Ukrainian forces shelled a Russian village near the border between the countries at dawn on Thursday, killing at least one civilian, the regional governor said.
Shells hit an alcohol factory in the village of Tyotkino in the Kursk region and several other buildings, wrote Roman Starovoit on the Telegram messaging app.
G7 finance ministers will meet in Germany on Thursday hoping to hammer out a plan to support Ukraine’s war-torn economy.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said before the meeting in Koenigswinter that what had been agreed so far was “not enough” and called on US partners to “join us in increasing their financial support.
The United States has gone ahead with a $40 billion aid package to fill kyiv’s military coffers and stores.
Japan announced Thursday morning that it would double its aid to Ukraine to $600 million in a coordinated effort with the World Bank.
UN Secretary General António Guterres warned that war-fueled food shortages in Ukraine could cause “malnutrition, mass hunger and starvation, in a crisis that could last for years” across the world.
Speaking at a food summit in New York, Guterres implored Russia to lift its Black Sea blockade that prevents shipments of Ukrainian grain to foreign markets.
“Let’s be clear: there is no effective solution to the food crisis without reintegrating Ukraine’s food production,” said António Guterres. “Russia must allow the safe and secure export of grain stored in Ukrainian ports.”
However, he said he was in “intense” talks with Russia to try to find a solution.
Ukraine and Russia together produce 30% of the world’s wheat and experts fear a lack of supply will mean millions will go hungry.
The blockade has also exacerbated already high grain prices, with wheat nearly doubling over the past year. High energy prices – also partly due to the war – have made the production of fertilizers more expensive, driving up prices even further.
Here is our full story:
Hello. I’m Martin Farrer and welcome to our continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.
If you’ve just woken up or gone for an update on what happened, here are some of the main developments of the past few hours.
- UN Secretary General António Guterres warned that war-fueled food shortages in Ukraine could last for years and cause mass hunger and starvation across the world. Speaking at a food summit in New York, Guterres implored Russia to lift its Black Sea blockade that prevents shipments of Ukrainian grain to foreign markets.
- The World Bank will make $30 billion available to help stem a food security crisis threatened by Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has halted most grain exports from the two countries. The total will include $12 billion in new projects and more than $18 billion in funds from existing food and nutrition-related projects that have been approved but not yet disbursed, the bank said.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy used his overnight address to say Russia’s alleged use of laser weapon systems ‘indicates the complete failure of the invasion’ and that mistakes had been made at the highest level. He compared their use to Nazi Germany’s propaganda efforts promoting a “wunderwaffe” or “miracle weapon”. Russia claimed it was using a new generation of laser weapons to burn down drones.
- Zelenskiy said he signed an executive order to extend martial law for 90 days to allow more time to expel the invading forces. The decree must be approved by parliament.
- A Russian tank commander has pleaded guilty to shooting a civilian on a bicycle, in Ukraine’s first trial for war crimes committed during the Russian invasion. Vadim Shysimarin, 21, was accused of shooting a 62-year-old man with his AK-47 from a car window in the northeast region of Sumy in late February.
- G7 finance ministers meet in Germany on Thursday in the hope of finding a solution to Kyiv’s budgetary problems. The European Commission has proposed an additional €9bn (£7.6bn) in EU loans to Ukraine to keep the country going as well as a €210bn plan to for Europe to end its reliance on Russian fossil fuels by 2027. Zelenskiy said the €9 billion support package “would help Ukraine win the war.
- The US Embassy in Kyiv has resumed operations, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said after nearly three months of closure. A small number of diplomats will initially return to serve as embassy staff, according to a spokesperson.
- At least 10 Ukrainian civilians, including two children, were killed by Russian forces Donetsk, said regional governor Pavlo Kirilenko. Seven other people were injured, he said.