Blasts rock Russian airbase in occupied Crimea

·27 min read

Powerful explosions have rocked a Russian airbase following a string of blasts deep in occupied Crimea.

Plumes of black smoke were seen on Tuesday at the base near Gvardeyskoye in the centre of the annexed peninsula, according to reports in Russia's Kommersant newspaper.

Earlier on Tuesday, Russia's Defence Ministry separately blamed a series of explosions around Dzhankoi in northern Crimea on "sabotage", state-owned news agency RIA reported.

A military storage facility, power plant, railway track and residential buildings were damaged, the ministry claimed in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

It comes a week after Ukrainian special forces were said to have blown up nine warplanes at an airstrip near the Saki air base in western Crimea.

Ukraine has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement in the recent series of blasts in the peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014.

Follow the latest updates below.

06:55 PM

That's all for tonight

Today's top stories included:

  • Two series of blasts in occupied Crimea prompts an exodus of Russians taking the Crimean Bridge to Russian mainland

  • Kremlin claims Britain asked permission to fly a spy-plane over Russia were denied by a MoD source

  • The first Ukraine grains shipment chartered by the UN World Food Programme has set off for Africa

  • Estonia is to become the first EU country to close its border to Russians with visas, and has vowed to remove all public Soviet memorials in majority Russian-speaking Navra city

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Western countries were seeking to extend a "NATO-like system" into the Asia-Pacific region

06:23 PM

Estonia first in EU to close its borders to Russians

Estonia will this week become the first EU country to close its borders to more than 50,000 Russians with previously issued visas.

The ban comes just four days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy issued a fresh call for EU states to ban visas for Russian nationals to keep the bloc from becoming a "supermarket" open to anyone with the means to enter.

Like many of the hundreds of Russians crossing the border each day at the Estonian town Narva, Anna is worried she will not be able to keep coming to Estonia, where she visits the graves of relatives.

"We hope that countries will come up with some solution. Maybe they can agree on something. I keep myself away from politics but since my relatives are buried here I would like to keep coming," she said.

"But what can you do. For us, regular people we can't solve this. This has to be negotiated and I hope our countries at some point will reach agreement and find compromise".

06:21 PM

UN's Sec-Gen to discuss political solution to war with Zelensky and Erdogan

The UN's Secretary-General is to discuss a political solution to the war and shelling at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant with Volodymyr Zelensky and Tayyip Erdogan.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Antonio Guterres  will meet the presidents of Ukraine and Turkey in Kyiv on Thursday before visiting the Black Sea port of Odesa on Friday, where crucial grain exports have resumed following a wartime deal between Russia and Ukraine brokered by Turkey and the UN.

On Saturday, he will visit the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, which is made up of Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN officials overseeing the Black Sea exports of Ukraine grain and fertiliser.

Ukraine and Russia have exchanged blame for shelling at Europe's largest nuclear plant.

05:37 PM

One killed and ten injured in air strikes on two cities

One person was killed and ten others were injured in Russian shelling of two Ukrainian cities, their governors have said.

The attacks in south Ukraine happened in Nikopol in Dnipropetrovska Oblast and Orikhiv in Zaporizhia Oblast.

05:24 PM

Britain did not ask permission to fly spy plane over Russia, source says

A Ministry of Defence source has denied claims by Russia that it had asked for permission to fly a spy plane over the country, Reuters reports.

05:04 PM

Record traffic on Crimean bridge as Russians flee to mainland

Vladimir Putin's vanity project and Europe's longest bridge is reportedly seeing record numbers of Russians fleeing Crimea for the mainland.

Volodymyr Zelensky's former spokeswoman tweeted 40,000 cars passed in both directions of the 12mi Kerch Bridge on Monday, which was built by Russia after it annexed the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

"The Crimean bridge was built taking into account possible risks, Russia will not allow it to be destroyed under any circumstances," said the Russian Vice-Speaker Konstantin Kosachev.

Also known as the Crimean Bridge, Putin personally opened it to traffic and a Russian rom-com about its construction, called 'The Crimean Bridge. Made with Love!' was released to cinemas in the country in 2018.

04:41 PM

Russian fighter jet scrambled to intercept British spy plane, Kremlin claims

Russia's Defence Ministry has said a MiG-31 fighter jet was scrambled to intercept a British RC-135 spy plane on Monday.

It said that it had crossed its border near the Syvatoi Nose cape between the Barents and the White Seas.

Today the ministry warned Britain against a planned spy plane flight over Russian territory, saying the country's air force has been given orders to prevent an intrusion.

It claimed the UK had sent a notice informing about a planned flight of an RC-135 reconnaissance plane along a route that partly passes over Russian territory.

"We regard this action as a deliberate provocation," the ministry said, adding that the Russian air force has been "given the task to prevent the violation of the Russian border."

"All possible consequences of this deliberate provocation will lie entirely with the British side," the ministry said in a statement, without specifying when and where the British flight was planned.

03:27 PM

UK asked to fly spy-planes over Russia in 'deliberate provocation', Moscow claims

Moscow has branded London's request for permission for its RC-135 spy plane to fly over Russia "a deliberate provocation".

Russia's Defence Ministry added that its airforce had been tasked with preventing any violations of Russian airspace.

03:23 PM

More than 1,000 killed by Russian assaults on Kharkiv, says NGO

03:20 PM

Townsfolk examine rocket wreckages after waking up to air strikes

Local residents examine the wreckage of a rocket after overnight strikes in Kramatorsk town, Donetsk region - ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP
Local residents examine the wreckage of a rocket after overnight strikes in Kramatorsk town, Donetsk region - ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP
A man tries to extinguish fire at a damaged house after Russian airstrike hits Slavyansk, Donetsk Oblast  - Anadolu Agency
A man tries to extinguish fire at a damaged house after Russian airstrike hits Slavyansk, Donetsk Oblast - Anadolu Agency

03:05 PM

Swiss chocolate maker Lindt quitting Russia because of war

Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli has decided to exit the Russian market because of the invasion of Ukraine, the company has said.

Famous for its Lindor chocolate balls and golden foil-wrapped Easter rabbits, a spokesman said it had decided in March to close its shops and suspend deliveries to Russia temporarily.

"Following its announcement on March 9, 2022, the Lindt & Spruengli Group decided to exit the Russian market," it said on Tuesday. "We will support our employees in Russia and act in accordance with local regulations."

03:00 PM

Ukrainian saboteurs blew up power lines from Russian nuclear plant, FSB claims

Russia's spy service has claimed Ukrainian saboteurs blew up power lines from the Kursk nuclear power plant in western Russia.

RIA Novosti news agency said the FSB was now looking for saboteurs and their possible accomplices after the alleged attack led to "a violation of the technological process of the operation of the nuclear power plant".

"Ukrainian sabotage groups blew up six towers of high-voltage power lines through which the Kursk nuclear power plant supplies power both to the region and neighbouring entities," the FSB said in a statement.

02:47 PM

Russians queuing to leave Crimea after series of blasts

02:40 PM

Twitch fined over 'fake' reports of Bucha war crimes

Streaming service Twitch has been fined two million roubles (£27,350) for hosting a short video containing so-called "fake" information about alleged war crimes in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, reports Russian media.

Moscow has repeatedly threatened to fine sites - including Google, Twitter and Wikipedia - it accuses of hosting "fake" content related to its military campaign in Ukraine.

A Russian court accused Twitch, a US-based live-streaming service popular with video gamers, of failing to remove a 31-second clip of a girl from the town of Bucha, the Kommersant newspaper reported. It did not specify the content of the video.

Ukraine and its allies accuse Russian forces of committing atrocities in Bucha, a satellite town of Kyiv, after Moscow launched its invasion in February. Russia denies the charge.

02:36 PM

Alexei Navalny says 'almost nothing being done' over Putin's oligarchs

Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has said Western sanctions against Putin's oligarchs and allies amount to "almost nothing being done".

01:49 PM

Soviet rock legend fined after condemning war in Ukraine

A Russian court found 80s Soviet rock legend Yuri Shevchuk guilty of "discrediting" the Army when he condemned the invasion of Ukraine.

DDT's frontman, 65, was fined the maximum 50,000 rubles (£677), the press service of a court in the central city of Ufa said on the Telegram messenger.

According to the statement, Shevchuk made a speech during his concert that contained “public calls to prevent the use of Russia’s Armed Forces”.

Online videos showed him telling his audience in Ufa that it “is not the president’s ass that needs to be licked and kissed” on May 18.

“Now people are being killed in Ukraine. Why? Our guys are dying in Ukraine. Why?” he told a cheering crowd.

Shevchuk, who did not attend the hearing in person as he was isolating for Covid, said in a statement: "I, Yuri Shevchuk have always been against war, in any country, at any time... I think all problems and difficulties of a political nature between countries and people should be resolved through diplomacy."

He has publicly criticised Vladimir Putin and opposed the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

01:38 PM

RT's editor-in-chief says Russians have a 'moral right to speak out against the war'

Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Russia's state-broadcaster RT, has said on Twitter: "A person has every moral right to be against war.

"Against wars in general, against any war. And he also has the full moral right to speak out against the war, to express, so to speak, his civic position, like Leo Tolstoy."

01:34 PM

Air strikes near Belarusian border

Missile strikes are reported in the northern Zhytomyr region near the Belarusian border, after the Kremlin amassed weapons in its ally's airfields.

01:21 PM

Ukrainian air force tweets video of blast in occupied Crimea

The Ukrainian Air Force has tweeted a video of the explosion at the ammunition depot near Dzhankoy in occupied Crimea.

It quoted Yuri Ignat, speaker of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, saying:  "Dzhankoy (Crimea) is another airfield where the have concentrated attack helicopters and other military equipment."

01:10 PM

First UN chartered grains ship sets off for Ethiopia with 23,000 tonnes of wheat

The first Ukraine grains shipment chartered by the UN World Food Programme has set off for Africa carrying 23,000 tonnes of wheat.

The MV Brave Commander left the Black Sea port of Pivdennyi and will sail to Djibouti "for delivery to Ethiopia", the infrastructure ministry said on Telegram.

The government has said it hopes two or three similar shipments will follow soon.

The WFP says a record 345 million people in 82 countries face acute food insecurity and up to 50 million people in 45 countries are on the brink of famine and risk being tipped over the edge without humanitarian support.

The Ukrainian port authority said that five boats in total with an overall cargo volume of 110,000 tonnes left  Ukraine on Tuesday.

A total of 21 ships have left Ukrainian ports since the start of the war.

The Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni, which was the first to set sail on August 1 under a wartime deal to unlock Black Sea export routes, was pictured in Syria on Monday.

Satellite image of the Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, centre bottom, at port in Tartus, Syria with four white cranes on its red deck on Monday - Planet Labs PBC
Satellite image of the Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, centre bottom, at port in Tartus, Syria with four white cranes on its red deck on Monday - Planet Labs PBC

12:54 PM

Brave Lena who fled for the UK while heavily pregnant gives birth to Nicole

Brave Ukrainian mother Lena Kulakovska holds her newborn Nicole after fleeing her home in Bucha while heavily pregnant last month. - APEX
Brave Ukrainian mother Lena Kulakovska holds her newborn Nicole after fleeing her home in Bucha while heavily pregnant last month. - APEX

Brave Ukrainian mother Lena Kulakovska holds her newborn Nicole after fleeing her home in Bucha while heavily pregnant.

She gave birth in Derriford hospital in Plymouth, Devon, last month.

She, her son Kyryl Kulakovskyi, seven, and daughter Arina Kulakovska, five, are being hosted by Nick Shutt, the Archdeacon of Plymouth and his wife Corinne.

Lena said: "It's different having a baby in Britain - the medicine is different.

"Corinne helped me go to hospital and a midwife came to visit me once.

"It was a very hard decision to leave Ukraine while heavily pregnant.

"I didn't want to go anywhere - I stayed in Ukraine until June hoping the war would end. "But I didn't want to give birth in a basement so I decided to go."

Lena and her husband Sergii were just about to move into their new home in Bucha when the war began.

She believes Russian forces destroyed her flat.

Lena's shelled flat in Bucha after the Russians had retreated from the city. Lena and her husband Sergii were just about to move into their new home on the 8th floor of this complex - APEX
Lena's shelled flat in Bucha after the Russians had retreated from the city. Lena and her husband Sergii were just about to move into their new home on the 8th floor of this complex - APEX
Lena'™s shelled flat in Bucha after the Russians had retreated from the city - APEX
Lena'™s shelled flat in Bucha after the Russians had retreated from the city - APEX

12:39 PM

Estonia removing Soviet memorials amid rising ethnic divisions

Estonia will remove all public Soviet memorials in Navra amid fears of rising ethnic divisions in the majority Russian-speaking city.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas cited "tensions are rising in and around" the city after  authorities abruptly removed a WW2-era Soviet tank by crane, without giving details of any potential interference.

While Estonia is a member of Nato and the EU and has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine in its ongoing war with Russia, nearly a quarter of its population of 1.3 million are ethnic Russians, and the government has been anxious of the minority falling under influence of its former overlord.

In its statement on Tuesday the Estonian government also said it would remove more Soviet monuments in Narva, such as a Soviet-era monument to war victims, which would be replaced by "a neutral grave marker".

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu also said that any foreigner opposing the removals would have their residence permit revoked, news agency BNS reported.

Estonians have a mixed view of their history: invaded by both Nazi German and Soviet forces in the war, they had men on both sides of the conflict.

The Soviet era also saw the deportation of tens of thousands of Estonians to Siberian labour camps. Its north-eastern Ida-Viru county, which borders with Russia and includes Narva, is three-quarter ethnic Russian, according to official statistics.

12:23 PM

Chelsea FC star Shevchenko and Liev Schreiber speak to media near Kyiv

Former Chelsea FC striker Andriy Shevchenko, left, and Hollywood actor Liev Schreiber speak to media in Borodianka, near Kyiv -  Evgeniy Maloletka/AP 
Former Chelsea FC striker Andriy Shevchenko, left, and Hollywood actor Liev Schreiber speak to media in Borodianka, near Kyiv - Evgeniy Maloletka/AP

Former Chelsea FC striker Andriy Shevchenko and Hollywood actor Liev Schreiber on Monday spoke to the media in front of homes destroyed by shelling in Borodianka, near Kyiv.

Shevchenko, currently the coach of the Ukrainian national football team, has previously said sport has a major role to play in uniting people behind his country.

"Personally, it's very hard for me. I still feel frustrated about what happened," he said.

"I sometimes asked the same question and couldn't find the answer, but now we only have one direction. We need to win this war and start to rebuild the country."

Schreiber, whose maternal grandfather, Alex Milgram, emigrated to the US from Ukraine, starred in the first three Scream horror films and played comic villain Sabretooth in the X-men movies.

12:08 PM

MoD shares its latest map of the war in Ukraine

11:22 AM

Ukrainian separatist militia 'don't want to fight outside Luhansk'

Separatist militias are reportedly refusing to fight in eastern Ukraine.

A widely-shared online video shows soldiers from the Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) protesting against taking part in offensives outside Luhansk.

Several Ukrainian channels shared the unverified video  of soldiers from LNR Battalion 2740 refusing to fight for the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) on Monday.

Luhansk and Donetsk form part of the Donbas region of Ukraine, parts of which are respectively held by the Russian-backed LNR and DNR.

US think tank the Institute for the Study of War said: "Its message reflects a larger trend of diminished LNR investment in and morale to support the Russian war in Ukraine... This trend is particularly dangerous to Russian forces seeking to recruit still more new soldiers from Luhansk Oblast to make up for recent losses.

"Further division within Russian-led forces also threatens to further impede the efficiency of the Russian war effort.

"DNR units have previously recorded similar appeals when operating in Luhansk, Kharkiv, and Kherson Oblasts, which may indicate that proxy troops might not fully support the Kremlin’s expansive invasion plans."

11:18 AM

Multiple fires at military warehouse in occupied Crimea

11:16 AM

Russian military warehouse fire in occupied Crimea was 'sabotage', says Moscow

Moscow has claimed the latest major explosion in occupied Crimea was the result of sabotage.

A major fire broke out at a military warehouse near the town of Dzhankoi in the north of the peninsula today.

Russia's Defence Ministry said that civilian infrastructure, including an electricity supply station had been damaged as a result of "sabotage".

It comes after Ukrainian special forces were said to have blown up warplanes behind enemy lines in western Crimea.

Ukraine has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement in the string of recent explosions in Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

11:05 AM

Finland to reduce visas issued to Russians by 90 per cent

Finland will reduce the number of visas issued to Russians to 10 per cent of the current amount, foreign minister Pekka Haavisto said.

He said the Finnish foreign ministry will cut the number of available visa application appointments from September 1, which will effectively lead to fewer visas issued to Russians.

10:56 AM

British army trains Ukrainian soldiers for urban combat in the UK

10:40 AM

Olaf Scholz 'sure of EU solidarity in energy supply shortage'

European Union member states would show solidarity if there were to be energy supply shortages in light of the war in Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told a news conference in Stockholm.

10:21 AM

Ukraine today, in pictures

Ukraine war: 'Multiple explosions' rock Russian military facilities in Crimea - Leon Neal /Getty Images Europe 
Ukraine war: 'Multiple explosions' rock Russian military facilities in Crimea - Leon Neal /Getty Images Europe
Ukraine war: 'Multiple explosions' rock Russian military facilities in Crimea - Leon Neal /Getty Images Europe 
Ukraine war: 'Multiple explosions' rock Russian military facilities in Crimea - Leon Neal /Getty Images Europe

10:04 AM

Billions 'would starve to death within first years of nuclear war'

Two-thirds of people on the planet would die from starvation within two years of a nuclear war between the US and Russia, researchers have concluded.

Modelling by Rutgers University, in the US, suggested nuclear weapon detonation would cause massive fires and inject soot into the atmosphere, blocking sunlight from reaching the surface and devastating crops.

The biggest war would bring starvation to three-quarters of people and kill up to five billion within two years.

You can read the full report from our Science Editor Sarah Knapton here.

09:43 AM

Sweden will 'live up to terms' of Nato deal with Turkey

Sweden will live up to the conditions of a memorandum of understanding agreed with Ankara to overcome Turkey's objections to Swedish membership of Nato, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has said.

She also told a news conference that the decision to extradite a man to Turkey wanted for fraud made last week was made "according to Swedish and international law, and we will continue to work that way".

09:26 AM

Aukus could become political-military alliance: Sergei Shoigu

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said during a speech at the Moscow international security conference on Tuesday that the Aukus bloc of Australia, the United Kingdom and United States had the potential to develop into "a political-military alliance".

09:06 AM

Vladimir Putin lashes out at US over Ukraine, Taiwan

Russian President Vladimir Putin has  accused Washington of seeking to prolong the conflict in Ukraine and of fuelling conflicts elsewhere in the world, including with the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.

"The situation in Ukraine shows that the US is trying to prolong this conflict. And they act in exactly the same way, fuelling the potential for conflict in Asia, Africa and Latin America," Mr Putin said in televised remarks.

"The American adventure in relation to Taiwan is not just a trip of an individual irresponsible politician, but part of a purposeful, conscious US strategy to destabilise and make chaotic the situation in the region and the world," he added.

He said the visit was a "brazen demonstration of disrespect for the sovereignty of other countries and for its (Washington's) international obligations".

"We see this as a carefully planned provocation," Mr Putin said.

08:50 AM

Russia has 'no need to use nuclear weapons': Defence Minister

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said during a speech at the Moscow international security conference that Russia had no need to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Mr Shoigu also alleged that Ukrainian military operations are being planned by the United States and Britain, and that NATO had increased its troop deployment in Eastern and Central Europe "several times over".

08:29 AM

West wants to extend Nato-like system to Asia-Pacific: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Western countries were seeking to extend a "NATO-like system" into the Asia-Pacific region.

Delivering the welcome address at the Moscow international security conference, Putin said that the United States was trying to "drag out" the conflict in Ukraine, and that U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan earlier this month had been "a thoroughly planned provocation".

08:17 AM

Russian tank hits a mine after driving between two destroyed tanks in Ukraine

08:03 AM

'No serious casualties in Crimea ammo depot blast' - Kremlin

Russia's Defence Ministry said on Tuesday there were no serious casualties in an explosion at an ammunition depot in the town of Mayskoye in Russian-controlled Crimea earlier on Tuesday, state-owned news agency RIA reported.

Interfax quoted the defence ministry as saying that a fire had broken out in the temporary storage area of the ammunition depot.

07:41 AM

UN ship with grain for Africa sets off from Ukraine

A UN-chartered vessel laden with grain set off from Ukraine for Africa on Tuesday following a deal to relieve a global food crisis, the ministry in charge of shipments said.

The MV Brave Commander, which is loaded with 23,000 tonnes of wheat, departed from the Black Sea port of Pivdennyi and will sail to Djibouti "for delivery to Ethiopia", the infrastructure ministry said on Telegram.

07:23 AM

Transformer substation on fire after blast in Crimea

A transformer substation caught fire after a blast in the town of Dzhankoi in Crimea, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported on Tuesday citing Crimean law enforcement.

06:51 AM

Russia's sea control currently limited in 'effectiveness', says ministry

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is struggling to exercise effective sea control, despite continuing to use long-range cruise missiles in offensives, the Ministry of Defence said.

The ministry added Russia had lost its Moskva flagship, a significant portion of its naval aviation combat jets and control of Snake Island.

"The Black Fleet’s current limited effectiveness undermines Russia’s overall invasion strategy, in part because the amphibious threat to Odesa has now been largely neutralised," the ministry said on Twitter on Tuesday.

"This means Ukraine can divert resources to press Russian ground forces elsewhere."

05:47 AM

First ship bound for Africa leaves Ukraine

The ship Brave Commander has departed the Ukrainian port of Pivdennyi, carrying the first cargo of humanitarian food aid bound for Africa from Ukraine since Russia's invasion began.

Earlier, a joint coordination centre, set up by Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Nations, said it had approved the ship's departure.

The first UN-chartered vessel Brave Commander loads more than 23,000 tonnes of grain to export to Ethiopia - AFP
The first UN-chartered vessel Brave Commander loads more than 23,000 tonnes of grain to export to Ethiopia - AFP

04:34 AM

In pictures: Russian shelling bombards southern Ukraine

A man cleans an apartment destroyed after Russian shelling in Nikopol - AP
A man cleans an apartment destroyed after Russian shelling in Nikopol - AP
Shelling has destroyed buildings in the Nikopol region - AP
Shelling has destroyed buildings in the Nikopol region - AP
The southern Ukrainian city of Nikopol is located about a dozen miles southwest across the river from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant - AP
The southern Ukrainian city of Nikopol is located about a dozen miles southwest across the river from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant - AP

03:03 AM

UN can facilitate IAEA power plant visit

A spokesman for the United Nations advised it had the logistics and security capacity to support a visit by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, but a Russia diplomat imposed conditions.

Russian news agencies quoted a senior diplomat as saying that no such mission could pass through Kyiv, as it was too dangerous.

"Imagine what it means to pass through Kyiv - it means they get to the nuclear plant through the front line," Igor Vishnevetsky, deputy head of the foreign ministry's nuclear proliferation and arms control department, said.

"This is a huge risk, given that Ukraine's armed forces are not all made up in the same way."

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, speaking on Monday, also said: "The UN Secretariat has no authority to block or cancel any IAEA activities."

Both countries have said they want IAEA inspectors to visit. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi has said he was ready to lead a mission and called on Russia and Ukraine to cooperate.

02:40 AM

Listen to our daily podcast on Russia's war on Ukraine

02:33 AM

Ukrainian military repelled more than a dozen attacks

The Ukrainian military on Monday said that it had repelled more than a dozen Russian attacks in the country's east and north, including attempts to advance on key cities in the eastern industrial Donbas region.

The military's general staff on Facebook revealed that Russian troops had attempted to push towards Kramatorsk, one of two major cities in the eastern Donetsk province that remain under Ukrainian control, but "they failed completely and chaotically retreated to their previous positions."

Russian forces had also staged an unsuccessful assault on Bakhmut, a strategic town in the Donetsk region.

In the same update, the military claimed that Russia had tried and failed to break through Ukrainian defence lines in the northern Kharkiv region,  but were "met harshly and thrown back".

Russian rockets launch against Ukraine from Russia's Belgorod region are seen at dawn in Kharkiv - AP
Russian rockets launch against Ukraine from Russia's Belgorod region are seen at dawn in Kharkiv - AP

01:33 AM

Watch: Children set off rocket-propelled grenade launcher in Ukraine

Terrifying footage has emerged of two children accidentally setting off a rocket-propelled grenade launcher on a deserted street in southern Ukraine.

The footage, captured by a CCTV system in Russian-occupied Kherson, appears to show one of the youngsters with the cylindrical weapon, while the other seemingly holds an AK-47 assault rifle.

Close-up shots of the boys show them aiming the weapons as if they were unaware of them being loaded.

Read the full story by Joe Barnes here

01:09 AM

Today's top stories

  • Ukraine called for new sanctions on Russia and warned about the consequences of catastrophe at Europe's biggest nuclear plant, where fresh shelling nearby has renewed a blame game between both sides.

  • Three civilians have been killed and two wounded by an explosive device while swimming in the Black Sea in the Ukrainian southern region of Odesa, local police have said.

  • Ukraine claims to have struck a base used by the Wagner Russian paramilitary group as well as a bridge near the occupied city of Melitopol.

  • Russia's national space agency Roskosmos presented a model of the planned space station, dubbed "ROSS" by Russian state media, today at "Army-2022", a military-industrial exhibition outside Moscow.

  • Lawyers for American basketball star Brittney Griner have filed an appeal of her nine-year Russian prison sentence for drug possession

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow valued its ties with countries in Latin American, Asia and Africa and was ready to offer modern weapons to its allies