Russia-Ukraine war live: Russia reports drone attacks near Moscow and Ukrainian border

Opening summary

Welcome back to our live coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. I’m Christine Kearney and here’s a look at the latest key developments.

Russia has reported another series of drone attacks on its territory that officials said killed at least one person in a region bordering Ukraine and again forced the temporary closure of three major airports serving the capital Moscow.

One person was killed by shrapnel from a drone over the region of Belgorod that borders Ukraine in Russia’s southwest, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on the Telegram messaging app.

The Russian defence ministry also reported drone attacks in Bryansk region in Russia’s west and another in the Kursk region, just south of it.

There was no comment from Ukraine on the reported attacks.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s air force reports that three Ukrainian military pilots, including one nicknamed Juice who campaigned for the supply of F-16s, were killed on Friday when two combat training aircraft collided over a region west of Kyiv.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who is counting on swift training of crews to fly F-16 fighter jets promised by western allies, said in his nightly video address that the three men included Andriy Pilshchykov, callsign Juice, “a Ukrainian officer, one of those who greatly helped our state”.

Ukrainian pilot Andriy ‘Juice’ Pilshchykov was one of three pilots killed.
Ukrainian pilot Andriy ‘Juice’ Pilshchykov was one of three pilots killed. Photograph: Ukraine ministry of defence

More on both those stories shortly. In other news:

  • Vladimir Putin has ordered Wagner fighters to sign an oath of allegiance to the Russian state after the plane crash that the Kremlin said killed Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of the mercenary group.

  • Joe Biden said US officials were trying to determine how Prigozhin’s plane was brought down, leaving no survivors. Russia criticised Biden for expressing his lack of surprise that Prigozhin had been killed and said it was not appropriate for Washington to make such remarks.

  • Ukraine’s air defence systems reported an overnight Russian air attack on Kyiv’s outskirts and other parts of Ukraine, Kyiv’s military administration said on the Telegram messaging app. There was no immediate information about the scale of the attack, possible damage or casualties.

  • Pope Francis urged young Russians to be “sowers of seeds of reconciliation” in a virtual address to a congregation of 400 in St Petersburg that gathered for the annual Catholic youth day.

  • Russian forces struck a cafe in a key frontline area in north-eastern Ukraine, killing two civilians and wounding a third, regional officials said. The shelling near the city of Kupiansk took place amid warnings from UK officials that Russia may try to retake the area.

  • US reporter Evan Gershkovich appealed against a Russian court’s decision to extend his pre-trial detention by three months after his detention under spying charges which he denies, according to documents published by a Moscow court. Unlike many western reporters, he had continued to report from Russia during Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.

  • German magazine Der Spiegel published a lengthy and detailed investigation into the attack on the Nord Stream pipeline. It cites German investigators – who are undertaking “the most important investigation of Germany’s postwar history because of its potential political implications” – and reported that “a striking number of clues point to Ukraine”.

Key events

Kyiv destroys four missiles over northern and southern Ukraine, says Ukrainian air force

The Ukrainian military destroyed four cruise missiles over northern and central Ukraine during an overnight Russian air strike, Kyiv’s air force reported early on Sunday.

It said Ukrainian forces had detected up to eight airborne targets but that there were no immediate reports of strikes, adding that the rest of the targets were “probably false”.

The air force also said the attack involved five Russian strategic bombers.

Earlier, Russia’s defence ministry says its forces shot down two drones overnight on Sunday in two regions bordering Ukraine.

One drone was shot down over the Bryansk region in Russia’s west and another in the Kursk region, just south of it, the defence ministry said on the Telegram messaging channel.

Below are some of the images emerging out of Ukraine today:

Two women walk past destroyed Russian armoured military vehicles on display on the main street in Khreshchatyk
Two women walk past destroyed Russian armoured military vehicles on display on the main street in Khreshchatyk. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
People make on their way to a daytime party in Kyiv
People make on their way to a daytime party in Kyiv. Photograph: Bram Janssen/AP
War crimes prosecutors inspecting a shelling in the village of Podoly near Kupiansk, Kharkiv region
War crimes prosecutors inspecting a shelling in the village of Podoly near Kupiansk, Kharkiv region. Photograph: Office of the Prosecutor General/AFP/Getty Images
Ukrainian soldiers participate in a blank fire exercise with instructors from the Norwegian home guard
Ukrainian soldiers participate in a blank fire exercise with instructors from the Norwegian home guard. Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

The Wagner group is likely moving toward a downsizing and there is a realistic possibility the Kremlin no longer funds the group, the latest UK defence ministry update says.

If it’s correct the Russian state no longer pays Wagner, then analysts say it follows that “the second most plausible paymasters are the Belurusian authorities”, the update says.

As reported earlier, this follows Vladimir Putin ordering Wagner fighters to sign an oath of allegiance to the Russian state after the plane crash that the Kremlin said killed Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of the mercenary group.

And in case you missed it, don’t miss our Moscow correspondent Andrew Roth’s story about how the battle has begun over the Wagner’s chief’s legacy.

Opening summary

Welcome back to our live coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. I’m Christine Kearney and here’s a look at the latest key developments.

Russia has reported another series of drone attacks on its territory that officials said killed at least one person in a region bordering Ukraine and again forced the temporary closure of three major airports serving the capital Moscow.

One person was killed by shrapnel from a drone over the region of Belgorod that borders Ukraine in Russia’s southwest, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on the Telegram messaging app.

The Russian defence ministry also reported drone attacks in Bryansk region in Russia’s west and another in the Kursk region, just south of it.

There was no comment from Ukraine on the reported attacks.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s air force reports that three Ukrainian military pilots, including one nicknamed Juice who campaigned for the supply of F-16s, were killed on Friday when two combat training aircraft collided over a region west of Kyiv.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who is counting on swift training of crews to fly F-16 fighter jets promised by western allies, said in his nightly video address that the three men included Andriy Pilshchykov, callsign Juice, “a Ukrainian officer, one of those who greatly helped our state”.

Ukrainian pilot Andriy ‘Juice’ Pilshchykov was one of three pilots killed.
Ukrainian pilot Andriy ‘Juice’ Pilshchykov was one of three pilots killed. Photograph: Ukraine ministry of defence

More on both those stories shortly. In other news:

  • Vladimir Putin has ordered Wagner fighters to sign an oath of allegiance to the Russian state after the plane crash that the Kremlin said killed Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of the mercenary group.

  • Joe Biden said US officials were trying to determine how Prigozhin’s plane was brought down, leaving no survivors. Russia criticised Biden for expressing his lack of surprise that Prigozhin had been killed and said it was not appropriate for Washington to make such remarks.

  • Ukraine’s air defence systems reported an overnight Russian air attack on Kyiv’s outskirts and other parts of Ukraine, Kyiv’s military administration said on the Telegram messaging app. There was no immediate information about the scale of the attack, possible damage or casualties.

  • Pope Francis urged young Russians to be “sowers of seeds of reconciliation” in a virtual address to a congregation of 400 in St Petersburg that gathered for the annual Catholic youth day.

  • Russian forces struck a cafe in a key frontline area in north-eastern Ukraine, killing two civilians and wounding a third, regional officials said. The shelling near the city of Kupiansk took place amid warnings from UK officials that Russia may try to retake the area.

  • US reporter Evan Gershkovich appealed against a Russian court’s decision to extend his pre-trial detention by three months after his detention under spying charges which he denies, according to documents published by a Moscow court. Unlike many western reporters, he had continued to report from Russia during Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.

  • German magazine Der Spiegel published a lengthy and detailed investigation into the attack on the Nord Stream pipeline. It cites German investigators – who are undertaking “the most important investigation of Germany’s postwar history because of its potential political implications” – and reported that “a striking number of clues point to Ukraine”.

source: theguardian.com