Russia-Ukraine war latest: Moscow says warship ‘seriously damaged’ after explosion, warns Nato over Sweden and Finland – live | Ukraine


11:40

Russia says Moskva ‘still afloat’ but Ukraine military claims warship started sinking when hit

Russia’s defence ministry has said the fire on board the warship Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, is “under control”.

The ship was reportedly struck by two Ukrainian missiles in the Black Sea late on Wednesday night. It was famously defied by Ukrainian troops on Snake Island at the start of the war.

In a statement, the Russian defence ministry said:

The fire on the cruiser Moskva is under control. There are no flames visible. Ammunition supplies are no longer exploding.

The cruiser Moskva is still afloat. The main missile armoury has not been damaged.

The crew of the cruiser were evacuated to Black Sea Fleet vessels nearby. Measures are being taken to tow the cruiser into port.

The causes of the fire are currently being established.

The Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, pictured in the port of Sevastopol, Crimea November 16, 2021.
The Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, pictured in the port of Sevastopol, Crimea, 16 November 2021. Photograph: Alexey Pavlishak/Reuters

The ministry had earlier said that the ship had been “seriously damaged as a result of the detonation of ammunition that occurred as a result of a fire”.

However, Ukraine’s southern military command said the Moska had started to sink after it was hit by a Neptune missile.

In a Facebook post, the southern military command said the missile cruiser had received “significant damage” and a fire ignited on board after the strike.

The statement continued:

Other units of the ship’s group tried to help, but a storm and a powerful explosion of ammunition overturned the cruiser and it began to sink.

Hello, it’s Léonie Chao-Fong here. I’ll be bringing you the latest developments from the war in Ukraine. Feel free to drop me a message if you have anything to flag, you can reach me on Twitter or via email.

12:57

The Guardian’s Luke Harding visited three ravaged towns close to Kyiv and spoke to residents about the devastation they experienced after Russian forces invaded.

One woman, Natasha, recounted the savage murder of her nephew, who she said was shot in the head by soldiers.

Harding travelled to the ‘garden towns’ of Bucha, Hostomel and Borodianka, where people had lived peaceful, suburban lives until the invasion.

Inside Ukraine’s suburban horror: ‘I have nothing left’ – video

12:44

Deported children face ‘threat of illegal adoption’ in Russia, Ukraine says

Ukraine’s foreign ministry has appealed to the United Nations to facilitate the return of Ukrainian children who have been “illegally deported” to Russia.

In a statement, the ministry said Russia had engaged in the “illegal and forced displacement” of Ukrainian children, “among them orphans, children deprived of parental care, as well as children whose parents died as a result of Russia’s military aggression” across Ukraine’s borders to Russia.

The statement reads:

In violation of international humanitarian law and basic standards of humanness, Russia is engaged in state-organised kidnapping of children and destruction of the future of the Ukrainian nation.

Such actions of the Russian occupiers can be qualified as kidnapping and require a decisive reaction from the international community, primarily from the relevant international organizations.

Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russian forces of forcibly deporting thousands of children from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine since the war began.

Earlier this month, two individuals said they and other women and children were forcibly transported to Russian territory from the besieged city of Mariupol in March. The Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, has denied these accusations, claiming “such reports are lies”.

11:57

Richard Adams

Displaced Ukrainian students in Scotland will be given tuition and living cost support, under proposals from the Scottish government subject to parliamentary approval.

The scheme would mean Ukrainians starting a further or higher education course this autumn will be eligible for the support if they have submitted an application through the UK’s homes for Ukraine, Ukraine family or Ukraine extension schemes.
Jamie Hepburn, Scotland’s minister for higher and further education, said:

By extending home fee status and living cost support to students arriving from Ukraine we hope to provide some stability and assurance at this deeply troubling time and ensure those forced to flee their homes can live safely and comfortably in Scotland for as long as they need to.

Eligible university students would be able to receive free tuition and living cost support of up to £8,100 a year in bursaries and loans, and students entering further education for bursary and grants of up to £4,668 a year.

11:40

Russia says Moskva ‘still afloat’ but Ukraine military claims warship started sinking when hit

Russia’s defence ministry has said the fire on board the warship Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, is “under control”.

The ship was reportedly struck by two Ukrainian missiles in the Black Sea late on Wednesday night. It was famously defied by Ukrainian troops on Snake Island at the start of the war.

In a statement, the Russian defence ministry said:

The fire on the cruiser Moskva is under control. There are no flames visible. Ammunition supplies are no longer exploding.

The cruiser Moskva is still afloat. The main missile armoury has not been damaged.

The crew of the cruiser were evacuated to Black Sea Fleet vessels nearby. Measures are being taken to tow the cruiser into port.

The causes of the fire are currently being established.

The Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, pictured in the port of Sevastopol, Crimea November 16, 2021.
The Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, pictured in the port of Sevastopol, Crimea, 16 November 2021. Photograph: Alexey Pavlishak/Reuters

The ministry had earlier said that the ship had been “seriously damaged as a result of the detonation of ammunition that occurred as a result of a fire”.

However, Ukraine’s southern military command said the Moska had started to sink after it was hit by a Neptune missile.

In a Facebook post, the southern military command said the missile cruiser had received “significant damage” and a fire ignited on board after the strike.

The statement continued:

Other units of the ship’s group tried to help, but a storm and a powerful explosion of ammunition overturned the cruiser and it began to sink.

Hello, it’s Léonie Chao-Fong here. I’ll be bringing you the latest developments from the war in Ukraine. Feel free to drop me a message if you have anything to flag, you can reach me on Twitter or via email.

11:02

Today so far …

  • The Russian defence ministry said the entire crew of the warship Moskva had been evacuated late on Wednesday night after an ammunition explosion and fire on the ship. However, the governor of the Odesa region, Maksym Marchenko, said the Ukrainians had struck the Moskva with two Neptune missiles. The ship was famously defied by Ukrainian troops on Snake Island at the start of the war, and is the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet. The defence ministry said it would be towed back to port.
  • Russia has warned Nato that if Finland and Sweden were to join the military alliance, then it would take measures in the Baltic. Dmitry Medvedev said: “There can be no more talk of any nuclear-free status for the Baltic – the balance must be restored. Finland and Sweden took a major step towards joining Nato yesterday, after their prime ministers said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had changed Europe’s “whole security landscape” and “dramatically shaped mindsets” in the Nordic countries.
  • Lithuania’s prime minister, Ingrida Simonyte, has dismissed the earlier words of Medvedev threatening as “nothing new”. Lithuania’s defence minister, Arvydas Anusauskas said that Russia had always kept nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad anyway.
  • Russia’s Investigative Committee said it was opening criminal cases into Ukrainian servicemen’s alleged torture of their Russian counterparts.
  • The governor of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region said four civilians had been killed and 10 wounded during Russian shelling of the city of on Thursday.
  • Ukrainian forces claim they sabotaged a bridge as a Russian military convoy was crossing it towards Izyum in the Kharkiv region, destroying the convoy.
  • Iryna Vereshchuk, one of Ukraine’s deputy prime ministers, has announced that today there will be nine humanitarian corridors available. Civilians would need to use private cars to escape from the besieged city of Mariupol. Other evacuation routes are from Berdiansk, Tokmak and Enerhodar, and the ones in the eastern Luhansk region will only operate if occupying Russian forces stop their shelling.
  • Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, called for an oil embargo in his nightly address on Wednesday. “First of all, we need an oil embargo. And Europe’s clear readiness to give up all Russian energy. The European Union must stop sponsoring Russia’s military machine.”
  • Ukraine’s presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, who has been part of the negotiating team at the peace talks between Ukraine and Russia, has said a stumbling block is that Ukraine wants as many countries as possible to act as security guarantors, but Russia does not want their number to increase.
  • The US president, Joe Biden, earlier announced an additional $800m in military assistance to Ukraine including heavy artillery ahead of a wider Russian assault expected in eastern Ukraine.
  • The UK’s Ministry of Defence has warned that “The towns of Kramatorsk and Kostiantynivka are likely to be Russian targets for similar levels of violence” as the urban shelling seen elsewhere as Russian military operations focus to the east.
  • The UK government has announced that about 16,400 people have arrived in the UK from Ukraine under the two visa schemes the Home Office has set up to handle refugees. The UNHCR estimates the number of people who have fled Ukraine for abroad since Russia’s latest invasion began on 24 February is 4,697,964.

That is it from me, Martin Belam, for now. I will be with you again later on today. In the meantime, I am handing over to Léonie Chao-Fong.

10:41

The governor of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, Oleh Synyegubov, said four civilians had been killed and 10 wounded during Russian shelling of the city on Thursday.

Reuters reports that in a statement, the Kharkiv region governor also urged residents of some towns to evacuate since he said military operations were expected to take place in the area.

The claims have not been independently verified.

09:59

The UK government has announced that about 16,400 people have arrived in the UK from Ukraine under the two visa schemes the Home Office has set up to handle refugees.

The UNHCR estimates the number of people who have fled Ukraine for abroad since Russia’s latest invasion began on 24 February is 4,697,964

09:56

Here is a selection of some of the latest images to be sent to us over the newswires from Ukraine:

Artists produce demining equipment to send to the Ukrainian military at a studio in the city of Perechyn, Zakarpattia region, Ukraine.
Artists produce demining equipment to send to the Ukrainian military at a studio in the city of Perechyn, Zakarpattia region, Ukraine. Photograph: Reuters
A woman looks out from a bus window as she leaves Severodonetsk, in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region yesterday.
A woman looks out from a bus window as she leaves Severodonetsk, in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region yesterday. Photograph: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images
In a picture taken yesterday during a trip organized by the Russian military, Russian soldiers are seen standing guard at the Luhansk power plant in the town of Shchastya.
In a picture taken yesterday during a trip organised by the Russian military, Russian soldiers are seen standing guard at the Luhansk power plant in the town of Shchastya. Photograph: Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images
A funeral ceremony for Taras Bobanych at the Lychakiv Cemetery in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.
A funeral ceremony for Taras Bobanych at the Lychakiv Cemetery in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. Photograph: Yuriy Dyachyshyn/AFP/Getty Images
A photo shows the production of Molotov cocktails at a garden of a furniture company converted into a war manufacturing centre.
A photo shows the production of Molotov cocktails at a garden of a furniture company converted into a war manufacturing centre. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

09:47

Lithuania’s prime minister dismisses Russian warning on Nato as ‘nothing new’

Lithuania’s prime minister, Ingrida Šimonytė, has dismissed the earlier words of Dmitry Medvedev threatening Nato over the possibility of Finland and Sweden joining as “nothing new”. [see 8.42am]

Reuters report she told the media “That Russia threatens, it is nothing new. Kaliningrad is a very militarized zone, has been for many years, and it is in the Baltic region.”

The BNS agency quotes her being strongly supportive of the potential moves for Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, saying:

I believe that the presence of these countries as members of the alliance would, in fact, greatly strengthen both the Alliance and these countries and our security. As soon as such a decision is announced, I hope it will be, I think that the Baltic countries will have a very serious reason to welcome it.

Medvedev said if the two nations were to join Nato, there could be “no more talk” of a nuclear-free Baltic. However, Lithuania’s defence minister, Arvydas Anušauskas, has suggested this is meaningless. In Vilnius he told BNS that nuclear weapons have been deployed in Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave on the Baltic Sea since before the current crisis.

The current Russian threats look quite strange, when we know that, even without the present security situation, they keep the weapon 100km from Lithuania’s border. Nuclear weapons have always been kept in Kaliningrad. The international community, the countries in the region, are perfectly aware of this. They use it as a threat.

Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave, on the shore of the Baltic Sea, is sandwiched between existing Nato members Lithuania and Poland. Šimonytė visited Ukraine on Monday to see the impact of Russian action in the country.

Lithuanian prime minister Ingrida Simonyte (L) and Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal visit the town of Borodianka on 11 April.
The Lithuanian prime minister, Ingrida Šimonytė, (L) and Ukrainian counterpart, Denys Shmyhal, visit the town of Borodianka on 11 April. Photograph: Ukrainian Governmental Press Service/Reuters

09:26

Russia opens criminal cases into alleged torture of its soldiers by Ukraine

Russia’s Investigative Committee said it was opening criminal cases into Ukrainian servicemen’s alleged torture of their Russian counterparts.

The committee, which probes major crimes, said some Russian soldiers had been captured by Ukrainian forces in the Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv regions and held illegally by Ukraine’s security service.

“Russians were subjected to physical violence and torture in order to force them to give false explanations about the actual conditions of their illegal detention on the premises of the security service of Ukraine, as well as on (Russia’s) special military operation,” Reuters reports it said in a statement.

Reuters could not independently verify the committee’s allegations. Ukraine has said it checks all information regarding the treatment of prisoners of war and will investigate any violations and take appropriate legal action.





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