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Overview of the Russia-Ukraine War: What We Know After Day 434 of the Invasion

Photo by Marjan Blan on Unsplash

Russia launched a third nightly round of attacks on Kyiv in six days, authorities in the Ukrainian capital said on Wednesday, with a drone hitting a building in the Dnipropetrovsk region as Moscow steps up attacks on its neighbour. Ukraine’s air force Command said its forces destroyed 21 of the 26 Iranian-made Shahed drones launched by Russia, while Kyiv officials said air defence systems eliminated those sent over the city, with no initial reports of casualties or destruction.

At least three people have been killed and five wounded in a Russian strike on a supermarket in Kherson.

A fuel storage facility near a key bridge in Russia’s southwestern region of Krasnodar was on fire in the early hours of Wednesday, the regional governor said, but there were no initial reports of casualties. Russia’s state-owned Tass news agency has reported that the fire at an oil facility in Volna was caused by “the fall of a drone”. Smoke from the fire can be seen from across the Kerch Strait in occupied Crimea.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said the White House did not advise him about the leak of highly classified US intelligence documents that received widespread attention around the world last month. “I did not receive information from the White House or the Pentagon beforehand,” Zelenskiy was quoted as saying in an interview with the Washington Post published on Tuesday. “It is unprofitable for us,” he added. “It is not beneficial to the reputation of the White House, and I believe it is not beneficial to the reputation of the United States.”

Finnish media is reporting that Zelenskiy has arrived in Helsinki. Ukraine’s president is expected to give a joint press conference with president Sauli Niinistö later today, and also to have meetings with other leaders from the region.

A 20-year-old man from Mykolaiv has been detained under suspicion of aiding Russian forces by informing them about the bases of the Ukrainian defence forces in the region.

Russia’s security services claim to have foiled a plot to attack leaders of the Russian-imposed government in Crimea. Tass reports that the FSB named Roman Mashovets, deputy head of the office of the president of Ukraine, as one of the architects of the plot, without providing evidence. The FSB said it had detained six citizens of Russia and Ukraine, as well as a citizen of Ukraine and Bulgaria, involved in the transport of explosives and components of explosive devices.

Ukraine has formed eight new “storm” brigades to take part in a future counteroffensive amid growing speculation about its timing and whether it can inflict serious defeats on Russia. The Ukrainian interior ministry said it had “fully formed” initial brigades comprising up to 40,000 troops, but they would need further training before being ready to fight.

An explosion derailed a freight train for the second day in a row in a Russian region bordering Ukraine on Tuesday, sending both the locomotive and some cars off the tracks, authorities said. It occurred in the western Bryansk region, which borders both Ukraine and Belarus. Russian officials say pro-Ukrainian sabotage groups have made multiple attacks there since 2022.

The US plans to announce as soon as Wednesday a new $300m military aid package for Ukraine that will for the first time include a short-range air-launched rocket, two US officials have said. The rockets could help Ukraine weaken Russian ground positions and provide advancing Ukrainian ground forces with air support for a spring offensive.

New Zealand’s government has announced an increase in its support for Ukraine. The country has provided training and humanitarian funds since the invasion began. A deployment of 95 New Zealand defence personnel working to train Ukrainian troops near London will be extended by a year to 30 June 2024, prime minister Chris Hipkins said in a statement Wednesday.

Russia’s defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, said Tuesday his country was inflicting heavy blows to Ukraine across the entire frontline but the supply of weapons was crucial to success. In a meeting with Moscow’s top military officials, Shoigu said Russian combat operations were engaged “along the entire line of contact”, fighting Ukraine and its “unprecedented military assistance from the west”.

The Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said on Tuesday that German-supplied weapons were already being used in the Donbas region, which Russia has illegally annexed. The German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said on Monday that Germany had insisted, like other Nato member countries, that the weapons it was supplying to Ukraine must not be used against Russian territory. The Donbas is not Russian territory.

At least six Russian regions have scrapped 9 May Victory Day parades to mark the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany amid fear of Ukrainian attacks. The governor of Saratov, 400 miles from the border, announced that its parade was off because of “safety concerns”.

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