Both Kyiv and Moscow have blamed each other for recent attacks on the power station
Ukraine, which wants economically destructive sanctions for Russia to end its attack, accused some countries of still prioritising money over punishment for civilian killings that the West condemns as war crimes.
The eastern regions of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk are seeing the worst of the fighting after Russian forces withdrew from around Kyiv.
Civilian killings in the Ukrainian town of Bucha were “very probably war crimes”, French President Macron said in an interview.
Russia’s foreign ministry said that images of bodies strewn across Bucha, which it says were staged, were designed to justify more sanctions and derail peace talks.
8.53pm: EU’s Von der Leyen to travel to Kyiv Friday
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will travel to Kyiv on Friday to show Europe’s “unwavering support” for Ukraine in its fight against Russia, she said.
“The Ukrainian people deserve our solidarity. That’s why I will travel to Kyiv tomorrow,” she told reporters during a visit to Stockholm.
“I want to send a very strong message of unwavering support to the Ukrainian people and their brave fight for our common values”.
8.50pm: Lithuanian ambassador returns to Kyiv
Lithuania’s ambassador to Ukraine on Thursday returned to Kyiv after Russian forces withdrew from the Ukrainian capital, becoming one of the few diplomats to return to the city.
“I have just walked through the embassy door,” ambassador Valdemaras Sarapinas told AFP.
“Political and moral support is very important for the Ukrainians,” he added.
8.45pm: Russia will ‘defend our interests’ after UN rights suspension: Kremlin
Russia on Thursday voiced regret at its suspension from the UN Human Rights Council over its attack on Ukraine, but vowed to defend its interests.
“We’re sorry about that,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with Britain’s Sky News. “And we’ll continue to defend our interests using every possible legal means.”
8.40pm: Ukraine braces for new assault
Ukraine stepped up calls on Thursday for financial sanctions crippling enough to force Moscow to end the war as its officials rushed to evacuate civilians from cities and towns in the east before an anticipated major Russian offensive there.
The democratic world must stop buying Russian oil and cut off Russian banks from the international finance system, President Volodymyr Zelensky said, adding that economic concerns should not come above punishment for civilian deaths that Ukraine and many of its Western allies have condemned as war crimes.
“Once and for all, we can teach Russia and any other potential aggressors that those who choose war always lose. Those who blackmail Europe with economic and energy crisis always lose.”
8.30pm: Kyiv accuses Hungary of ‘helping Putin’ in Ukraine war
Ukraine on Thursday accused its neighbour, Kremlin-ally Hungary, of appeasing Russian aggression and disrupting EU unity following a telephone call between the Hungarian and Russian leaders.
“Apparently, after the elections, Budapest moved on to the next step — helping (Russian President Vladimir) Putin continue his aggression against Ukraine,” the Ukrainian foreign ministry said in a statement.
Putin congratulated Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban after his party won a fourth term in general elections last week.
8.20pm: Ukraine thanks U.N. for suspending Russia from human rights body
Ukraine’s foreign minister welcomed a decision by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Thursday to suspend Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council over reports of violations and abuses of human rights by its troops in Ukraine.
“War criminals have no place in UN bodies aimed at protecting human rights. Grateful to all member states which supported the relevant UNGA resolution and chose the right side of history,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.
Russia denies the allegations against its troops and calls the incursion a “special military operation.”
7.56pm: UN General Assembly suspends Russia from human rights body
The United Nations General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council on Thursday with the US-led push garnering 93 votes in favour, while 24 countries voted no and 58 countries abstained.
3.00pm: G7 says ‘time to suspend’ Russia from UN Human Rights Council
The Group of Seven industrialised nations on Thursday called for Russia to be suspended from the UN’s human rights body, over “atrocities” in Ukraine amid Russia’s attack.
“We are convinced that now is the time to suspend Russian membership of the Human Rights Council,” G7 foreign ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States said in a statement.
1.10pm: Russia agrees on 10 evacuation routes for today
Ukraine’s deputy prime minister says Russian forces have agreed on 10 humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians in three eastern regions of Ukraine on Thursday.
Russia is expected to intensify its military campaign for control of Ukraine’s industrial east in coming days and weeks, and Ukraine has appealed to Nato for more weapons to help stop it.
12.20pm: Ukraine’s Zelensky to meet EU’s von der Leyen in Kyiv on Friday
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will have talks in Kyiv on Friday with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Ukrainian presidential spokesman Sergii Nykyforov said on national television.
He said other details of the talks would not be announced for security reasons. A European Union spokesman said on Tuesday that the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, would also travel to Kyiv this week.
12.15pm: Civilians try to flee east Ukraine as Russia prepares attack
Desperate evacuation attempts from eastern Ukraine were under way Thursday as authorities warned of an imminent Russian offensive, following the devastation around Kyiv that has shocked the world.
Russian troops have been withdrawing from around the capital and Ukraine’s north, leaving a trail of destruction, as they prepare for an expected assault on the country’s southeast.
Scenes of carnage that Ukrainian officials have accused retreating troops of leaving behind in towns including Bucha have sparked outrage and led to a wave of fresh sanctions against Moscow.
12.00pm: Russian artillery, air strikes continue along Donbas line of control
Russian artillery and air strikes are continuing along the Donbas line of control, British military intelligence said on Thursday in an update on Moscow’ attack on Ukraine.
The Ministry of Defence said on Twitter the main focus of Russian forces was to progress offensive operations in eastern Ukraine.
11.42am: US threatens China with sanctions if it supports Russia’s attacks in Ukraine
The US on Wednesday (local time) threatened China with sanctions if it supports Russia’s attacks in Ukraine.
The US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman at a hearing on “Restoring American Leadership in the Indo-Pacific”, told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that sanctions imposed on Russia over its war in Ukraine should give China a “good understanding” of the consequences it could face if it provides material support to Moscow and that Beijing eyeing Taiwan should “take away the right lessons” from the sanctions imposed on Russia.
11.00am: Austria says it is expelling four Russian diplomats
Austria is expelling four Russian diplomats for acting in a way incompatible with their diplomatic status, a spokeswoman for its foreign minister said on Thursday, joining a group of European Union countries that have taken similar action this week.
Unlike those other EU countries, which include France, Italy and Germany, the spokesperson for Alexander Schallenberg did not say the move was because of Russian forces’ actions in Ukraine. The three diplomats working at Russia’s embassy and one based in Salzburg must leave the country by April 12, she said.
10.28am: Ukrainian FM Kuleba appeals to NATO to provide weapons
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is appealing to NATO to provide his war-torn country with weapons to help avoid further atrocities like those reported in the town of Bucha this week.
He urged Germany in particular to go further, and speed the dispatch of sorely needed equipment and arms, saying that “while Berlin has time, Kyiv doesn’t.”
We know how to fight. We know how to win. But without sustainable and sufficient supplies requested by Ukraine, these wins will be accompanied by enormous sacrifices.
9.03am: US sanctions Putin’s daughters
The White House has announced a wide new slate of sanctions on Russia that includes first-time individual sanctions on the two adult daughters of President Vladimir Putin in response to the ongoing attack of Ukraine.
Asked why the US was targeting Putin’s daughters, a senior Biden administration official said the US thought they could be in control of some of their father’s assets.
“We believe that many of Putin’s assets are hidden with family members, and that’s why we’re targeting them,” said the official who spoke on background to preview the new measures.
8.10am: US Senate to end normal trade relations with Russia, ban the importation of its oil
The US Senate will take up legislation Thursday to end normal trade relations with Russia and to ban the importation of its oil.
Both bills have been bogged down in the Senate, frustrating lawmakers who want to ratchet up the US response to Russia’s war with Ukraine.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to be held accountable for what Schumer said were war crimes against Ukraine.
6.34am: UN to vote on suspending Russia from rights council
The UN General Assembly will vote Thursday on whether to suspend Russia from the UN’s premier human rights body. The move was initiated by the United States in response to the discovery of hundreds of bodies after Russian troops withdrew from towns near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, sparking calls for its forces to be tried for war crimes.
Both Kyiv and Moscow have blamed each other for recent attacks on the power station
Tehran says that this was done for scientific research
According to the KMA, terrible weather was forecast for the central region
Foreign ministry says Western sanctions made it impossible for Russia to enforce the New START Treaty
Official says Russian forces have also lost “three or four thousand” armoured vehicles
Official says no more changes be made to the text, which has been under negotiation for 15 months
The UN-brokered deal to restart Ukraine Black Sea exports is overseen by a Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul
White House Spokesperson says the US is continuing to “closely monitor” the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant