Ukraine War: Zelensky slams ‘afraid’ Macron at key turning point – UK ‘helping more’

Russia may 'fight war on own terms' in Spring warns expert

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As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its second month, the French President again rejected President Zelensky’s calls for weapons such as tanks. Reflecting on France’s reluctance to help, Mr Zelensky told the Economist: “[It is] because they are afraid of Russia. And that’s it. And those who say it first are the first to be afraid.” The criticism comes as Ukraine hits a key turning point in peace negotiations with Russia, with Kyiv ready to discuss security guarantees, neutrality and non-nuclear status. Mr Zelensky added: “To be honest, Johnson is a leader who is helping more. The leaders of countries react according to how their constituents act. In this case, Johnson is an example.”

THIS LIVE BLOG HAS NOW CLOSED.

KEY EVENTS

  • Roman Abramovich ‘suffering symptoms of suspected poisoning’16:08
  • No humanitarian corridors to open today 09:03
  • West ‘lacks courage’ and has played too much ‘ping-pong’ over Ukraine08:10
  • Boris Johnson is ‘helping more than other leaders,’ says Zelensky07:45
  • ‘This is the most important point,’ says Zelensky as peace negotiations progress07:29
  • That’s all from the Ukraine live reporting tonight

    Thanks for following our live Ukraine coverage tonight, check back tomorrow for more. 

    Putin’s spokesman dismisses nuclear threat and swats away Biden’s speech as ‘insult’

    Vladimir Putin’s spokesman in the Kremlin has laid bare Russia’s nuclear threat and swatted away Joe Biden’s Warsaw speech as a “personal insult” during an interview with an American news network.

    Russia would only use nuclear weapons if there is a threat to the country’s existence, a Moscow official has confirmed.

    There has been much speculation about whether Vladimir Putin would use nuclear weapons.

    Donald Trump’s British-born ex-National Security advisor Fiona Hill even warned “nuclear is on the table”. 

    However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told PBS Newshour on Monday: “Any outcome of the operation (in Ukraine), of course, is not a reason for usage of a nuclear weapon.

    “We have a security concept that very clearly states that only when there is a threat for existence of the state, in our country, we can use and we will actually use nuclear weapons to eliminate the threat for the existence of our country.”

    Chernobyl horror as Putin troops inhaled ‘clouds of radioactive dust’ while seizing plant

    The Chernobyl nuclear power plant was seized by Russian soldiers as part of their military campaign in Ukraine, but warnings have emerged from site workers, reports claim.

    Workers from the site have said that the invading forces “kicked up clouds of radioactive dust” despite wearing no radiation protection, reported The Mirror.

    Radiation levels at the power plant have gone up since the invasion, although both Ukraine and the International Atomic Energy Agency have stopped receiving data from the site.

    Two Chernobyl workers have spoken to Reuters about their experiences working at the site under threat from the Russians.

    They reported that Putin’s troops drove through the site without any protection from the radiation and kicked up the radioactive dust, branding their behaviour “suicidal”.

    Moscow has claimed they have taken over Chernobyl in order to prevent “nuclear provocations”, and have not commented on the accounts from the Ukrainian workers.

    The Kremlin has denied putting the nuclear facilities at risk.

    Both of the Ukrainian men saw Russian tanks rolling through the Red Forest, near the most radioactive part of the power plant, the report claimed.

    Zelensky claims Russian forces are ‘kidnapping’ and ‘murdering’ Ukrainian city officials

    President Zelensky has claimed that Russian forces are capturing and murdering city officials throughout Ukraine as President Putin’s invasion enters its 34th day.

    It is thought that these actions from Russian troops are in retaliation to the repeated failures of their invasion of Ukraine, reports claim.

    Reports surfaced on Monday that stated Russian forces have suffered huge losses of 123 warplanes and 127 helicopters as a result of Ukraine’s ground defence systems.

    It is also said that 17,000 Russian troops have been killed during the conflict and 586 tanks have been destroyed. 

    Alongside the targeting of city officials, it is thought the Russian forces are deliberately pursuing civilian targets.

    In a statement from Kyiv, President Zelensky stated: “They are kidnapping the mayors of our cities. They killed some of them. We can’t find some of them.

    “We have already found some of them and they are dead.”

    He added: “Russian occupiers kidnapped 14 heads of Ukrainian cities and killed some of them.”

    On March 7, it was reported that Russian troops shot and killed the Mayor of Hostomel while he was helping trapped residents by delivering bread.

    Panicking Putin’s security headache as Ukraine names hundreds of Kremlin spies

    Putin has suffered a serious security blunder after Ukraine published the names and numbers of more than 600 Kremlin spies.

    The spies were thought to be “involved in the invasion” of Ukraine. The massive and embarrassing security blunder is the latest in Russia’s faltering invasion.

    In total, the details of 620 Russians working for the FSB spy agency “involved in criminal activities” were released by the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine.

    Many of the spies can be traced back to their work addresses, based at the Federal Security Service’s, FSB, Lubyanka headquarters in Moscow.

    Good Evening

    Good evening, I’m Emma Crabtree and i’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine, for the next few hours. Please feel free to get in touch with me as i work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome. 

    Email: [email protected]

    Twitter: @emmacrabtree98

    Rockets hit oil depot in northwestern Rivne region, says governor

    A rocket strike has hit an oil depot in the the northwestern Rivne region, according to its governor.

    Governor Vitaliy Koval said emergency services were at the scene but did not give further details. 

    Russia is expected to send more than 1,000 mercenaries into eastern Ukraine

    The British Ministry of Defence have said Russia’s private military company, the Wagner group, has already deployed to eastern Ukraine and is expected to send more than 1,000 mercenaries, including senior officials in the organization. 

    Wagner group personnel have reportedly been pulled from separate missions in Syria and other parts of Africa as Ukraine remains prioritized.

    1,009 people evacuated from Ukrainian cities today

    Reuters cited a senior Ukrainian official and said a total of 1,099 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors on Monday.

    Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president’s office, said in an online post that 586 people had left the besieged the city of Mariupol by car and 513 were evacuated by bus in the Luhansk region.

    Johnson says the UK will strengthen economic pressure on Russia

    Zelensky also said that the two countries “discussed strengthening sanctions against Russia.” 

    The spokesperson added: “The Prime Minister offered his full support to Ukraine in the face of Russia’s continued aggression, including with humanitarian support and more defensive equipment.”

    The Ukrainian leader also briefed Mr Johnson on the talks between Russia and Ukraine in Turkey, according to Downing Street.

    Ukraine has retaken eastern town of Trostyanets

    Ukrainian forces have retaken the town of Trostyanets in eastern Ukraine and are inching closer to pushing Russian forces out of Kherson in the south.

    Speaking to reporters, a senior US defence official said that Russian forces have made “no progress” moving toward Kyiv and are 9 to 12 miles (15-20km) from the city centre to the north and northwest, and 34 miles (55km) out of the city from the east.

    The official also said it remains unclear why Russian forces are now prioritising operations in the eastern Donbas region.

    The official also said that the embattled city of Mariupol is “getting slammed” by long-range fire from the Russians.

    133 children injured by Russian shelling

    From 24 Feb to 27 March, the UN in Ukraine have recorded 2,975 civilian casualties. This includes 1,151 killed, including 103 children; 1,824 injured, inclusing 133 children, mostly caused by shelling and airstrikes.

    However the actual toll is likely much higher. 

    Talks with Putin and Zelenskyy going in ‘positive direction’, says Turkish president

    Turkey’s President Erdogan has said the separate calls he’s been having with the leaders of Ukraine and Russia are progressing in a “positive direction”.

    Negotiators from the two sides are set to commence two days of face-to-face talks in Istanbul on Tuesday. 

    Abramovich became sick due to ‘environmental’ factor and not poisoning – US intelligence suggests

    A US official has said intelligence suggests Roman Abramovich was not poisoned but became sick due to an environmental factor and not poisoning.

    The US official told Reuters: “The intelligence highly suggests this was environmental,” adding: “E.g., not poisoning.”

    The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declined to elaborate.

    5,000 people killed in Mariupol since Russian siege started

    Nearly 5,000 people, including about 210 children, have been killed in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol since Russian forces invaded.

    It is unknown how Mayor Vadym Boichenko has calculated the toll but Mr Boichenko’s office said 90 percent of Mariupol’s buildings have been damaged and 40 percent destroyed, including hospitals, schools, kindergartens and factories.

    Mr Boichenko said earleir today that about 160,000 civilians were still trapped in the city.

    He said: “People are beyond the line of humanitarian catastrophe. We need to completely evacuate Mariupol.”

    Ukraine publishes names of 620 alleged Russian agents

    The names and contact details of over 600 people alleged to be officers of Russia‘s Federal Security Service (FSB) involved in “criminal activities” in Europe have been published by Ukrainian military intelligence.

    In a post in Russian on its official website it said: “Employees of the FSB of Russia involved in the criminal activities of the aggressor-state in Europe.”

    UN chief appeals for humanitarian ceasefire

    António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, has urged the UN aid chief to explore the possibility of a humanitarian ceasefire in Ukraine.

    In an address at te UN’s headquarters in New York he said: “Since the beginning of the Russian invasion one month ago, the war has led to the senseless loss of thousands of lives, the displacement of 10 million people, mainly women and children, the systematic destruction of essential infrastructure and skyrocketing food and energy prices worldwide – this must stop.

    “But let’s be clear, the solution to this humanitarian tragedy is not humanitarian, it is political.

    “I am therefore appealing for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to allow for progress in serious political negotiations aimed at reaching a peace agreement based on the principles of the United Nations charter.

    “It will save lives, prevent suffering and protect civilians.”

    Carlsberg and Heineken to pulls out of Russia

    Danish brewer Carlsberg is ending its business in Russia, where last year it made $959m in revenue.

    The company’s boss, Cees ‘t Hart, said it would sell its venture in the country and would have “no presence in Russia” and over 8,000 staff will be laid off.

    Dutch brewer Heineken also left Russia because its business there was “no longer sustainable nor viable in the current environment”.

    Roman Abramovich ‘suffering symptoms of suspected poisoning’

    The Wall Street Journal [WSJ] are reporting that oligarch and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich may be suffering the symptoms of suspected poisoning.

    According to the WSJ, the symptoms developed following a meeting in Kyiv earlier this month and Ukrainian peace negotiators were also hit.

    Ukrainian forces retake town near Kyiv

    Ukrainian forces have seized back full control of Irpin, a few miles from Kyiv.

    In a video post on Telegram, local mayor Oleksandr Markushyn said: “We have good news today – Irpin has been liberated. We understand that there will be more attacks on our town and we will defend it courageously.”

    The information is yet to be verified.

    Russia planning missile strikes from the sea

    The Ukrainian Defence Ministry has said Russian vessels are preparing missile strikes against Ukrainian targets.

    In a statement they said the vessels of the Russian Federation’s Black Sea fleet are carrying out tasks in designated areas of the Black and Azov sea operational zones.

    They continued: “Some vessels have entered a closed area, probably in order to carry out missile strikes against facilities in Ukraine.”

    It said Russia was regrouping in order to advance towards the administrative borders of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which are partially controlled by Russian-backed separatists.

    Good afternoon

    Good afternoon, I’m Rachel Hagan and I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine, for the next eight hours. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

    Email: [email protected] 

    Russia says it will cut off gas supply to Europe

    Russia is threatening to cut off gas supplies to Europe after the G7 refused to pay in rubles, according to Ria news agency. 

    Many European countries rely on Russian gas, but the UK has already banned imports.

    The G7 countries rejected Moscow’s demand for gas to be bought only in Russian currency.

    Putin made the demand last week of “unfriendly” countries – nations that have imposed sanctions.

    In a bid to prop up the currency, which has collapsed amid fierce sanctions, he demanded countries looking to buy gas acquire rubles in Russia. 

    Germany’s energy minister has said meeting the demand would be a “one-sided and clear breach of the existing contracts”.

    He added that “payment in rouble is not acceptable and we will urge the companies affected not to follow [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s demand”.

    Moscow is ‘not seeking regime change’ in Ukraine, claims Kremlin

    Russia is not seeking to change the Ukrainian government through what Vladimir Putin has called its “special military operation” in the country, Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev said on Monday.

    Mr Patrushev said Western suggestions that this was Russia’s aim were inaccurate, Interfax news agency reported.

    Russia recently passed legislation banning describing the “special operation” as a war or invasion, despite the international community characterising it as such. 

    Russian newspaper suspends activities until end of Russian invasion

    A Russian newspaper has said it will stop publishing until Russia ends its “special operation in Ukraine”.

    Novaya Gazeta is known for its critical and investigative coverage of Russian politics and social affairs.

    It has ceased operations for now due to a new Russian law forbidding critical coverage of the conflict, which the law says must not be called a “war” or “invasion”.

    Last year two Novaya Gazeta journalists won Nobel Peace Prizes “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression”.

    The paper is part-owned by former KGB agent Alexander Lebedev, who is the father of Evening Standard owner Evgeny Lebedev.

    Orban’s staggering response to ‘actor’ Zelensky

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban hit back at Volodymyr Zelensky after the Ukrainian leader accused him of keeping ties too close with Vladimir Putin.

    President Zelensky directly called on the Hungarian leader during a speech to the European Union, accusing him of not appreciating the severity of the situation. 

    Speaking on Hungarian national radio on Sunday, Mr Orban hit back at the Ukrainian leader claiming he was “acting” in front of the camera.

    He said: “I’m a lawyer, I come from there, I live with the knowledge that I’ve gathered in the world of law.

    “And an actor lives and works with the knowledge he has acquired as an actor.”

    The Hungarian Prime Minister claimed Mr Zelensky was asking for a “complete shutdown of the Hungarian economy”.

    He added: “We will do all we can do, but they cannot ask us to destroy ourselves for them.”

    ‘Making a mistake!’ Zelensky launches extraordinary attack on dithering Germany

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky launched a scathing attack on Germany accusing Olaf Scholz’s government of “making a mistake” in its stance on Russia.

    He told the Economist magazine that Germany “are making a mistake today” as it tries to take a balanced approach due to their deeper economic ties with Moscow.

    He said: “They [Germany] are trying to be balanced.

    “They have a long relationship with Russia and they are looking at the situation through the prism of the economy.

    “They help out at times. I think they are trying to adjust to the situation as it develops. They are also looking at how the situation affects their own country.

    “They can help, if there is pressure on them domestically to do so, and they can stop when they see what they have done is sufficient.

    “I think Germany is more pragmatic than anyone else with regards to the situation among those countries which can really help.

    “It’s not always about us, what we need and what the world needs. I think the Germans are making a mistake today.

    “I think they make mistakes often. I think the legacy of Germany’s relations with Russia shows this.”

    21,600 Ukrainians granted UK visa

    A total of 21,600 Ukrainian refugees have been given a visa to live in the UK under the family reunification scheme.

    In total, 37,400 have submitted an application, and 76,200 have opened an application.

    Figures on the separate “homes for Ukrainians” scheme are to be released later this week.

    Russian fighter jet shot down by Ukraine

    Footage has emerged which appears to show a Russian fighter jet after being shot down by Ukrainian forces. 

    The Ukraine Weapons Tracker account posted: “After a while with no shootdowns, the Ukrainian side claims to have taken down a Russian Su-35 jet fighter on March 24th near #Izyum.

    “We cannot verify the precise type, but the single pilot survived and footage is previously unseen so this claim is credible.”

    The footage was initially shared on Telegram by Pravda Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior ministry.

    Displaying Z symbol could become criminal act in Germany

    People who display the “Z” symbol in support of Russia’s invasion could be prosecuted in Germany, the country’s interior ministry has said.

    An interior ministry spokesperson said: “The Russian war of aggression on the Ukraine is a criminal act, and whoever publicly approves of this war of aggression can also make himself liable to prosecution.

    “The federal security authorities have an eye on this, and in this respect we welcome the announcement that several federal states will also examine in individual cases whether this could be a criminal act and to take action accordingly.”

    The letter Z is used on Russian military vehicles taking part in the conflict and has been adopted as a symbol in support of the war.

    Peace talks may resume in Turkey on Tuesday, confirms Kremlin

    Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine may resume in Turkey on Tuesday, according to the Kremlin. 

    Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan agreed in a telephone call on Sunday for Istanbul to host the talks, which Ankara hopes will lead to a ceasefire in Ukraine.

    Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said: “While we cannot and will not speak about progress at the talks, the fact that they continuing to take place in person is important, of course.

    “We are adhering to a policy of not disclosing any information about the talks, which we think could only hurt the negotiation process.”

    The Kremlin stressed the importance of face-to-face discussions after what it described as a lack of major progress in negotiations so far.

    Russia has made no significant progress in past 24 hours – MoD

    The UK’s Ministry of Defence has said there has been “no significant changes to Russian Forces dispositions in occupied Ukraine” in the past 24 hours.

    The ministry added that “ongoing logistical shortages have been compounded by a continued lack of momentum and morale amongst the Russian military”.

    War on Ukraine costs besieged nation more than £430billion

    Russia’s war on Ukraine has so far cost Ukraine $564.9billion (more than £430billion) in terms of damage to infrastructure, lost economic growth and other factors, according to Ukrainian Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko.

    In an online post, she said the fighting had damaged or destroyed 8,000 km (4,970 miles) of roads and 10 million square metres of housing.

    Biden’s comments on Putin are ‘alarming’, says Kremlin

    The Kremlin has hit out at Joe Biden’s comment that Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power”. 

    The US President later clarified that he was not calling for a regime change. 

    Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the comment was “alarming”.

    Keir Starmer unable to offer home to Ukrainian refugee due to ‘practical issues’

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he would not be able to offer a home to a Ukrainian refugee because of “practical issues” stemming from his political role.

    Speaking to LBC, he said: “We’d all like to play our part.

    “I have been incredibly struck by the generosity of the British public in terms of the thousands upon thousands of people that are going to take, or have offered to take, in a refugee.

    “We’d like to play our part; there are practical issues in relation to being Leader of the Opposition. But I do salute that generosity.”

    However, Sir Keir added he worried that the scheme had not been “thought through” properly by the Government and a “serious package” of support was needed.

    More than 3.8 million people have left Ukraine – UN

    More than 3.8 million people have been forced to flee Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24, according to the United Nations. 

    An additional 6.5 million people are internally displaced in Ukraine.

    Some 13 million Ukrainians are stuck in combat zones and unable to leave.

    An estimated 160,000 of those are in the southern city of Mariupol, according to its mayor.

    Russia wants to split Ukraine in two, warns military intelligence chief

    Russia wants to split Ukraine into two, as happened with North and South Korea, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief said on Sunday. 

    Kyrylo Budanov vowed “total” guerrilla warfare to prevent a carve-up of the country.

    After more than four weeks of conflict, Russia has failed to seize any major Ukrainian city.

    On Friday, Moscow suggested it was scaling back its ambitions to focus on securing the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.

    Russian-backed separatists have been fighting the Ukrainian army for the past eight years in that region. 

    A local leader in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic said on Sunday the region could soon hold a referendum on joining Russia, just as happened in Crimea after Russia seized the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014.

    No humanitarian corridors to open today

    Ukraine will not be opening any humanitarian corridors today after intelligence reported possible Russian “provocations” along the routes.

    The corridors have been used previously to allow civilians to evacuate particularly dangerous areas.

    However, Ukraine has accused Russia of targeting the routes on previous occasions.

    Ukraine previously said Russian troops had mined the route out of the southeastern port city, Mariupol. 

    About 160,000 people remain trapped in Mariupol without power and the city must be completely evacuated, its mayor said.

    Russian authorities deny targetting civilians despite heavy evidence to the contrary. 

    Putin humiliated after famed Stalingrad tank division reduced to smoking wreckage

    Vladimir Putin has been humiliated as Ukraine secured a significant victory on Sunday after reclaiming a town from Russian occupation and sending a forceful message back to the Kremlin.

    The victory saw the Ukrainian forces destroy the famed tanks from the infamous Stalingrad tank division.

    The Russian 4th Guards tank division was lorded after defeating Nazi Germany’s advances to claim Soviet territory in what is known as the deadliest battle of the Second World War.

    Now, the legendary division has been defeated by Ukrainian forces in the town of Trostyanets which is situated 15 miles from the Russian border and 220 miles from Kyiv.

    It is ‘up to the Russian people’ who governs their country, says Zahawi

    It is “up to the Russian people” who leads their country, according to Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi.

    His argument comes after US President Joe Biden said Vladimir Putin must not be allowed to remain as Russian president.

    Mr Zahawi told Sky News: “Both the White House and the president have been clear on this.

    “We are in lockstep with them that it is up to the Russian people to decide who governs them and the future of their country.”

    Mr Zahawi was asked whether he agreed that Mr Putin should not remain in power and replied: “No, what I would say is it is up to the Russian people.

    “I think the Russian people are pretty fed up, not only because they are watching their friends – and some of them have family in Ukraine – being attacked by the Putin regime – clearly war crimes have been committed because they are targeting innocent civilians, in civilian areas.

    “But I think President Biden is right to say that Putin has no place in the Ukraine.

    “They have to make sure that they withdraw from Ukraine because it is an illegal invasion of the Ukraine – I think he is absolutely right in that.”

    Ukrainian shipping trade ‘blocked’ by Russian forces

    Ukraine is being isolated from international shipping trade by a Russian blockade.

    According to British military intelligence, Russia is maintaining a barricade of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast which means it is unable to access routes for maritime trade.

    Russian naval forces are also continuing to conduct sporadic missile strikes against targets throughout Ukraine, the Ministry of Defence has said.

    West ‘lacks courage’ and has played too much ‘ping-pong’ over Ukraine

    President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused the West of lacking courage over its failure to provide more weapons to Ukraine as it comes under sustained attack from Russia. 

    The Ukrainian leader pleaded for fighter jets and tanks to bolster his troops’ efforts on the ground and lashed out at what he called the West’s “ping-pong about how and who should hand over jets and other defensive weapons to us”.  

    Speaking in a video address, Mr Zelensky said: “I’ve talked to the defenders of Mariupol today. I’m in constant contact with them.

    “Their determination, heroism and firmness are astonishing.

    “If only those who have been thinking for 31 days on how to hand over dozens of jets and tanks had one percent of their courage.”

    Mariupol is the southeastern port city which has come under relentless attack from Russian troops since the invasion began more than a month ago. 

    There have been warnings of a humanitarian disaster in the area as food, water and electricity have been cut off. 

    Russian forces continue to attack civilians attempting to flee the area. 

    Joe Biden says he was not calling for regime change in Russia

    US President Joe Biden has said he was not calling for regime change in Russia when he said on Saturday that President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power”.

    The President was pressed on the issue by a reporter outside a church in Washington DC. 

    Asked whether he was calling for a regime change, Mr Biden replied: “No.”

    Boris Johnson is ‘helping more than other leaders,’ says Zelensky

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has heaped praise on Britain, saying Boris Johnson has helped “more than other leaders”. 

    Asked about Mr Johnson’s willingness to provide weapons to Ukraine as it comes under attack from Russian forces, President Zelensky said London’s response stood above much of Europe. 

    He told the Economist: “Yes. To be honest, Johnson is a leader who is helping more.

    “The leaders of countries react according to how their constituents act. In this case, Johnson is an example.”

    He continued: “Britain is definitely on our side. It is not performing a balancing act. Britain sees no alternative for the way out of the situation.

    “Britain wants Ukraine to win and Russia to lose, but I’m not ready to say whether Britain wants the war to drag on or not.”

    Russia putting ‘hundreds of millions’ at risk of nuclear horror

    Russia’s “irresponsible” actions at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in Ukraine are putting “hundreds of millions” at risk, according to Ukraine’s deputy Prime Minister. 

    Chernobyl was the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986 and is currently under the control of Russian forces.

    Ukrainian deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk accused Russian forces of “militarising” the site and storing a large amount of ammunition “in close proximity” to the station.

    She said: “It should be noted that recently Russian occupation troops have been using old and unconditional ammunition more often, which increases the risk of their detonation even when loading and transporting,” she said.

    “In the context of nuclear safety, the irresponsible and unprofessional actions of Russian servicemen present a very serious threat not only to Ukraine but to hundreds of millions of Europeans.”

    ‘This is the most important point,’ says Zelensky as peace negotiations progress

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has described the current stage of peace negotiations as “the most important point” in the bid for resolution. 

    Speaking to Russian media, President Zelensky said: “Security guarantees and neutrality, non-nuclear status of our state. We are ready to go for it. This is the most important point.”

    But Mr Zelensky said Ukraine refused to discuss certain other Russian demands, such as the demilitarisation of the country.

    Good morning

    Good morning from London. I’m Tara Fair, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the war between Ukraine and Russia. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

    Email: [email protected]

    Twitter: @TaraFair_

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