to restock its supplies on the frontline in Ukraine amid repeated Ukrainian attacks on the route, a top security official in Kyiv has said.

Russia no longer uses the Crimean Bridge to supply weapons to the front after Ukrainian strikes damaged the crossing, Vasyl Maliuk, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), said on air on 25 March.

The Kerch bridge has seen some of the most high profile counter-attacks by Ukrainian forces, with strikes in October 2022 and July 2023 resulting in Russia shutting down the critical connection to Ukraine’s mainland. It runs over the Kerch Strait and is the only direct road link between Russia and the peninsula.

Before the bridge came under attack during the Russian invasion, around 42 to 46 trains carrying weapons and ammunition passed through there each day, said Vasyl Maliuk, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine.

“Today there are four or five in a day,” of which four are for passenger traffic, and one is for consumer goods, Mr Maliuk said.

Europe’s longest bridge connects the Russian city of Krasnodar in the east to Kerch in Crimea, which was illegally annexed from Ukraine by Moscow in 2014.

It consists of a separate roadway and railway – fortified by concrete stilts – which give way to a wider span held by steel arches at the point where ships pass between the Black Sea and the smaller Azov Sea.

Arpan Rai26 March 2024 04:55


Kremlin claims Ukraine peace talks without Russia will fail

A Kremlin spokesperson claimed any global peace summit on Ukraine that excludes Russia is simply “absurd” and will fail.

Volodymyr Zelensky has called for an international peace summit to end the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and earlier this year Switzerland said it would host the meeting, and that a date and the details were being discussed.

“Can the Ukrainian problem be resolved without Russia’s participation? The reply is clear – it cannot,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in an interview to news outlet Argumenty I Fakty conducted last Thursday, a day before the mass shooting at a concert hall outside Moscow.

He added: “Because Ukraine has been turned into an instrument in the hands of the collective West with whose help it intends, so it seems to them, to put more pressure on Russia, restrain Russia and abandon it to the fringes of development. And, should they succeed, to finish it off.”

In an unsubstantiated claim, Mr Peskov said Russia was pursuing its two-year-old war on Ukraine to protect itself from the West. Russia has repeatedly denounced Ukraine’s peace plans as unworkable as it continues to pound Ukraine with a full-on military offensive.

Mr Peskov reiterated that the plan was unthinkable, and also denounced plans discussed by the European Union and other countries to take control of profits from Russian assets and turn them over to Ukraine.

“I believe the Europeans understand that we will challenge such a decision. This is possibly a question not over a single year, but rather decades,” he said.

Arpan Rai26 March 2024 04:38


Russia’s Foreign Ministry says Spanish reporter denied a visa was invited to stay

Russia‘s Foreign Ministry says it issued the necessary documents for a Spanish journalist to stay in the country although the reporter claims he was forced to leave because his visa was not renewed.

Xavier Colas of the newspaper El Mundo is the latest foreign journalist to have left Russia after visas were not continued. The cases come amid a crackdown on media that has intensified since Russia sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022.

Colas said he was forced to leave Russia on Wednesday, a day after authorities refused to renew the visa.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain26 March 2024 04:30


Ukraine ramps up spending on homemade weapons to help repel Russia

Ukraine needs any edge it can get to repel Russia from its territory. One emerging bright spot is its small but fast-growing defense industry, which the government is flooding with money in hopes that a surge of homemade weapons and ammunition can help turn the tide.

The effort ramped up sharply over the past year as the US and Europe strained to deliver weapons and other aid to Ukraine, which is up against a much bigger Russian military backed by a thriving domestic defense industry.

The Ukrainian government budgeted nearly $1.4bn in 2024 to buy and develop weapons at home — 20 times more than before Russia’s full-scale invasion.

And in another major shift, a huge portion of weapons are now being bought from privately owned factories. They are sprouting up across the country and rapidly taking over an industry that had been dominated by state-owned companies.

A privately owned mortar factory that launched in western Ukraine last year is making roughly 20,000 shells a month. “I feel that we are bringing our country closer to victory,” said Anatolli Kuzmin, the factory’s 64-year-old owner, who used to make farm equipment and fled his home in southern Ukraine after Russia invaded in 2022.

Arpan Rai26 March 2024 04:15


Ukrainian foreign minister says he is travelling to India

Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said he is visiting India this week, marking his first ever visit to the Asian country, just a few days after Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

“Today, India celebrates Holi, the most beautiful and colourful spring holiday. I wish everyone a happy Holi! Standing here in Kyiv, in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s monument, I am also pleased to announce that this week I will pay my first ever visit to India,” he said on social media platform X.

He added: “A few days ago, president Zelensky spoke with prime minister Modi. My visit will further strengthen our relations. Ukraine and India are two big democracies. I am certain we are set to be good partners and friends.”

Arpan Rai26 March 2024 03:58


Russia violates Poland’s airspace while Ukraine hits two large warships in Crimea

Missiles targeting the Lviv region during the early hours of Sunday morning passed close to the Polish border, with one entering its airspace for as long as 39 seconds.

The violation led to the Polish air force placing their F-16 fighter jets on high alert, with a warning that increased noise levels were expected in the southeastern part of the country.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain26 March 2024 03:30


Russia pulls up Australian envoy over Moscow’s sham voting in occupied Ukraine

The Russian foreign ministry summoned the Charge d’Affaires of the Australian embassy in Moscow to complain about a social media post condemning the holding of Russian presidential elections on parts of Ukraine Moscow claims to have annexed.

In an illegal move condemned internationally, Russia held voting in its presidential election in Ukrainian territories it says are now parts of Russia, including Crimea, which it captured from Ukraine in 2014, and parts of four regions it seized following its 2022 invasion.

Opposing the move by Russia, the Australian embassy said: “The holding of the vote on the territory of Ukraine is a flagrant violation of international law.”

Russia’s foreign ministry took notice of the comments made by the Australian envoy and summoned him. Russian officials strongly protested the statement from Australia and demanded the embassy take the message down.

Vladimir Putin won 87 per cent of the vote in the sham election held on 15-17 March.

Western governments condemned the election as unfair and undemocratic, while China, India and North Korea congratulated the veteran leader on extending his rule by a further six years.

Arpan Rai26 March 2024 03:26


Zelensky reacts to Putin’s fresh accusation on Ukraine: ‘Sick and cynical creature’

Volodymyr Zelensky has rejected Vladimir Putin’s latest accusation of Ukrainian involvement in Friday’s terrorist attack in Moscow oblast.

The Russian president finally acknowledged that the deadly attack at a concert outside Moscow was carried out by Islamist militants, but suggested that it was also to the benefit of Ukraine and that Kyiv may have played a role.

“Today, Putin was talking to himself again, and it was again broadcast on television. Again, he accuses Ukraine. A sick and cynical creature. Everyone is a terrorist to him, except for himself, although he has been fueled by terror for two decades already,” he said.

Mr Zelensky added: “He is the biggest opening for terror. He and his special services. And when he is gone, the demand for terror and violence will disappear with him, because it is his demand. No one else’s.”

Arpan Rai26 March 2024 02:59


Moscow theater shooting fans flames of a disinformation war

Flames were still leaping from the Moscow concert hall besieged by gunmen when Russian officials began suggesting who was really to blame. They presented no evidence, only aspersions and suspicion and counterfactual speculation, but in Russia’s eyes the culprit was clear: Ukraine.

The allegations that Ukraine, now in its third year of fighting after Russia invaded, was behind Friday’s attack that killed at least 137 people, were the first salvo in a disinformation war that has clouded the hearts and minds of people trying to come to grips with the shocking attack.

First came Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president who was once regarded as a mild reformer but who has become a vehement hawk since the start of the Ukraine war.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain26 March 2024 02:30

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