Russia-Ukraine war live updates: Russia may begin new offensive soon, U.S. officials say, as Kyiv hit by strike

Russian forces bomb Lysychansk oil refinery

KYIV, Ukraine — Russian forces shelled an oil refinery in the Ukrainian city of Lysychansk on Saturday and a major fire broke out, a regional governor reported.

Lugansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai said it was not the first time the refinery had been targeted and accused the Russians of trying to “exhaust” local emergency services. He pointed out that there was no fuel at the refinery at the time of the attack and that “remnants of oil sludge” were burning.

Ukraine’s presidential office reported on Saturday that missile strikes and shelling in the past 24 hours have occurred in eight regions: Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkiv in the east, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava and Kirovohrad in central Ukraine and Mykolaiv and Kherson to the south. The strikes underscored that the whole country remained under threat despite Russia’s pivot to mount a new offensive in the east.

In Kharkiv, nine civilians were killed and more than 50 were injured on Friday, while in the wider region two were killed and three injured, the report said.

The southern Mykolaiv region was beaten on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s airstrikes left five people dead and 15 injured, according to the presidential office. The president of the regional legislature, Hanna Zamazeyeva, said on Saturday that 39 people had been injured in the past 24 hours.

Zamazeyeva said the targets included several residential blocks “where there are no military installations”.

The besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol still holds, but the situation there is critical.

Nearly 2,000 Ukrainians killed since invasion: UN

The death of more than 1,900 civilians has been recorded since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Of the 1,982 civilians killed between February 24 and April 14, 162 were children, the OHCHR said in a report released on Friday. He added that 256 children were among the 2,651 civilians injured.

“Most of the recorded civilian casualties were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including heavy artillery and multiple rocket launcher system bombardments, and air and missile strikes “, says the report.

Nearly half of the civilian casualties reported in the eastern regions of Ukraine of Donetsk and Luhansk, according to the report.

He added that the true number of victims is expected to be “significantly higher”.

How the war with Ukraine could color Victory Day in Russia this year

Russia’s annual Victory Day, celebrated on May 9, comes this year with the shadow of war in Ukraine hanging over it.

The holiday commemorates Russia’s triumph in World War II with a patriotic display of raw military power: troops march through Moscow’s Red Square alongside military equipment, including intercontinental ballistic missile launchers. President Vladimir Putin has been at the center of the celebrations since 1999, either as president or prime minister, and has been joined by Soviet war veterans.

But as this year’s parade approaches, the military pomp and pageantry will stand in stark contrast to the bitter battles and setbacks the Russian military would experience in Ukraine – leaving some experts to wonder how Putin will be able to present the stalled invasion of Ukraine. Russia as a success on Victory Day.

Read the full story here.

At least one dead and 18 injured by Russian rocket in Kharkiv, regional governor says

At least one person was killed and 18 people were injured when a Russian rocket hit central Kharkiv on Saturday, the regional governor said.

“The Russians continue to terrorize the civilian population of Kharkiv and the region,” Governor Oleh Syniehubov wrote on his official Telegram channel, translated by NBC News.

“Unfortunately, one person died on the spot,” he said, adding that “18 people were injured and hospitalized.”

British Prime Minister Johnson and other British politicians banned from entering Russia

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and 12 other British politicians, including Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Defense Minister Ben Wallace, were banned from entering Russia on Saturday.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May and UK Home Secretary Priti Patel have also been barred from traveling to the country, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“This step was taken in response to London’s unbridled information and political campaign aimed at isolating Russia internationally, creating conditions to limit our country and strangle the national economy,” the statement said.

“Essentially, the British leadership is deliberately escalating the situation surrounding Ukraine, pumping the kyiv regime with lethal weapons and coordinating similar NATO efforts,” he added.

Britain has imposed a series of sanctions on Russian politicians since the country invaded Ukraine in late February and froze the assets of several oligarchs believed to be close to President Vladimir Putin.

Russia could soon launch a new offensive, US officials say, as Ukraine depletes its stockpile of artillery shells

The next phase of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine could begin in the coming days, according to two senior US defense officials, and Ukraine is rapidly going through artillery and artillery fire.

Officials said a US assessment is that the Russian military could begin bringing some of its forces back to Ukraine as early as this weekend or early next week.

Russian troops withdrew from around kyiv and northern Ukraine about two weeks ago, moving north into Belarus and Russia.

At the time, US officials assessed that the Russians intended to regroup and then begin another invasion, focusing on the Donbass region and southeastern Ukraine.

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‘Putin has already strategically lost the war,’ says retired US general

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Ukraine has received $924 million in charitable donations since the invasion

Ukraine has received a total of nearly $924 million in charitable donations from individuals and businesses around the world, the head of the country’s presidential administration said in a statement on Saturday.

Andriy Yermak said most of the money went to the accounts of the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations before being distributed to refugees in different countries.

He said most of the money came from the UK, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and the United States.

The statement added that around 270,000 tons of humanitarian aid have also been sent to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion.

Hundreds of buildings damaged in Kyiv region since Russian invasion, governor says

Nearly 2,000 buildings in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and its surroundings have been destroyed or damaged since the launch of the Russian invasion, the regional governor said on Saturday.

Citing preliminary data, Oleksandr Pavliuk said 546 buildings including 441 private homes had been completely destroyed, posting on his Telegram channel which was translated by NBC News.

Eight educational institutions and four health institutions were also wiped out, he added.

Another 1,329 buildings were partially damaged, Pavliuk said.

Explosions rock the outskirts of kyiv

Explosions rocked a neighborhood on the outskirts of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv early Saturday, the city’s mayor said.

“In the morning, kyiv came under fire. The explosions took place in the Darnytskyi district on the outskirts of the city,” Vitali Klitschko said in a statement posted on his Telegram channel and translated by NBC News. Thick smoke could be seen rising above the area.

He added that residents who had left the city should refrain from returning home and “stay in safer places”.

In a subsequent interview on Ukrainian television, Klitschko said one person was killed and several people injured in the strike. NBC News was unable to verify this claim.

Biden’s genocide comment has raised concern among some US officials

President Joe Biden’s statement this week that Russia is committing ‘genocide’ in Ukraine has raised concerns among some officials in his own government and has so far not been corroborated by information gathered by intelligence agencies. Americans, according to senior administration officials.

At the State Department, which is tasked with formally determining genocide and war crimes through an independent legal process, two officials said Biden’s seemingly flippant statement during a domestic policy speech in the Iowa on Tuesday had made it harder for the agency to credibly do its job.

US intelligence agencies gather information when allegations are made about actions that could constitute genocide, but it is policymakers who actually decide whether to declare it or not. Intelligence reports on Ukraine do not currently support a genocide designation, officials said.

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Photographing the war in Ukraine

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Devastated roads and infrastructure hampering humanitarian aid in Ukraine, says UK

Ukraine’s roads have been devastated by the war started by Russia, which poses a “significant challenge” in getting humanitarian aid to parts of the country, the British Ministry of Defense said on Saturday.

Russian troops compounded the damage “by destroying bridges, employing landmines and abandoning vehicles along key roads as they retreated from northern Ukraine”, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. its daily update.

At least 7.1 million people in Ukraine have been internally displaced, in addition to more than 4.5 million who have fled the country as refugees, the United Nations humanitarian office said this week. The war has caused a humanitarian crisis, officials said.