Ukraine is urgently pleading for heavy weapons to repel Russian forces in the eastern Donbas region, as relentless Russian artillery and airstrikes threaten to turn the tide of the war and support for Kyiv’s continued defiance among some west European allies appears to be slipping. Ukrainian officials say they urgently need advanced US-made mobile multiple launch rocket systems, which are capable of striking targets up to 300km away, to halt Russian advances in Luhansk and Donetsk.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has conceded that not all the land that Russia has seized since it annexed Crimea in 2014 can be recaptured militarily. While he is certain his country will take back the territory Russia has claimed since its 24 February invasion, he said other territory could not be recovered by force. “I do not believe that we can restore all of our territory by military means. If we decide to go that way, we will lose hundreds of thousands of people,” he said.
Russia’s defence ministry claims to have captured the strategically important city of Lyman and several other smaller towns and encircled Sievierodonetsk, which Ukraine denies. Zelenskiy said in a Saturday night television address that conditions in Donbas were “indescribably difficult”, and thanked Ukrainian defenders holding out in the face of the onslaught.
At least six superyachts linked to UK-sanctioned Russian oligarchs have “gone dark” on ocean tracking systems, vanishing from the global maps used to locate marine traffic. The owners of these yachts will almost certainly realise they are at risk of being targeted in a global hunt for the assets of Russia’s super-rich.
Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has scrapped the upper age limit for military recruits in the face of mounting losses in Ukraine, Tass reported. UK intelligence estimated this month Russia had lost about a third of its ground forces.
Officials in the south-eastern port city of Mykolaiv said at least one person was killed, and at least six injured, in Russian shelling. Two rounds landed in courtyards of high-rise buildings, and one shell fell close to a kindergarten, CNN reported.
Boris Johnson and Zelenskiy discussed concerns over food supplies in a phone call. A Downing Street spokesperson said Johnson told Zelenskiy the UK would continue to support Ukraine’s armed resistance, including by supplying equipment. She added that the UK was involved in “intensive work … with international partners to find ways to resume the export of grain from Ukraine to avert a global food crisis”.
Putin spoke to French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Olaf Scholz and, according to the Kremlin, he told them that continuing arms supplies was “dangerous”, warning “of the risks of further destabilisation of the situation and aggravation of the humanitarian crisis”. Russia said it was willing to discuss ways to make it possible for Ukraine to resume shipments of grain from Black Sea ports.
Spain is sending a battery of surface-to-air missiles and about 100 troops to the Nato forward presence mission in Latvia, joining about 500 compatriots already present in the Baltic state, El País reported.