Ukraine war day 50| Russia ship, leading assault, damaged in blast: 10 points
Ukraine war: There is still confusion if the Russian ship damage happened in an accident or it was an attack by Ukriane.
As the Ukraine war enters the 50th day, a Russian naval ship in the Black Sea - leading the assault - was "seriously damaged" in an explosion. "As a result of a fire, ammunition detonated on the Moskva missile cruiser. The ship was seriously damaged," the Russian defence ministry was quoted as saying in reports, adding that the cause of the fire was being investigated. The crew had to be evacuated. This happened as Moscow was reported to be threatening to strike Kyiv's command centres.
Here are ten updates on the Ukraine war:
1. "Neptune missiles guarding the Black Sea, caused very serious damage to the Russian ship. Glory to Ukraine!" Maksym Marchenko, governor of the Ukrainian city of Odessa, wrote on Telegram, news agency AFP reported. But Ukraine presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych, according to an AP report, said "we don't understand what happened". The ship had a strength of 510 crew members.
2. US president Joe Biden has authorised an 800 million dollar US military assistance package for Ukraine. "I just spoke with president Zelensky and shared with him that my administration is authorising an additional $800 million in weapons, ammunition, and other security assistance to Ukraine. As Russia prepares to intensify its attack in the Donbas region, the United States will continue to provide Ukraine with the capabilities to defend itself," a statement put up by the White House read.
3. "Continued constant dialogue with @POTUS . Assessed Russian war crimes. Discussed additional package of defensive and possible macro-financial aid 🇺🇦. Agreed to enhance sanctions," Volodymyr Zelensky wrote in a tweet later.
4. "Without additional weaponry, this war will become an endless bloodbath, spreading misery, suffering, and destruction. Mariupol, Bucha, Kramatorsk – the list will be continued. Nobody will stop Russia except Ukraine with heavy weapons," he said in another post.
5. In a statement reported by news agency AP, the United Nations said more than 40,000 people have left the war-hit nation in the last 24 hours.
6. On Wednesday, the Hague-based International Criminal Court, which deals with rights abuses, sent a team to Ukraine and told reporters the country had become a "crime scene." "We're here because we have reasonable grounds to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court are being committed," the ICC's chief prosecutor Karim Khan was quoted as saying in multiple reports on a visit to Bucha, a town near Kyiv. Ukraine has accused Moscow of mass killings and rapes in the town.
7. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said a "global ceasefire doesn't seem possible", indicating the UN is still waiting for answers from Russia to proposals for evacuation and aid. "That was our appeal for humanitarian reasons, but it doesn't seem possible," said Guterres, according to AFP.
8. Around 19,800 Russian personnel have been killed in 50 days of war, according to Kyiv.
9. The arrest of a pro-Putin ally, Viktor Medvedchuk, is the latest flashpoint between the two countries. He is said to be one of the richest people in Ukraine and Zelensky has proposed his release in exchange of people from his country held in Russia.
10. The presidents of four countries on Russia’s doorstep - Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia - visited Ukraine on Wednesday and underscored their support.
(With inputs from AP, Reuters, AFP)