- Two explosions shake Kyiv during visit of UN chief Antonio Guterres
- Zelenskyy says Russia tried to humiliate the UN
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hails US financial support as ‘very important step’
- Ukraine and Bulgaria have agreed on close military and economic cooperation
This article was last updated at 05:19 GMT/UTC
Strong Ukrainian resistance limits Russian advances in Donbass: British military intelligence
Russia remains focused on the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine with the aim of seizing control of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the British Defense Ministry said in an intelligence report.
However, it said Russian forces had made limited territorial gains and suffered significant casualties in the face of strong Ukrainian resistance.
The military intelligence report states that there has been heavy fighting around the cities of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk and that Russian forces have attempted to advance south from Izium towards Slovyansk.
Zelenskyy says Russia tried to humiliate the UN
In his daily video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday’s Russian strikes were an attempt to “humiliate” the global body.
The rockets hit a residential area in Kyiv less than an hour after he and UN chief Antonio Guterres held a joint press conference about 3.5 kilometers away.
“Today, immediately after our talks in Kyiv ended, Russian missiles flew into the city. Five rockets,” Zelenskyy said. “That says a lot… about the efforts of the Russian leadership to humiliate the UN and all that represents the organization.”
Zelenskyj added that “a correspondingly strong reaction” is required.
At least three people were wounded in the attack and one person reportedly died. It was the first such attack since mid-April.
Two days earlier in Moscow, Guterres held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said he still hoped the talks could end the conflict.
Mykhaylo Podolyak, a senior Zelenskyy aide, tweeted his dismay.
“During @antonioguterres’ official visit, rockets were fired into downtown Kyiv. The day before he was sitting at a long table in the Kremlin and today there are explosions above his head,” he wrote.
Sofia agrees to closer cooperation with Kyiv
Ukraine and Bulgaria have agreed on closer military and economic ties after talks between the heads of state and government in Kyiv.
Zelenskyy and Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov spoke about increased cooperation at EU level and sanctions against Russia.
An important part of the deal is an agreement that Bulgaria will help repair Ukrainian military equipment.
“A very important agreement concerns the repair of our military equipment in the Bulgarian production plants,” Zelenskyy said.
He added that there was an agreement on electricity and gas lines. The Russian state-owned company Gazprom said on Wednesday that it had stopped supplying gas to Poland and Bulgaria. Both countries had failed to make payments for gas in rubles. The requirement was made by the Kremlin in response to sanctions.
Zelenskyy and Petkov also agreed that Ukraine could use the Bulgarian port of Varna to export agricultural products. Russia controls or blocks all Ukrainian ports.
Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, who is considered Moscow-friendly, refused Petkov’s visit.
Summary of Thursday’s events in the war in Ukraine
Two blasts have rocked the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv after rockets hit a central district during a visit by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
One of the rockets is said to have hit a residential building and injured at least three people.
The blasts were soon after Guterres ended talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
They expressed concerns that Kyiv was still vulnerable to Russian heavy weapons.
In their talks, Guterres and Zelenskyy discussed ongoing attempts to evacuate the Azovstal Steel Plant in the southern port city of Mariupol. Ukrainian fighters and civilians are currently trapped at the facility amid a Russian blockade.
Guterres also acknowledged that the UN Security Council had failed in its efforts to prevent the Russian invasion.
US President Joe Biden has asked Congress to approve $33 billion in funding for Ukraine.
Most of the amount will be used for arms and military aid, but there will also be direct economic assistance to the Ukrainian government, as well as humanitarian and food security needs.
Britain’s Defense Ministry said the Russian Navy was still capable of attacking coastal targets in Ukraine, even after losing two warships. The ministry said about 20 Russian ships are still operating in the Black Sea.
Ukraine’s military command said Russia is stepping up the pace of the eastern offensive in the Donbass region and “exercising intense fire in almost all directions.”
A presidential aide in Kyiv said that although Ukraine has suffered heavy casualties in the war so far, Moscow’s armed forces have lost many more soldiers.
The Bundestag voted by a large majority for the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine. Legislators called on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to expand supplies of equipment.
A study published on Thursday showed that just 25 percent of Germans think Chancellor Olaf Scholz has shown strong leadership in the face of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
You can re-watch our live updates from April 28th here.
rc/ss,kb (dpa, AFP, AP, Reuters)