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Russia-Ukraine war live: France says it expects China to send ‘very clear messages’ to Russia


Opening summary

Welcome to our live coverage on Ukraine. It is just after 10am in Kyiv and in Moscow and I’m Donna Ferguson. Here are the headlines:

  • France’s top diplomat has said China must speak clearly to Russia over its war in Ukraine. “We expect China to send very clear messages to Russia,” said Emmanuel Macron’s foreign minister, Stéphane Séjourné, after meeting his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Beijing. “We are convinced that there will be no lasting peace if it is not negotiated with the Ukrainians. “There will be no security for Europeans if there is no peace in accordance with international law.”

  • Ukraine’s air force shot down two out of three Russia-launched Shahed drones on Sunday night, the Ukrainian military said on Monday. The general staff did not provide additional details.

  • Russian attacks killed at least three people in different regions of eastern Ukraine, local officials said on Sunday, and two more in Lviv region, far from the frontlines. In the centre of the north-eastern city of Kharkiv, a frequent target of Russia’s attacks on energy and other infrastructure, a strike hit civilian targets in the evening, said the regional governor, Oleh Synehubov. Regional news outlets said bombs were dropped on different areas of the region. No injuries were reported. Earlier on Sunday, heavy shelling killed a man in the town of Borova, south-east of Kharkiv, local prosecutors said.

  • Police in the Donetsk region, in Ukraine’s south-east, said Russian shelling hit 14 towns and villages, with two dead reported in Krasnohorivka, west of the Russian-held regional centre of Donetsk.

  • Russian attacks on infrastructure extended well behind the frontlines. The Lviv regional governor, Maksym Kozitskyi, said two bodies were pulled from rubble after cruise missile strikes.

  • Russian forces bombed the border territories and settlements of the Sumy region 39 times on Sunday, the Ukrainian local regional military administration said. There were 157 explosions recorded from ordnance including artillery shells, mortars, exploding drones, drone-dropped mines and grenades, and rockets fired from helicopters. Sumy has been pounded by Russian attacks in recent weeks, forcing evacuations.

  • Over the border in Russia’s Belgorod region, the regional governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said a woman was killed when a border village came under attack. The accounts of military action from either side were not independently confirmed.

  • “Our spirit does not give up,” Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said in an Easter message. “There is no night or day when Russian terror does not try to break our lives,” Zelenskiy wrote to Ukrainians on social media, following Russian missile strikes.

  • Zelenskiy was in Bucha on Sunday alongside the prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, and several foreign ambassadors to mark two years since the city and surrounding areas’ were liberated from a brutal month-long occupation by Russia at the start of the war. The Ukrainian leader laid a lamp at the town’s wall of remembrance, which names the 509 civilians who have so far been identified of those killed during Bucha’s occupation.

  • France will deliver hundreds of old armoured vehicles and new surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine. The French defence minister, Sebastien Lecornu, told a French newspaper that the president, Emmanuel Macron, had asked him to prepare a new aid package, which will include old but still functional equipment, as well as new missiles.

  • Protesters in Kyiv have demonstrated for the release of Ukrainian prisoners of war from the Azov brigade. Relatives and friends of captured soldiers, some dressed in military clothing, waved placards at passing traffic.

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Key events

Russia has used five hypersonic Zircon missiles to attack Kyiv since the start of the year, the city’s military administration has said.

It has, in total, launched 180 weapons of various types, including missiles and drones, at the Ukrainian capital in the first three months of the year.

Russia carries out test launch of Zircon hypersonic cruise missile from a ship. Photograph: Russian Defence Ministry Press Service Handout/EPA
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Ukrainian attacks on Russian oil refineries are pushing up the cost of crude oil, Reuters reports.

Brent crude was 25 cents, or 0.3%, higher at $87.25 a barrel this morning, after rising 2.4% last week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $83.44 a barrel, up 27 cents, or 0.3%, after a 3.2% gain last week.

Russian Deputy prime minister Alexander Novak said on Friday that the country’s oil companies will focus on reducing output rather than exports in the second quarter in order to evenly spread production cuts with other OPEC+ members.

Fire breaks out at Krasnodar refinery.
An explosion occurs following a fire that broke out at the Slavyansk oil refinery in Krasnodar region, Russia, amid Russia’s attack in Ukraine, in this screen grab from a video released in March, 2024.
Photograph: Video obtained by Reuters/Reuters

Drone attacks from Ukraine have knocked out several Russian refineries, which is expected to reduce Russia’s fuel exports.

“Geopolitical risks to crude and heavy feedstock supplies add to strong (second-quarter) demand fundamentals,” Energy Aspects analysts said in a note.

Almost 1m barrels a day (bpd) of Russian crude processing capacity is offline from the attacks, affecting its high-sulphur fuel oil exports which are processed at Chinese and Indian refineries, the consultancy added.

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Robyn Vinter

Robyn Vinter

Alex Lidagovsky at Fusion Arts Studios, London. Photograph: Danielle Desouza/PA

A Ukrainian sculptor who fled to the UK when his studio was destroyed has been accepted into the Royal Society of British Artists.

Alex Lidagovsky was forced to leave Kyiv with his wife, Dasha Nepochatova, and 16-year-old stepdaughter after the Russian invasion began on 24 February 2022.

Speaking to the PA news agency, the sculptor said his friends had sent him photos of his bombed studio. Lidagovsky, whose words were translated by his wife, said: “When we were leaving Ukraine to save our daughter, we never thought it would be for so long.

“Now, because I’m so far away from my country and it looks like I live another life, I try not to think about it, to deny it, to drive this pain into the depths of my consciousness and give myself more time to reflect on it.” Read more

Alex Lidagovsky’s tightrope walker sculpture. Photograph: Alex Lidagovsky/PA
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Opening summary

Welcome to our live coverage on Ukraine. It is just after 10am in Kyiv and in Moscow and I’m Donna Ferguson. Here are the headlines:

  • France’s top diplomat has said China must speak clearly to Russia over its war in Ukraine. “We expect China to send very clear messages to Russia,” said Emmanuel Macron’s foreign minister, Stéphane Séjourné, after meeting his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Beijing. “We are convinced that there will be no lasting peace if it is not negotiated with the Ukrainians. “There will be no security for Europeans if there is no peace in accordance with international law.”

  • Ukraine’s air force shot down two out of three Russia-launched Shahed drones on Sunday night, the Ukrainian military said on Monday. The general staff did not provide additional details.

  • Russian attacks killed at least three people in different regions of eastern Ukraine, local officials said on Sunday, and two more in Lviv region, far from the frontlines. In the centre of the north-eastern city of Kharkiv, a frequent target of Russia’s attacks on energy and other infrastructure, a strike hit civilian targets in the evening, said the regional governor, Oleh Synehubov. Regional news outlets said bombs were dropped on different areas of the region. No injuries were reported. Earlier on Sunday, heavy shelling killed a man in the town of Borova, south-east of Kharkiv, local prosecutors said.

  • Police in the Donetsk region, in Ukraine’s south-east, said Russian shelling hit 14 towns and villages, with two dead reported in Krasnohorivka, west of the Russian-held regional centre of Donetsk.

  • Russian attacks on infrastructure extended well behind the frontlines. The Lviv regional governor, Maksym Kozitskyi, said two bodies were pulled from rubble after cruise missile strikes.

  • Russian forces bombed the border territories and settlements of the Sumy region 39 times on Sunday, the Ukrainian local regional military administration said. There were 157 explosions recorded from ordnance including artillery shells, mortars, exploding drones, drone-dropped mines and grenades, and rockets fired from helicopters. Sumy has been pounded by Russian attacks in recent weeks, forcing evacuations.

  • Over the border in Russia’s Belgorod region, the regional governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said a woman was killed when a border village came under attack. The accounts of military action from either side were not independently confirmed.

  • “Our spirit does not give up,” Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said in an Easter message. “There is no night or day when Russian terror does not try to break our lives,” Zelenskiy wrote to Ukrainians on social media, following Russian missile strikes.

  • Zelenskiy was in Bucha on Sunday alongside the prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, and several foreign ambassadors to mark two years since the city and surrounding areas’ were liberated from a brutal month-long occupation by Russia at the start of the war. The Ukrainian leader laid a lamp at the town’s wall of remembrance, which names the 509 civilians who have so far been identified of those killed during Bucha’s occupation.

  • France will deliver hundreds of old armoured vehicles and new surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine. The French defence minister, Sebastien Lecornu, told a French newspaper that the president, Emmanuel Macron, had asked him to prepare a new aid package, which will include old but still functional equipment, as well as new missiles.

  • Protesters in Kyiv have demonstrated for the release of Ukrainian prisoners of war from the Azov brigade. Relatives and friends of captured soldiers, some dressed in military clothing, waved placards at passing traffic.

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