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Russia-Ukraine war live: Putin’s bid to destroy Ukraine’s energy system ‘highly likely to have failed’ | Ukraine

Russian bid to degrade Ukraine’s energy system ‘likely failed’, says UK’s MoD

Russia’s campaign to break down Ukraine’s unified energy system within the past winter period has “highly likely failed”, the UK’s Ministry of Defence says in its latest intelligence update.

Large-scale long-range attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure have become rare since early March 2023, it says.

The report goes on to say that Ukraine’s energy situation “will likely improve” with the arrival of warmer weather.

Key events

The Russian-backed head of Crimea’s administration, Sergei Aksyonov, said a missile fired from Ukraine was shot down over the Black Sea town of Feodosia in Russian-controlled Crimea.

Russian state-run Tass news agency quoted an adviser to Aksyonov, Oleg Kryuchkov, as saying that debris had fallen in a Crimean town, but no damage or casualties have been reported.

The claims have not been independently verified.

More than 30 children have returned to Ukraine and reunited with their families after they were taken illegally to Russia, according to the Ukrainian organisation Save Ukraine.

In a post on Twitter, the organisation said:

Сhildren abducted by Russians from the Kherson and Kharkiv regions have been reunited with their families after several months of separation.

The children are now safe “but in need of psychological and physical recovery”, it continued.

Сhildren abducted by Russians from the Kherson and Kharkiv regions have been reunited with their families after several months of separation. They are now safe but in need of psychological and physical recovery.

Follow the updates💛💙 pic.twitter.com/dXGN5FTHp9

— Save Ukraine (@SaveukraineUs) April 7, 2023

Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Ukraine’s president, has said the aim of a leak of classified US military documents that offer a partial snapshot of the war in Ukraine was to “divert attention, cast doubts & mutual suspicions, sow discord”.

Posting to Twitter, Podolyak said Russian secret services were behind the release of the documents, which were posted on several social media sites and may have been altered as part of a misinformation campaign.

The aim of secret data “leaks” is obvious: divert attention, cast doubts & mutual suspicions, sow discord.
It’s an ordinary game of ru-secret services. To take open briefings, add fake info or certain parts of interceptions & publish them on social networks legalizing the “leak”

— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) April 8, 2023

Here are some of the latest images we have received from the news wires from the frontline city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian servicemen fire a self-propelled howitzer towards Russian troops. Photograph: Oleksandr Klymenko/Reuters
A Ukrainian serviceman carries shells for a self-propelled howitzer.
A Ukrainian serviceman carries shells for a self-propelled howitzer. Photograph: Oleksandr Klymenko/Reuters
Ukrainian servicemen fire a military vehicle with anti-aircraft cannon.
Ukrainian servicemen fire a military vehicle with anti-aircraft cannon. Photograph: Oleksandr Klymenko/Reuters

Russian bid to degrade Ukraine’s energy system ‘likely failed’, says UK’s MoD

Russia’s campaign to break down Ukraine’s unified energy system within the past winter period has “highly likely failed”, the UK’s Ministry of Defence says in its latest intelligence update.

Large-scale long-range attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure have become rare since early March 2023, it says.

The report goes on to say that Ukraine’s energy situation “will likely improve” with the arrival of warmer weather.

Four people have been killed in Russian attacks on Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the regional military administration, said.

He posted to Telegram:

On April 7, the Russians killed four residents of Donetsk region: three in Bohorodychne and another one in Torske. One civilian in the region was injured.

Russia lost elections to three United Nations bodies this week, a sign that opposition to its invasion of Ukraine over a year ago remains strong.

Associated Press reports that the votes in the 54-member UN economic and social council (Ecosoc) follow approval of six non-binding resolutions against Russia by the 193-member UN general assembly. The latest – on 23 February, the eve of the first anniversary of the invasion – called for Moscow to end hostilities and withdraw its forces and was adopted by a vote of 141-7 with 32 abstentions.

In the Ecosoc votes, Russia was overwhelmingly defeated by Romania for a seat on the commission on the status of women. It lost to Estonia to be a member of the executive board of the UN children’s agency, Unicef. And it was defeated by Armenia and the Czech Republic in secret ballot votes for membership on the commission on crime prevention and criminal justice.

US ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said after Wednesday’s votes:

This is a clear signal from Ecosoc members that no country should hold positions on critical UN bodies when they are in flagrant violation of the UN charter.

US envoy Linda Thomas-Greenfield
US envoy Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Photograph: José Jácome/EPA

A Ukrainian government minister is due to visit India on Monday and will seek humanitarian aid and equipment to repair energy infrastructure damaged during Russia’s invasion, the Hindu newspaper said on Saturday.

India, which holds the presidency of the G20 bloc this year, has declined to blame its old ally Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and has sought a diplomatic solution while boosting its purchases of Russian oil.

Reuters also reported that Ukraine’s first deputy foreign minister, Emine Dzhaparova, will make the first visit to India by a Ukrainian government minister since Russia’s invasion. She would call on India to send a “strong message for peace” to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, who is due to visit India in July for a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit and is due back in September for a G20 summit, the newspaper said.

Emine Dzhaparova at the UN in January
Emine Dzhaparova at the UN in January. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

Citing diplomatic sources, it reported:

Ukraine has requested India for more humanitarian aid, including pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and energy equipment, to repair power infrastructure damaged during the war, and both sides are also expected to discuss the delivery of such support.

India’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

During the talks, Dzhaparova would expand on Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s 10-point peace formula, and call on India to add its “crucial global voice” to building a consensus in its favour, the paper said.

Casualties and power outages as Russia bombards annexed provinces

Russian forces used ground- and air-fired missiles, rocket launchers and weaponised drones to bombard the provinces of Ukraine it has illegally annexed but doesn’t fully control, causing casualties, building damage and power outages on Friday.

Associated Press reported that the Ukrainian military said Russian forces launched 18 airstrikes, five missile strikes and 53 attacks from multiple rocket launchers between Thursday and Friday mornings.

Russia was concentrating the bulk of its offensive operations in Ukraine’s industrial east, focusing on the cities and towns of Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka in Donetsk province, according to the statement from Ukraine’s general staff.

A woman walks in front of a heavily damaged residential building in the frontline town of Avdiivka, Donetsk region, this week
A woman in front of a heavily damaged residential building in the frontline town of Avdiivka, Donetsk region, this week. Photograph: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images

Most of Friday’s battlefield reports concerned the four Ukrainian provinces Russia annexed in September: Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.

Also in Donetsk province, Russia launched a missile attack on the city of Sloviansk, destroying residential buildings, while one civilian was wounded during fighting in Bakhmut.

Donetsk’s regional governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said on Friday that 15 cities and villages on the front line were shelled in the region. The Moscow-installed mayor of Donetsk city, Aleksei Kulemzin, said Ukrainian shelling killed one person and wounded six.

Russia’s defence ministry reported inflicting dozens of casualties on Ukrainian forces and destroying drones and other Ukrainian weapons and combat vehicles in several battlefront hotspots in the annexed provinces.

Ukrainian troops fire from the frontline in the Lyman area
Ukrainian troops fire from the frontline in the Lyman area, eastern Ukraine. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

In southern Ukraine’s partially occupied Kherson province, seven people were wounded in 24 hours, the regional governor said on Friday. Writing on Telegram, Oleksandr Prokudin said Russia had carried out 46 attacks there, including seven on the regional capital, also called Kherson, with heavy artillery and aircraft fire.

A 10-year-old girl, a three-year-old boy and a 30-year-old woman were wounded on Friday in Russian shelling of the village of Stanislav in the province, the head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Andriy Yermak, said.

Opening summary

Hello and welcome back to our live coverage of Russia’s war in Ukraine. This is Adam Fulton and I’ll bring you the latest developments.

Russian forces have reportedly bombarded the provinces of Ukraine it illegally annexed but doesn’t fully control, causing casualties, building damage and power outages on Friday.

The strikes came as three civilians were killed and 17 wounded over the previous 24 hours in Russian artillery, missile and aerial attacks on 114 settlements in nine regions, the Ukrainian defence ministry said.

More on the battlefield reports shortly. In other developments:

  • The US Justice Department has launched an investigation into the possible release of Pentagon documents that were posted on several social media sites including Twitter and appear to detail US and Nato aid to Ukraine, but may have been altered or used as part of a misinformation campaign. Associated Press reported that the documents were labelled secret and resembled routine updates the US military would produce daily. Reuters reported three unnamed US officials said Russia or pro-Russian elements were likely behind the leak and that the documents provided a month-old snapshot of the war and appeared to have been doctored to play down Russian losses.

  • Russian Federal Security Service investigators formally charged Evan Gershkovich with espionage but the Wall Street Journal reporter denied the charges and said he was working as a journalist, Russian news agencies reported on Friday. Gershkovich is the first American journalist detained in Russia on espionage charges since the end of the cold war.

A man walks out of the pre-trial detention centre in Moscow where Evan Gershkovich is being held on espionage charges
A man walks out of the pre-trial detention centre in Moscow where Evan Gershkovich is being held on espionage charges. Photograph: Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters
  • The Ukrainian military said it had downed a Russian Su-25 ground attack jet near Marinka. A video showed a big explosion as the plane slammed into the ground, with its pilot descending on a parachute. The Russian military did not confirm the plane’s downing, AP reported.

  • Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, has threatened to abandon a landmark grain deal with Ukraine if obstacles to Moscow’s exports remained. The agreement last July allows Ukraine to export grain through a safe corridor in the Black Sea. “If there is no further progress in removing barriers to the export of Russian fertilisers and grain, we will think about whether this deal is necessary,” Lavrov told a news conference in Ankara alongside his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, on Friday.

  • Ukraine has said Russia is concentrating all its efforts on capturing the eastern city of Bakhmut, where it described the situation as “difficult” but said it was holding out. The UK Ministry of Defence said earlier that Russian forces had “highly likely” advanced into Bakhmut’s town centre and seized the west bank of the Bakhmutka River, severely threatening Ukraine’s key supply route to the west.

A Ukrainian soldier fires self-propelled howitzers near the outskirts of Bakhmut on Friday
A Ukrainian soldier fires self-propelled howitzers near the outskirts of Bakhmut on Friday. Photograph: Oleg Petrasyuk/EPA
  • Ukraine can resume exporting electricity after a six-month gap, given the success of repairs carried out after repeated Russian attacks, the energy minister, Herman Halushchenko, said on Friday. Last October, Ukraine halted exports of electricity to the European Union – its main export market for energy since the war began – following Russia strikes on energy infrastructure. “The most difficult winter has passed,” Halushchenko said.

  • The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has criticised Russia’s treatment of the Muslim-minority Tatar community in Kremlin-controlled Crimea and vowed to recapture the peninsula from Russia during a first official state iftar. Speaking on Friday outside the centre of the capital, Zelenskiy said Ukraine was beginning a new tradition of hosting an official iftar, the meal breaking the daily fast during the month of Ramadan.
    With Reuters and Agence France-Presse



https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2023/apr/08/russia-ukraine-war-live-moscows-forces-bombard-annexed-regions-us-investigates-ukraine-war-documents-leak Russia-Ukraine war live: Putin’s bid to destroy Ukraine’s energy system ‘highly likely to have failed’ | Ukraine

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