The strength of Ukraine’s resistance “continues to surprise’ Russia,” a British intelligence report has said, despite attempts by invading troops to break Ukrainian morale by targeting populated areas.
The Ukrainian military said its forces had been “fighting fierce battles to maintain certain borders” in its daily operational report. It claimed Russian troops had been “demoralised” and were in an “extremely low moral and psychological state” due to the resistance of the Ukrainian people, the general staff of the armed forces said.
US president Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to discuss ongoing efforts to impose sanctions on Russia and speed up US military, humanitarian and economic assistance. The White House said during the call the pair also discussed talks between Russia and Ukraine, but offered no additional details.
Zelenskiy also spoke to SpaceX and Tesla boss Elon Musk, announcing the country will receive more of its Starlink satellite internet terminals this coming week.
US-based credit card giants Visa and Mastercard have announced they will suspend their Russian business operations.
Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson has issued a six-point plan in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and is urging other leaders to endorse it in efforts to ensure Russia fails in its apparent attempt to take over its democratic neighbour.
China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, has told the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, that Beijing opposes any moves that “add fuel to the flames” in Ukraine. Wang called for negotiations to resolve the immediate crisis, adding that the US and Europe should pay attention to the negative impact of Nato’s eastward expansion on Russia’s security. Blinken said the world is acting in unison in response to Russian aggression and ensuring that Moscow will pay a high price.
Blinken briefly stepped onto Ukrainian soil for a meeting with the foreign minister, Dymtro Kuleba, who predicted Russia would be defeated but appealed for more military assistance. Blinken also visited a welcome centre set up by Polish authorities where about 3,000 refugees are taking shelter.
Hundreds of men have been lining up in Kyiv to join the Ukrainian army. One volunteer, Volodymyr Onysko, told Sky News: “We know why we are here. We know why we defend our country. And our guys that are actually standing there and fighting Russian military forces. We know what we are doing and that’s why we will win.”
The Ukrainian military said Russian forces continue to focus on Kyiv while moving ahead with assaults on Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and the creation of a land corridor with Crimea, in its latest operational report. The report said aircraft from airports in Belarusian territory were involved in air strikes on military and civilian infrastructure in Kyiv and Zhytomyr.
Russia has dropped powerful bombs on residential areas of Chernihiv, a city north of Kyiv, according to a regional official. Vyacheslav Chaus posted a photo of what he said was an undetonated FAB-500, a Soviet-designed 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) air-dropped bomb of the kind usually used against military-industrial facilities and fortified structures.
The humanitarian situation in the southern Ukrainian port of Mariupol is “catastrophic” and it is vital that civilians be evacuated, a senior official from the NGO Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières MSF) has warned.
The International Monetary Fund has announced it could approve $1.4 billion emergency funding as early as next week as the body warns of war’s ‘severe impact’ on the global economy.