Live: Zelenskyy says Russia considering attack on nuclear plant

  • Ukraine’s intelligence agencies have found that Moscow is considering a “terrorist act” at the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant using a release of radiation, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says. Russia denies the allegation.
  • Ukrainian forces have struck a key bridge linking mainland and Crimea, the Russia-appointed Kherson governor says.
  • Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich has lost his new appeal against extended pre-trial detention in Russia on spying charges he denies.
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledges long-term security assurances to Ukraine but dashes Kyiv’s hopes for a swift accession to NATO.

    Kyiv says Russia fired cruise, ballistic missiles in overnight strike

    Kyiv says Russia used cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as strike drones, at targets in Ukraine, causing damage in the cities of Odesa and Kryvy Rih.

    Air defences downed three of the four drones fired in the overnight attack involving three Kinzhal hypersonic and three cruise missiles, Ukraine’s air force said in a statement.

    “The enemy rockets did not reach their targets in the Dnipropetrovsk region… the occupiers are continuing their terror against the Ukrainian people, attacking Ukraine’s critical infrastructure facilities,” the air force said.

    The drones were shot down over the Black Sea region of Odesa in southwestern Ukraine, but one of them struck a warehouse, regional administration spokesman Serhiy Bratchuk said. In the Kryvy Rih area, a Russian missile strike damaged at least 10 homes, the regional administration said.

    EU disburses 1.5 billion euros in macro assistance to Ukraine

    Head of the European Union, Ursula von der Leyen, said the bloc has disbursed “another” 1.5 billion euros ($1.650bn) in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine.

    On Twitter, von der Leyen wrote, “We help keep Ukraine’s services and infrastructure afloat in its brave fight for freedom. More will come. We just proposed steady financial support until 2027. We are in it for the long haul.”

    Ukrainian PM is certain Ukraine will get $6.5bn from conference

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal says he is certain Ukraine will have received the $6.5bn it needs this year for its rapid reconstruction from pledges made at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London.

    Speaking on the final day of the summit, Shmyhal said while his government had yet to assess all the pledges to come, “I’m sure that in the nearest time, after this conference … we will collect all the needed money.”

    On Wednesday, Shmyhal said he expected to secure almost $7bn in aid and told the conference that due to Russia’s invasion, Kyiv was facing the largest reconstruction project in Europe since World War II.

    So far, Britain, the United States, the European Union and others have pledged billions of dollars in additional help.

    Moscow court upholds WSJ reporter’s imprisonment period

    A Moscow court upheld an earlier ruling that the Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich remain in jail on espionage charges until late August.

    Gershkovich, who was first arrested in late March, appeared in court appealing a decision to extend his pre-trial detention on espionage charges he has denied.

    US ambassador to Russia, Lynne Tracy, attended the hearing and told reporters after the ruling that, “Evan continues to show remarkable strength and resilience in these very difficult circumstances.”

    “He is an innocent journalist who was carrying out journalistic activities and has been wrongfully detained. Such hostage diplomacy is unacceptable,” Tracy added.