Kindergarten narrowly escapes renewed strikes on Kyiv


KYIV, KYIV PROVINCE, UKRAINE, JUNE 26: Firemen work at the scene of a residential building following explosions in a neighborhood in north of Kyiv, Ukraine, June 26th, 2022. Several explosions targeted the Ukrainian capital in the early hours on this Sunday morning, with at least two residential buildings and one kindergarten struck, accordingly with official sources. (Photo by Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) – Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Russian missiles struck an apartment block and close to a kindergarten in Kyiv on Sunday, in strikes President Joe Biden condemned as “barbarism” as world leaders gathered in Europe to discuss further sanctions against Moscow.

Up to four explosions shook central Kyiv in the early hours, in the first such attack on the city in weeks.

“The Russians hit Kyiv again. Missiles damaged an apartment building and a kindergarten,” said Andriy Yermak, head of the president’s administration.

A Reuters photographer saw a large blast crater near a playground in a kindergarten that had smashed windows.

Deputy Mayor Mykola Povoroznyk said one person was killed and six wounded. He said explosions heard later in other parts if Kyiv were air defences destroying further incoming missiles.

Russia has stepped up air strikes on Ukraine this weekend, which has also seen the fall of a strategic eastern city to pro-Russian forces.

​​Follow the latest updates below.

04:03 AM

Ukraine war pushes France to rethink coal power station closure

France has become the latest country to reconsider its energy options because of the war in Ukraine, announcing Sunday it was looking into reopening a recently closed coal-fired power station.

The energy transition ministry said it was considering reopening the station at Saint-Avold in eastern France this winter, “given the situation in Ukraine” and the effect it was having on the energy markets.

“We are keeping open the possibility of being able to put the Saint-Avold station back in action for a few hours more if we need it next winter,” said a ministry statement, confirming a report on RTL radio.

But France would still be producing less than one percent of its electricity through coal power, and no Russian coal would be used, the statement added.

03:16 AM

Zelensky to press G7 for more help as war rages

President Volodymyr Zelensky will urge world powers to step up their support for Ukraine when he addresses the G7 summit on Monday, as Kyiv reels from the first Russian strikes on the capital in weeks.

US President Joe Biden and his counterparts from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies, meeting in the Bavarian Alps, have stressed their unity in the face of Russia’s aggression – even as the global fallout worsens.

Mr Zelensky is set to join the leaders of the United States, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Canada via video link at 10:00 am (8am UK time).

In his daily address late Sunday, Mr Zelensky renewed his calls for more weapons and air defence systems to be delivered to Ukraine and for fresh sanctions against Russia by G7 nations.

“We need a powerful air defence – modern, fully effective. Which can ensure complete protection against these missiles. We talk about this every day with our partners. There are already some agreements. And partners need to move faster if they are really partners, not observers,” he said.

02:20 AM

Ukraine war could boost illegal drug production, says UN

The war in Ukraine could allow illegal drug production to flourish, while the opium market’s future hinges on the fate of crisis-wracked Afghanistan, the United Nations warned on Monday.

Previous experience from the Middle East and Southeast Asia suggests conflict zones can act as a “magnet” for making synthetic drugs, which can be manufactured anywhere, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in its annual report.

“This effect may be greater when the conflict area is near large consumer markets.”

The UNODC said the number of dismantled amphetamine laboratories in Ukraine rose from 17 in 2019 to 79 in 2020, the highest number of seized laboratories reported in any country in 2020.

Ukraine’s capacity to produce synthetic drugs could grow as the war continues, it added.

“You don’t have police going around and stopping laboratories” in conflict zones, UNODC expert Angela Me told AFP.

01:52 AM

Nato to pledge aid to Baltics and Ukraine, urge Turkey to let in Nordics

Nato leaders will urge Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to lift his veto over Finland and Sweden’s bid to join the military alliance when they meet for a three-day summit on Tuesday, as the West strives to send Russia and China a signal of resolve.

Taking place in the shadow of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the Madrid gathering comes at a pivotal moment for the transatlantic bond after failures in Afghanistan and internal discord during the era of former US President Donald Trump, who threatened to pull Washington out of the nuclear alliance.

Negotiations among an often-fractious organisation are still under way, diplomats said, but leaders also hope to agree to provide more military aid to Ukraine, increase joint defence spending, cement a new resolve to tackle China’s military rise and put more troops on stand-by to defend the Baltics.

01:49 AM

Today’s Top Stories

  • Joe Biden will on Monday attempt to block Boris Johnson’s plan to move away from green fuels amid a transatlantic split over how to tackle the global cost of living crisis

  • Russian missile strikes have killed one person and wounded five others near the central Ukrainian city of Cherkasy

  • Despite Boris Johnson’s blithe words about Western unity, the G7 face an enormous and frightening task in combatting Russia’s aggression

  • Russian missiles hit an apartment block in central Kyiv for the first time since April on Sunday, hours after Vladimir Putin’s motorcade was seen speeding into the Kremlin late on Saturday night

  • Boris Johnson has warned Emmanuel Macron that a peace deal with Russia would cause “enduring instability” and give Vladimir Putin licence to manipulate the world



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