Ukraine war: Zelensky condemns Chernihiv attack, Putin meets generals and F-16s on the way

Latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

A Russian raid killed at least 5 people

Russian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced, on Saturday, that Russian bombing had left “several dead” and “several injured” in the center of the city of Chernihiv in northern Ukraine, with a university and a theater being bombed.

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“A Russian missile hit the city centre, in our Chernigov,” he wrote of the town, 150 kilometers from Kiev near the Belarusian border.

“Square, polytechnic university, theater. An ordinary Saturday, which Russia has turned into a day of pain and loss. There are dead, there are wounded,” the head of state denounced.

He also posted a video showing wreckage around a large Soviet-style building, with cars parked around it and partially destroyed, roofs blown out, and windows blown out.

Ukrainian authorities have confirmed that five people have been killed so far, while at least 37 have been injured.

Russian forces invaded Chernihiv after the start of hostilities on February 24, 2022 from several staging points, including Belarus. Then the Ukrainian army repulsed them.

Zelensky is visiting Sweden for the first time since the war began.

Putin meets generals in southern Russia

The Kremlin announced Saturday morning that Vladimir Putin met the generals responsible for Russia’s military operation in Ukraine during a meeting in Rostov-on-Don, southern Russia.

The authorities did not specify a date for this meeting, but images broadcast by state media suggest that it took place during the night.

“Vladimir Putin held a meeting at the headquarters of the special military operation in Rostov-on-Don,” the Kremlin said in a statement. “The head of state listened to reports from the Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Valery Gerasimov, and other sector commanders and officials.”

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The RIA Novosti news agency broadcast a video of the Russian president putting on a suit and getting out of a jeep in the dark before being greeted by General Gerasimov.

Ukraine says it intercepted a Russian drone attack

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On Saturday morning, the Ukrainian army announced that it had destroyed “15 Russian drones” overnight.

The Ukrainian military wrote on Telegram that Russian forces “attacked from the north” with Shahed drones. He added, “A total of 17 attack drones were launched from the Kursk region.” It did not specify what happened to the remaining two planes.

It added that the Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense system had been activated “in the northern and central regions as well as in the west” of the country.

Both sides in the conflict, which began in February 2022, have recently reported regular air and sea drone strikes, at a time when Ukraine is in the midst of a counteroffensive to retake its Russian-controlled territory.

Moscow has stepped up its attacks on Ukraine’s Danube and Black Sea port infrastructure since the end of a deal that allowed Ukrainian grain exports.

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On Friday, Russia said it had destroyed Ukrainian drones targeting Moscow and its fleet in the Black Sea.

The United States gives the green light to the Dutch and Danish F-16 transfers

The United States announced on Friday that it has given the green light to Denmark and the Netherlands to send American F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine once Ukrainian pilots are trained – a development Ukraine’s defense minister called “great news”.

A US State Department spokesman said Denmark and the Netherlands had received “formal assurances” on the matter.

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“In this way, Ukraine will be able to fully utilize its new capabilities once the first group of pilots completes its training. The F-16s will contribute to Ukraine’s defensive and deterrent capabilities,” the spokesperson added.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, Kiev has tirelessly called on Western planes to fight the Moscow forces, which at this point are far superior.

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The United States, for its part, has strict rules about the resale or transfer of American military equipment by allies.

It is not yet known when the Ukrainian pilots will complete their training.

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