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Russia 'destroys' seven British Storm Shadow missiles sent to Ukraine

An artillery unit prepares their Howitzer although their Battallion only have enough ammunition for two of their 18 guns. Eastern Donbas near Avdiivka. The Russians have just taken Avdiivka and the Ukrainian army has withdrawn.
An artillery unit prepares their Howitzer although their Battallion only have enough ammunition for two of their 18 guns. Eastern Donbas near Avdiivka. The Russians have just taken Avdiivka and the Ukrainian army has withdrawn. - Julian Simmonds for the Telegraph/ Julian Simmonds for the Telegraph

Russia claims it has destroyed seven British Storm Shadow cruise missiles, as its forces advanced further to the west after taking control of the Ukrainian town of Avdiivka.

The Russian defence ministry alleged its forces had also took out a US Patriot anti-aircraft guided missile and launch vehicle, and 42 HIMARS rockets fired by multiple launch systems.

Moscow often exaggerates its battlefield claims. The Telegraph was not able to independently verify the allegations.

However, the claims come as Russia is on the front foot and continues to make modest advances ahead of the two-year anniversary of the invasion on Saturday.

Hundreds of Ukrainian troops may have been captured by Russia during their chaotic withdrawal from the eastern city of Avdiivka.

The capture of Avdiivka, following months of fighting with heavy casualties on both sides, was Russia’s first significant gain since taking the city of Bakhmut last May.


04:07 PM GMT

That's all for today

We’re ending our live coverage here for today. Check back to our homepage for the latest updates.


04:05 PM GMT

Anatomy of a Storm Shadow missile


03:10 PM GMT

US Abrams tanks seen fighting in Ukraine for first time

American Abram tanks have been seen in combat in Ukraine for the first time, with footage showing them firing at Russian positions outside Avdiivka.

The video clip released by Ukraine’s 47th Separate Mechanised Brigade on Friday showed the snow-covered US-made tank firing at Russian positions.

It was revealed that the fighting machine was in operation on the outskirts of Avdiivka, the eastern industrial town recently surrounded by Ukraine.

“While the Russian occupiers are trying to figure out where the Abrams tanks are, tankers of the 47th Separate Mechanised Brigade have been dissecting the Russian invaders and their equipment for more than a month,” the 47th wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Footage released alongside the post is the first that shows the Abrams in full combat since they arrived in the war-torn nation in the autumn of last year.

Shot from the air, the video clip shows the Nato-standard main battle tank firing at Russian positions as it moved down a muddy country lane.

Washington handed Ukraine 31 Abrams tanks, after donations of Challenger 2s by Britain and Leopard 2s by Germany and other European allies.


02:46 PM GMT

Sadiq Khan finally allows non-Ulez compliant cars to be sent to Ukraine

Sadiq Khan has finally allowed cars set to be scrapped under the Ulez scheme to be sent to Ukraine.

The Mayor of London confirmed that Transport for London (TfL) has been instructed to amend the scrappage scheme for the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) so that non-compliant 4x4s can be used in Ukraine to support humanitarian and medical efforts.

It comes after Mark Harper, the Transport Secretary, suggested Mr Khan was blocking the export, after he had initially cited a legal barrier when the idea was first put to him.

Read more from Danielle Sheridan, The Telegraph’s Defence Editor, here


02:35 PM GMT

US Senate leader visits Ukraine amid Congress aid impasse

Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, arrived in Ukraine in an effort to put pressure on his Republican opponents in Congress to unlock crucial aid as Russia’s war enters its third year.

“We are here to show the Ukrainian people that America stands with them and will (continue) fighting to get the funding they so desperately need and deserve,” Mr Schumer said in a statement from the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

“We will not stop fighting until we gain the aid.”

Republican legislators in the House of Representatives have stalled the approval of $60 billion in new aid for Kyiv, with Ukrainian forces running low on supplies and Russia recently scoring a key battlefield gain.

“We are here to learn in granular detail about the armaments Ukraine so vitally needs and the consequences of the failure to deliver them - the specific advantages Russia would gain if the arms are not delivered, and the advantages Ukraine would gain if the arms were delivered,” said Mr Schumer, who was accompanied by four Democratic senators.


02:14 PM GMT

Hungary strikes fighter jet deal with Sweden

Hungary deepened military cooperation with Sweden, with Viktor Orban announcing the acquisition of four Swedish-made fighter jets ahead of a vote on Stockholm’s Nato bid.

The announcement was a crucial step towards unblocking Sweden’s bid to join the alliance, after resistance from Mr Orban’s nationalist government which accused Swedish officials of being hostile to it over rule-of-law issues.

Budapest has a fleet of 14 Jas-39 Gripen fighter jets it operates under a leasing contract signed in 2001, which has since been extended twice.

“Today, we have reached an agreement to add four aircraft to the Hungarian Defence Forces’ Gripen fleet,” Mr Orban said after talks with Ulf Kristersson, the Swedish prime minister.

“On Monday, the Hungarian parliament will meet and take the necessary decisions, and with this we have closed one phase and opened a new one,” he added.

Mr Kristersson arrived in the Hungarian capital earlier on Friday, just three days ahead of a vote by Hungary’s parliament on the Nordic country’s bid to join Nato.


01:59 PM GMT

Minister calls for Putin’s removal in break with Government’s position

A Home Office minister has said she wants to see Vladimir Putin removed from power, in a break with the Government’s position.

Laura Farris, the safeguarding minister, called for the Russian dictator to be replaced on the eve of the second anniversary of his illegal invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking during an edition of Question Time, Ms Farris argued that while Britain could not determine Putin’s future by itself, it should work with allies and ensure military victory for Ukraine in order to “ultimately” oust him from the Kremlin.

Downing Street has repeatedly insisted the removal of Putin is not an objective of the UK Government.

Read more here


01:49 PM GMT

Pictured: Denmark's prime minister Mette Frederiksen and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, left, sign an agreement on security commitments
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Denmark's prime minister Mette Frederiksen, left, sign an agreement on security commitments - Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

01:42 PM GMT

Ukraine and Denmark sign security agreement


01:12 PM GMT

Putin will continue destruction if he 'does not pay the price', warns Biden

Joe Biden said fresh sanctions imposed on Russia will force Vladimir Putin to pay “an even steeper price” for his war in Ukraine and the death in prison of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

“They will ensure Putin pays an even steeper price for his aggression abroad and repression at home,” Mr Biden said in a statement.


12:53 PM GMT

Trump 'can't solve this war', says Zelensky

Donald Trump can’t solve the problem of the Ukraine war, Volodymr Zelensky has said, as he repeated calls for the president to visit him on the front line.

The Ukrainian president told Fox News he “can’t understand how” Mr Trump would end the war in 24 hours, adding, “he [Trump] can’t solve this problem, this tragedy with me”.

Mr Zelensky added that after a visit to the front line: “He will see what’s going on, and after that, I think he will change his mind.”

On Saturday, he told the Munich Security Conference that he was ready to take Mr Trump to the frontlines in Ukraine, saying policy makers should see what real war entails.

Mr Trump, the likely Republican nominee in the November presidential election, opposes helping Kyiv and recently used his sway to kill a US border reform bill that would have also authorised additional aid to Ukraine.

The Ukrainian president called again on the US Congress to approve additional aid for Kyiv, saying that a failure to do so will cost Ukrainian lives.


12:21 PM GMT

Moscow bans more EU officials and politicians from Russia in response to sanctions

Russia’s foreign ministry said it had significantly expanded a list of European Union officials and politicians banned from entering Russia in response to the latest round of sanctions by the bloc.

EU member states approved a 13th package of Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia on Wednesday, banning nearly 200 entities and individuals accused of helping Moscow procure weapons or of involvement in kidnapping Ukrainian children, something Moscow denies.

“The European Union is continuing its fruitless attempts to put pressure on Russia through unilateral restrictive measures,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.


12:11 PM GMT

Listen to the Telegraph's Battle Lines Podcast: Two years of war in Ukraine and no end in sight


11:53 AM GMT

Watch: US-made M1 Abrams main battle tank in action outside Avdiivka


11:43 AM GMT

Danish PM Frederiksen meets Zelensky in Lviv

Mette Frederiksen, the Danish prime minister, met Volodymyr Zelensky in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Friday, a day before the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion.


11:00 AM GMT

Ukrainian rapeseed spilled from train at Polish border

Polish police are investigating an incident in which a load of rapeseed was spilled from train trucks carrying the cargo from Ukraine near the Dorohusk border crossing with Poland.

Oleksandr Kubrakov, the Ukrainian deputy prime minister, said the load was damaged by unidentified people and those responsible must be held accountable.

Chelm police press officer Ewa Czyz told Reuters officers were notified of grain being spilled from train trucks at a station near the Dorohusk crossing. Police were investigating the incident, she said, without providing further detail.

Farmers across Europe have been demonstrating against constraints placed on them by European Union measures to tackle climate change, as well as rising costs and what they say is unfair competition from abroad, particularly Ukraine.

Mr Kubrakov wrote on X: “This morning, unknown persons damaged Ukrainian agricultural products at the Dorohusk railway station. Three grain trucks with rapeseed were opened. This is a transit cargo heading to Germany (Hamburg).”

“I will only say that unpunished crimes always return. Whether it is military aggression or damaged grain. Criminals must be punished so that others are not tempted to repeat them,” he said.


10:45 AM GMT

Ukraine war in pictures:

Ukrainian soldiers load the remains of explosive charges onto a truck
Ukrainian soldiers load the remains of explosive charges onto a truck - Anadolu/Anadolu
Ukrainian soldiers carry artillery shells in their fighting position in the direction of Bakhmut
Ukrainian soldiers carry artillery shells in their fighting position in the direction of Bakhmut - Anadolu/Anadolu
Ukrainian soldiers fire artillery at their fighting position in the direction of Bakhmut
Ukrainian soldiers fire artillery at their fighting position in the direction of Bakhmut - Anadolu/Anadolu

10:25 AM GMT

Biden calling Putin a 'SOB' cannot be resolved with 'simple apology', says Russia

Joe Biden’s comment calling Vladimir Putin a “crazy SOB” cannot be resolved with a “simple apology,” the Russian ambassador to the United States has said.

Anatoly Antonov said: “It is unlikely that the current situation will be resolved with simple apologies, and the US authorities will not agree to do this.

“Strictly speaking, we do not expect an adequate response. As we approach the November elections in America, these kinds of escapades are becoming routine.”

Mr Antonov accused the US president of continuing to destroy “the remnants of the positive legacy of Russian-American relations”.

Mr Biden called Putin a “crazy SOB” during a fundraiser in San Francisco on Wednesday, warning there is always the threat of nuclear conflict but that the existential threat to humanity remains climate.


10:08 AM GMT

Three killed in Russian drone strike on Kyiv

A Russian drone hit a commercial area in Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa, killing three people, the Ukrainian military said.

The military said Russia launched 31 drones at Ukraine overnight, with air defences destroying 23 of them.

In a post on the Telegram messaging app, the military’s Southern Forces said they had intercepted nine drones, but one struck an area near the port, causing a blaze.

Firefighters recovered one body and said people might still be under the rubble as emergency teams fought to control the blaze. A woman security guard was rescued unharmed from a building, the post said.

“The bodies of two more people were found under the rubble,” Oleh Kiper, the regional governor, said on Telegram. “In total, three people died as a result of the enemy attack.”

The military said missiles were also used in the attack, but failed to hit any targets. Pictures posted by the military show heavy damage to buildings in the area and rescue teams picking their way through debris.


09:52 AM GMT

India confirms citizens 'signed up' for Russian army

India’s foreign ministry confirmed that some of the country’s citizens had signed up for “support jobs” with the Russian army and said it was working with Moscow to secure their discharge.

The Hindu newspaper reported Wednesday that around 18 Indians were stranded in various border towns along the frontlines of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

At least three had been “forced” to fight alongside the Russians, the newspaper reported. The foreign ministry did not confirm that Indians had taken combat roles in the conflict.

But it said in a statement that it was “aware that a few Indian nationals have signed up for support jobs with the Russian army”.

“The Indian Embassy has regularly taken up this matter with the relevant Russian authorities for their early discharge,” the statement.

“We urge all Indian nationals to exercise due caution and stay away from this conflict.”


09:33 AM GMT

Pictured: A 98-year-old woman cries at her house in a town near Kyiv

A 98-year-old woman called Baba Shura lives alone in Gostome
A 98-year-old woman called Baba Shura lives alone in Gostome - Anadolu/Anadolu

09:11 AM GMT

US to level more sanctions on Russian ‘war machine’

The United States plans to impose sanctions Friday on more than 500 targets involved in Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The US Treasury Department said measures would hit “Russia, its enablers, and its war machine”.

It said it is “largest single tranche since the start of Putin’s further invasion of Ukraine.”


08:53 AM GMT

Western agents stopping Russia disrupting Ukraine weapon supplies

Western special agents are making it hard for Russia to block supplies of weapons to Ukraine, the head of Kyiv’s military intelligence has said.

In the semi-darkness of his headquarters somewhere in the Ukrainian capital, Gen Kyrylo Budanov wouldn’t be drawn on whether he was referring to the oft-rumoured presence of Western special forces - including from the UK - both inside Ukraine and in neighbouring countries, but said the threat to the supply lines running in from Poland and elsewhere was contained.

“We know for sure that [Russia] planned to destabilise and disrupt the system of military supplies from the West. The plans were developed and existed. They tried to implement them several times but it was all in vain.

Read more here


08:27 AM GMT

Ukraine military spy chief vows revenge on Russia over wife’s poisoning

In an exclusive interview, Gen Budanov has said Western nations are providing “priceless” intelligence support by locating the launch sites of Russian missiles fired at Ukraine.

The spymaster, whose office complex works in semi-darkness as all the windows are barricaded with sandbags and has a canary in a cage to warn of a possible Russian gas attack, also said “special agencies from western countries” are helping track down Russian spies searching for the weapons supplied by Nato and other countries.

Asked about partisan attacks inside Russia, Gen Budanov, who has survived 10 known assassination attempts, said: “It’s clear that during the war, intelligence is responsible not only for gathering data, but also conducting special operations.


08:17 AM GMT

Nato would defeat Putin’s troops, German forces chief claims

Vladimir Putin’s troops would be defeated by Nato if he dared to launch an attack on Europe’s eastern flank, the chief of the German armed forces has said.

In an interview with The Telegraph, General Carsten Breuer, the Bundeswehr chief of defence, said he had “no doubt” that Germany and other Nato forces stationed in the east could repel Russian soldiers if they invaded neighbouring Baltic states.

He also said he did not expect that Putin would resort to using nuclear weapons strikes in the next stages of the Ukraine war, but called on the British and German armies “to have confidence in each other” through the difficult years ahead, quoting Field Marshal Montgomery.

Read more from James Rothwell here


08:10 AM GMT

Putin interview with Carlson ‘two hours of bull----’, says Zelensky

Volodymr Zelensky has hit out at Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin, calling it “two hours of bull----”.

The Ukrainian president said he had not watched the recent talk between the former Fox News presenter and the Russian president.

He told Fox News: “I don’t have time to hear more than two hours of bull—- about us, about the world, about the United States, about our relations and this interview with a killer”.

Earlier this month, Putin gave a more than two-hour interview with Carlson, an influential voice in Right-wing US media, known for his attacks on Volodymyr Zelensky.


07:49 AM GMT

Biden meets Navalny’s widow

President Joe Biden had a private, emotional meeting with the widow of Alexei Navalny in California.

Mr Biden could be seen hugging Yulia Navalnaya, Navalny’s widow, and leaning forward as he spoke with her and daughter Dasha, a student at Stanford University, in images released by the White House.

Joe Biden embraces Yulia Navalnaya
Joe Biden embraces Yulia Navalnaya - THE WHITE HOUSE/via REUTERS

After the meeting, he said the two women were emulating Navalny’s “incredible courage.”

Yulia Navalnaya, who has vowed to continue her late husband’s opposition to Putin, is “not giving up,” he said.


07:46 AM GMT

Ukraine families left homeless after relationships with British sponsors break down

At least one in 14 Ukrainian refugees has become homeless since June 2022 after relationships with sponsor families broke down or ended, official figures show.

Around 6,040 Ukrainian households with at least one dependent child – equivalent to at least 12,000 people – and a further 3,000 single Ukrainians had sought homeless support from councils by the end of last month, according to data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

The total of 15,000 Ukrainians forced to find alternative accommodation after being made homeless represents at least 7.5 per cent of the just over 200,000 who came to the UK either on the Homes For Ukraine programme or to join relatives under the family scheme.

Read more from Charles Hymas here


07:45 AM GMT

Ukraine: The Latest | ‘The ammunition situation is f-----’ – live from the new front line

All this week, our regular hosts David Knowles, Dominic Nicholls and Francis Dearnley are on the ground in Ukraine, conducting major interviews with senior figures, hearing testimony of Kyiv citizens and reporting on the run-up to the two-year anniversary of the full scale invasion.


07:38 AM GMT

‘We just can’t fight’: Ukraine soldiers’ Western support dries up

Parked up on a winter-grey Donbas wheatfield, a Ukrainian military officer pointed out the distant skyline of the city of Avdiivka – or what was left of it.

On one side was the chimney stack of its Soviet-era coking plant. On the other, amid palls of battlefield smoke, were rows of war-ravaged housing blocks. It was a vast panorama of death and destruction – and, in the officer’s bitter words, a symbol of Ukraine’s betrayal by the West.

“If we’d had enough shells, we could be destroying the enemy from spots like this field, as we have a perfect vantage spot,” he said as artillery boomed in the background.

Read more from Colin Freeman here


07:37 AM GMT

Good Morning

Good morning, and welcome to today’s Ukraine liveblog.

We will be guiding you through all the latest updates.