Russia attacked western Kyiv with two cruise missiles during a visit by the UN secretary general, António Guterres, to the Ukrainian capital. Two loud explosions rocked Kyiv on Thursday evening after Guterres visited the site of massacres and mass graves on the city’s outskirts. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said the strikes happened “immediately after” his talks with the UN chief.
Ten were injured in the blast, which hit the central Shevchenkivskyi district, and three people were hospitalized, according to Ukraine’s state emergency service. A 25-storey residential building was partially destroyed.
In his latest address, Zelenskiy addressed the strike on Kyiv, saying that Ukraine could not let its guard down. “Moscow claimed they had allegedly ceased fire in Mariupol. But the bombing of the defenders of the city continues, ”he said. “This is a war crime committed by the Russian military literally in front of the whole world.”
The UK will send 8,000 soldiers to eastern Europe on expanded exercises to combat Russian aggression in one of the largest deployments since the cold war. Dozens of tanks will be deployed to countries ranging from Finland to Northern Macedonia between April and June.
Joe Biden has called for a giant $ 33bn package of military and economic aid to Ukraine, more than doubling the level of US assistance to date. The package would include over $ 20bn in military aid, including heavy artillery and armored vehicles, greater intelligence sharing, cyberwarfare tools and many more anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. “We are not attacking Russia. We’re helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression, ”Biden said.
A British citizen has been killed in Ukraine and a second is missing, the Foreign Office has confirmed, amid reports that both were volunteers who had gone to fight in the country. The Briton who died was understood to be Scott Sibley, a former British soldier who had served in Iraq.
Russian forces have been hitting the Azovstal steelworks in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol with the heaviest strikes yet, a local official said.
Meanwhile, a senior US defense official said the US had seen indications that some Russian forces were leaving Mariupol and moving towards the north-west, even as fighting for the Ukrainian port city continued.
The UN secretary general, Guterres, said the UN was “doing everything possible” to evacuate people from the Azovstal steelworks in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol. “They need an escape route out of the apocalypse,” Guterres said. Zelenskiy added that he believed that a “successful result” was still possible “in terms of deblocking” the Mariupol plant.
The The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it was probing a report that a missile had flown directly over a nuclear power station, adding it would be “extremely serious” if true. The IAEA director general, Rafael Grossi, said Kyiv had formally told the agency the missile flew over the plant in southern Ukraine on 16 April. The facility is near the city of Yuzhnoukrainsk, 350km (220 miles) south of Kyiv.
The UN general assembly will vote on 11 May replacing Russia on the world organization’s leading human rights body after its suspension over allegations of rights violations by Russian soldiers in Ukraine. Assembly spokeswoman Paulina Kubiak said the Czech Republic was the only candidate for the seat on the 47-member human rights council.
Ukraine’s prosecutor general has named 10 Russian soldiers allegedly involved in human rights abuses during the month-long occupation of Bucha. There were 8,653 alleged war crimes under investigation, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Guterres described the war as “an absurdity” in the 21st century on a visit to the scene of civilian killings outside Kyiv. Guterres was touring Borodianka, where Russian forces are accused of massacring civilians before their withdrawal, on his first visit to Ukraine since the start of the invasion.
Moldova’s deputy prime minister, Nicu Popescu, said the country was facing “a very dangerous new moment” as unnamed forces were seeking to stoke tensions after a series of explosions in the breakaway region of Transnistria this week. Popescu said his government had seen “a dangerous deterioration of the situation” in recent days amid attacks in the region.
The European Union will consider it as a violation of sanctions if European energy companies comply with Moscow’s requirement to open a payment account in rubles with Gazprombank, EU officials warned. The EU “cannot accept” that payments in euros for Russian gas are considered completed by Moscow only after they are converted into rubles, an official said.
NATO said it was ready to maintain its support for Ukraine in the war against Russia for years, including help for Kyiv to shift from Soviet-era weapons to modern western arms and systems. “We need to be prepared for the long term,” Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary general, told a summit in Brussels. “There is absolutely the possibility that this war will drag on and last for months and years.”