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Russia Ukraine war live: Kyiv unleashes drones on Russian city as Putin mocks peace conference

The UK has fast-tracked the production of laser energy and radio waves weaponry

Two people were injured in a Ukrainian drone attack on a Russian city as Vladimir Putin mocked potential peace talks to end the war.

Six drones struck Russia’s Belgorod oblast near Ukraine’s border on Friday morning, according to the region’s governor Vyacheslav Gladkov.

Russian air defence shot down four of the drones, he said. One caused a grass fire on the outskirts of Belgorod city while the other struck the administrative building.

Switzerland said it would host a peace conference in June to help chart a path toward peace in Ukraine after more than two years of fighting.

But Mr Putin claimed Moscow hadn’t been invited to join the talks while noting the Swiss recognition that a peace process can’t happen without Russia.

“They aren’t inviting us there. Moreover, they think there is nothing for us to do there, but at the same time they say that’s it’s impossible to decide anything without us. It would have been funny if it weren’t so sad,” he said.

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Six killed in Ukranian shelling of occupied town, local official says

A Russia-installed official in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region said yesterday that shelling by Ukraine’s military had killed six people, including a child, in the town of Tokmak.

Vladimir Rogov, writing on the Telegram messaging app, said at least 20 people had been injured. Mr Rogov posted pictures of damaged houses, one of which was all but reduced to rubble.

The account of events could not be independently verified.

Zaporizhzhia is one of four Ukrainian regions that have been partially occupied by Russian forces and formally annexed by Moscow since the February 2022 invasion.

Namita Singh13 April 2024 07:30

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ICYMI: Russia’s glide bombs are devastating Ukraine’s border towns

Askold Krushelnycky travels between the cities of Sumy and Kharkiv, dodging craters left by Moscow’s onslaught. He speaks to residents who say the Kremlin will never drive them out, despite trying to bomb the area into an uninhabitable ‘grey zone’.

Read the ground report here:

Namita Singh13 April 2024 07:08

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China boosting Russia’s war machine in Ukraine, says US

China is backing Russia’s war effort in Ukraine by helping Moscow in its biggest military build-up since the Soviet era, providing drone and missile technology, satellite imagery and machine tools, senior US officials say.

The officials said US president Joe Biden raised the issue with Chinese president Xi Jinping in their recent phone call and that it is a topic of discussion with allies in Europe and around the world.

One official said Chinese materials were filling critical gaps in Russia’s defence production cycle and helping Moscow undertake its “most ambitious defence expansion since the Soviet era and on a faster timeline than we believed possible early on in this conflict”.

“Our view is that one of the most game-changing moves available to us at this time to support Ukraine is to persuade the PRC (China) to stop helping Russia reconstitute its military industrial base,” the official said.

Jane Dalton13 April 2024 07:01

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China increasing equipment sales to Russia to help war effort in Ukraine, US intelligence claims

China has increased sales to Russia of machine tools, microelectronics and other technology that Moscow is using to produce missiles, tanks, aircraft and other weaponry to wage its war in Ukraine, according to a US intelligence assessment.

Two senior Biden administration officials, who discussed the sensitive findings yesterday on the condition of anonymity, said that in 2023 about 90 per cent of Russia’s microelectronics came from China, which Russia has used to make missiles, tanks and aircraft. Nearly 70 per cent of Russia’s approximately $900m in machine tool imports in the last quarter of 2023 came from China.

Namita Singh13 April 2024 06:48

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Editorial: Trump’s plan for peace in Ukraine means no peace at all

Jane Dalton13 April 2024 06:01

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Russia brands two BBC journalists as ‘foreign agent’

Russia’s justice ministry has labelled two BBC journalists – Ilya Barabanov and Asya Kazantseva – as “foreign agents”.

Barabanov is Russian correspondent for the British broadcaster and Kazantseva is a science reporter who signed an open letter from Russian scientists and science journalists demanding the withdrawal of the country’s troops from Ukraine.

The reporters are now living abroad.

Condemning the decision against Barabanov, BBC said it “strongly rejects the decision”.

“The BBC has a global reputation as trusted and independent source of news,” the broadcaster added. “BBC News Russian has been a vital source of accurate and impartial news to Russian-speakers for 80 years. We are incredibly proud of all our journalists and our priority right now is to support Ilya and all his colleagues to ensure that all are able to continue their jobs reporting on Russia at such an important time.”

Namita Singh13 April 2024 05:30

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US, UK ban import of Russian aluminum, copper and nickel

Washington and London yesterday prohibited metal-trading exchanges from accepting new aluminium, copper and nickel produced by Russia and barred the import of the metals into the US and Britain.

The action is aimed at disrupting Russian export revenue amid Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which has killed or wounded tens of thousands of people and reduced cities to rubble. Russia is a major producer of aluminium, copper and nickel.

An employee hangs flags prior the launching ceremony implementation of preparatory activities before the construction of power units 5, 6 using the American Westinghouse technology at the Khmelnytsky Nuclear Power Plant (KhNPP) near Ukrainian city of Khmelnytsky on 11 April 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

The US Treasury Department said the action would prohibit the London Metal Exchange and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange from accepting new Russian production of aluminium, copper and nickel.

“Our new prohibitions on key metals, in coordination with our partners in the United Kingdom, will continue to target the revenue Russia can earn to continue its brutal war against Ukraine,” US treasury secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.

“By taking this action in a targeted and responsible manner, we will reduce Russia’s earnings while protecting our partners and allies from unwanted spillover effects.”

Namita Singh13 April 2024 05:08

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US politician defends Putin, playing down effect of war

US far-right representative Marjorie Taylor Greene laid into Speaker of the House Mike Johnson on Friday, criticising his support for a legislative package that includes funding for Ukraine:

Jane Dalton13 April 2024 05:01

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US, UK ban import of Russian aluminum, copper and nickel

Washington and London yesterday prohibited metal-trading exchanges from accepting new aluminum, copper and nickel produced by Russia and barred the import of the metals into the US and Britain.

The action is aimed at disrupting Russian export revenue amid Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which has killed or wounded tens of thousands of people and reduced cities to rubble. Russia is a major producer of aluminum, copper and nickel.

The US Treasury Department said the action would prohibit the London Metal Exchange and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange from accepting new Russian production of aluminum, copper and nickel.

“Our new prohibitions on key metals, in coordination with our partners in the United Kingdom, will continue to target the revenue Russia can earn to continue its brutal war against Ukraine,” US treasury secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.

“By taking this action in a targeted and responsible manner, we will reduce Russia’s earnings while protecting our partners and allies from unwanted spillover effects.”

Namita Singh13 April 2024 04:53

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Ukraine and Russia were close to peace agreement in 2022. What went wrong?

A senior Ukrainian official has acknowledged that the two sides were close to an agreement in Turkey in 2022 but said Kyiv took the proposal no further because it did not trust the Russian side to carry out any agreement.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesperson, said a lot had changed since 2022, including what he said was the addition to Russian territory of four new regions, a reference to the parts of Ukraine which Moscow has claimed as its own.

A woman looks through the rubble of a building destroyed by bombing in the town of Kostyantynivka, Donetsk region, on 11 April 2024, amid the Russian invassion in Ukraine (AFP via Getty Images)

But Mr Peskov said the aborted Istanbul deal could still be the basis for new talks and that Russia was ready for that. When asked if Moscow sensed any readiness from the Ukrainian side for talks, however, Mr Peskov said: “No, we don’t sense that.”

Ukraine says it wants all of its territory back, including Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014, and for every Russian soldier to leave its territory. It is trying to drive international talks on its stance which exclude Russia.

Namita Singh13 April 2024 04:35


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