Russia-Ukraine war live: Four injured in Russian attack on Kyiv; Zelenskiy to arrive in Washington | Ukraine – Freedom Voice


Four people injured in Russian attack on Kyiv

As we mentioned in the opening summary, the main news so far today is that officials have said Russia attacked Kyiv with eight long-range ballistic missiles before dawn on Monday. Four people were injured by debris.

The strike – at about 4am – marked the first major attack on the Ukrainian capital in recent months using ballistic missiles.

Four people were injured by shards of shattered glass in the Darnitskyi district in south-eastern Kyiv and needed medical assistance, the national police said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Firefighters dispatched to the south-western Holosiivskyi district put out a fire that broke out when part of a missile landed on the roof of a residential building, mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote on Telegram. These claims have not been independently verified.

Key events

Russia unleashes new offensive on Avdiivka, says Ukrainian military

Russian forces have unleashed a major offensive on Avdiivka, with 610 artillery shellings reported near the eastern Ukrainian town over the past day, according to the Ukrainian military.

“The enemy launched yesterday massive assault actions with the support of armoured vehicles in Avdiivka and Mariinka directions,” a military spokesperson, Oleksandr Stupun, told Ukrainian TV.

“The fierce battles continue. Our fighters are firmly holding on defences,” Stupun added.

A view of Avdiivka, Ukraine
A view of Avdiivka, Ukraine. Photograph: Getty Images

Avdiivka is a key Ukrainian strongpoint north-west of the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk in the eastern Donbas region.

Russia launched a renewed bid to capture the town more than two months ago and Moscow’s forces have been inching forward on the flanks to try to cut supply lines.

Only about 1,500 people are left out of its pre-war population of 32,000.

Nearly half of American voters think the US is spending too much on aid for Ukraine, a poll has found.

The Financial Times reports:

The latest FT-Michigan Ross poll found that 48% believed the US was spending “too much” in military and financial aid to bolster Kyiv’s war effort against Russia, compared with 27% who said Washington was spending the “right amount” and 11% who said the US was not spending enough.

Opposition was particularly pronounced among Republicans, with 65% saying the US was spending too much in Ukraine, compared with roughly half – 52% – of independents and just a third – 32% – of Democrats.

The findings come as Biden struggles to cajole a sharply divided Congress into approving a sweeping $111bn security spending package that would include about $60bn for Kyiv, as well as funding for Israel and Taiwan.

Britain delivers two mine-hunting ships to Ukraine

Britain has said it delivered two mine-hunting ships to Ukraine, as Grant Shapps prepares to host a visit from his Norwegian counterpart aimed at bolstering Kyiv’s fragile position in the Black Sea.

The summit in London is aimed at building a “maritime capability coalition” for Ukraine – but it will not be accompanied by an announcement of how much military aid the UK is prepared to provide Ukraine from April 2024.

The mine hunters, originally HMS Grimsby and HMS Shoreham, were renamed Chernihiv and Cherkasy in Glasgow in June, and will help Ukraine to maintain a critical route for merchant shipping travelling across the Black Sea.

You can read more from the Guardian’s defence and security editor, Dan Sabbagh, here:

The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said that the most intense frontline fighting over the last week continued to be in Avdiivka, the beleaguered eastern Ukrainian town.

In its latest intelligence update, the MoD said:

As reflected in official Ukrainian public-release data, on some days approaching 40% of all combat engagements have likely taken place in this small sector.

The Russian offensives have continued to be characterised by largely dismounted infantry assaults, often by Storm-Z penal units.

Ukrainian units have likely conducted successful local counterattacks, denying Russian forces full control of the village of Stepove.

It is here that Russia is attempting one part of a pincer movement to envelop Avdiivka and its heavily defended industrial zone.

Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, has said it would be “devastating” for both Ukraine and the EU if leaders from the bloc do not give his country the green light for membership talks at a summit later this week.

“I cannot imagine, I don’t even want to talk about the devastating consequences that will occur shall the (European) Council fail to make this decision,” Kuleba told reporters as he arrived for a meeting with EU foreign ministers in Brussels, according to Reuters.

The European Commission recommended in November that formal EU membership negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova should begin, which its president, Ursula von der Leyen, described as a response to “the call of history”.

The EU has said talks should formally be launched once Kyiv satisfied remaining conditions related to stepping up the fight against corruption, adopting a law on lobbying in line with EU standards and strengthening national minority safeguards.

Ukraine’s former president Leonid Kuchma has warned that the US “will lose face before the entire world” if it abandons Kyiv, and said mistakes by the west contributed to Vladimir Putin’s all-out invasion last year.

In his first interview with a western publication since 2015, Kuchma described Putin as a career KGB operative.

“It’s his profession, with everything that implies,” he said, adding: “People say his obsession with Ukraine is a kind of mania or mental disorder. Maybe it’s true.”

You can read the full story by my colleague, Luke Harding, here:

Russia’s FSB says it has detained agents of Ukrainian special services

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has said that it had cracked a network of Ukrainian agents in Crimea who were involved in attempts to assassinate pro-Russian figures, Reuters reports.

It said the targets included the Moscow-appointed head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, and a former pro-Russian member of the Ukrainian parliament, Oleg Tsaryov.

Tsaryov survived despite being shot twice in an attack in October in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

The FSB said the Ukrainian network had also targeted railway and energy infrastructure on the peninsula. It said it had found caches of arms and explosives, and detained 18 “agents and accomplices of the Ukrainian special services”.

It said that, overall, it had prevented 18 “terrorist attacks” this year in Crimea.

The FSB is the successor agency to the KGB, which operated throughout the cold war and was once led by Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, for a period in the 1990s.

Here are some of the latest images coming from Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital:

Local resident Nadiia Matviienko removes pieces of glass from a broken window of her house in Kyiv
Local resident Nadiia Matviienko removes pieces of glass from a broken window of her house in Kyiv. Photograph: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters
Police officers walk at a site of a Russian missile strike in Kyiv
Police officers walk at a site of a reported Russian missile strike in Kyiv. Photograph: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters
A local resident stands next to a crater at a site of a reported Russian missile strike in Kyiv
A local resident stands next to a crater at a site of a reported Russian missile strike in Kyiv. Photograph: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

Four people injured in Russian attack on Kyiv

As we mentioned in the opening summary, the main news so far today is that officials have said Russia attacked Kyiv with eight long-range ballistic missiles before dawn on Monday. Four people were injured by debris.

The strike – at about 4am – marked the first major attack on the Ukrainian capital in recent months using ballistic missiles.

Four people were injured by shards of shattered glass in the Darnitskyi district in south-eastern Kyiv and needed medical assistance, the national police said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Firefighters dispatched to the south-western Holosiivskyi district put out a fire that broke out when part of a missile landed on the roof of a residential building, mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote on Telegram. These claims have not been independently verified.

Opening summary

Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Four people were injured by falling debris after Ukrainian air defences shot down eight ballistic missiles targeting Kyiv in the early hours of Monday, officials have said, in the latest Russian attack on the Ukrainian capital.

Four people received medical aid in the Darnitskyi district in the south-eastern part of Kyiv, the capital’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said on Telegram while emergency services sent to the south-western district of Holosiivskyi quickly doused a fire sparked when part of a missile fell on the roof of a residential building.

Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is heading to Washington, days after the Biden administration warned it would run out of money for aid for Ukraine within weeks due to feuding among US senators.

Republican senators last week blocked $106bn in emergency aid primarily for Ukraine and Israel after conservatives balked at the exclusion of immigration reforms that they had demanded as part of the package.

Here are the latest developments:

  • Zelenskiy’s office said he would arrive in Washington on Monday and that he would meet Biden during a working visit that would include “a series of meetings and discussions”. Zelenskiy has also been invited to address US senators on Tuesday morning in the Capitol, a Senate leadership aide said, while a private meeting between Zelenskiy and US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson will also be held in the Capitol on Tuesday, Johnson’s spokesperson, Raj Shah, said.

  • Zelenskiy attended the swearing-in of Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei, on his first official trip to Latin America where he is attempting to court support among developing nations. Milei welcomed the Ukrainian at the presidential palace after his inauguration. The two men shared an extended hug, exchanged words, and then Milei, who has said he intends to convert to Judaism, presented his Ukrainian counterpart with a menorah as a gift.

  • Zelenskiy said he had had a “frank” conversation with the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, on the sidelines of the inauguration. “It was as frank as possible – and obviously, it was about our European affairs,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address. Orbán has threatened to block more EU aid for Ukraine as well as its membership accession talks.

  • Britain said it had delivered two mine-hunting ships to Ukraine. The mine-hunters, originally HMS Grimsby and HMS Shoreham, were renamed Chernihiv and Cherkasy in Glasgow in June, and will help Ukraine to maintain a critical route for merchant shipping travelling across the Black Sea.

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