Skip to content

Russia-Ukraine War Live: Kyiv Shoots Down Own Drone Over Capital; Zelenskiy Speaks At The Hague

Key events

Show key events onlyPlease turn on JavaScript to use this feature

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang assured his Russian and Indian counterparts of deepening bilateral ties, promising that “coordination and cooperation” will only grow stronger, in a show of solidarity with two of China’s biggest neighbours, reports Reuters.

Here is some more detail from Reuters’ report:

Qin met in India on Thursday with other foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a bloc of nations spanning most of Eurasia, with Beijing seeking to preserve stable relations with countries in the region as ties with the West, particularly Washington, remain tense.

The United States has long urged China to help resolve the war in Ukraine even though Beijing has refused to denounce Russia’s military moves as an invasion. In a landmark move last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke directly with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskiy for the first time since Moscow sent its troops into Ukraine.

During his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the SCO meeting, Qin said China is “willing to maintain communication and coordination with Russia to make tangible contributions to the political settlement of the crisis” in Ukraine.

The two sides also agreed to strengthen communication and coordination with other SCO member-states and maintain the bloc’s “unity”, according to a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry on Friday.

They additionally agreed to strengthen coordination in the Asia-Pacific, the ministry said, without giving details.

The SCO bloc includes Russia, India, China, Pakistan and four Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran and Belarus are expected to be inducted into the SCO at a summit in New Delhi in July, an Indian foreign ministry official said.

Australian Associated Press reports that further assistance for Ukraine is expected, and that there is speculation that a possible support package, organised jointly by Australia and the US, could be announced as soon as the end of the month.

The US and Australia are reportedly working together on an assistance package that could mirror Canberra’s agreement with Paris to jointly supply ammunition to repel the Russian invasion, AAP says. This comes ahead of a visit by President Joe Biden to Australia.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers told reporters in Canberra on Friday: “We are a big supporter of the Ukrainian efforts to repel the Russian invaders and that will be represented in the budget,” he told reporters in Canberra on Friday. Chalmers will hand down the budget on 9 May.

Kyiv has submitted a wish list of aid ahead of the federal budget on Tuesday, which includes Hawkei armoured vehicles, artillery and ammunition.

Hundreds of Ukrainian-Australians rallied around Australia on Saturday, calling for the government to provide Hawkeis to help defend their homeland.

In February, Australia announced it would send drones to Ukraine and expand sanctions against Russian government, military and media figures as part of a pledge to stand with Kyiv “for as long as it takes”.

Russia says high waters threaten dam near Ukrainian nuclear plantA Russian official has warned that record high water levels could overwhelm a major dam in southern Ukraine and damage parts of the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, Reuters reports.

Reuters quotes comments given by Renat Karchaa, an adviser to the general director of nuclear energy firm Rosenergoatom, to Tass agency. Karchaa says that if the Nova Kakhovka dam did rupture, the power cable line for the Zaporizhzhia plant’s pumping stations would be flooded.

“This (would create) functional problems for the operation of the plant and risks for nuclear safety,” he told Tass.

Here is some more background from Reuters’ report:

Last November, after Russian forces withdrew from the nearby southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, satellite imagery showed significant new damage to the dam.

Both sides have accused each other of planning to breach the dam using explosives, which would flood much of the area downstream and would likely cause major destruction around Kherson.

Karchaa’s comments represent a significant contrast from those made in late March by Ukrainian officials, who said they feared the Zaporizhzhia facility could face a shortage of water to cool reactors by late summer because Russian forces had let water out of a reservoir that supplied the plant.

Russian troops took over the plant as they invaded parts of Ukraine last year. It is at the centre of a nuclear security crisis due to near-constant shelling in its vicinity which Kyiv and Moscow blame on each other.

Here are some images of the drone that Ukraine shot down over Kyiv, after it suffered a suspected technical malfunction. The air force said it had been destroyed to avoid “undesirable circumstances”. No casualties have been reported as yet. You can read the story on it here.

Ukrainian air defence fire on a drone flying over Kyiv on May 4. Photograph: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty ImagesThe drone is seen plummeting to the ground. Photograph: Gleb Garanich/ReutersThe debris of the drone fell on a trade and office centre, resulting in a fire. Ukrainian officials reported that no one was injured in the incident. Photograph: Stepan Franko/EPAOur correspondent Peter Beaumont has reported on the heavy shelling in Kherson, where a 56-hour curfew is due to start on Friday evening amid a marked increase in the intensity of Russian attacks on the southern city this week.

Some residents said they had sent some family away from the city or moved to safer locations further from the river, adding they were anticipating “something big” over the coming days as Ukrainian forces also stepped up shelling of Russian positions.

There is mounting speculation about the timing of the long-anticipated Ukrainian spring counteroffensive, which officials have suggested may be imminent.

You can read the full report here.

China will persist in promoting peace talks on the Ukraine crisis, and is “willing to maintain communication and coordination with Russia to make tangible contributions to the political settlement of the crisis”, China’s foreign minister, Qin Gang, said in a statement on Friday.

The statement referred to Qin’s meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation foreign ministers’ meeting in Goa, India, on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Welcome summaryHello and welcome to the Guardian’s continuing live coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Below is a selection of the most recent events.

Ukraine’s air force said it downed one of its own drones after it lost control over Kyiv on Thursday. Andriy Yermak, Ukraine presidential chief of staff, initially said an enemy drone that had been shot down. But the air force later clarified it was Ukrainian and had been destroyed to avoid “undesirable circumstances”. No casualties were reported.

The White House has dismissed as “ludicrous” claims by Russia that Washington orchestrated drone strikes on Moscow, saying the US was not involved in the incident and accusing Russia of lying. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said: “One thing I can tell you for certain is that the US did not have any involvement with this incident, contrary to [Vladimir Putin spokesman] Mr Peskov’s lies, and that’s just what they are: lies.” Earlier, Dmitry Peskov said: “Decisions about such terrorist attacks are taken in Washington” and that Kyiv “just implements these decisions”.

Russian forces in Ukraine are so degraded they cannot mount any significant offensive moves and are focused for now on consolidating control of occupied territory, the US intelligence chief said. Avril Haines said Putin’s strategy is likely to be to prolong the conflict until western support for Kyiv wanes.

Vladimir Putin must be brought to justice for his war in Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Thursday during a visit to The Hague, where the international criminal court (ICC) is based. “We all want to see a different Vladimir here in the Hague, the one who deserves to be sanctioned for his criminal actions here, in the capital of international law,” Zelenskiy said in a speech. “I’m sure we will see that happen when we win,” he said, adding: “Whoever brings war must receive judgment.”

The US ambassador to Russia visited former US marine Paul Whelan, who has been detained in a remote Russian prison for more than four years. Ambassador Lynne Tracy said: “The US government will continue to engage Russian authorities on his case so Paul can come home as soon as possible.” She did not reveal his condition or what they discussed. Whelan was detained in 2018 and is serving a 16-year sentence for espionage. Analysts have pointed out that Moscow may be using jailed Americans as bargaining chips over the war in Ukraine.

Residents of the key southern Ukrainian city of Kherson were stocking up on food and water after another night of heavy Russian shelling and before an announced 56-hour curfew due to begin on Friday evening. A number said they planned to stay indoors before the curfew and planned closure of the city, adding that they had slept in their clothes or gone to shelters because of the intensity of the Russian attack.

Ukrainian air defences said they downed 18 out of 24 kamikaze drones that Russia launched in a pre-dawn attack on Thursday. In a statement, Kyiv city administration said that all missiles and drones targeting the Ukrainian capital for the third time in four days, have been destroyed. No casualties were reported.

Russian emergency services extinguished a fire at a large oil refinery in Russia two hours after it was hit in a drone attack, Tass news agency reported early on Thursday. TASS said the incident occurred at the Ilsky refinery near the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk in the Krasnodar region, and that four drones were used. A day earlier, a fuel depot further to the west caught on fire near a bridge linking Russia’s mainland with the occupied Crimea peninsula.

Finland has received a diplomatic note from Russia complaining over vandalism at a Russian consulate on the demilitarised Aland island located in the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden, the Finnish foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Featured News