Latest news on Russia's war in Ukraine (2023)

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44 min ago

It's mid-afternoon in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

Latest news on Russia's war in Ukraine (1)

A Russian missile strike has hit a theater and the city center of Chernihiv in northern Ukraine. At least seven people have been reported dead, including a 6-year-old girl, and 90 wounded, according to the country's minister of internal affairs.

The attack came on a major holiday in the Orthodox calendar, the Feast of the Transfiguration, with a lot of people out on the streets. More news is expected to follow.

Here's what else you need to know:

  • More Russian attacks: In Kherson, a woman was killed by shelling Saturday morning, according to the regional prosecutor's office. And overnight, two women were wounded by a Russian air raid on Khmelnytskyi that damaged more than 30 houses, the deputy head of the region's military administration said.
  • Ukraine strikes back: A Ukrainian drone attack has damaged a plane at a Russian military airfield in the country's northwest Novgorod region, according to Russia's defense ministry. No one was hurt or killed, officials said. Also on Saturday, Ukraine’s Air Force claimed it had destroyed 15 of Russia's Iranian-made Shahed drones, and carried out “more than 10 group attacks on enemy targets, areas of concentration of personnel, weapons and military equipment.”
  • Leaders on the move: While Russian President Vladimir Putinvisits generals overseeing the offensive in Ukraine, including Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov in Rostov-on-Don, Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky is in Sweden, where he will meet with the Swedish monarchs, the prime minister and other officials, according to his Telegram account.
  • Russia issues sanctions:Moscow hasbarred 54 more British citizensfrom entering the country, according to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The government accused the individuals and entities of involvement in "propaganda support of the activities of the (Ukrainian) Zelensky regime."The sanctions list includes several government ministers, as well as journalists and a British prosecutor.
  • F-16 approval:Ukrainian pilotswill begin trainingon F-16 fighter jets in Denmark later in August, the Danish defense ministry said Friday. The US has approved transferringinstructional materialson the jets to Ukraine — a critical step to begin the training, a Biden administration official said. The US has already committed to approving the transfer of F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine as soon as training is complete, according to a US official.
50 min ago

Toll rises again from Chernihiv missile attack, with 7 confirmed dead and 90 injured

From CNN's Maria Kostenko

Latest news on Russia's war in Ukraine (2)

Seven people are now confirmed dead from the Russian missile strike on the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv on Saturday, Ukraine's Minister of Internal Affairs Ihor Klymenko said.

“The body of one more victim was discovered in Chernihiv. An unidentified woman. The death toll has risen to 7,” he said on Telegram.

“90 injured people applied for medical assistance. Among them are 10 police officers and 12 children. 25 people have been hospitalised.

"A 12-year-old girl is being urgently transferred by ambulance to Kyiv city. The child is in grave condition,” he added.

The missile hit the city center, where people were leaving church. It struck a theater and a university.

55 min ago

Analysis: Why F-16 jets can’t come soon enough for Ukraine

From CNN's chief international security correspondent Nick Paton Walsh

Latest news on Russia's war in Ukraine (3)

The depth and frequency of craters across the frontline city of Orikhiv are a blunt example of why Ukraine needsF-16 fighter jetsurgently.

Ukrainian troops amassed around the city have the unenviable task of pushing through minefields toward an enemy that has long anticipated their advance.

But their biggest handicap is the one they rarely hear until it is too late. Russian jets fire half-metric-ton bombs that glide in from afar – from outside the reach of Ukraine’s air defenses – and then devastate Ukrainian positions at will. Sometimes as many as 20 in as many minutes are launched into Orikhiv.

Ukrainian radar systems provide some warning, coupled with the brief and ominous roar of an incoming missile. But the eventual target is often obliterated without notice.

Latest news on Russia's war in Ukraine (4)

So when Ukraine says it urgently needs F-16s, it is because Ukrainian troops are dying daily because of Russian air superiority. Despite Western promises, even the training is yet to begin, withUkraine sayingthat they don’t expect to receive jets until next year.

Ukrainian troops know all too well the impact F-16s could have on Russian forces and the fight, as they are suffering the same from Russian jets now.

One Ukrainian marine in the southern front told CNN: “I perfectly understand what aviation is with its equipment and firepower. It is very scary.” He said the Russians would feel the same effects they have from F-16s. “It will make things a lot easier, as they won’t feel safe in their rear positions. Not everyone will be psychologically ready to go back to the trenches after an airstrike.”

Read more about Ukraine's push for the fighter jets.

53 min ago

At least 6 dead in Chernihiv, including young girl, Ukrainian official says

From CNN's Maria Kostenko and Sarah Dean

Latest news on Russia's war in Ukraine (5)

The death toll followinga Russian missile strike on the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv has risen to at least six after a 6-year-old girl died in the hospital, according to Ukraine's Minister of Internal Affairs Ihor Klymenko.

“Her mother is in grave condition. The police officers provided first aid to the girl. Unfortunately, doctors were unable to save her upon arrival at the hospital due to a heavy blood loss,”Klymenko said.

He said hospitals are operating at full capacity, with 36 people wounded, including police officers and court security officers. “These are civilians who were either on Chernihiv central square or returning from church,” he said.

“The Security Service and the Prosecutor's Office are documenting the crime. The missile hit the Palace of Culture in the city center. There were also people in the nearby cafes. Buildings in the old part of the city were destroyed,” he continued.

An air raid alert had sounded a few minutes before the missile struck, meaning most of the people inside the theater and outside were able to take shelter. “That’s what saved a lot of people’s lives,”Klymenko added.

Acting mayor of Chernihiv, Oleksandr Lomako, told national TV: "There is a park right behind the drama theater, many children and their parents usually spend time there. There are numerous restaurants with outdoor terraces located nearby as well. It all happened in the middle of the day when obviously there are many people in the city center."

“This crime cannot be interpreted except as a war crime against civilians,” he added.

Lomako said a lot of buildings around the drama theater in Krasna Square were damaged, with "rocket fragments and broken windows.”

1 min ago

Ukrainian drone damages plane at military airfield in northwestern Russia, Moscow says

From CNN's Uliana Pavlova

A Ukrainian drone has damaged a plane at a military airfield in Russia's northwest Novgorod region, according to a statement from the Russian defense ministry.

The attack occurred around 10 a.m. Moscow time (3 a.m. ET), and was carried out by "a copter-type UAV," the defense ministry said Saturday, using an acronym for unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.

The UAV was spotted by an observation post at the airfield and shot with small arms, the Russian officials said.

“A fire broke out in the aircraft parking lot, which was quickly extinguished by fire brigades,” the statement added.

The defense ministry said there were no casualties as a result of the attack.

Correction: An earlier version of this post inaccurately identified the location of the airfield. The strike occurred in Russia's northwest Novgorod region.

2 hr 38 min ago

At least 5 dead and 37 injured in Chernihiv missile strike, Ukrainian official says

From CNN's Maria Kostenko and Sarah Dean

Latest news on Russia's war in Ukraine (6)

At least 5 people have been killed and 37 more injured in a Russian missile strike on the center of the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv Saturday, according to Ukraine's Minister of Internal Affairs Ihor Klymenko.

Saturday marks a major holiday in the Orthodox calendar, The Feast of the Transfiguration, which Klymenko said meant "people were leaving the church with baskets of blessed apples" when the attack happened. On this day, apples and honey are consecrated in churches and people carry them in baskets.

The attack hit a theater and university in the city centre and 11 children are among the injured, he said.

Video shared by President Zelensky and geolocated by CNN shows debris and damaged cars surrounding the Taras Shevchenko Chernihiv Regional Academic Music and Drama Theatre.

The strike took place around 11.30am local time.

A drone demonstration day – a presentation meeting with Ukrainian UAV manufacturers, flight school representatives, and military personnel who use drones at the front line – had been announced to take place in the city on Saturday.

2 hr 32 min ago

BREAKING: Deaths reported as Russian missile hits university and theater in Chernihiv

From CNN's Maria Kostenko

Latest news on Russia's war in Ukraine (7)

A Russian missile strike has hit the center of the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, turning "an ordinary Saturday... into a day of pain and loss," President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Telegram.

"There are dead, there are wounded," Zelensky said.

Oleksandr Lomako, acting mayor of Chernihiv city, said the number of victims is being clarified.

"A Russian missile hit right in the center of the city, in our Chernihiv. A square, the polytechnic university, a theater," Zelensky said.

Emergency services are working at the scene,Lomako added.

We will bring you more on this story as we get it.

3 hr 6 min ago

Ukrainian President Zelensky to meet the king during visit to Sweden

From CNN's Maria Kostenko

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is in Sweden where he will meet with various officials including Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, he said on Telegram Saturday.

Others he is expected to meet are King Carl XVI, Queen Silvia, Speaker Andreas Norlén and heads of parliamentary parties.

"I would like to personally thank Sweden for supporting our struggle for freedom and independence," Zelensky said.

"Our primary task is the strengthening of Ukrainian warriors on the ground and in the sky, the development of bilateral cooperation, in particular in the defense industry, Ukraine's European integration and common security in the Euro-Atlantic space. Our full support for Sweden on its way to NATO," Zelensky added.

4 hr 8 min ago

Putin visits generals overseeing Ukraine offensive in southern Russia

From CNN's Maria Kostenko

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited generals overseeing the Ukraine offensive in Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia Saturday, according to the Kremlin.

Putin spoke with the “Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Valery Gerasimov, commanders of sectors, and other senior officers of the group,” the Kremlin added.

Few other details have been released about the trip.

Some background: Rostov-on-Don, which is close to the border with Ukraine, was a focal point of the Wagner private military group's short-lived rebellion in June.

Wagner fighters briefly occupied the city – video at the time showed some of the city's residents cheering them on.

Gerasimov is among the Russian military leaders to have been bluntly criticized by Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Putin's visit also comes amid Ukraine's counteroffensive, aimed at recapturing territory seized by Russia. Progress has been slow in Ukraine's campaign but Kyiv this week captured a village along the southern front.

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