Russia-Ukraine War Highlights: Ukraine and its allies blamed Russia for a missile attack that killed at least 52 people at a train station packed with women, children and the elderly fleeing the threat of a Russian offensive in the east.As regional authorities scrambled to continue evacuating the vulnerable, European Union leaders visited Kyiv to offer President Volodymyr Zelenskyy support and expedite Ukraine's path toward EU membership. Follow latest updates here
Russia-Ukraine War Highlights:
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Ukraine and its allies blamed Russia for a missile attack that killed at least 52 people at a train station packed with women, children and the elderly fleeing the threat of a Russian offensive in the east.
As regional authorities scrambled to continue evacuating the vulnerable, European Union leaders visited Kyiv to offer President Volodymyr Zelenskyy support and expedite Ukraine's path toward EU membership.
Zelenskyy called the strike in Kramatorsk in the eastern region of Donetsk a deliberate attack on civilians. The town's mayor estimated about 4,000 people were gathered there at the time.
Catch the day's highlights from the Russia-Ukraine war here:
Boris Johnson in Kyiv pledges more weapons
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has travelled to Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in show of solidarity. The two leaders meeting Saturday will discuss the UK's long term support to Ukraine" including a new package of financial and military aid, the prime minister's office said. The visit comes a day after Johnson pledged another 100 million pounds ($130 million) in high grade military equipment to Ukraine, saying Britain wants to help Ukraine defend itself from continuing Russian assaults.
The deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Andrij Sybiha, said the two leaders are meeting in Kyiv. Speaking Friday at a news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Johnson said he would give Ukraine's military more Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles, another 800 anti-tank missiles and precision munitions capable of lingering in the sky until directed to their target.
He also promised more helmets, night vision and body armour. The items were in addition to some 200,000 pieces of non-lethal military equipment from the UK that had already been promised.
Ukraine President Zelenskyy meets British PM Johnson in Kyiv
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was meeting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Kyiv on Saturday, a senior official on Zelenskiy's staff said. "Right now a visit of Boris Johnson in Kyiv started from one-on-one meeting with President Zelenskiy," Andriy Sybiha, deputy head of Ukraine's president office, said on Facebook.
YouTube blocks Russian parliament channel, drawing ire from officials
YouTube has blocked Duma TV which broadcasts from Russia's lower house of parliament, drawing an angry response from officials who said the world's most popular streaming service could face restrictions in response.
On Saturday, a message on YouTube said the Duma channel had been "terminated for a violation of YouTube's Terms of Service".
YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc's, has been under pressure from Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor and officials were quick to respond.
"From the look of it, YouTube has signed its own warrant. Save content, transfer (it) to Russian platforms. And hurry up," foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on the Telegram messaging service.
Ukraine urges civilians to flee from east as rail attack toll rises
Ukraine on Saturday called on civilians in the eastern Luhansk region to flee from amassing Russian forces after officials said more than 50 civilians trying to evacuate by rail from a neighbouring region were killed in a missile attack the previous day.
Air-raid sirens sounded in cities across eastern Ukraine, which has become the focus of Russian military action in recent weeks following a withdrawal from areas close to Kyiv.
"They are amassing forces for an offensive," Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai in a televised address in which he urged remaining civilians to flee shelling that he said had intensified in recent days.
Russia stages war games in Kaliningrad enclave
Russia staged war games on Saturday in Kaliningrad - an enclave on the Baltic Sea sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania - Interfax news agency cited the Baltic Fleet Command as saying, days after a senior official warned European countries against any potential action against Kaliningrad.
"Up to 1,000 military personnel... and more than 60 military equipment units were involved in the control checks," Interfax news quoted the Russian Baltic Fleet Command's press service as saying.
Separately, 20 Su-27 fighters and Su-24 front-line naval aviation bombers conducted planned combat training overnight, simulating attacks on low-speed air and ground targets, command posts and military equipment in Kaliningrad, Interfax said.
Don't expect Russia to be ousted from UN Security Council: WH
A day after Russia's suspension from the UN Human Rights Council amid its invasion of Ukraine, the White House on Friday said it does not anticipate the same for Moscow in the Security Council where it is a veto-wielding Permanent Member. I know a question has been asked about whether Russia should be kicked out of being a permanent member. We don't anticipate that happening, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news briefing.
Would prefer India to move away from NAM, Russia: US diplomat
The United States would prefer India to move away from its long-term history of non-alignment G77 partnership with Russia, the Biden Administration has told lawmakers, observing that there is a great opportunity for defence trade with India. America's relationship with India is a very critical one, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee during a Congressional hearing early this week.
EU slashes 10% of Russian imports with new sweeping sanctions
The European Union on Friday formally adopted new sweeping sanctions against Russia, including bans on the import of coal, wood, chemicals and other products which were estimated to slash at least 10 percent of total imports from Moscow.
The measures also prevent many Russian vessels and trucks from accessing the EU, further crippling trade, and will ban all transactions with four Russian banks, including VTB.
The ban on coal, the first the EU has so far imposed on any energy import from Russia, will be fully effective from the second week of August. No new contracts can be signed from Friday. Existing contracts will have to be terminated by the second week of August, meaning that Russia can continue to receive payments from the EU on coal exports until then.
"These latest sanctions were adopted following the atrocities committed by Russian armed forces in Bucha and other places under Russian occupation," EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said in a statement.
US believes Russia used short-range ballistic missile in railway station strike
The United States believes Russia used a short range ballistic missile to strike a railway station in east Ukraine on Friday, a senior US defense official said. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Pentagon believes Russian forces used an SS-21 Scarab missile in the strike but that the motivation for the attack was not clear.
The SS-21 is the name used by the NATO military alliance for a type of missile known as the Tochka in former Soviet states.
(Edited by : Kanishka Sarkar)
First Published: IST