Ukraine war latest: Zelenskyy cancels foreign trips as official sounds alarm from border town under attack (2024)

Key points
  • Zelenskyy postpones all foreign visits due to 'situation in Kharkiv'
  • Situation in Kharkiv town under Russian attack 'extremely difficult'
  • Ukrainian troops move into new positions in Kharkiv
  • Blinken announces additional aid package for Ukraine
  • Russia downs missiles launched at Crimea
  • Analysis:Putin's 'baffling' reshuffle explained
  • Live reporting by Lauren Russell

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12:28:51

Blinken announces additional aid package for Ukraine

Following on from our post below, Antony Blinken has said the US will provide an additional $2bn (£1.5bn) in military funding to Ukraine.

Speaking from Kyiv, where the secretary of state is visiting, he said the additional fund will be able to provide more weapons and investment in Ukraine's industrial base.

"We are rushing ammunition, armoured vehicles, missiles and air defences to get them to the front lines," Mr Blinken said.

The secretary of state said the US is "intensely focused" on providing patriots and other forms of air defence systems, which Volodymyr Zelenskyy has persistently asked allies for.

He said support is coming from the US at a critical time for Ukraine - which is facing fierce levels of fighting in the north, as Moscow targets the region of Kharkiv.

When asked if he would support US weapons being used to strike places inside Russia, he said: "We don't encourage this, but Ukraine has to make the decision for itself."

12:03:04

In pictures: Blinken oversees US aid reaching Ukrainian capital

US secretary of state Antony Blinken has today continued his visit to Kyiv.

He has been pictured visiting a drone production facility and witnessing packages of US aid being unloaded at a shipment facility in the city of Vyshneve.

Mr Blinken also accompanied Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba to a wreath laying ceremony at the wall of rememberance in the capital.

His visit coincides with the start of fierce battles in Ukrainian towns and villages, but Mr Blinken pledged unceasing US support for the country, during and beyond the war.

11:31:33

Russia takes control of three more Ukrainian settlements - reports

The Russian defence ministry claims its troops have taken control of three more settlements in Ukraine, the state-owned news agency RIA has reported.

The reports said two of the settlements - Hlyboke and Lukiantsi - are in the Kharkiv region and one - Robotyne - is in the Zaporizhzhia region.

Fierce fighting is currently ongoing in the Kharkiv region, particuarly in parts of Vovchansk and the border village of Buhruvatka.

The southeastern Zaporizhzhia region has also previously been targeted by Moscow due to its nuclear power plant.

Last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) warned that the power plant had been attacked three times since 7 April.

It said the attacks had led the world "dangerously close to a nuclear accident".

Sky News cannot independently verify these battlefield claims.

11:10:40

Attacks on Russian oil depot a demonstration of 'criminality'

This morning we reported about a Ukrainian drone attack on an oil depot and power substation in Russia's Belgorod and Lipetsk regions.

Responding to the attacks, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said they were a demonstration of the "criminality" of Kyiv and the Western powers which back it.

She said all those responsible for the attacks would be punished.

The attack on the Oskolneftesnab oil depot near the city of Staryi Oskol and Yeletskaya power substation was conducted by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), a Ukrainian intelligence source said.

10:40:17

Zelenskyy postpones all foreign visits due to 'situation in Kharkiv'

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has postponed all foreign visits due to the situation in the Kharviv region, his press secretary has said.

Sergii Nykyforov said on Facebook that the Ukrainian leader instructed that "allinternationalevents scheduled for the coming days be postponed and new datescoordinated".

Earlier today Mr Zelenskyy cancelled trips to Spain and Portugal, but did not give a specific reason as to why.

Moscow began a pressing offensive on the Kharkiv region on Friday, after weeks of speculation that it was preparing to establish a new frontline there, and is forcing Ukraine to rush in reinforcements.

10:16:54

Ukraine requests 'emergency' electricity supply after damage to energy sector

Ukraine is today planning to record high electricity imports after significant damage to its energy infrastructure from recent Russian strikes.

The energy ministry said imports were expected to rise to 23,692 megawatt hours (Mwh) up from of 21,072 Mwh on Tuesday and 19,484 Mwh on Monday.

The "emergency supplies" will come from Poland, Romania and Slovakia, as well as emergency assistance, the ministry said.

It warned that there could still be power shortages this evening.

Ukraine's national grid operator said the import volumes would be close to the maximum that the country is technically able to receive from the EU.

Russian missile and drone attacks have caused more than $1bn (£792m) of damage to Ukraine's energy sector and a loss of 8,000 Mwh of generating capacity, energy minister German Galushchenko previously said.

Many regions have been experiencing blackouts as a result.

09:46:01

Watch: Blinken on stage in Kyiv nightclub

US secretary of state Antony Blinken is in Kyiv meeting Ukrainian leaders.

Yesterday he also found time for an impromptu visit to a local nightclub where he took to the stage with an electric guitar to perform a version of Neil Young's 1989 hit Rockin' In The Free World.

Before he began playing, he told the crowd: "The US is with you, so much of the world is with you."

For rights reasons, unfortunately, we can't show you him singing, but we can report he made a solid effort.

09:26:10

All US weapons sent to Ukraine will be destroyed, Russia warns

Russia's foreign ministry spokeswoman has said Moscow will destroy all US military equipment supplied to Ukraine.

Maria Zakharova's comments come after US secretary of state Antony Blinken told Ukrainian leaders in Kyiv that despite a month-long delay more US weaponry was coming and some had already arrived.

The US-aid package sets aside $61bn (£48.1bn) for Ukraine, much of which will go toward replenishing badly depleted artillery and air defence systems.

Ms Zakharova also took aim at attempts from the West to use frozen Russian assets to benefit Ukraine.

She said to do so would be in violation of Russian law and risked undermining the international financial system.

If Russian assets in the US were seized, it could mean another $5bn (£3.9bn) in assistance for Ukraine, coming from Russian Central Bank holdings.

However it is unlikely the US will seize the assets without agreement from other members of the G7 and the European Union.

08:49:05

Situation in Kharkiv town 'extremely difficult', police chief says

The head of the Ukrainian police force in the Kharkiv region has described the situation in the town of Vovchansk as "extremely difficult".

OleksiyKharkivskiy, Vovchansk's patrol police chief, said on Facebook that Russian forces are establishing positions inside the town.

Yesterday Russia claimed it had taken parts of Vovchansk and the border village of Buhruvatka.

It is part of Moscow's pressing offensive on the Kharkiv region, which began on Friday after weeks of speculation that Russia was preparing to establish a new frontline there, and is forcing Ukraine to rush in reinforcements.

08:39:14

Russia repels Ukrainian drone attack

Russia has said it repelled a Ukrainian drone attack on the region of Tatarstan - around 497 miles east of Moscow.

The defence ministry said the attack occurred at around 7.30am local time.

It said Russian air defences had destoyed an aeroplane-style drone.

Ukraine war latest: Zelenskyy cancels foreign trips as official sounds alarm from border town under attack (2024)
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