Russia-Ukraine war: Kharkiv hit by ‘several powerful strikes’, says mayor; Lithuania lifts Kaliningrad rail ban – live

Key events


Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine. I’m Adam Fulton and it’s approaching 10am in Kyiv. Here’s a summary of the latest developments.

  • “Several powerful strikes” hit the centre of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, on Saturday morning, the mayor, Ihor Terekhov, wrote on Telegram. Russia’s defence ministry did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment outside regular hours.
  • Lithuania has lifted a ban on the rail transport of sanctioned goods into and out of the Russian territory of Kaliningrad, Russia’s RIA news agency said on Friday. The Baltic state had stopped Russia from sending sanctioned goods via rail to Kaliningrad in June, triggering a promise from Moscow of swift retaliation. RIA cited Mantas Dubauskas, a spokesperson for the state railway company, as saying it had informed customers they could ship goods again. “It is possible that some goods will be transported today,” he was quoted as telling Lithuanian TV.
  • Emergency workers recovered three bodies from a school hit by a Russian strike in eastern Ukraine, officials said on Friday, one of a string of attacks as Russia claims its forces destroyed four Himar (high mobility artillery rocket) systems. The casualties in the city of Kramatorsk followed a barrage Thursday on a densely populated area of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, that killed at least three people and wounded 23.
  • The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said he had little confidence in Russia fulfilling its side of a bargain reached with Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations on resuming grain shipments from Ukraine, Agence France-Presse reported. “Canada’s confidence in Russia’s reliability is pretty much nil,” Trudeau said on Friday.
  • The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said Ukraine had about $10bn worth of grain available for sale in the wake of the deal. “This is another demonstration that Ukraine can withstand the war,” he said in a late-night address on Friday, Reuters reported. Ukraine would also have a chance to sell the current harvest, he said.
  • Wheat prices tumbled to levels last seen before the Russian invasion after the deal on resuming grain exports from Ukraine. In Chicago, the price of wheat for delivery in September dropped 5.9% to $7.59 a bushel, which is equivalent to about 27kg and the lowest close since Russia’s invasion on 24 February. On Euronext, wheat prices for delivery in September fell 6.4% to $325.75 a ton.
  • The US is exploring whether it can send American-made fighter jets to Ukraine, the White House said on Friday. Joe Biden’s administration had started making explorations into the possibility of providing the jets to Ukraine but the move was not something that would be done immediately, White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters.
  • The US signed off on an additional $270m in military aid to Ukraine, including four new Himar systems. Kirby said on Friday that Russia had “launched deadly strikes across the country, striking malls, apartment buildings, killing innocent Ukrainian civilians”.
  • A new statement from Europol said the organisation had no records of weapons being smuggled out of Ukraine. The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation said it has full confidence in Ukraine, especially because the country had started to implement new measures to monitor and track weapons, Euromaidan reports.
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused $5.5bn in damage to Ukraine’s environment, the Kyiv Independent reports. According to Ruslan Strelets, Ukraine’s minister of environmental protection and natural resources, there have been 2,000 recorded cases of damage to nature since Russia invaded on 24 February.