Zelensky demands ‘bold decisions’ as US accused of restricting weapons

Volodymyr Zelensky has called for “bold decisions” from Kyiv’s allies after a Russian guided bomb strike killed at least three people in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.

In a post on X, the Ukrainian president said: “This Russian terror with guided aerial bombs must and can be stopped.

“Bold decisions from our partners are needed so that we can destroy Russian terrorists and Russian combat aircraft where they are.”

Mr Zelensky also expressed condolences to those who had lost loved ones in the strike and shared footage of rescue teams working among the debris.

The move comes amid reports that US restrictions on how far Ukraine can strike within Russia have put key air bases out of range.

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that the US has limited Ukraine to firing less than 62 miles into Russian territory.

The strike on Kharkiv hit residential buildings and injured a further 18 people, local officials said.

The city is around 20 miles from the Russian border and has come under increased attacks since Moscow launched an offensive in the region on May 10.

Follow the latest updates below

05:57 PM BST

Today’s live coverage has ended.

Today’s live coverage has ended. Here’s a roundup of the day’s events:

  • Zelensky demanded “bold decisions” from allies after the US was accused of restricting cross-border attacks. 
  • A Russian guided bomb attack killed at least two people in Kharkiv. 
  • Three people were killed in a cluster munitions attack in Russian-controlled Donetsk, the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic said. 
  • Russia unleashed a major overnight drone and missile attack on Ukraine’s power grid. 
  • Russia accused Ukraine of disregard for nuclear safety after an alleged attack on two substations near the Zaporizhzhia power plant. 

05:36 PM BST

US-Vietnam trust at ‘all time high’, days after Putin visit

A senior US diplomat has said that trust between Washington and Hanoi is at an “all time high”, just days after Vladimir Putin’s state visit to the Southeast Asian country.

“We continue to believe that the US-Vietnam partnership has never been stronger,” Daniel Kritenbrink, the US assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs, said during a visit to the country.

The US embassy in Hanoi has previously criticised Vietnam’s hosting of the Russian president.

“No country should give Putin a platform to promote his war of aggression and otherwise allow him to normalize his atrocities,” a state department spokesman said as Putin arrived in the country.

05:02 PM BST

Ukraine hits air defence system in Belgorod, Ukrainian media says

Ukraine has hit a Pantsir S-1 anti-air missile system in the Belgorod Oblast of Russia, Ukrainian media has reported.

Earlier, Vyacheslav Gladkov, the region’s governor, said that air defence systems had been activated and that several targets were shot down before they reached the city of Belgorod.

Explosions were heard less than a minute after an air defence warning sounded, a Russian news agency correspondent said.

No casualties have been reported, and Ukrainian authorities have not yet commented on the attack.

04:31 PM BST

Ukraine charges bloggers for revealing troop positions

Kyiv’s security service (SBU) said it has charged two people for allegedly publishing Ukrainian military positions on social media.

One suspect reportedly posted firing locations in the Kupiansk district of the Kharkiv region, as well as defensive positions near Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia region.

The man allegedly shared the details to his Telegram channel, which had a following of over 140,000 users.

According to the SBU, the man also livestreamed the movement of armoured vehicles and artillery systems.

The other suspect, a man from the Vinnytsia region, posted the geolocation and a video of a Ukrainian military helicopter on his Telegram channel.

The SBU considers the distribution of photos and videos online that jeopardise Ukrainian military positions as “aiding enemy fire”. If convinced, the suspects face up to 8 years in prison.

03:01 PM BST

Watch: Zelensky shares footage of Kharkiv strike aftermath

Volodymyr Zelensky has shared footage on X of what he says is the aftermath of a Russian guided bomb strike on Kharkiv (see our post at 2:07pm).

02:29 PM BST

Meet the Ukrainian convicts heading to the front line

As Ukrainian forces battle endless offensives and low moral, Kyiv has turned to recruiting prison inmates to bolster its hard-pressed army.

“My main goal is to protect my country,” said Dima, who has volunteered to swap his prison cell for a trench.

Ben Farmer interviewed several inmates conducting their training for the front line.

You can read the full story here.

02:07 PM BST

Russian guided bomb attack kills two in Kharkiv, governor says

A Russian guided bomb attack on Kharkiv killed two civilians and injured at least 18 others earlier on Saturday, the region’s governor said.

Writing on his Telegram channel, Oleh Syniehubov said that residential quarters had been hit and that rescue teams were working at the site.

Kharkiv is around 22 miles from the Russian border and has come under increased attacks since Moscow launched an offensive north of the city in early May.

01:52 PM BST

Latvia urges citizens not to travel to Russia and Belarus

Latvia’s security service (VDD) has urged Latvian citizens to refrain from travelling to Russia and Belarus for a major Slavic holiday.

Kupala is a major Eastern Slavic folk holiday set to take place on June 23.

The VDD said there is a high risk that Russia and Belarus will attempt to gain information and recruit informants from those travelling from Latvia for the festivities.

Ethnic Russians are the largest minority in Latvia, accounting for roughly a quarter of the country’s population.

01:18 PM BST

Russia unleashes Shahed drone attack on Ukraine power grid

Russia launched a new barrage of missiles and drones in an overnight attack on Ukraine, officials in Kyiv said on Saturday morning.

Ukraine’s air force said it shot down all 12 Shahed drones and 12 of the 16 missiles launched by Russian forces.

Missiles hit energy facilities in Lviv and Zaporizhzhia, with the latter strike injuring two workers.

Air raid warnings sounded for several hours throughout the night while firefighters fought to extinguish fires and repair squads rushed to fix the damage, regional officials said

Ukrainian media said the drones were launched from the Russian port town of Primorsko-Akhtarsk and Balaklava in Crimea, while Tu-95 bomber planes fired Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles from the Saratov region.

Russia has intensified its attacks on Ukraine’s power grid in recent months, destroying roughly half of Kyiv’s generating capacity and causing rolling blackouts. The overnight attack was the eighth such massive strike in recent months.

12:49 PM BST

Pictured: Putin lays wreath at Moscow’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

zelensky demands ‘bold decisions’ as us accused of restricting weapons

Vladimir Putin participates in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Alexandrovsky Garden near the Kremlin wall in Moscow - MIKHAIL METZEL/AFP

zelensky demands ‘bold decisions’ as us accused of restricting weapons

Putin lays a wreath at Moscow's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - MIKHAIL METZEL/AFP

zelensky demands ‘bold decisions’ as us accused of restricting weapons

Putin walks past an honour guard during the ceremony - SERGEI GUNEYEV/AFP

12:19 PM BST

Explosions heard in Belgorod, Russia

Explosions were heard within a minute of missile danger alerts being sounded across Belgorod, Russian media has reported.

“The entire territory of the Belgorod region is in a missile danger,” Vyacheslav Gladkov, Belgorod’s governor, wrote on his Telegram channel.

Belgorod lies close to the Ukrainian border and is considered a vital stop for Russian forces advancing in the direction of Kharkiv.

12:04 PM BST

Three killed in Donetsk cluster munition attack, Russia says

A Ukrainian attack on the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk killed three people and injured four, the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic has said.

“During shelling of the Budennovsky district of Donetsk the enemy used M26 missiles on a HIMARS MLRS with a cluster warhead (644 M77 cumulative fragmentation submunitions) for the first time,” Denis Pushilin wrote on his Telegram channel.

“As a result of the shelling, three men, employees of a construction company, were killed,” he added.

Russian media reported that four other people were wounded in the Kuibyshevsky district of Donetsk and in Horlivka.

11:44 AM BST

Names of 56,858 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine identified

Mediazona, an independent Russian media outlet working with the BBC, has identified the names of 56,858 Russian soldiers it says has been killed in Ukraine.

The figure was collected using publicly available information, such as social media posts by family members, local news reports and official announcements from regional authorities.

Since its last update at the end of May, the names of 2,677 Russian soldiers have been added to the list of casualties. The analysts also note that at least 11,463 Russian inmates have been killed.

Mediazona stresses that the figures offer only a partial picture and do not encompass the full scope of the losses.

11:02 AM BST

Ukraine ‘attacks nuclear power plant substations’

A Ukrainian drone attack destroyed two electricity substations near to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, Russian-installed local officials have said.

Quoting the station’s management, Russian news agencies said the substation could be repaired and that nuclear safety measures remain fully operational.

The station is Europe’s largest nuclear plant with six reactors and was seized by Russian forces in February 2022. Moscow and Kyiv have since routinely accused each other of endangering safety around it.

In April, the UN’s atomic watchdog urged restraint after Russia accused Ukraine of attacking the plant in a drone strike. Ukraine denied any involvement.

10:36 AM BST

Pictured: Russian jet unleashes salvo during air show

zelensky demands ‘bold decisions’ as us accused of restricting weapons

A Sukhoi Su-35S jet fighter of the Russian Knights aerobatic team performs during the International Maritime Defence Show 'Fleet-2024' in Kronstadt, near St Petersburg - Dmitri Lovetsky/AP

10:31 AM BST

Ukraine charges 2 for posting army positions online

Ukraine’s security service (SBU) said it has charged two people for allegedly publishing military positions on social media.

One suspect allegedly posted Ukrainian firing positions in the Kupiansk district of the Kharkiv region, as well as defensive locations near Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia region. The man allegedly shared the details to his Telegram channel, which had a following of over 140,000 users.

According to the SBU, the man also livestreamed the movement of armoured vehicles and artillery systems.

The other suspect, a man from the Vinnytsia region, posted the geolocation and a video of a Ukrainian military helicopter on his Telegram channel.

10:23 AM BST

Russian attacks ‘kill 8 and injure 19’

Russian attacks on Ukraine over the last 24 hours killed eight people and injured 19, local officials said.

Two were killed and three injured in the town of Selydove, the region’s governor reported, while adding that the strike damaged five high-rise buildings and six houses.

Multiple attacks on the town of Toretsk killed two residents and injured one, local officials said. Strikes on the villages of Druzhba, Pivnichne and Niu-York killed three, according to local reports.

In the Kharkiv region a drone hit a postal vehicle, killing its female driver, the area’s governor said.

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