Russia-Ukraine live news: Moscow widens attacks on cities

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Russia-Ukraine live news: Moscow widens attacks on cities


Ukrainian soldiers stand guard in the country's southwestern city of Odesa [File: Alexandros Avramidis/Reuters]

Russia-Ukraine live news: Moscow widens attacks on cities

Dnipro, Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk targeted by Russian strikes as offensive intensifies, forces edge towards Kyiv.

  • Russian strikes have hit east-central Dnipro for the first time since Moscow’s offensive began, killing at least one person.
  • Airfields in the western cities of Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk also come under attack.
  • President Vladimir Putin has backed allowing volunteers, including from abroad, to fight alongside Russian-backed forces in eastern Ukraine.
  • More than 2.5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion.
  • Russian troops approaching Kyiv appear to have repositioned and edged closer to the capital, according to satellite imagery and US intelligence assessments.


5 mins ago (15:38 GMT)

Russian Olympic body challenges ban from winter sports event

The Russian Olympic Committee has made an urgent appeal to overturn a ban on its athletes competing at a European winter sports festival in Finland.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said it was setting a timetable for the case ahead of the Winter European Youth Olympic Festival being held from March 20-25.

The ROC appeal challenges a March 2 decision by the executive committee of the European Olympic Committees to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes as a result of the war in Ukraine.

1 hour ago (14:27 GMT)

Ukraine says Russian aircraft fired at Belarus from Ukrainian airspace

Ukraine’s air force has said Russian aircraft fired at a Belarusian settlement near the border with Ukraine from Ukrainian airspace to try to drag Minsk into the war.

“This is a PROVOCATION! The goal is to involve the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus in the war with Ukraine!,” Ukraine’s Air Force Command said in a statement.

1 hour ago (14:14 GMT)

Russian forces have stalled, Ukrainian presidential adviser says

Russian armed forces have made no progress in Ukraine in the last 24 hours, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych says.

“Our opponent has been halted in practically every direction by air strikes, rocket fire and ground attacks,” Arestovych told a news briefing.

Ukraine’s armed forces had staged counterattacks near Kyiv and Kharkiv, he added.

2 hours ago (14:04 GMT)

Chernobyl plant still without external power supply, Ukrainian inspectorate says

Ukraine’s State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate says the electricity supply to the defunct Chernobyl nuclear plant has not yet been restored, despite Russia’s energy ministry claiming on Thursday that Belarusian specialists had fixed the issue.

Ukraine warned on Wednesday that there was an increased risk of a radiation leak at the plant, which suffered the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986, after a high-voltage cable was severed during fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces and its external electricity supply was cut off.

When the external electricity supply is severed, an emergency diesel generator kicks in.

The inspectorate said attempts to restore the external power supply at the site, which sits near Ukraine’s border with Belarus and is currently occupied by Russian forces, were “in progress”.

2 hours ago (13:49 GMT)

Erdogan says inadequate Western response to Crimea crisis opened door to war

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised Western powers for failing to adequately respond to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, suggesting a stronger reaction to the move at the time could have prevented Moscow’s current offensive.

“Would we have faced such a picture if the West, the whole world, had raised their voices,” Erdogan said at the opening ceremony of the three-day Antalya Diplomacy Forum in southern Turkey. “Those who remained silent in the face of Crimea’s invasion are now saying some things.”

Erdogan added that Ankara, which has attempted to position itself as a mediator between Moscow and Kyiv, hoped “moderation and common sense will prevail and the weapons will fall silent as soon as possible”.

2 hours ago (13:36 GMT)

UN says 564 civilians killed in Ukraine

The UN’s human rights office (OHCHR) has confirmed the deaths of 564 civilians in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began, including 41 children.

OHCHR added the real toll is thought to be considerably higher since it has not yet been able to corroborate reports from areas where intense fighting is ongoing.

“Civilians are being killed and maimed in what appear to be indiscriminate attacks, with Russian forces using explosive weapons with wide area effects in or near populated areas,” it said.

“These include missiles, heavy artillery shells and rockets, as well as air strikes.”

2 hours ago (13:24 GMT)

Mayor estimates two million remain in Kyiv

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko has said he believes there are nearly two million people still left in the Ukrainian capital.

Klitschko told the Reuters news agency that the city, normally home to some 3.5 million people, had enough vital supplies to last a couple of weeks and that supply lines remained open for now.

His brother Wladimir, who was also speaking to Reuters as part of a joint interview, added that some people who had fled Kyiv after Moscow launched its offensive were now returning to take part in the city’s defence as concerns mount over a possible large-scale assault by Russian forces.

A member of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Force is seen keeping watch in central Kyiv
Kyiv has been fortified amid concern Russian forces could soon launch a large-scale assault on the city [Gleb Garanich/Reuters]

3 hours ago (13:07 GMT)

Russia could surround Odesa on three sides, mayor warns

The mayor of Odesa has warned Russian forces could soon surround the Ukrainian port city, located in the country’s southwest, on three fronts.

Gennadiy Trukhanov suggested Moscow’s forces would seek to advance from territories they have occupied in Ukraine’s Mykolaiv region towards Moldova’s separatist-controlled Transdniestria region, where Russian troops are based.

Such a move could cut Odesa, which sits on the Black Sea, off from the rest of Ukraine.