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Russia-Ukraine war – live: Moscow claims China ties at all time high as Cameron in US to urge support for Kyiv

Relations between Russia and China have reached an all time high, Vladimir Putin’s foreign minister has said, as US officials warn that Beijing is quietly ramping up its military support for Moscow.

After talks with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, Sergei Lavrov said relations had reached an “unprecedented” level of cooperation, one that “exceeds ... the military-political alliances of the Cold War, and is not directed against any third party”.

US officials, meanwhile, have claimed that China has covertly ramped up its support for Russia, sending rifle scopes, tank components, rocket fuel and satellite images to Moscow - items that can be sent without incurring sanctions from the West. China has never explicitly endorsed Putin’s war in Ukraine but has refused to condemn it.

It comes as British foreign minister David Cameron arrives in Washington to urge lawmakers in Congress to finally pass a vital $60 billion military aid package to Ukraine.

“Success for Ukraine and failure for Putin are vital for American and European security,” Lord Cameron said in a statement, saying that it was important to demonstrate to Russian President Vladimir Putin that “aggression doesn’t pay”.

Key Points

  • US slams Russia’s ‘dangerous game’ at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

  • France says speaking to Russia no longer in its interest

  • Ukrainian commander urges citizens to join forces: ‘Need drivers, clerks, cooks…”

  • Russia says Ukraine anti-ship missile destroyed, four drones hit

  • Lord Cameron to meet Blinken in Washington today over Ukraine aid

  • Ukraine will lose war without US aid, says Zelensky

  • Russia says Ukraine tried to strike nuclear power plant again with drone

IAEA Board to meet on Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia on Thursday, diplomats say

11:30 , Tom Watling

An extraordinary meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog’s 35-nation Board of Governors called by Russia to discuss attacks on the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine is due to be held on Thursday, three diplomats said on Tuesday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has yet to announce a date for the meeting. The Board’s rules state that any country on it, including Russia, can call a meeting. Russia’s ambassador to the IAEA said on Monday that Russia had done so.

David Cameron holds talks with Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago surprise meeting

10:45 , Tom Watling

Lord Cameron has held face to face meetings with Donald Trump in Florida during his push for the US to back more funding for Ukraine.

The foreign secretary is visiting the former US president despite previously calling him “divisive, stupid and wrong”. It was the first meeting between a senior British minister and the former Republican president since he left office in 2021.

Lord Cameron is on a high profile visit to the US to press Congress to pass the blocked aid package for Ukraine and will also discuss Israel’s war in Gaza.

David Cameron holds talks with Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago surprise meeting

Russians stage a rare protest after a dam bursts and homes flood near the Kazakh border

10:15 , Tom Watling

Russians in the city of Orsk gathered in a rare protest Monday calling for compensation following the collapse of a dam and subsequent flooding in the Orenburg region near the border with Kazakhstan.

Protests are an unusual sight in Russia where authorities have consistently cracked down on any form of dissent following President Vladimir Putin‘s invasion of Ukraine. Hundreds of people gathered in front of the administrative building in Orsk Monday, Russian state news agency Tass said, while videos shared on Russian social media channels showed people chanting “Putin, help us,” and “shame.”

Russians stage a rare protest after a dam bursts and homes flood near the Kazakh border

UN warns of ‘reckless’ Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant drone attacks

09:45 , Tom Watling

The United Nations has urged restraint from Russia and Ukraine after numerous drones were shot down over Europe’s largest nuclear power plant – as the organisation warned that such activity around the plant risked causing a “major nuclear accident”.

Russia claimed on Monday that it had shot down a Ukrainian drone over the roof of reactor 6 at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP), less than 24 hours after the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), confirmed three earlier attacks on Sunday.

UN warns of ‘reckless’ Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant drone attacks

China supports holding of timely conference between Russia and Ukraine, foreign ministry says

09:15 , Tom Watling

China supports the holding of a timely conference between Russia and Ukraine, which will recognise equal participation of all parties and discuss all peace proposals on an equal footing, the Chinese foreign ministry quoted Foreign Minister Wang Yi as saying on Tuesday.

Wang made the remarks in a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Beijing, ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a press briefing.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shakes hands with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a meeting in Beijing, China on Tuesday (via REUTERS)
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shakes hands with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a meeting in Beijing, China on Tuesday (via REUTERS)

Here are some of the latest photos from Ukraine

08:45 , Tom Watling

Below are some of the latest photos from Ukraine

Local residents stand by their damaged house hit by recent shelling, what local officials called a Ukrainian military strike, in Horlivka (Gorlovka), Russian-controlled Ukraine (AFP via Getty Images)
Local residents stand by their damaged house hit by recent shelling, what local officials called a Ukrainian military strike, in Horlivka (Gorlovka), Russian-controlled Ukraine (AFP via Getty Images)
A Ukrainian miner works in a shaft of a coal mine in Pavlohrad, eastern Ukraine (EPA)
A Ukrainian miner works in a shaft of a coal mine in Pavlohrad, eastern Ukraine (EPA)
People sit in a restaurant during an air strike alarm, in Kharkiv (AFP via Getty Images)
People sit in a restaurant during an air strike alarm, in Kharkiv (AFP via Getty Images)

Russia says it destroys Ukraine anti-ship missile, downs four drones

08:20 , Tom Watling

A Ukraine-launched, anti-ship Neptune missile was destroyed over the Black Sea, and four drones were downed over the Belgorod and Voronezh regions, the Russian Ministry of Defence has claimed.

“Duty air defence systems destroyed four Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles over the territories of the Belgorod (2 UAVs) and Voronezh (2 UAVs) regions, and (the Neptune) Ukrainian missile was destroyed over the Black Sea off the coast of the Crimean Peninsula,” the ministry said on the Telegram messaging app.

There was no immediate comment from Ukraine.

Cameron to urge US speaker to back help for Ukraine

07:27 , Athena Stavrou

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron is expected to urge U.S. lawmakers to approve a new package of aid for Ukraine when he visits Washington this week, warning Congress that it is putting the security of the West at risk by continuing to hold up the funding.

The trip is a chance for Cameron to personally deliver the message he posted on social media last week in which he called on Western leaders to put pressure on House Speaker Mike Johnson and Republicans in Congress to approve additional aid for Ukraine, as Britain and the European Union have already done.

Read the full story here:

UK Foreign Secretary to urge US speaker to back help for Ukraine

Ukraine destroys 20 Russian drones launched overnight

07:13 , Arpan Rai

Ukraine’s air defence systems destroyed all 20 attack drones that Russia launched targeting several Ukrainian cities, the country’s Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk said today.

The drones were destroyed over the Mykolaiv, Odesa, Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava, Vinnytsia and Lviv regions, the official said.

He added that Russia also launched four missiles from the S-300 surface-to-air missile systems, but he did not say what happened to those missiles.

Editorial: Western leaders face hard choices to help Ukraine resist Putin’s aggression

07:00 , Barney Davis

The overwhelming majority of the British people stand with the Ukrainian people in their time of need. The Ukrainians’ brave resistance against Vladimir Putin’s aggression meets all the tests of a just war, and it is in our national interest that Putin should not succeed.

Now, however, we are coming to the hard part. Two years have passed since the Russian attempt to take Kyiv, and the balance of the war has started to shift in Putin’s favour. Ukrainian forces have had to retreat from Avdiivka, close by Donetsk, the capital of one of the eastern provinces claimed by Putin.

How should Ukraine and its allies respond to this setback? The Independent carries two exclusive articles that point the way. One, by Lord Sedwill, the former cabinet secretary, argues that Britain and its European allies must increase defence spending. The other, an interview with Maksym Zhorin, the Ukrainian commander who led the retreat from Avdiivka, sets out a warning about what will happen if we do not.

Read here:

Editorial: Western leaders face hard choices to help Ukraine resist Putin

France says speaking to Russia no longer in its interest

06:18 , Arpan Rai

French foreign minister Stéphane Séjourné has said that it is no longer “in Paris’s interest” to hold discussions with the Russian government as Moscow manipulates the content and coverage of their bilateral talks.

Speaking in a joint interview with France24 and RFI, Mr Séjourné said it is “not in our (France’s) interest to hold discussions with Russian officials because the communiqués that are published and the reports that are made by them are full of lies”.

This has now brought the “long tradition of cooperation with Russia in the fight against terrorism” to a grinding halt, the French foreign minister said.

In order to resume any dialogue with Moscow, the minister said “perhaps trust needs to be established first, and perhaps above all, we need to see developments on the military front in Ukraine so that relations can be restored”.

But “so far, this is not the case,” the French foreign minister said.

This comes after the Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu spoke to his French counterpart last week and the Russian defence ministry incorrectly claimed that conversation between the two leaders noted “readiness for dialogue on Ukraine”.

Officials in Paris immediately called the claims untrue.

Ukraine and Russia differ hugely on the basis for peace talks and Kyiv has said it will not come to the table as long as Vladimir Putin’s forces occupy large swathes of its territory.

US slams Russia’s ‘dangerous game’ at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

06:10 , Arpan Rai

The US has condemned Russia’s activities at the occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in eastern Ukraine and said it is following reports about strikes on the plant’s main reactor containment.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller repeated the US’s call on Russia to end the occupation of Europe’s largest nuclear facility which is facing heavy war crossfiring amid the Russian invasion.

"You have heard from us before our belief that Russia is playing a very dangerous game with its military seizure of Ukraine’s nuclear power plant, which is the largest in Europe," the spokesperson said.

He added: "It’s dangerous that they’ve done that and we continue to call on Russia to withdraw its military and civilian personnel from the plant, to return full control of the plant to the competent Ukrainian authorities, and refrain from taking any actions that could result in a nuclear incident at the plant."

UK Foreign Secretary to urge US speaker to back help for Ukraine

06:00 , Barney Davis

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron is expected to urge U.S. lawmakers to approve a new package of aid for Ukraine when he visits Washington this week, warning Congress that it is putting the security of the West at risk by continuing to hold up the funding.

The trip is a chance for Cameron to personally deliver the message he posted on social media last week in which he called on Western leaders to put pressure on House Speaker Mike Johnson and Republicans in Congress to approve additional aid for Ukraine, as Britain and the European Union have already done.

UK Foreign Secretary to urge US speaker to back help for Ukraine

Russia says Ukraine anti-ship missile destroyed, four drones hit

05:47 , Arpan Rai

Russia claimed to have destroyed a Ukraine-launched, anti-ship Neptune missile over the Black Sea in the early hours of today, as well as downing four drones over the Belgorod and Voronezh regions.

“Duty air defence systems destroyed four Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles over the territories of the Belgorod (2 UAVs) and Voronezh (2 UAVs) regions, and (the Neptune) Ukrainian missile was destroyed over the Black Sea off the coast of the Crimean Peninsula,” the Russian defence ministry said on its Telegram channel.

Ukrainian commander urges citizens to join forces: ‘Need drivers, clerks, cooks…”

05:30 , Arpan Rai

A Ukrainian commander has urged more of the country’s citizens to join the armed forces, saying that the war-hit nation’s fate is at stake and no one can now stay away.

“The more Ukrainians find the courage to join the ranks of the armed forces, the less chances Russia will have to implement its bloodthirsty plans, and the sooner Ukrainian cities will resume their ordinary and safe life,” Oleksandr Pavliuk, Commander of Ukraine’s Ground Forces, said in a Facebook post.

He asked Ukrainians to “leave emotions behind and not succumb to provocations” and mentioned specialists within the military such as drivers, clerks, cooks, builders, IT specialists, accountants, doctors, and engineers.

“It is imperative to realise that no one can stay away. The fate of the country, the fate of our nation, is at stake,” he said.

The Ukrainian commander said that “Russia will not leave anyone alone”, including those Moscow thinks are hiding and those who have “betrayed” Ukraine.

Calling it a historical moment, Mr Pavliuk said: “Join the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Stand up for your family, your home, your country, and your future. Our strength is in unity! There is no other option”.

Comments in response to the officer’s Facebook post saw backlash and confusion among Ukrainians who asked the authorities to define the military contracts better.

“Set adequate and clear terms of service. Make short-term contracts. And people will come themselves. No one will voluntarily join the army for life, not even the most ardent patriots. You understand that. You know,” said one Facebook user.

“Mobilise the sons of deputies and generals too!” said another.

UK needs wartime defence spending in face of most dangerous time since Cold War, ex-civil service chief warns

05:00 , Barney Davis

Britain must ramp up its defence and aid spending and bolster its diplomatic and intelligence networks amid “the most dangerous period” since the Cold War, the UK’s former top civil servant has warned.

Writing in The Independent, former cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill urged the government to nearly double Britain’s defence spending to reach 4 per cent of GDP and restore the international aid budget to 0.7 per cent of national income, slashed by Boris Johnson in 2021.

Britain must spend more on defence, warns former top civil servant

Lord Cameron to meet Blinken in Washington today over Ukraine aid

04:51 , Arpan Rai

David Cameron is set to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken today on his trip to Washington to urge the lawmakers in Congress to clear an aid package for Ukraine alongside talks on the Israel-Gaza war.

“Success for Ukraine and failure for Putin are vital for American and European security,” the foreign secretary said in a statement, adding that it was important to demonstrate to Russian president Vladimir Putin that “aggression doesn’t pay”.

“The alternative would only encourage Putin in further attempts to re-draw European borders by force, and would be heard clearly in Beijing, Tehran and North Korea,” he added.

Lord Cameron is also likely to meet Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson and urge him to pass the long overdue $60bn package of military aid for Ukraine. He is also going to meet congressional leaders from both the Republicans and the Democrats, the foreign ministry said.

The foreign secretary will also underline that the US is the “key stone in the arch” as its pace and scale of support for Ukraine is unmatched.

According to the ministry, Lord Cameron will stress the importance of increasing economic pressure on Russia and giving Ukraine “the military and humanitarian support it needs to hold the line this year and go on the offensive in 2025” the foreign ministry said.

Five killed on Monday during Russian strikes

04:00 , Barney Davis

Russian attacks dispersed through different regions of Ukraine killed five people on Monday, officials said.

A missile strike killed three people and injured at least eight in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia, regional governor Ivan Fedorov said.

An industrial building, seven apartment blocks, as well as medical and educational facilities were damaged, authorities said. They did not disclose the nature of the industrial site.

Authorities reported four guided bombs had hit the town of Bilopillia in northern Sumy region, killing a woman and injuring three other people.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in his nightly video address, said the attack targeted the centre of the town of 15,000 and rescue efforts went on into the evening.

Shops and a city council building were damaged, the regional administration said.

The governor of central Poltava region said a Russian attack killed one person, injured 10 and damaged several dwellings. The governor did not say in which locality the attack took place.

Russia says it calls emergency IAEA board meeting on Zaporizhzhia attacks

03:56 , Arpan Rai

Russia’s ambassador to the UN nuclear watchdog said his country had called an emergency meeting of the watchdog’s 35-nation Board of Governors over what it claims are Ukrainian attacks on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).

"Russia requested an extraordinary session of the Board with regard to the recent attacks and provocations of the armed forces of Ukraine against the #ZNPP," Mikhail Ulyanov said on social media platform X.

The Board’s rules state that any country on it, such as Russia, can call a meeting.

However, the IAEA has not issued any comment on Russia’s request seeking an emergency meeting.

Russia asks Kazakhstan to resupply gasoline in case of shortages, sources say

03:00 , Barney Davis

Russia has asked Kazakhstan to be ready to supply the country with 100,000 tons of gasoline in case of Russian gasoline shortages caused by an increase of Ukrainian drone attacks on oil refineries.

One of the industry sources told Reuters that an agreement to use Kazakh reserves has already been reached. An advisor to Kazakhstan’s energy minister denied Russia has even made such a request.

The alleged request from Russia comes as Ukraine continues to target Russian oil refineries in retaliation for increased Russian attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure.

Ukraine military chief’s chilling warning to the West about Russia’s threat

02:00 , Barney Davis

Russia is ready to “swallow” Europe whole, a top Ukrainian commander has warned - less than two months after he led a costly evacuation from a key city on the eastern frontline.

Speaking to The Independent from an undisclosed location in Donetsk, deputy commander of Ukraine’s 3rd Assault Brigade, Maksym Zhorin, issued a troubling warning to Kyiv’s Western partners.

The West, he said, must urgently prepare. “Create serious defence systems that could counteract Russia because it will undoubtedly open its mouth and try to swallow the rest of Europe,” he warned.

Read Tom Watling’s exclusive here:

Ukraine military chief’s chilling warning to the West about Russia’s threat

UN warns of ‘reckless’ Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant drone attacks

01:01 , Barney Davis

The United Nations has urged restraint from Russia and Ukraine after multiple drones were shot down over Europe’s largest nuclear power plant - as they warned that it risked causing a “major nuclear accident”.

Russia claimed on Monday that they had shot down a Ukrainian drone over the roof of Reactor 6 at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), less than 24 hours after the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), confirmed three earlier attacks on Sunday.

“Today, a kamikaze drone was shot down over the plant. It fell on the roof of Unit 6,” the Russia-controlled plant said, below a picture of reactor No. 6, which is currently shut down.

UN warns of ‘reckless’ Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant drone attacks

Finland to keep border with Russia closed until further notice

Tuesday 9 April 2024 00:02 , Barney Davis

Finland to keep border with Russia closed until further notice

Russia releases image of destroyed drone it says Ukraine used to strike nuclear power plant

Monday 8 April 2024 23:50 , Barney Davis

Russia said on Monday that Ukraine had endangered European nuclear security by attacking the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station with a drone which was shot down over a reactor.

Ukraine has denied it is behind a series of drone attacks on the plant over the past 48 hours, including three drone attacks on Sunday, which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said had endangered nuclear safety.

A photo shows the remains of what the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant officials call a Ukrainian drone that was shot down over the station.

 (via REUTERS)
(via REUTERS)

Three killed in a Russian missile attack on the infrastructure facility in Zaporizhzhia.

Monday 8 April 2024 22:50 , Barney Davis

Three civilians were killed in a Russian missile attack on the infrastructure facility in Zaporizhzhia, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office.

The attack was reported at around 12.30pm on Monday at one of the enterprises.

“As a result of the strike, three civilians died and there are also wounded. Casualty reports are being verified,” they said.

 (Facebook)
(Facebook)

In pictures: Ukrainian power plant damaged in Russian missile strike

Monday 8 April 2024 21:45 , Barney Davis

Images have been released of workers trying to repair a thermal power plant damaged by a recent Russian missile strike.

Ukrainian forces haven’t revealed the location of the strike.

The second picture shows pressure gauges destroyed in the drone attack.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Monday 8 April 2024 21:00 , Barney Davis

The Sumy Regional Prosecutor’s Office said that Russian strikes killed one woman and injured five others.

According to prosecutors, at around 3.15pm, the Russians launched an airstrike on a civilian infrastructure facility in Sumy.

15 minutes later they added the enemy launched three aerial bombs at the central part of Bilopillia in the Sumy district.

As a result of the strike, a woman was killed and two other civilians were injured.

Horrific pictures from the scene show damaged vehicles and shrapnel in the streets of Sumy.

 (Facebook)
(Facebook)

Woman, 77, killed after shelling in Donetsk

Monday 8 April 2024 20:00 , Barney Davis

Vadym Filashkin, the head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration, said that a woman was among the dead and three others were injured in a Facebook post.

“At least one person was killed and three more were wounded in today’s shelling of the Donetsk region,” said Filashkin.

He said, that enemy artillery strikes in Chasiv Yar killed a 77-year-old woman and damaged six private houses.

The condition of the three injured is unknown.

He added: “Please everyone: take care of yourselves! Make the evacuation!”

 (Facebook)
(Facebook)

Ukraine military chief’s chilling warning to the West about Russia’s threat

Monday 8 April 2024 19:00 , Tom Watling

Russia is ready to “swallow” Europe whole, a top Ukrainian commander has warned - less than two months after he led a costly evacuation from a key city on the eastern frontline.

Speaking to The Independent from an undisclosed location in Donetsk, deputy commander of Ukraine’s 3rd Assault Brigade, Maksym Zhorin, issued a troubling warning to Kyiv’s Western partners.

The West, he said, must urgently prepare. “Create serious defence systems that could counteract Russia because it will undoubtedly open its mouth and try to swallow the rest of Europe,” he warned.

Ukraine military chief’s chilling warning to the West about Russia’s threat

UN warns of ‘reckless’ Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant drone attacks

Monday 8 April 2024 18:00 , Tom Watling

The United Nations has urged restraint from Russia and Ukraine after multiple drones were shot down over Europe’s largest nuclear power plant - as they warned that it risked causing a “major nuclear accident”.

Russia claimed on Monday that they had shot down a Ukrainian drone over the roof of Reactor 6 at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), less than 24 hours after the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), confirmed three earlier attacks on Sunday.

“Today, a kamikaze drone was shot down over the plant. It fell on the roof of Unit 6,” the Russia-controlled plant said, below a picture of reactor No. 6, which is currently shut down.

UN warns of ‘reckless’ Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant drone attacks

Russian bank launches 'special military operation' cards for veterans

Monday 8 April 2024 17:00 , Tom Watling

Russia’s state-owned Promsvyazbank on Monday said it had launched “special military operation” bank cards for combat veterans, giving them a form of electronic identification and a simple way to get access to social benefits.

Russia refers to the war in Ukraine as a “special military operation”, although the Kremlin said last month that the conflict had “become a war” because of the involvement of the West.

Promsvyazbank offers a range of services but has focused on state employees and the defence sector since it was bailed out by the central bank in 2017. It has opened branches in the four regions of Ukraine that Moscow claimed to have annexed in 2022.

The bank has now started issuing cards in Avdiivka, a town captured by Russia in February, the Donetsk region’s pro-Russian information ministry said on Monday.

Promsvyazbank did not immediately respond to a request for comment when asked about Avdiivka.

Russian President Vladimir Putin moved to annex Ukraine‘s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions in September 2022, following what Ukraine said were sham referendums. The move was condemned by many countries as illegal.

Russian forces only partly control the four regions.

Here are some of the latest photos from Ukraine

Monday 8 April 2024 16:15 , Tom Watling

Below are some of the latest photos from Ukraine

A worker walks at a thermal power plant damaged by recent Russian missile strike (REUTERS)
A worker walks at a thermal power plant damaged by recent Russian missile strike (REUTERS)
A woman paints during an art therapy workshop titled
A woman paints during an art therapy workshop titled
A communal worker sits in a crater after missiles strike in Kharkiv (AFP via Getty Images)
A communal worker sits in a crater after missiles strike in Kharkiv (AFP via Getty Images)

Russia says Ukraine tried to strike nuclear power plant again with drone

Monday 8 April 2024 15:35 , Tom Watling

Russia has claimed that Ukraine is endangering European nuclear security by attacking the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station for a fourth time with a drone that was shot down over a reactor.

Ukraine has denied it is behind a series of drone attacks on the plant over the past 48 hours, including three drone attacks on Sunday, which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said had endangered nuclear safety.

The plant, run by a unit of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, said Ukraine‘s armed forces attacked the plant on Monday with a “kamikaze drone”. It was shot down over the plant and fell on the roof of reactor No. 6. They did not provide any evidence.

“It is dangerous, dangerous for the station, dangerous for the surrounding territory and potentially dangerous for all of humanity,” Yuri Chernichuk, the Russian-installed director of the nuclear power plant, told Reuters.

“No nuclear reactor was made to be in the centre of fighting,” he said.

A view shows damaged equipment on the roof of Reactor No. 6. at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant after a Ukrainian drone was shot down over the plant, according to the station officials (via REUTERS)
A view shows damaged equipment on the roof of Reactor No. 6. at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant after a Ukrainian drone was shot down over the plant, according to the station officials (via REUTERS)

Russian missile hits industrial facility in Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia, governor says

Monday 8 April 2024 13:58 , Tom Watling

A Russian missile attack on Monday hit an industrial facility in Ukraine‘s southern city of Zaporizhzhia, injuring at least six people, local authorities said. Ivan Fedorov, the regional governor, did not provide any details regarding the type of facility in his message on the Telegram.

Last Friday, an unidentified industrial facility in the city was struck by a Russian missile strike which also damaged residential buildings and killed four people. It was not clear if Monday’s strike targeted the same site.

Separately, Russian officials accused Ukraine of launching drone strikes against the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, located southwest of the city and occupied by Moscow troops.

Moscow-installed officials have made a series of claims since last week. Kyiv said it has nothing to do with incidents at the power station reported by Russia and called them “armed provocations”.

UN warns of ‘nuclear accident’ after drone attacks on Russia-held Zaporizhzhia power plant

Monday 8 April 2024 13:30 , Tom Watling

The UN atomic watchdog’s head has warned of a “major nuclear accident” after a new drone attack on Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia power plant.

An explosion near the reactor building and blood stains suggesting one casualty on Sunday were also reported, including a hit on the dome of the plant’s sixth power unit.

The International Atomic Energy Agency‘s (IAEA) head, Rafael Mariano Grossi, called the attacks “reckless”. This is the direct targeting of the nuclear facility for the first time since November 2022 in military action, endangering nuclear safety and security.

UN warns of ‘nuclear accident’ after drone attacks on Zaporizhzhia power plant

Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visits Beijing to highlight ties with key diplomatic partner

Monday 8 April 2024 13:00 , Tom Watling

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Beijing Monday to display the strength of ties with close diplomatic partner China amid Moscow’s grinding war against Ukraine and an ongoing effort to align their foreign policies against the U.S. and its allies.

The two continent-sized authoritarian states, increasingly in dispute with democracies and NATO, seek to gain influence in Africa, the Middle East and South America. China has backed Russia’s claim that President Vladimir Putin launched his assault in 2022 because of Western provocations, without producing any solid evidence.

Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visits Beijing to highlight ties with key diplomatic partner

UK Foreign Secretary to urge US speaker to back help for Ukraine

Monday 8 April 2024 12:30 , Tom Watling

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron is expected to urge U.S. lawmakers to approve a new package of aid for Ukraine when he visits Washington this week, warning Congress that it is putting the security of the West at risk by continuing to hold up the funding.

The trip is a chance for Cameron to personally deliver the message he posted on social media last week in which he called on Western leaders to put pressure on House Speaker Mike Johnson and Republicans in Congress to approve additional aid for Ukraine, as Britain and the European Union have already done.

“Speaker Johnson can make it happen in Congress,” Mr Cameron said in a video posted on social media platform X. “I’m going to go and see him next week and say, ‘Ukraine needs that money. It is American security, it’s European security, it’s Britain’s security that’s on the line in Ukraine, and they need our help.”’

A $95 billion aid package for Ukraine has been bogged down in the House of Representatives for months as populist conservatives seek to block further funding for the two-year-old conflict and some mainstream Republicans demand concessions on border security before supporting the bill.

Britain's Foreign Secretary David Cameron, left, meets with Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., for discussions on the war in Ukraine (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Britain's Foreign Secretary David Cameron, left, meets with Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., for discussions on the war in Ukraine (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Pro-Western diplomat faces an ally of populist premier in a race for Slovakia's presidency

Monday 8 April 2024 12:00 , Tom Watling

Voters in Slovakia headed to the ballot stations Saturday to elect a successor to Zuzana Čaputová, the country’s first female president and a staunch backer of neighboring Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s full-scale invasion, who isn’t seeking a second term.

Former Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok won the first round of voting two weeks ago after receiving 42.5 per cent of the votes. The pro-Western career diplomat faces Peper Pellegrini, who finished second with 37 per cent, for the largely ceremonial post.

Pro-Western diplomat faces an ally of populist premier in a race for Slovakia's presidency

Kremlin says German military presence in Lithuania will escalate tensions

Monday 8 April 2024 11:30 , Tom Watling

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that a planned German military presence in Lithuania would escalate tensions.

The NATO military alliance and EU member Lithuania, which borders Russia and its ally Belarus, said earlier it would partly finance permanently hosting of 5,000 German troops from 2027.

Three killed in Zaporizhzhia strikes, says official

Monday 8 April 2024 11:00 , Tom Watling

Three people have been killed in the Zaporizhzhia region in southern Ukraine following Russian strikes, the local governor has reported.

Ivan Federov, posting on the Telegram messenger service, wrote: “Three people were killed and three people were wounded in the Pologivskyi district.”

At least three people were killed in the Pologivskyi district in Zaporizhzhia following Russian strikes (Telegram)
At least three people were killed in the Pologivskyi district in Zaporizhzhia following Russian strikes (Telegram)

Zelensky: Every day Russia subjects Kharkiv to heinous crimes

Monday 8 April 2024 10:30 , Tom Watling

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has decried Russia’s ramped up assault on the city of Kharkiv, which has been targeted multiple times over the past few weeks.

The northeastern Ukrainian city, less than 20km from the Russian border, is the country’s second largest behind Kyiv. Moscow has begun dropping deadly guided aerial bombs on the city, nicknamed “building destroyers” and has carried out “double tap” strikes on emergency workers earlier this month.

Kharkiv’s residents have only limited access to electricity after a major bombing campaign on 22 March.

“Kharkiv. Every day and night, the city is subjected to heinous Russian attacks. We are making every effort to provide better protection for it,” Mr Zelensky said.

Royals targeted in Russia’s disinformation war with fake story about King Charles selling Highgrove

Monday 8 April 2024 10:00 , Tom Watling

A Russian disinformation network has made a series of false claims about the British royal family in its ongoing information war with Ukraine.

Among the incorrect allegations being made by pro-Kremlin campaigners is the suggestion circulating on fake news sites that King Charles has sold his royal residence Highgrove House to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky for £20m.

The bizarre report was initially made in a YouTube video that featured someone who claimed to be the estate agent behind the made-up sale. However, security experts told The Times the character, named Sam Murphy, appeared to be AI-generated.

Russia spreads fake news that King Charles sold Highgrove House to Ukraine

Western leaders face hard choices to help Ukraine resist Putin’s aggression

Monday 8 April 2024 09:32 , Tom Watling

The overwhelming majority of the British people stand with the Ukrainian people in their time of need. The Ukrainians’ brave resistance against Vladimir Putin’s aggression meets all the tests of a just war, and it is in our national interest that Putin should not succeed.

Now, however, we are coming to the hard part. Two years have passed since the Russian attempt to take Kyiv, and the balance of the war has started to shift in Putin’s favour. Ukrainian forces have had to retreat from Avdiivka, close by Donetsk, the capital of one of the eastern provinces claimed by Putin.

Editorial: Western leaders face hard choices to help Ukraine resist Putin

Russia launches 24 attack drones, infrastructure hit, Ukraine says

Monday 8 April 2024 08:20 , Tom Watling

Russia launched more than two dozen attack drones on Ukraine, hitting critical infrastructure in the central Zhytomyr region and damaging logistics facilities in the south, officials said on Monday.

The Zvyahel city council in Ukraine‘s Zhytomyr region urged people to stay indoors after Russia’s air attack on the critical infrastructure object resulted in air pollution.

“Russia struck an infrastructure object of the community overnight,” the city council said on the Telegram messaging app. “There are no casualties among the civilian population. Currently, there is a direct threat of air pollution, so it is recommended to stay indoors with closed windows.”

Officials provided no further details. Russia has intensified its drone and missile strikes against Ukrainian energy facilities in recent weeks, causing significant damage and threatening Ukrainians with a repeat of the blackouts they experienced in the first year after Russia invaded in February 2022.

The Ukrainian air defence downed 17 out of 24 Iranian-produced Shahed drones Russia used in its attack, over the regions of Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kirovohrad, Khmelnytskyi and Zhytomyr, the air force said on the Telegram messaging app.

A Russia-launched Kh-59 guided air missile was destroyed over the Dnipropetrovsk region, it added.

Four drones were destroyed over the southern region of Odesa, said Oleh Kiper, the regional governor, adding that a logistics and transport facility and a gas station were damaged. There were no casualties in the attack, he added. Reuters could not independently verify the reports. There was no immediate comment from Russia.

Alliance of authoritarian powers working against the West, Nato chief warns

Monday 8 April 2024 07:50 , Athena Stavrou

The West’s enemies are working more closely as an “alliance of authoritarian powers” including Russia, Iran and China, Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg has warned.

Mr Stoltenberg has described growing links between the three countries and North Korea, as he warned the world has become “much more dangerous”.

Speaking on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Mr Stoltenberg said: “China is propping up the Russian war economy, delivering key parts to the defence industry, and in return Moscow is mortgaging its future to Beijing.”

He also accused Russia of giving technology to Iran and North Korea in return for ammunition and other military supplies.

Alliance of authoritarian powers working against the West, Nato chief warns

Russia blames Ukraine for nuclear plant strike, Kyiv denies

Monday 8 April 2024 07:45 , Athena Stavrou

Russian officials have blamed Ukraine for the attack on Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on Sunday.

Ukraine has denied having anything to do with any strikes on the station and blamed Moscow for the strikes.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) called the attack “reckless” after an explosion near the reactor building and a hit on the dome of the plant’s sixth power unit.

At least one casualty is also suspected as blood stains were found by an IAEA team outside a laboratory next to a damaged military logistics vehicle.

Russian forces took control of the plant in 2022 shortly after their full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Both Moscow and Kyiv have repeatedly accused each other of risking a nuclear accident by attacking the plant.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

People asked to stay indoors after Russia’s attack pollutes air in Zhytomyr

Monday 8 April 2024 07:04 , Arpan Rai

The Zvyahel city council in Ukraine's Zhytomyr region urged people early today to stay indoors after Russia’s air attack on an infrastructure object resulted in air pollution.

"Russia struck an infrastructure object of the community overnight," the city council said on Telegram.

"There are no casualties among the civilian population. Currently, there is a direct threat of air pollution, so it is recommended to stay indoors with closed windows."

Ukrainian man who helped Russia target missile strike on pizzeria jailed for life

Monday 8 April 2024 07:00 , Alexander Butler

Ukrainian man who helped Russia target missile strike on pizzeria jailed for life

Russia’s Lavrov lands in China to talk Ukraine, Asia-Pacific

Monday 8 April 2024 06:38 , Arpan Rai

Russia’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov arrived in China today for talks on the war in Ukraine, bilateral ties, and the situation in the Asia-Pacific region, the Russian foreign ministry said.

The Russian foreign minister will talk with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on a series of “hot topics” that will also include joint cooperation in international organisations, such as the United Nations and the Group of 20 (G20), Moscow had said earlier.

Earlier, Russian president Vladimir Putin was expected to travel to China in May for talks with Chinese president Xi Jinping, in what could be the Kremlin chief’s first overseas trip of his new presidential term.

Russia attacks Ukraine with 24 drones overnight, says Kyiv

Monday 8 April 2024 05:57 , Arpan Rai

At least two dozen Russian drones attacked Ukraine overnight, targeting chiefly critical infrastructure in the country’s south and east, Ukraine’s air force said today.

Of these, the air force destroyed 17 of the Iranian-produced Shahed drones Russia used in its attack, over the regions of Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kirovohrad, Khmelnytskyi and Zhytomyr, the air force said.

Ukrainian Air Force also destroyed a Russia-launched Kh-59 guided air missile over the Dnipropetrovsk region, it said.

Another four drones were destroyed over the southern region of Odesa, said Oleh Kiper, the regional governor.

"A logistics and transport facility was damaged," Mr Kiper added on Telegram. "A gas station was also damaged by the wreckage of a downed Shahed."

There were no casualties in the attack, he added.

Zelensky pleads with West for ammunition: ‘Patriots must now be in Ukraine’

Monday 8 April 2024 05:34 , Arpan Rai

Volodymyr Zelensky is urging its allies in the West to help with ammunition supplies, pointing to the increasing attacks from Russia in Kharkiv.

“The situation in Kharkiv is very harsh. Russian terror is constant. Russians began using guided aerial bombs against the city almost daily. We are looking for ways to increase Kharkiv’s ability to protect the sky,” the war-time president said in his nightly address.

Mr Zelensky’s plea comes at a time Ukraine is struggling with fighting back against Russian invasion, especially with intensified attacks in the recent weeks.

“This is a task for both our military and diplomats, who are in charge of international communication and must maintain daily dialogue with partners. Ukraine clearly lacks sufficient air defence systems, and this is evident to all of our partners,” Mr Zelensky said.

He added: “There are air defence systems around the world that can help. Only political will is required to transfer them to Ukraine. I am grateful to the countries that have already helped.”

“Patriots” must now be in Ukraine, so there will be no need to use them on Nato’s entire eastern flank in the future, the Ukrainian president said.

Ukraine says it ‘nothing to do with incidents’ at Zaporizhzhia power plant

Monday 8 April 2024 05:03 , Arpan Rai

A Ukrainian intelligence official said Kyiv has nothing to do with incidents at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant after Russia accused Kyiv of attacking the facility.

“Ukraine is not involved in any kind of armed provocations on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant illegally occupied by Russia,” Andriy Yusov, spokesperson for Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence, told the Ukrainska Pravda media outlet.

“Russian strikes, including imitation ones, on the territory of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant have long been a well known criminal practice of the invaders,” he said.

Russia and West join forces to tackle trade in 'blood diamonds' despite feud over Moscow's diamonds

Monday 8 April 2024 05:00 , Alexander Butler

Russia and West join forces to tackle trade in 'blood diamonds' despite feud over Moscow's diamonds

UN warns of ‘nuclear accident’ after drone attacks on Russia-held Zaporizhzhia power plant

Monday 8 April 2024 04:59 , Arpan Rai

The UN atomic watchdog’s head has warned of a “major nuclear accident” after a new drone attack on Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia power plant.

An explosion near the reactor building and blood stains suggesting one casualty on Sunday were also reported, including a hit on the dome of the plant’s sixth power unit.

The International Atomic Energy Agency‘s (IAEA) head, Rafael Mariano Grossi, called the attacks “reckless”. This is the direct targeting of the nuclear facility for the first time since November 2022 in military action, endangering nuclear safety and security.

UN warns of ‘nuclear accident’ after drone attacks on Zaporizhzhia power plant

In Ukraine if Black Tulip can’t bring the bodies of loved ones home, no one can

Monday 8 April 2024 04:00 , Alexander Butler

In Ukraine if Black Tulip can’t bring the bodies of loved ones home, no one can

Germany's defense minister overhauls the military command as he seeks 'war-capable' armed forces

Monday 8 April 2024 03:00 , Alexander Butler

Germany's defense minister overhauls the military command as he seeks 'war-capable' armed forces

US Secretary of State Blinken insists ‘Ukraine will become a member of Nato’

Monday 8 April 2024 02:00 , Alexander Butler

US Secretary of State Blinken insists ‘Ukraine will become a member of Nato’

‘Pure barbarity’: Rescuers killed as Russia launches ‘double tap’ drone attack on Kharkiv

Monday 8 April 2024 01:00 , Alexander Butler

‘Pure barbarity’: Rescuers killed in Russian ‘double tap’ drone attack on Kharkiv

Ukraine military chief’s chilling warning to the West about Russia’s threat

Monday 8 April 2024 00:01 , Alexander Butler

Ukraine military chief’s chilling warning to the West about Russia’s threat

Arsenal star Oleksandr Zinchenko would fight in Ukraine if called up

Sunday 7 April 2024 23:00 , Alexander Butler

Arsenal star Oleksandr Zinchenko would fight in Ukraine if called up

Ukraine military chief’s chilling warning to the West about Russia’s threat

Sunday 7 April 2024 22:00 , Alexander Butler

Ukraine military chief’s chilling warning to the West about Russia’s threat

Royals targeted in Russia’s disinformation war with fake story about King Charles selling Highgrove

Sunday 7 April 2024 21:00 , Alexander Butler

Russia spreads fake news that King Charles sold Highgrove House to Ukraine

UK needs wartime defence spending in face of most dangerous time since Cold War, ex-civil service chief warns

Sunday 7 April 2024 20:00 , Alexander Butler

Britain must spend more on defence, warns former top civil servant

Ukraine will lose war without US aid, says Zelensky

Sunday 7 April 2024 19:41 , Alexander Butler

Kyiv will lose the war against Russia if the US congress does not approve military aid to battle Moscow’s invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.

“It is necessary to specifically tell Congress that if Congress does not help Ukraine, Ukraine will lose the war,” Zelensky said during a video meeting of Kyiv-organised fundraising platform United24.

Republicans in Congress have been blocking tens of billions of dollars in military assistance for Kyiv for months.

Western leaders face hard choices to help Ukraine resist Putin’s aggression

Sunday 7 April 2024 19:00 , Alexander Butler

Editorial: Western leaders face hard choices to help Ukraine resist Putin

Drones attack Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, according to plant officials

Sunday 7 April 2024 18:00 , Alexander Butler

Drones attack Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, according to plant officials

UK needs wartime defence spending in face of most dangerous time since Cold War, ex-civil service chief warns

Sunday 7 April 2024 17:07 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Britain must ramp up its defence and aid spending and bolster its diplomatic and intelligence networks amid “the most dangerous period” since the Cold War, the UK’s former top civil servant has warned.

Writing in The Independent, former cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill urged the government to nearly double Britain’s defence spending to reach 4 per cent of GDP and restore the international aid budget to 0.7 per cent of national income, slashed by Boris Johnson in 2021.

And warning of the threat should Vladimir Putin prevail in his war on Ukraine, he called for Kyiv’s allies “to “upgrade defence industrial capacity to wartime levels”, “run our own factories 24/7” and buy weaponry and munitions for Ukraine, whether or not Congress funds the US to do so.

Britain must spend more on defence, warns former top civil servant

Woman killed by Ukrainian drone shrapnel in Russia's Belgorod region -governor

Sunday 7 April 2024 16:35 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A woman was killed on Sunday when shrapnel from a downed Ukrainian drone hit a car travelling in Russia‘s Belgorod region, local governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

In a statement on the Telegram messaging app, Gladkov said that four more people, including two children, had been wounded after air defences downed four Ukrainian drones on the approach to Belgorod city.

Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, has come under regular attack from Kyiv’s forces since 2022, with 25 people killed in a single missile strike on Belgorod city in December.

Drones attack Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Sunday 7 April 2024 15:56 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Officials at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant said that the site was attacked on Sunday by Ukrainian military drones, including a strike on the dome of the plant’s sixth power unit.

According to the plant authorities, there was no critical damage or casualties and radiation levels at the plant were normal after the strikes.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Sunday that its experts had been informed of the drone strike and that “such detonation is consistent with IAEA observations”.

Without apportioning blame, the head of the UN’s atomic watchdog agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, warned of the safety risks of such attacks.

“I urge refraining from actions that contradict the 5 IAEA principles and jeopardize nuclear safety,” he said on the social media site X.

The power plant has been caught in the crossfire since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in 2022 and seized the facility shortly after.

 (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Ukraine claims it destroyed Russian warplanes in one of its biggest drone attacks of the war

Sunday 7 April 2024 15:15 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukrainian officials claimed Friday they used a barrage of drones to destroy at least six military aircraft and badly damage eight others at an airfield in Russia’s Rostov region, while Russian defense officials claimed they intercepted 44 Ukrainian drones and that only a power substation was damaged in the attack.

The assault appeared to be one of Kyiv‘s biggest air attacks in the war, coming as its forces step up their assaults on Russian soil. The Associated Press could not independently verify either side’s claims.

Russia has escalated attacks on civilian infrastructure, including Ukraine’s power plants, in recent weeks, signaling a new and potentially dangerous phase in the conflict as both sides struggle to achieve significant advances on the ground.

Ukraine claims it destroyed Russian warplanes in one of its biggest drone attacks of the war

Finland to keep border with Russia closed until further notice

Sunday 7 April 2024 14:45 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Finland will extend the closure of its border crossing points with Russia beyond the current April 14 deadline “until further notice” due to a high risk of organized migration orchestrated by Moscow, the Finnish government said on Thursday.

The Finnish Interior Ministry said in a statement that the Nordic country’s national security and public order would come under serious threat if the estimated hundreds of third-country nationals were to continue to attempt to enter from Russia without proper documentation.

“Based on information provided by public authorities, the risk that instrumentalized migration (by Russia) will resume and expand as seen previously remains likely,” the ministry said.

Finland to keep border with Russia closed until further notice

Ukrainian drones attack Zaporizhzhia nuclear station -TASS cites plant

Sunday 7 April 2024 12:09 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukrainian drones attacked the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant on Sunday, damaging a truck parked near the station’s canteen, Russian state news agency TASS reported, citing the plant authorities.