Ukraine war latest: Ballistic missiles fired at Kyiv - what the latest strikes tell us; Zelenskyy's aide hints at what peace settlement could include (2023)

Key points
  • Ballistic missiles used in new attack on Kyiv
  • What do the latest strikes on the Ukrainian capital tell us? | Sean Bell
  • Couple marry in bomb shelter amid air raid alert
  • Zelenskyy adviser says peace settlement should include demilitarised zone
  • Lukashenko offers 'nuclear weapons for everyone' who joins Russia-Belarus union
  • Your questions answered:What are the chances of a perpetual war between Russia and Ukraine?
  • Got a question about the war? Ask our experts
  • Live reporting by Katie Williams and (earlier) Bhvishya Patel


Russian strikes having 'major psychological effect' on Ukrainians, former commander says

Russian attacks are having a "major psychological effect" on residents in Kyiv despite the fact that fatalities in the capital are rare, a military expert has said.

General Sir Richard Barrons, formercommander of the British Joint Forces Command, told Sky News this is "probably one objective" of Moscow's forces ahead of the much-vaunted Ukrainian counteroffensive.

He said the barrage of attacks on Kyiv are "not doing that much in terms of death and destruction, but they clearly have a major psychological effect on the population".

Sir Richard added: "Every time a Ukrainian air defence missile launcher fires a missile at a cheap drone, it's one less missile... this is about trying to wear down the Ukrainian air defences as well."

The ex-commander said Russian forces "will be doing everything they can to reduce Ukrainian confidence" in the counteroffensive, with the battle for the air "a really important part of what happens next".

Sir Richard also explained that it's tricky to gauge the "battle of wills" when it comes to the conflict.

"How stoutly, how resolutely will the Russians choose to defend trenches and ditches when the Ukrainians turn up with NATO equipment and and all the will to fight that we've seen so far?

"And from the Ukrainian perspective, when they have to attack a well-defended position, will they have the will to keep going?"

The counteroffensive will be a "costly business", Sir Richard said.


Watch: Moment rocket debris hits car in Kyiv

CCTV shows the moment debris from an intercepted missile crashed down into traffic on a busy road in Kyiv.

As we've been reporting, Ukrainian officials said Russia fired 11 ballistic and cruise missiles at the capital in broad daylight today, with all of them reportedly shot down.

Missile debris fell in Kyiv's northern and central districts during the morning, landing in the middle of traffic on a city road and also starting a fire on a building's roof, according to the city's military administration.

(Video) Zelensky watches as US defends holding off on F-16s | Russia-Ukraine War Live | WION Live


Two killed in attack on eastern Ukrainian city - report

We've had an update on the reported number of casualties from a Russian attack in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region today.

Earlier, the Ukrainian prosecutor general's office said one person was killed when a shell hit a gas station in the city of Toretsk (see our 4.05pm post).

In a laterTelegram post, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said two people were killed in the strikes on Toretsk which reportedly involved high-explosive aerial bombs.

A multi-story building was also damaged in the attack, according to Mr Kyrylenko.

Eight civilians were injured in the shelling, officials have said.

"Every day, the Russians purposefully hit civilians in theDonetsk region," Mr Kyrylenko said on Telegram.

Sky News cannot independently verify battlefield reports.


Wagner chief says Bakhmut sparkling wine factory being handed to Russia

The head of Russia's Wagner group of private mercenaries has published footage of him walking through a sparkling wine factory in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

The devastated city is the site of the war's longest and fiercest battle, with Russian attacks spearheaded by Wagner fighters.

Wagner founder and financier Yevgeny Prigozhin declared control of Bakhmut earlier this month and said his fighters would start handing over positions to regular Russian troops.

In a video purportedly filmed inside a sparkling wine factory in the city today, Mr Prigozhin claimed he was handing over the factory to the Russian military.

"Everything is cleaned, all the stands are numbered, all the bottles are in place. Two trucks (with champagne) were shipped to Ukrainian women on 8 March.

"Everything else is safe and sound," he said.

(Video) Ukraine shoots down 10 missiles, over 20 drones in Russian attacks | Russia-Ukraine War | WION Live

Mr Prigozhin also said the factory owner has the right to receive his wine because "private property is private property".


Russia won't negotiate while trying to win war - EU official

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said he believes Russia won't be willing to enter negotiations while trying to claim victory in Ukraine.

The top EU diplomat added that he was "not optimistic" about what could happen this summer.

Speaking at an event in Barcelona today, Mr Borrell said he sees "a concentration of troops on both sides, the clear will of Russia to try to win the war".

"[Russia] will not go to a negotiation until it hastried to win the war."

Mr Borrell said Russia has repeatedly indicated it will not stop the war until it has achieved its military goals.

"I'm afraid that between now and the summer, the war isgoing to continue. [Vladimir] Putin hasamassed over 300,000 men there, twice as many as he had when helaunched the invasion," Mr Borrell told reporters after the event.

He said Moscow has an "enormous" military presence and was still committed to attacking Ukraine regularly.


Senior Zelenskyy aide says today 'one of the most severe days' in war

Today has been one of the "most severe days" for Ukraine during the war after Russia launched a new wave of air strikes on the country, a foreign policy adviser has said.

An overnight bombardment of the capital Kyiv - which reportedly saw most missiles and drones intercepted by Ukraine's defence forces - was followed by another Russian attack using cruise and ballistic missiles this morning.

Speaking to Sky News, Ihor Zhovkva, deputy head of the Ukrainian president's office, called the latest attacks "appalling".

"This is practically the reality we live every day and every night," he said.

"This is one of the most severe days at times of war, and unfortunately, we think that this might be repeated."

(Video) Time for Zelensky's Vengeance! Ukrainian Forces Shell a Village in Russia's Bryansk Area

Asked why Moscow is targeting Kyiv and not military targets, Mr Zhovkva said Russian forces are attacking civilian areas to "prevent Ukraine from what it's planning to do at the battlefield" - in reference to Kyiv's widely-anticipated counteroffensive.

Mr Zhovkva said Kyiv is receiving arms aid "in much bigger quantity and quality" from the international community in preparation for the counteroffensive, but he added Ukraine still needs "more and more air defence systems".

"We need... fighter jets as a part of air defence, because in the places where we don't have enough anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, we use the aircraft."


Watch: Kyiv metro becomes shelter amid air strikes

Kyiv residents have been sheltering in stations along the city's underground metro system as multiple air raid sirens warn of potential attacks.

Russian forces launched a fresh missile strike on the Ukrainian capital this morning, sending crowds running for cover.

Footage captured by Ukraine's state broadcaster Suspilne shows what life is like below ground as sirens blare.


What we can determine after Ukraine admits damage to military 'target'

We reported earlier that Ukraine today made the rare admission that Russia's military had taken several of its aircraft out of action, with efforts under way to restore a runway in the western region of Khmelnitskiy.

Details of the incident are scarce, with Ukraine not naming the site or confirming whether the damaged aircraft are civilian or military.

But Sean Bell, military analyst, says it's unlikely Russia would target a civilian airfield.

He tells Sky News a major Ukrainian air force base at Starokostiantyniv, home to Ukraine's most modern fighter jets - the Mig-29 aircraft - as well as others, is "likely the Russian military target".

"Ukraine would usually aim to move or hide its military capabilities, however, an airfield is static and difficult to hide," Bell says.

Kyiv would instead look to hide its aircraft, he adds.

Storing jets on an open plain makes them easier to service and refuel, but leaves them vulnerable, says Bell.

(Video) US Firepower For Ukraine Aircraft | Su-25 Armed With Zuni Rockets After Russia's Missile Strike

Inside berms (a ridge or barrier), they are not protected from directly above but can be sheltered from nearby shelling, whereas in reinforced aircraft shelters they are most safe.

All three of these measures can be seen in this picture of the Starokostiantynivbase:

"It's unclear how Russians managed to take aircraft out of action," Bell says, but stresses the lack of detail at this stage.


Denmark to send $2.59bn in military aid to Ukraine

Denmark plans to increase its spending on military aid to Ukraine by $2.59bn over this year and next, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said.

Denmark, with a population of less than six million, in March established a $1bn fund for military, civilian and business aid to Ukraine in 2023.

Ms Frederiksen, seen as a possible contender to become new NATO chief, told Danish public radio the government planned to increase funds both this year and next year.

"This major contribution will further strengthen the combat capabilities of the armed forces of Ukraine in the short and medium term," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in response.


Person killed after Russian forces bomb gas station - report

A 28-year-old has been killed in a Russian attack on a gas station in eastern Ukraine today, according to reports.

The Ukrainian prosecutor general's office says Russian troops shelled the city of Toretsk at around 11.30am.

In a Telegram post, the office said one of the aerial bombs hit a gas station, killing a 28-year-old worker and injuring eight civilians.

A second bomb hit an administration building in the city, injuring a local resident, it said.

Police and rescuers were working at the scene to identify the final number of victims this morning.

Toretsk lies a short distance southwest of the embattled city of Bakhmut and sits just a few kilometres away from the Russian-occupied city of Horlivka.

(Video) Air Raid Alert Across Ukraine, Putin Fires 33 Missiles At Kherson, Russia’s Economy Contracts By 2%

Sky News cannot independently verify battlefield reports.


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