Russia-Ukraine live: Kyiv destroys drones launched by Moscow
- Ukraine says its forces destroyed 35 Iranian-made Shahed drones that Russia launched over Kyiv in overnight attacks across the country.
- Kyiv’s mayor says Russian drone attacks have injured five people.
- Concerns about safety at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant increases amid fresh Russian drone attacks.
- Moscow intensifies the shelling of the ruined city of Bakhmut, as it hopes to lock in gains before May 9 – a major Russian holiday that marks the anniversary of its defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.
- Head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, says Russia has promised his fighters enough ammunition to stay in Bakhmut, after a threat to pull out in scathing videos.
‘Russia effectively stops Black Sea grain deal’: Ukraine reconstruction ministry
Ukraine’s reconstruction ministry says that Russia has effectively stopped the Black Sea grain deal by refusing to register incoming vessels and carry out their inspections.
“This approach contradicts the terms of the current agreement,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Black Sea grain deal signed by Russia and Ukraine last July to allow Ukraine to resume grain exports from its Black Sea ports is due to expire on May 18.
Russia says it will not renew the deal unless its agricultural demands are met.
European Commission proposes 11th round of sanctions against Russia
The European Commission proposes a new round of sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine.
European Commission spokesperson Eric Mamer told reporters in Brussels that the package — the eleventh round from the bloc — will focus on ensuring sanctions are implemented, are effective and cannot be evaded.
While the 27-member bloc is yet to adopt the measures, Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, welcomed the news.
“We expect surprises for the propagandists of the Russians, as well as their economy,” he said in a statement on Telegram.
Russia targetting Central Asian migrants to serve in war: UK defence ministry
Russian military recruiters are targeting migrants from Central Asia to serve in the war against Ukraine, according to the United Kingdon’s defence ministry.
“Recruiters have visited mosques and immigration offices to recruit,” the ministry said in a Twitter post, adding that “staff who speak Tajik and Uzbek, routinely try to recruit migrants.”
There was no immediate comment by Russia.
Ukraine says it shot down 35 Russian drones launched over Kyiv
Ukraine says its air defence systems shot down 35 Russian Iranian-made Shahed drones that Russia launched in overnight attacks over Kyiv.
Kyiv’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko said although the drones over the city have been destroyed, at least five people were injured.
He added that Russia had fired 60 Iranian-made kamikaze drones across the country as a part of its overnight offensive.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen to visit Kyiv
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will visit Kyiv and meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday.
“She will reaffirm the EU’s unwavering support for Ukraine,” her spokesperson said.
Her visit comes on Europe Day and on the day Russia celebrates victory day — a major Russian holiday that marks the anniversary of its defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.
‘Russia strongly condemns Kyiv’s readiness to kill Russians’: Peskov
Kremlin spokesperson Dimitry Peskov says Moscow strongly condemns Kyiv’s statements about its readiness to kill Russians.
“The Russian special services will do everything they must,” Peskov said, according to Russian state media reports.
He added that Ukraine’s statements “confirm the correctness of Putin’s decision to launch a special military operation”.
He made the comments a day ahead of Victory Day celebrations in Moscow as Ukraine is preparing to launch a counteroffensive in the coming weeks, seeking to regain its territories occupied by Russia.
Ukraine issues air raid alert across country
Air raid alerts have been issued across the whole of Ukraine.
Ukrainian military bloggers say the air alerts could have been triggered by a Russian warplane armed with Kinzhal hypersonic weapons taking off.
It was not possible to independently verify the assertion.
Ukraine’s military says air force strikes three Russian ammunition depots
Ukraine’s air force has carried out eight strikes on areas where Russian personnel and military equipment are concentrated, according to the Ukrainian military media centre.
A strike on Moscow’s anti-aircraft missile system was also carried out by Ukrainian forces, it said.
“Units of rocket forces and artillery hit two control points, two areas of concentration of weapons and military equipment of the occupiers as well as three enemy ammunition depots,” the centre said in a post on Telegram.
Russia begins evacuations from occupied region of Zaporizhia
Russia has begun evacuating its officials, local government collaborators, children and teachers in the occupied Tokmak region of Zaporizhia province towards Berdiansk, according to the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.
In a Facebook post, the General Staff said Moscow-installed proxies are threatening parents to hold their children back from school if they refuse the evacuation.
Last week, according to local Russian state media reports, Yevgeny Balitsky, the head of the Russian occupation authorities in Zaporizhia proviince, said the evacuation was due to “increased enemy shelling of Russian-occupied settlements”.
Zelenskyy marks 1945 Nazi surrender
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has commemorated the anniversary of the surrender of Nazi Germany in World War II by submitting a bill to parliament officially marking May 8 as a day of remembrance and victory.
Ukraine, like Russia, had marked the Nazi defeat on May 9 as Victory Day, but Zelenskyy, speaking to the nation on a hill overlooking Kyiv, announced that May 9 would become Europe Day instead.
“Today, I signed the relevant decree, and every year from tomorrow, May 9, we will commemorate our historic unity – the unity of all Europeans who destroyed Nazism and will defeat ‘rashism’,” he said, using a word Ukrainians have coined to describe what they call Russian fascism. “The unity that brings peace closer.”
China will safeguard its interests over EU sanctions
China’s foreign ministry has said Beijing opposes any measure that weaponises China-Russia relations as a pretext for the damage of trade cooperation.
In response to the European Union’s proposed sanctions on Chinese companies over accusations of them aiding Russia’s war machine, ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said if these sanctions come into force, China will take firm action to safeguard its interests.
In pictures: Damage by remains of suicide drone
A few pictures here show the damage done by the remains of a suicide drone which Ukrainian authorities consider to be Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Shahed-131/136.
Russia launches air attacks on Ukraine
Russian missiles have hit several cities across Ukraine overnight, killing at least one person and injuring five, Ukrainian authorities said.
“The Russian Federation [also] launched 16 missile strikes last night, in particular on the cities of Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Odesa regions,” the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said in its daily update.
It added that in addition, 61 air raids and 52 attacks from the heavy rocket salvo fire systems were launched over the past day on the positions of Ukrainian forces and populated areas.
“Unfortunately, there are dead and wounded civilians, high-rise buildings, private homes and other civilian infrastructure were damaged,” it said.
Kyiv’s Mayor Klitschko said at least five people were injured in the capital.
Drone wreckage hit Kyiv’s Sviatoshyn district: Mayor
Drone wreckage hit Kyiv’s Sviatoshyn district, city’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko has said, adding there was no immediate information on potential casualties or damages.
“All services are on their way to the site,” Klitschko said on his Telegram channel.
Sviatoshyn, on the western edge of Kyiv, is a historical neighbourhood of the capital.
Witnesses told Reuters they heard numerous explosions in Kyiv, with local officials saying air defence systems were repelling the attacks.
Sounds of explosions in Zaporizhia region: Reports
After air raid alerts blared for hours over roughly two-thirds of Ukraine, there were also media reports of sounds of explosions in the Zaporizhia region in the southeast, where the Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex is located.
The Russian-installed governor, Yegeny Balitsky, said more than 1,500 people were evacuated from two unspecified cities in the area.
On Friday, he ordered civilians to leave 18 Russian-occupied communities, including Enerhodar. The Ukrainian General Staff confirmed the evacuation of Enerhodar was under way.
Moscow’s troops seized the plant soon after invading Ukraine last year, but Ukrainian employees have continued to run the facility during the occupation, at times under extreme duress.