Russia-Ukraine war latest: Ukraine condemns ‘barbaric’ Kyiv missile strikes; Nato warns war may last years – live

Kyiv reeling after being hit by Russian cruise missiles

Emma Graham-Harrison

Russia attacked western Kyiv with two cruise missiles, as the UN secretary general António Guterres visited the Ukrainian capital.

Two loud explosions rocked Kyiv on Thursday evening, after Guterres visited the site of massacres and mass graves on the city’s outskirts, and met Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Ukrainian officials were quick to underline the extraordinary timing of the attack, one day after Guterres met Vladimir Putin (across the very long table the Russian leader uses for many meetings).

Video shows cruise missile hitting Kyiv – video

The strikes prompted a furious response from Ukraine’s government, with foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba denouncing it as a “heinous act of barbarism” that demonstrated Russia’s “attitude towards Ukraine, Europe and the world”.

Zelenskiy added: “This says a lot about Russia’s true attitude to global institutions. About the efforts of the Russian leadership to humiliate the UN and everything that the organisation represents. Therefore, it requires a strong response.”

Missile strikes in the downtown of Kyiv during the official visit of @antonioguterres. The day before he was sitting at a long table in the Kremlin, and today explosions are above his head. Postcard from Moscow? Recall why 🇷🇺 still takes a seat on the UN Security Council?

— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) April 28, 2022

One missile reportedly struck the lower floors of a 25-storey residential building, injuring at least 10 people, Ukrainian officials said.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said the blasts hit the central Shevchenkivskyi district and three people have so far been hospitalised.

The state emergency service said one blast – believed to have occurred around 8.13pm – partially destroyed a 25-storey residential building in the Shevchenkivskyi district of the capital.

Russia stroke Kyiv with cruise missiles right when UN Secretary General @antonioguterres and Bulgarian PM @KirilPetkov visit our capital. By this heinous act of barbarism Russia demonstrates once again its attitude towards Ukraine, Europe and the world.

— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) April 28, 2022

Ukraine’s foreign minister has tweeted this morning asking for security guarantees and criticising Nato for not opening the door to Ukraine’s membership. Dmytro Kuleba said:

Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons for the sake of world peace. We have then been knocking on Nato’s door, but it never opened. Security vacuum led to Russian aggression. The world owes Ukraine security and we ask states to decide which security guarantees they are ready to provide.

Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons for the sake of world peace. We have then been knocking on NATO’s door, but it never opened. Security vacuum led to Russian aggression. The world owes Ukraine security and we ask states to decide which security guarantees they are ready to provide.

— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) April 29, 2022

A checkpoint at the Russian village of Krupets in the Kursk region came under fire, according to Kursk’s governor Roman Starovoyt. The RIA news agency reports he said there were no casualties, and fire was returned. Krupets is close to the Ukrainian border, near the Sumy region in the north-east of the country.

The UK’s international trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan has been interviewed on Sky News in the UK. She stressed again that the UK government did not support British people going over to Ukraine to fight.

A British citizen has been killed in Ukraine, and a second is missing, the Foreign Office has confirmed, amid reports both were volunteers who had gone to fight in the country. Trevelyan said:

The Foreign Office is working very closely with those in Ukraine, both to make sure that, you know, the identification is correct. And indeed to work with local authorities and to support families here. As we’ve set out right from the beginning, we don’t want British nationals to go and fight.

But there are many, many ways in which so many people, and I think the heartfelt, genuinely heartfelt, anxiety and appalment that Putin has illegally invaded and is now continuing to bombard those areas where he had stepped away from, is something that quite rightly horrifies the British public.

And there are many ways that we can all support, through humanitarian, through in our homes, through financial, but we don’t want people to go and fight. Obviously, the advice was to not go to Ukraine, that remains the travel advice, for obvious reasons, because it’s a war zone.

And we want to make sure that people can show their support, their solidarity for Ukrainians, and for the battle that those extraordinary people are doing to fight for the freedom of their country through all those other ways. And it is extraordinary how generous the British people are being both with their own homes, with their money, with their time, to support the Ukrainian families.

In case you missed our earlier report, the world’s largest security body has said it is officially winding up its observer mission in Ukraine after eight years, after Russia vetoed its extension.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said it would “take immediate steps” to close the mission after members failed to find a way around Russia’s objections during a meeting last month, AFP reports.

Poland’s foreign minister, Zbigniew Rau, whose country holds the rotating OSCE chairmanship, said the organisation had tried all options but “the position of the Russian Federation left us with no choice”.

The Vienna-based OSCE’s mission to Ukraine began in 2014 after Russia-backed separatists launched an insurgency in the east. The organisation was the only international body monitoring the conflict on the ground, according to AFP.

OSCE monitors were largely withdrawn from the country following Russia’s full-scale invasion in February. But administrative staff were left behind, and four of them have since been detained.

The OSCE secretary general, Helga Maria Schmid, said the organisation would continue to push for an “end to the detentions, intimidation, and disinformation that are so dangerous for our national mission members”.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says it is investigating a report that a missile had flown directly over a nuclear power station, adding it would be “extremely serious” if true.

IAEA director general Rafael Grossi said Kyiv had formally told the agency on Thursday the missile flew over the south Ukraine plant on 16 April. The facility is near the city of Yuzhnoukrainsk, 350km (220 miles) south of Kyiv.

Grossi said in a statement:

Ukraine’s regulator formally informed the IAEA that on 16 April 2022 on-site video surveillance recorded the flight of a missile flying directly over the South Ukraine NPP.

The IAEA is looking into this matter, which, if confirmed, would be extremely serious.

Had such a missile gone astray, it could have had a severe impact on the physical integrity of the NPP potentially leading to a nuclear accident.”

Grossi did not say who had fired the missile but Kyiv had earlier accused Moscow of sending rockets directly over nuclear plants.

Here are some of the latest images to come out of Ukraine today.

A man walks with his bicycle near a destroyed apartment building in Mariupol.
A man walks with his bicycle near a destroyed apartment building in Mariupol. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters
Natalia Tsyukalo, 62, demonstrates how she hid in her cellar from the Russian shelling that hit the apartments across the street from her home in Irpin, Ukraine.
Natalia Tsyukalo, 62, demonstrates how she hid in her cellar from the Russian shelling that hit the apartments across the street from her home in Irpin, Ukraine. Photograph: Ken Cedeno/UPI/REX/Shutterstock
A woman walks on debris outside an apartment building heavily damaged in Mariupol, Ukraine.
A woman walks on debris outside an apartment building heavily damaged in Mariupol, Ukraine. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters
Tulips are seen among belongings in the metro station in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Tulips are seen among belongings in the metro station in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Photograph: Ken Cedeno/UPI/REX/Shutterstock
Sergii Virchenko, 42, cuts hair for Sergey Gerasimenko, 50 as they bunker down with hundreds of others in a metro station in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Sergii Virchenko, 42, cuts hair for Sergey Gerasimenko, 50 as they bunker down with hundreds of others in a metro station in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Photograph: Ken Cedeno/UPI/REX/Shutterstock

UN chief admits Security Council failed to prevent and end war

The UN secretary general has criticised his own organisation’s security council while on visit to Kyiv.

During a press conference with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Antonio Guterres said the council had failed to prevent or end the war in Ukraine.

Let me be very clear. The security council failed to do everything in its power to prevent and end this war.

This is a source of great disappointment, frustration and anger.”

Guterres pledged that he would “boost our efforts across the board” and expand the council’s cash assistance – distributing $100m per month, reaching 1.3 million people by May and covering 2 million by August.

The 15-member UN security council is specifically tasked with ensuring global peace and security and has faced criticism for failing to act since Russia’s invasion began in February.

The UN secretary general criticised his own organisation’s security council while on visit to Kyiv.
The UN secretary general criticised his own organisation’s security council while on visit to Kyiv. Photograph: Ukraine Presidency/Zuma Press Wire Service/REX/Shutterstock

Nato warns of possibility war may drag on ‘for months and years’

Nato is prepared for a possibility that the war in Ukraine will drag on and last for months and years.

However, the alliance said it was ready to maintain its support for Ukraine in the war against Russia for years, including help for Kyiv to shift from Soviet-era weapons to modern western arms and systems.

Secretary general Jens Stoltenberg made the remarks during a youth summit in Brussels later on Thursday.

We need to be prepared for the long term.

There is absolutely the possibility that this war will drag on and last for months and years.”

The Nato chief said the west would continue to put maximum pressure on Russian president Vladimir Putin to end the invasion of Ukraine through sanctions and economic as well as military aid to Kyiv.

“Nato allies are preparing to provide support over a long period of time and also help Ukraine to transit, move from old Soviet-era equipment to more modern Nato-standard weapons and systems that will also require more training,” Stoltenberg said.

Kyiv reeling after being hit by Russian cruise missiles

Emma Graham-Harrison

Emma Graham-Harrison

Russia attacked western Kyiv with two cruise missiles, as the UN secretary general António Guterres visited the Ukrainian capital.

Two loud explosions rocked Kyiv on Thursday evening, after Guterres visited the site of massacres and mass graves on the city’s outskirts, and met Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Ukrainian officials were quick to underline the extraordinary timing of the attack, one day after Guterres met Vladimir Putin (across the very long table the Russian leader uses for many meetings).

Video shows cruise missile hitting Kyiv – video

The strikes prompted a furious response from Ukraine’s government, with foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba denouncing it as a “heinous act of barbarism” that demonstrated Russia’s “attitude towards Ukraine, Europe and the world”.

Zelenskiy added: “This says a lot about Russia’s true attitude to global institutions. About the efforts of the Russian leadership to humiliate the UN and everything that the organisation represents. Therefore, it requires a strong response.”

Missile strikes in the downtown of Kyiv during the official visit of @antonioguterres. The day before he was sitting at a long table in the Kremlin, and today explosions are above his head. Postcard from Moscow? Recall why 🇷🇺 still takes a seat on the UN Security Council?

— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) April 28, 2022

One missile reportedly struck the lower floors of a 25-storey residential building, injuring at least 10 people, Ukrainian officials said.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said the blasts hit the central Shevchenkivskyi district and three people have so far been hospitalised.

The state emergency service said one blast – believed to have occurred around 8.13pm – partially destroyed a 25-storey residential building in the Shevchenkivskyi district of the capital.

Russia stroke Kyiv with cruise missiles right when UN Secretary General @antonioguterres and Bulgarian PM @KirilPetkov visit our capital. By this heinous act of barbarism Russia demonstrates once again its attitude towards Ukraine, Europe and the world.

— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) April 28, 2022

Russian gains in Donbas come at ‘significant cost’, says UK

Russian gains in Donbas have come at a “significant cost” to its forces, the UK ministry of defence has said in its latest intelligence report.

Released just after 6am GMT, the report reads:

The Battle of Donbas remains Russia’s main strategic focus, in order to achieve its stated aim of securing control over the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

In these oblasts fighting has been particularly heavy around Lysychansk and Severodonetsk, with an attempted advance south from Izium towards Slovyansk.

Due to strong Ukrainian resistance, Russian territorial gains have been limited and achieved at significant cost to Russian forces.

Summary and welcome

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

I’m Samantha Lock and I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments until my colleague Martin Belam takes the reins a little later in the day.

It is just past 7am in Ukraine and its capital, Kyiv, is still reeling from a missile attack launched the night before. The blasts came soon after the UN secretary general, António Guterres, met with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, admitting the UN had failed to prevent or end the war.

Meanwhile, Nato has warned that the west needs to be prepared for the long haul and the possibility that the war will “drag on and last for months and years”.

Here’s everything you might have missed:

  • Russia attacked Kyiv with two cruise missiles on Thursday evening, injuring at least 10 people and partially destroying a 25-storey residential building in the central Shevchenkivskyi district.
  • The blasts came “immediately after” Guterres met with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in the capital.
  • The UN chief admitted: “Let me be very clear. The security council failed to do everything in its power to prevent and end this war.”
  • Joe Biden has called for a $33bn package of military and economic aid to Ukraine, more than doubling the level of US assistance to date. The package would include over $20bn in military aid, including heavy artillery and armoured vehicles, greater intelligence sharing, cyberwarfare tools and many more anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. “We’re not attacking Russia. We’re helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression,” Biden said.
  • The US House has given final passage to legislation that would streamline a second world war-style lend-lease program to more quickly provide Ukraine with military aid. The measure would update the 1941 legislation Franklin Roosevelt signed into law to help allies fight Nazi Germany.
  • The UK will send 8,000 soldiers to eastern Europe on expanded exercises to combat Russian aggression in one of the largest deployments since the cold war. Dozens of tanks will be deployed to countries ranging from Finland to North Macedonia between April and June.
  • A British citizen has been killed in Ukraine and a second is missing, the Foreign Office has confirmed, amid reports that both were volunteer fighters. The Briton who died was understood to be Scott Sibley, a former British soldier who had served in Iraq.
  • A 22-year-old former US marine and American citizen, Willy Joseph Cancel, was also reportedly killed while fighting alongside Ukrainian forcesin Ukraine, members of his family have told CNN.
  • Russian forces have been hitting the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol with the heaviest strikes yet while preventing wounded Ukrainian fighters from being evacuated, a local official said. “They [want to] use the opportunity to capture the defenders of Mariupol, one of the main [elements] of whom are the… Azov regiment. Therefore the Russian side is not agreeing to any evacuation measures regarding wounded [Ukrainian] troops,” Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said, according to Reuters.
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it was probing a report that a missile had flown directly over a nuclear power station, adding it would be “extremely serious” if true. The IAEA director general, Rafael Grossi, said Kyiv had formally told the agency the missile flew over the plant in southern Ukraine on 16 April. The facility is near the city of Yuzhnoukrainsk, 350km (220 miles) south of Kyiv.
  • The UN general assembly will vote on 11 May to replace Russia on its 47-member human rights council after Russia was suspended. Assembly spokeswoman Paulina Kubiak said the Czech Republic was the only candidate for the seat.
  • Ukraine’s prosecutor general has named 10 Russian soldiers allegedly involved in human rights abuses during the month-long occupation of Bucha. There were 8,653 alleged war crimes under investigation, according to the prosecutor’s office.
  • Moldova’s deputy prime minister, Nicu Popescu, said the country was facing “a very dangerous new moment” as unnamed forces were seeking to stoke tensions after a series of explosions in the breakaway region of Transnistria this week. Popescu said his government had seen “a dangerous deterioration of the situation” in recent days amid attacks in the region.
  • The European Union will consider it as a violation of sanctions if European energy companies comply with Moscow’s requirement to open a payment account in roubles with Gazprombank, EU officials warned. The EU “cannot accept” that payments in euros for Russian gas are considered completed by Moscow only after they are converted into roubles, an official said.
  • Nato said it was ready to maintain its support for Ukraine in the war against Russia for years, including help for Kyiv to shift from Soviet-era weapons to modern western arms and systems. “We need to be prepared for the long term,” Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary general, told a summit in Brussels. “There is absolutely the possibility that this war will drag on and last for months and years.”
  • The Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said Finland and Sweden would be “warmly welcomed” should they decide to join the 30-nation military organisation and any membership process could “go quickly”.

As usual, please feel free to reach out to me by email or Twitter for any tips or feedback.



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