Ukraine-Russia war live: Joe Biden slams Putin's attempts to divide NATO as Russian forces enter town near Chernobyl

JOE Biden has slammed Putin and believes he has been surprised in not being able to divide Nato allies.

The US President has been speaking during a trip to Warsaw, which has seen him meet Ukrainian government ministers.

Biden said: “I’m confident that Vladimir Putin was counting on being able to divide Nato, being able to separate the eastern flank from the west, being able to separate nations based on past histories.

“But he hasn’t been able to do it – we’ve all stayed together.

“I just think it’s so important that we, Poland and the United States, keep in lock step how we’re proceeding.”

The news comes as Russian forces have entered a town near Chernobyl.

It has been reported that Russian forces had taken control of Slavutych and that the mayor had been taken hostage.

However, a resident who was protesting in the city told the BBC that the city's mayor spoke at the rally after the reports, suggesting he had been released.

Follow our Russia-Ukraine live blog below for up-to-the-minute updates…

  • Louis Allwood

    Russia and Ukraine latest

    • At least 300 people died after a theatre in Mariupol was shelled last week, Ukrainian authorities have claimed
    • A terrified Russian soldier has revealed they expected the war to be over in two weeks, in an intercepted phone call to his gran
    • In a further blow to Putin, Ukraine has reportedly pushed Russian troops out of the capital Kyiv
    • US President Joe Biden has warned Nato WILL respond if Russia uses chemical weapons in Ukraine
    • A Ukrainian refugee has given a heartbreaking account of how she dodged bodies as Putin's shells landed around her
    • Putin's alleged secret family has come to light as he continues his brutal invasion of Ukraine

    Joe Biden thinks Putin has been surprised with difficulty of dividing Nato allies

    Joe Biden says he thinks Putin has been surprised in not being able to divide Nato allies.

    The US President has been speaking during a trip to Warsaw, which has seen him meet Ukrainian government ministers.

    Biden said: "I'm confident that Vladimir Putin was counting on being able to divide Nato, being able to separate the eastern flank from the west, being able to separate nations based on past histories.

    "But he hasn't been able to do it – we've all stayed together.

    "I just think it's so important that we, Poland and the United States, keep in lock step how we're proceeding."

    Zelensky: Russia 'bragging' about nuclear arms 'fuelling dangerous arms race'

    RUSSIA bragging about its nuclear capabilities is "fuelling a dangerous arms race", President Zelensky said today.

    Speaking to the Doha forum in a live video broadcast, the leader said: “They are bragging that they can destroy with nuclear weapons not only a certain country but the entire planet."

    Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky also called on Qatar, which organises the annual meeting of international political and business leaders, to increase production of natural gas to counter Russian efforts to use energy as a weapon.

    • Joseph Gamp

      In pictures: Biden inspects Guard of Honour at Warsaw presidential palace

      President Joe Biden reviews the Guard of Honor during a welcome ceremony ahead of his meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

      The image was taken outside the Presidential Palace in Warsaw this morning.

      It comes as Ukraine foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said the country received additional security pledges from the US on developing defence co-operation.

      NINTCHDBPICT000721777683Credit: Reuters
    • Joseph Gamp

      Ukraine recieves more pledges from US as Biden visits Warsaw

      Ukraine received additional security pledges from the United States on developing defence co-operation, its Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Saturday.

      "We did receive additional promises from the United States on how our defence co-operation will evolve," Kuleba told reporters.

    • Joseph Gamp

      In pictures: Moment man narrowly avoids shelling in Kharkiv

      A man hurries to walk away from a building that was just hit by a Russian bombardment just moments earlier.

      The structure has caught on fire after intense shelling from the invading forces.

      The frightening image was captured in the Moskovskyi district in Kharkiv, Ukraine, yesterday afternoon.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Minister hints Russia 'scaling back' may not be the truth

      A Government minister warned that Moscow's claims should be treated sceptically after hints at a possible scaling back of the conflict.

      Policing minister Kit Maltouse told BBC Breakfast: "I'm not qualified to say, but what I do know is there's an awful lot of misinformation and disinformation flying around in this awful conflict.

      "And we need to take care that what first appears may not in fact be the truth. Let's hope there may well be a cessation of hostilities as soon as possible."

    • Joseph Gamp

      Russia could have lost as many as 15,000 troops

      Russia accidentally revealed it has lost 10,000 troops, when the figure was disclosed by a pro-Kremlin newspaper.

      But NATO has said that figure could be as high as 15,000 with the total losses including wounded, captured or missing up to 40,000.

      If the estimate is correct, then Russian losses in just under a month in Ukraine are now the same as they suffered during their ten year war in Afghanistan, which ended in 1989.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Russia-Ukraine: Latest developments

      • At least 300 people died after a theatre in Mariupol was shelled last week, Ukrainian authorities have claimed
      • A terrified Russian soldier has revealed they expected the war to be over in two weeks, in an intercepted phone call to his gran
      • In a further blow to Putin, Ukraine has reportedly pushed Russian troops out of the capital Kyiv
      • US President Joe Biden has warned Nato WILL respond if Russia uses chemical weapons in Ukraine
      • A Ukrainian refugee has given a heartbreaking account of how she dodged bodies as Putin's shells landed around her
      • Putin's alleged secret family has come to light as he continues his brutal invasion of Ukraine
      • Joseph Gamp

        Russian forces take over Chernobyl workers town

         Russian forces have taken control of the town of Slavutych, where workers at the defunct Chernobyl nuclear plant live, the governor of Kyiv region Oleksandr Pavlyuk said on Saturday.

        In an online statement, Pavlyuk said Russian troops had occupied the hospital in Slavutych and kidnapped the mayor.

        Reuters could not independently verify the reports.

        On Friday, Ukraine said its troops had repulsed a first attack by Russian troops closing in on the town.

      • Joseph Gamp

        Kyiv curfew in place from 8pm this evening

        Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko has announced a further curfew in Ukraine's capital city Kyiv.

        From 8pm local time, residents will be ordered to stay indoors until 7am on Monday.

      • Joseph Gamp

        Ukraine: 136 children have been killed so far

        The war in Ukraine has killed 136 children so far, Ukraine’s office of the prosecutor general said on Saturday in a message on the Telegram app.

        They added the number of wounded children stood at 199.

        The Sun has been unable to immediately verify the details.

      • Joseph Gamp

        Poland sees increase in Ukraine refugees crossing border

        More than 2.2 million people have fled Ukraine to Poland since the war began, the Polish Border Guard has said.

        On Thursday there was a slight increase in the amount of refugees crossing, with 32,500 making the journey, up 7.4% from Wednesday, the agency wrote on Twitter.

        By 06:00 GMT on Friday, 6,900 had crossed – up 1.7% from the same period on Thursday.

      • Joseph Gamp

        Mariupol mayor discusses civilian evacuations with French ambassador

        The mayor of the besieged city of Mariupol said on Saturday he had spoken to France's ambassador to Ukraine about options for evacuating civilians after French President Emmanuel Macron said he would propose to Russia a plan to help people leave.

        Speaking on national television, Mayor Vadym Boichenko said the situation in the encircled city remained critical, with street fighting taking place in its centre.

      • Joseph Gamp

        Zelensky calls on energy producers to increase output

        Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has called on energy-producing countries on Saturday to increase output so that Russia cannot use its oil and gas wealth to "blackmail" other nations.

        Addressing the Doha Forum international conference via video link, Mr Zelensky said countries such as Qatar could make a contribution to the stabilisation of Europe.

        "They can do much to restore justice. The future of Europe depends on your effort. I ask you to increase the output of energy to ensure that everyone in Russia understands that no country can use energy as a weapon and blackmail the world," he said in translated comments.

      • Joseph Gamp

        Ukraine will take back Kherson today, says official

        A Ukrainian official believes the country's forces will retake the Russian-occupied city of Kherson today.

        Defence minister adviser Markian Lubkivskyi told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I believe that today the city will be fully under the control of Ukrainian armed forces.

        "We have finished in the last two days the operation in the Kyiv region so other armed forces are now focused on the southern part trying to get free Kherson and some other Ukrainian cities."

      • Joseph Gamp

        Grant Shapps 'detains' oligarch's jets 'indefinitely'

        Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has "detained" jets belonging to Russian oligarch Eugene Shvidler.

        Mr Shapps announced on Twitter: "Since Putin began his illegal assault, I’ve held jets belonging to Eugene Shvidler under investigation for 3 weeks.

        "Now, I am using my powers to DETAIN them indefinitely."

        He followed up with: "Putin’s friends who made millions out of his regime will not enjoy luxuries whilst innocent people die."

      • Joseph Gamp

        Russian forces suffer heavy losses

        Russian forces have suffered heavy losses after getting bogged down in their advance on the capital.

        Ukrainian defenders are even said to have driven them back in some areas and retaken strategic villages to the east and west of Kyiv.

        The Kremlin today signalled defeat in its bid to take Kyiv, saying it would focus instead on "liberating" separatists in the east.

        Earlier this week Russia accidentally revealed 10,000 troops had died, but today claimed the figure was 1,351.

        At least 18 senior commanders have so far been killed in battle.

      • Joseph Gamp

        Ukraine war: Developments you may have missed

        • At least 300 people died after a theatre in Mariupol was shelled last week, Ukrainian authorities have claimed
        • A terrified Russian soldier has revealed they expected the war to be over in two weeks, in an intercepted phone call to his gran
        • In a further blow to Putin, Ukraine has reportedly pushed Russian troops out of the capital Kyiv
        • US President Joe Biden has warned Nato WILL respond if Russia uses chemical weapons in Ukraine
        • A Ukrainian refugee has given a heartbreaking account of how she dodged bodies as Putin's shells landed around her
        • Putin's alleged secret family has come to light as he continues his brutal invasion of Ukraine

        Spotify 'fully suspends' services in Russia in response to censorship laws

        Spotify has made the "difficult decision" to fully suspend its services in Russia in response to its laws restricting free speech.

        The streaming giant said the legislation, which "criminalised certain types of news" put its employees and listeners at risk.

        Heavy censorship laws have been imposed in Russia which can result in prison sentences of up to 15 years for those spreading information contrary to the Government's narrative on the war in Ukraine.

        "Spotify has continued to believe that it's critically important to try to keep our service operational in Russia to provide trusted, independent news and information in the region," a Spotify spokesperson said.

        "Unfortunately, recently enacted legislation further restricting access to information, eliminating free expression, and criminalising certain types of news puts the safety of Spotify's employees and possibly even our listeners at risk.

        "After carefully considering our options and the current circumstances, we have come to the difficult decision to fully suspend our service in Russia."

        Vladimir Putin lays groundwork for possible scaling back of ambitions in Ukraine

        Vladimir Putin appeared to be preparing Russians for a possible scaling back of his ambitions in Ukraine away from seizing Kyiv to fighting for control of the east.

        As the Russian President's troops suffered a series of setbacks, Moscow said the "special military operation" would now focus on the "main goal, liberation of Donbas".

        There were hopes the move could amount to a scaling back of the invasion, as Ukrainian troops were believed to be regaining ground around the capital of Kyiv.

        Western intelligence also suggested a Russian brigade commander, Colonel Medvechek, was deliberately run down and killed by his own troops.

        Meanwhile, Boris Johnson confronted China's President Xi Jinping in a "frank and candid" discussion as western allies tried to pressure Beijing away from offering support to Moscow.

        In a terse readout following the 50-minute telephone call, a No 10 spokesman said they had discussed "a range of issues of mutual interest" including the situation in Ukraine.

        The contact came after Nato leaders urged China to "abstain" from supporting Russia's war effort and to refrain from any actions that would help it circumvent sanctions.

        In the besieged city of Mariupol, authorities said about 300 people died in a Russian airstrike earlier this month on a theatre where hundreds of people were sheltering.

        If confirmed, it is likely to lead to renewed calls for Western powers to step up military support for the Ukrainian forces.

        • Joseph Gamp

          Ukraine says 136 have been killed so far

          The war in Ukraine has killed 136 children so far, Ukraine's office of the prosecutor general said on Saturday in a message on the Telegram app.

          They added the number of wounded children stood at 199.

          The Sun has been unable to immediately verify the details.

        • Joseph Gamp

          Good morning.

          Joe Gamp here, signing in to our live coverage of the Ukraine war.

          I'll be bringing you the latest updates and news right up until 2pm this afternoon.

        • Joseph Gamp

          In pictures: Moment man narrowly avoids shelling in Kharkiv

          A man hurries to walk away from a building that was just hit by a Russian bombardment just moments earlier.

          The structure has caught on fire after intense shelling from the invading forces.

          The frightening image was captured in the Moskovskyi district in Kharkiv, Ukraine, yesterday afternoon.

        • Joseph Gamp

          Home Office: UK grants 20,100 Ukrainian refugee visas 

          The UK’s Home Office has said that some 20,100 visas have been issued by the UK to Ukrainian refugees with family links to the UK.

          As of 17:00 GMT on Thursday, the government had received 35,500 applications under the Ukraine family scheme.

          The scheme was launched earlier this months.

          The UK government has also launched its Homes for Ukraine scheme.

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