LVIV, Ukraine – The British Defense Ministry says Russia’s focus in its war on Ukraine remains the Donbas region.
In an update Friday, the British military said heavy fighting had been seen around Lysychansk and Severodonetsk. The British said they believe Russia is trying to attempt an advance south from Izium toward Slovyansk.
The British military said in a tweet: “Due to strong Ukrainian resistance, Russian territorial gains have been limited and achieved at significant cost to Russian forces.”
The British military has been offering daily public reports on the fighting since the start of the war in February.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:
– Ukraine says Russian offensive in east picks up momentum
– NATO chief says Finland, Sweden could join quite quickly
– Biden seeks new powers to use oligarchs’ assets for Ukraine
– A chilling Russian cyber aim in Ukraine: Digital dossiers
– After a rocket: ‘One second and you are left with nothing’
Follow all AP stories on Russia’s war on Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
KYIV, Ukraine – Russia pounded targets from practically one end of Ukraine to the other Thursday, including Kyiv, bombarding the city while the head of the United Nations was visiting in the boldest attack on the capital since Moscow’s forces retreated weeks ago.
Ukrainian emergency services said 10 people were wounded when a Russian missile hit a 25-story apartment building in Kyiv on Thursday evening and set off a fire, which partially destroyed the first and second floors.
The bombardment came barely an hour after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a news conference with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, who said Ukraine has become “an epicenter of unbearable heartache and pain.”
A spokesperson said Guterres and his team were safe.
Meanwhile, explosions were reported across the country – in Polonne in the west, Chernihiv near the border with Belarus, and Fastiv, a large railway hub southwest of the capital.
The mayor of Odesa, in southern Ukraine, said rockets were intercepted by air defenses.
KYIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he had “very substantive 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 at Bulgarian plants and then sent back 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 energy supplies in the region,” Zelenskyy said late Thursday in his nightly video address to the nation.
Russia this week cut off natural gas supplies to Bulgaria and also to Poland, two NATO members which have been among the strongest European supporters of Ukraine in the war.
Although Bulgaria gets over 90% of its gas from Russia, the cutoff does not immediately put the country in dire trouble because of 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 wounded in what emergency officials are calling the first Russian strike in a residential area of the southern city of Zaporizhzhia since Russia’s invasion began.
The city has been a crucial waypoint for tens of thousands of people fleeing the besieged southern port of Mariupol.
The rocket strike came Thursday as parts of southern Ukraine prepared for a further onslaught by Russian forces who seek to strip the country of its coastline.
Residents said at least eight homes in the modest neighborhood were damaged or destroyed.
Glass shards cut the boy’s right leg to the bone. The injured boy’s father, Vadym Vodostoyev, said “it just takes one second and you’re left with nothing.”
KYIV, Ukraine – Russia struck the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv shortly after a meeting between President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday evening.
At least one person was killed and several were injured, including some who were trapped beneath the rubble, according to rescue officials. Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the Shevchenkivskyi district in the northwestern part of the city was hit twice, causing fires in at least two high-rise buildings.
The explosions, which sent plumes of black smoke into the air, came just shortly after the two leaders held a press conference in which Guterres condemned the atrocities committed in towns like Bucha, where evidence of mass killings of civilians was found after Russia retreated. Authorities said the U.N. chief and his team were safe.
Appearing to be one of boldest attacks on Kyiv since Russian forces retreated from around the capital weeks ago, the explosions came as residents have been increasingly returning to the city. Cafes and other businesses have reopened, and a growing number of people have been out and enjoying the spring weather.
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