Ukraine-Russia war: Latest updates (2024)

Good morning, and welcome to our overview of the war between Russia and Ukraine as it rolls into another week.

The big news of the weekend came from the Middle East as Iran launched a significant missile and drone attack on Israel. Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the attack and said Ukraine knows "very well the horror of similar attacks by Russia".

Meanwhile, a Kremlin-installed official in the southern Zaporizhzhia region said 16 people were killed in an attack on the occupied town of Tokmak, which Russia has blamed on Ukraine. Two people were also killed in a separate shelling in the Russian-occupied Kherson region.

While our live coverage remains paused, we've zoomed out to give you the bigger picture of the war today.

The frontline

Concerns appear to be increasing that Ukraine's defences may be at risk of collapse in the face of a new Russian assault.

Sources in numerous media outlets over the past couple of weeks have raised this fear as Ukraine is facing shortages of both manpower and ammunition, and appears outmanned and outgunned on the battlefield.

Western officials told Bloomberg the country is now at its most fragile moment since the war began.

Ukraine's military chief said on Saturday that the battlefield situation in the east had "significantly worsened in recent days" and that Moscow had ramped up its assaults since Vladimir Putin extended his rule in the Russian presidential election.

Reports also suggest Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv, could be among the targets for a renewed Russian assault.

Kharkiv has faced intense bombardment from Russia in recent months, coming under fire from S-300 ballistic missiles and glide bombs, and was the target of repeated attacks last week.

The city is not the most likely target of a fresh assault, media reports say, but Russian news outlets have raised the prospect.

'Massive strikes' on energy infrastructure

Overnight into Thursday saw a huge assault on Ukraine's energy infrastructure, with 40 missiles and 40 drones reportedly sent into the country by Russia.

A thermal power plant just outside Kyiv was completely destroyed and went up in flames, while 200,000 residents in Kharkiv were left without power.

Vladimir Putin later said he had been "obliged" to attack Ukraine's energy infrastructure after Kyiv conducted attacks on Russian oil refineries.

Attacks at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

Russia accused Ukraine of attacking the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in a series of drone strikes over three days.

The attacks at the Russian-occupied plant began on 7 April, with the roof of reactor 6 damaged.

Ukraine has repeatedly denied involvement and said it would never target a nuclear facility, suggesting Russia was behind the attacks.

The UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, has warned the "reckless" attacks "significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident".

It has not said who it believes is behind the attacks.

Civilian casualties increase sharply

The UN recorded a dramatic increase in civilian casualties in Ukraine in the last month.

At least 57 children were killed or injured in March - double the number in February - as Russian forces stepped up their attacks.

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission said it had verified at least 604 civilians killed or injured in Ukraine in March, a 20% increase from the previous month.

"The March increase in civilian casualties was mainly due to attacks by the Russian armed forces using missiles and loitering munitions across Ukraine and increased aerial bombardments near the frontline," the Rights Office said.

It followed warnings from Volodymyr Zelenskyy that Ukraine country could run out of air defence missiles if Russia keeps up its intense bombing campaign.

On Saturday, Uk

At least 10 people, including children, have been killed by shelling in a Russian-occupied town in Ukraine's southern Zaporizhzhia region, a local Kremlin-installed official said.

International diplomacy

In a rare meeting between a head of state and a minister, Chinese President Xi Jinping met Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov for talks on Monday.

The pair met in the Chinese capital, where they pledged to strengthen communication.

It was also a big week of diplomatic talks for the UK foreign secretary, who headed to Washington to appeal to Congress over the stalled multi-billion-dollar aid package for Ukraine.

Lord Cameron made what was seen by some as an unusual trip to visit Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago - likely because Republicans blocking the aid bill in the House of Representatives are aligned with Mr Trump.

The foreign secretary was tight-lipped about what was discussed afterwards, saying the pair had "discussed a range of important geopolitical subjects".

Ukraine-Russia war: Latest updates (2024)
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