Russia-Ukraine war live news: Zelenskyy rages after Odesa drone attacks

  • “Russian terrorists have once again targeted ports, grain facilities and global food security,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, after drone attacks on Odesa caused fires.
  • Ukrainian officials say anti-aircraft units shot down more than 10 drones targeting Kyiv; debris reportedly fell in three districts but caused no injuries.
  • Ukraine and Poland have called in ambassadors from each other’s countries over a dispute about a Polish official who said Kyiv should show more appreciation for Warsaw’s wartime support.
  • A large number of prisoners held in makeshift detention centres in Russian-occupied southern Ukraine were tortured and sexually violated, international experts said in a summary of their latest findings.

    Turkey’s Erdogan speaks to Putin over reinstating grain deal

    Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan spoke to his Russian counterpart on the phone and said he will continue in efforts to reinstate the Black Sea grain deal and urged Russia from escaltating the war, Erdogan’s office said.

    The statement from the presidents office added, “President Erdogan expressed the importance of refraining from steps that could escalate tensions during the Russia-Ukraine war, emphasising the significance of the Black Sea initiative, which he described as a bridge of peace”.

    Erdogan and Putin also agreed on the Russian president visiting Turkey.

    US ambassador to Ukraine condemns attacks

    The US ambassador to Ukraine condemns the repeated attacks on its grain and port infrastructure.

    On social media, Bridget Brink wrote: “Homes. Ports. Grain silos. Historic buildings. Men. Women. Children. Round-the-clock and intensifying Russian strikes on Kryvyi Rih, Kharkiv, Kyiv, Kherson make it clear once again Russia has no desire for peace, no thought for civilian safety, and no regard for people around the world who rely on food from Ukraine.”

    The Kremlin restates position on grain deal, Putin calls Turkey’s Erodgan

    The Kremlin has reiterated its position on the Black Sea grain deal, saying Moscow would return once the part that concerns Russia was implemented.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also told reporters that President Vladimir Putin was holding a call with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday morning.

    Moscow quit the grain deal two weeks ago after complaining that obstacles remained to its exports of grain and fertiliser.

    On Tuesday, the United States envoy to the United Nations said there were “indications” that Russia might be interested in returning to discussions about the grain deal.

    Russian reporter losses appeal on 22-year sentence

    Former Russian defence reporter Ivan Safronov lost his final appeal against a 22-year jail sentence on treason charges, a Reuters news agency reporter at the Supreme Court in Moscow said.

    The former reporter for the Russian Kommersant and Vedomosti newspapers, who later worked as an adviser to the head of the space agency, was arrested in 2020 after being accused of disclosing classified information.

    In September last year, he was sentenced in what his supporters called a draconian ruling that showed the absence of media freedom in Russia.

    While Safronov was accused of handing military secrets to the Czech Republic, his defence team said the case was revenge for his reporting on Russian plans to sell fighter jets to Egypt.

    Safronov was transferred in February to a high-security prison in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia.

    Romania calls Russia’s attack on Danube ‘unacceptable’

    Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis has called Russia’s repeated attacks on Ukraine’s Danube infrastructure near Romania “unacceptable” after Moscow hit Odesa, including vital ports used to export grain.

    On X (formally known as Twitter), the president wrote, “Russia’s continued attacks against the Ukrainian civilian infrastructure on Danube, in the proximity of Romania, are unacceptable. These are war crimes and they further affect UA’s capacity to transfer their food products towards those in need in the world.”

    Ukrainian official praises air defences in latest attack

    The head of Ukraine’s president’s office has praised air defences for protecting civilians from Russian air attacks but stresses the need for tougher sanctions.

    On Telegram, Andriy Yermak said, “Heroic work by the air defence tonight. The Russians again tried to attack civilians, our ports, elevators. They do everything to circumvent sanctions and obtain components for the production of weapons.

    “They want to increase its quantity in order to kill people, destroy infrastructure, and cause famine in the countries of the Global South.

    “It is possible to stop this with tougher sanctions, which will constantly increase and affect the military industry of the Russian Federation. Also, everyone can do more if they block the chains through which Russia receives sanctioned components. Every country can do more.”

    Turkmenistan’s main airline suspended flights to Moscow

    Turkmenistan’s main airline has suspended flights to Moscow, citing safety concerns after Ukrainian drone attacks on the Russian capital.

    “Due to the situation in the Moscow air zone, and based on a risk assessment in order to ensure flight safety, all Turkmenistan Airlines flights on the Ashgabat-Moscow-Ashgabat route will be suspended,” the airline said in a statement.

    Turkmenistan Airlines said it would fly to Kazan, more than 700km (440 miles) east of Moscow.

    In the past few days, Russia says it has shot down Ukrainian drones near and over Moscow.

    On Tuesday, a high-rise building in Moscow’s business district that houses three Russian government ministries was struck by a drone for the second time in three days.

    Ukraine defence ministry says silo damaged in Russian attack on Izmail port

    Ukraine’s defence ministry says a grain silo was damaged in the latest Russian attack on the Ukrainian port of Izmail, on the Danube river.

    “Another elevator in the port of Izmail, Odesa region, was damaged by Russians. Ukrainian grain has the potential to feed millions of people worldwide,” the ministry wrote on messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

    Russia unlikely to find enough new troops to resource new army: UK

    The UK’s Ministry of Defence says Russia is looking to strengthen its forces but is “unlikely to find enough new troops to resource even one new army”.

    In its latest intelligence briefing, the ministry said Russia had recently increased the age range of those eligible for conscription but “mainly deployed mobilised reservists to back-fill established formations”.

    ‘Russian terrorists again attacked global food security’: Zelenskyy

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of waging an attack on “global food security” after Russian drones hit port and grain storage facilities in the south of Ukraine’s coastal Odesa region.

    “Unfortunately, there are damages,” Zelenskyy said on Telegram. “The most significant ones are in the south of the country. Russian terrorists have once again attacked ports, grain, global food security.”

    Serhiy Bratchuk, spokesperson of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army South, said in a video statement that “the enemy … is trying to destroy Ukrainian grain, attacking industrial and port infrastructure”.

    “Russia is trying to cut Ukraine out of the future grain agreement and, most importantly, to strategically displace our country from the global food market,” he added.

    Kremlin critic Navalny faces decades more in prison

    A Russian court will deliver its verdict on Friday in the trial of jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny, who is facing extremism charges that could keep him behind bars for decades.

    Prosecutors have requested a jail term of 20 years on charges that include the financing of extremist activity, publicly inciting extremist activities and “rehabilitating Nazi ideology”.

    Navalny is serving a nine-year prison sentence on embezzlement charges that his supporters see as punishment for his political work.

    In his closing statement to the court, the 47-year-old criticised Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. “Around it lie tens of thousands of people killed in the most stupid and senseless war of the 21st century,” he told the court.

    Russia was “floundering in a pool of either mud or blood,” he added.

    Torture, sexual violence commonly used by Russian forces in Ukraine: Report

    A large number of prisoners held in makeshift detention centres in Russian-occupied southern Ukraine were tortured and sexually violated, a team of international experts has said in a summary of their latest findings.

    The Mobile Justice Team’s latest report, funded by Britain, the European Union and the United States, analysed 320 cases and witness accounts at 35 locations in the Kherson region.

    Of the victims’ accounts reviewed, “43 percent explicitly mentioned practices of torture in the detention centres, citing sexual violence as a common tactic imposed on them by Russian guards”, a statement said.

    High-level perpetrators could be tried at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, which has already sought the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Ukraine and Poland call in envoys after war support comments

    Ukraine and Poland have called in their respective ambassadors as tensions escalated after a foreign policy adviser to Poland’s president said Kyiv should show more appreciation for Warsaw’s support in its war with Russia.

    Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said the Polish ambassador was told in the meeting that statements about Ukraine’s alleged ungratefulness for Poland’s help were “untrue and unacceptable”.

    “We are convinced that Ukrainian-Polish friendship is much deeper than political expediency. Politics should not call into question the mutual understanding and strength of relations between our peoples,” a Ukrainian statement said.

    Poland also called in the Ukrainian ambassador to Warsaw in response to the “comments of representatives of Ukrainian authorities,” Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter.

    Russia hits port, grain storage in Ukraine’s Odesa region

    Russian drones have hit port and grain storage facilities in the south of Ukraine’s coastal Odesa region in the early morning hours, setting some of them on fire, regional governor Oleh Kiper has said on the Telegram messaging app.

    “As a result of the attack, fires broke out at the facilities of the port and industrial infrastructure of the region, and an elevator was damaged,” Kiper wrote, adding that emergency services were on site and there were no reports of casualties.

    Russia has stepped up attacks on Ukrainian agricultural and port infrastructure after refusing to extend the Black Sea grain deal that had allowed for the exports of Ukrainian grain.

    Ukrainian media reported the drones arrived from the Black Sea and then moved west along the Danube river towards Izmail, a key port from which Ukrainian grain is taken by barge to the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta for shipment onwards.

    Group of Russian drones downed over Kyiv: Ukrainian officials

    More than 10 Russian drones have been downed during an attack on Kyiv at about 3am (00:00 GMT), Ukrainian officials have said.

    “Groups of drones entered Kyiv simultaneously from several directions. However, all air targets – more than 10 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – were detected and destroyed in time by the forces and means of air defence,” Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv city military administration, said.

    He said Russia had used a barrage of Iranian-made Shahed drones, with debris hitting several areas, including the busy Solomianskyi district, which hosts an international airport.

    In Holosiivskyi district, “parts of a drone fell on the playground” and a fire broke out in a non-residential building, the Kyiv city military administration said, adding that emergency services were on the scene.

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