News from Ukraine: Russia remains focused on Donbass region, says UK

What is happening in Ukraine today and how are the countries of the world reacting? Read live updates on Vladimir Putin and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

WARNING: These stories may contain disturbing details

LVIV, Ukraine – Britain’s Ministry of Defense says Russia is focusing its war against Ukraine on the Donbass region.

In an update on Friday, the British military said heavy fighting had been seen around Lysychansk and Severodonetsk. The British said they believed Russia was trying to advance south of Izium towards Sloviansk.

The British military said in a tweet: “Due to strong Ukrainian resistance, Russian territorial gains were limited and achieved at significant cost to Russian forces.”

The British Army has been providing daily public reports on the fighting since the war began in February.


KYIV, Ukraine — Russia pounded targets across Ukraine on Thursday, including Kyiv, shelling the city as the United Nations chief visited in the boldest attack on the capital since forces from Moscow withdrew weeks ago.

Ukrainian emergency services said 10 people were injured when a Russian missile hit a 25-story building in kyiv on Thursday night and started a fire, which partially destroyed the first and second floors.

The bombardment came barely an hour after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a press conference with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who said Ukraine had become “the epicenter of a heartbreaking and unbearable pain”.

A spokesperson said Guterres and his team were safe.

Meanwhile, explosions have been reported across the country – in Polonne in the west, in Chernihiv near the border with Belarus and in Fastiv, a major railway junction southwest of the capital.

The mayor of Odessa in southern Ukraine said the rockets were intercepted by air defenses.


KYIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he had “very in-depth and warm talks” on energy and defense cooperation with Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov during his visit to Kyiv on Thursday.

Zelenskyy said they agreed that damaged Ukrainian military equipment could be repaired in Bulgarian factories and then returned to Ukraine.

“Another issue we agreed on was the supply of Ukrainian electricity to Bulgaria and the joint use of the Trans-Balkan gas pipeline ‘to diversify the energy supply in the region,’ Zelenskyy said on Thursday evening. in his nightly video address to the nation.

Russia this week cut off natural gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland, two NATO members who were among Ukraine’s staunchest European supporters during the war.

Although Bulgaria gets more than 90% of its gas from Russia, the cut does not immediately put the country in trouble from other potential suppliers. The Trans-Balkan gas pipeline runs from Greece through Bulgaria and Romania to Ukraine.


ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine — An 11-year-old Ukrainian boy was one of at least three people injured in what emergency officials call the first Russian strike on a residential area in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia since the Russian invasion began .

The city has been a crucial crossing point for tens of thousands of people fleeing the beleaguered southern port of Mariupol.

The rocket attack came on Thursday as parts of southern Ukraine braced for another attack by Russian forces seeking to strip the country of its coastline.

Residents said at least eight homes in the modest neighborhood were damaged or destroyed.

Shards of glass cut the boy’s right leg to the bone. The injured boy’s father, Vadym Vodostoyev, said: “It only takes a second and you have nothing left.”


KYIV, Ukraine — Russia struck the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv shortly after a meeting between President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday evening.

At least one person was killed and several were injured, some of them trapped under the rubble, according to rescue officials. Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the Shevchenkivskyi district in the northwestern part of the city was hit twice, sparking fires in at least two high-rise buildings.

The blasts, which sent plumes of black smoke into the air, came shortly after the two leaders held a press conference in which António Guterres condemned atrocities in towns like Bucha, where evidence of civilian massacres was found after Russia withdrew. Authorities said the UN chief and his team were safe.

Emerging as one of the boldest attacks on Kyiv since Russian forces withdrew from the capital a few weeks ago, the blasts came as residents increasingly returned to the city. Cafes and other businesses have reopened and an increasing number of people have come out and are enjoying the spring weather.


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Christi C. Elwood