🔴 Live. Russia is carrying out “unprecedented” airstrikes on the capital of Ukraine, Kiev

Ukraine said there were “unprecedented” airstrikes in the capital and other cities early on Thursday, while at least one person was killed in a rocket attack in Odesa. Read our live blog for the latest developments. Times are Paris time (GMT+2).

10:03. G7 to discuss sanctions against Russian diamonds, EU official says

G7 leaders will discuss sanctions on Russia’s billion-dollar diamond trade at a meeting in Japan, an EU official said Thursday, hoping to starve Moscow of further funding for its war in Ukraine.

“We think we should limit exports from Russian trade in this sector,” the official said, adding that the G7 is unlikely to reach a final agreement in Japan.

09:46 Ukraine says it shot down 29 out of 30 Russian missiles overnight

Ukraine said Thursday that its air defense forces shot down 29 of 30 Russian cruise missiles fired overnight in an attack targeting Kiev and other regions.

“The Russian occupiers launched several waves of missile attacks from different directions. A total of 30 sea, air and ground cruise missiles were fired,” the military said, adding that Ukraine’s air defense systems “destroyed 29 cruise missiles.”

09:27. Moldova no longer uses Russian natural gas, the Prime Minister said

Moldova is no longer using Russian natural gas or electricity after reducing its dependence after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Prime Minister Doreen Recian said on Thursday.

“If at the beginning of the war 100% of the energy consumed in Moldova came from Russia, today Moldova can exist without any natural gas or electricity from Russia at all,” he said at a security conference in Bucharest.

“Moldova no longer consumes Russian gas, it is integrated into the European energy network both technically and commercially.”

09:01. Moldova wants to join the EU “as soon as possible” considering the threat of Russia.

Moldova wants to join the EU “as soon as possible” as a defense against the Russian threat and hopes a decision will be made to start negotiations “in the coming months”, President Maia Sandu told AFP.

The tiny nation of 2.6 million, sandwiched between EU neighbor Romania and war-torn Ukraine, will host its first major summit for wider Europe on June 1, bringing together leaders from all 27 of the EU’s 20 neighbours.

The train carrying grain derailed in Crimea, there were no casualties.

A train carrying grain derailed in Russia’s annexed Crimean peninsula on Thursday in what Moscow-based officials called a deliberate act.

“The wagons of the train loaded with grain derailed in the Simferopol region,” said the governor of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov. The railway operator said the incident occurred “due to interference by third parties”.

07:29. China’s ambassador says there is no panacea to end the war in Ukraine

China’s special envoy Li Hui has told Ukraine there is “no panacea to resolve the crisis” as he reiterated calls for Kiev and Moscow to negotiate an end to the war, Beijing said on Thursday.

Lee visited Ukraine on Tuesday and Wednesday, where he held talks with Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba and other officials. Li is the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022.

“There is no panacea to solve the crisis, and all sides must start from themselves, build mutual trust and create conditions to stop war and talk,” China’s special envoy for Eurasian affairs Li said, according to a statement from Beijing’s foreign ministry. Ministry.

06:20. “Unprecedented” strikes in Kyiv, at least one person was killed in Odessa.

Ukraine said there were “unprecedented” airstrikes in its capital and other regions early Thursday, a day after it reached an agreement with Russia to extend an agreement allowing grain exports through the Black Sea.

“The series of unprecedented airstrikes on Kyiv, unprecedented in their power, intensity and diversity, continues,” said Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv civil and military administration, adding that there were no casualties in the capital.

FRANCE 24’s Emmanuel Chaz reports from Kiev on the early morning airstrikes.

At least one person was killed early Thursday morning when a Russian missile hit an industrial facility in the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa. As a result of the attack, two more people were injured, Serhiy Brachuk, the spokesman of the military administration, wrote on Telegram.

6:15. China says it will continue to help Ukraine “in its own way”.

China and Ukraine agreed to work together to maintain mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

The announcement was made after Li Hui, China’s special envoy for Eurasian affairs, met with the president of Ukraine.

“China has always played a constructive role in alleviating the humanitarian situation in Ukraine in its own way and will continue to provide assistance to Ukraine within its capabilities,” the Foreign Ministry said.

06:00. The G7 will put pressure on Russia, weighing the threat of “economic coercion” by China

As G7 leaders are due to meet in Hiroshima, Japan on Friday, the war in Ukraine is set to dominate the summit.

“There will be discussions about the state of play on the battlefield,” US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

Sullivan said leaders would focus on pushing Russia out of the war zone and tightening the sanctions regime, which according to official statistics caused Russia’s economy to shrink another 1.9 percent last quarter.

The G7 has already accepted caps on Russian oil prices, cutting revenues by about 43 percent, according to the International Energy Agency.

But Sullivan said leaders may be looking to close loopholes that would help President Vladimir Putin fund his struggling war effort.

05:06. Heavy explosions were heard in Kyiv, debris caused fires

Loud explosions were heard in Kiev early Thursday, and the city’s military administration said falling debris had started a fire in a non-residential building.

Mayor Vitaly Klitschko, writing on Telegram, reported that one fire broke out in a garage in Darnitsa region of the capital. He said that there were no casualties or injuries.

Serhii Popko, the head of the military administration of Kyiv, reported on Telegram that a fire broke out in non-residential buildings in the Desnyansky district east of the capital.

He did not provide information about the victims.

04:44. Air bombardment alerts sound in Ukraine, military warns of strikes in central regions

Ukraine’s military reported several explosions in Kiev and other parts of the country early Thursday, urging people to stay in bomb shelters.

“According to preliminary information, the debris fell in the Darnitsky region of the capital. Data on casualties and destruction are currently being verified,” Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv Civil and Military Department, wrote on Telegram.

Key developments for Wednesday, May 17.

Russia has extended for two months a deal that allows Ukraine to ship grain across the Black Sea to parts of the world struggling with hunger, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Wednesday, a boost to global food security after the end of the war. the prices.

During talks in Kiev on Wednesday, Ukraine’s foreign minister told a senior Chinese official that Kiev would not accept any offer to end the war with Russia over its loss of territory.

Read yesterday’s live blog to see how the day’s events unfold.

© France Médias Monde graphic studio

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)

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