Ukraine-Russia war latest: Russia could be shifting battlefield focus (2024)

Key points
  • Fire at oil depot after drone strikes
  • Signs Russian battlefield focus could be shifting
  • In pictures:Apocalyptic city where Ukrainian troops are desperate for ammunition
  • Your questions answered:Will Ukraine launch another spring offensive?
  • Listen to the Sky News Daily above andtap hereto follow wherever you get your podcasts
  • Live reporting by Lauren Russell


'Number three' at Russian defence ministry questioned over bribery case

A senior Russian defence official has reportedly been questioned by theFederal Security Service after the detention of one of his colleagues on bribery charges.

Ruslan Tsalikov is the "number three" in Moscow's defence ministry after Sergei Shoigu, the minister, and chief of the general staff Valery Gerasimov, the UK defence ministry says in its intelligence update today.

He was reportedly pulled in for questioning after the arrest of deputy defence minister Timur Ivanov, his close ally, on 21 April.

As first deputy defence minister, Mr Tsalikov ranks above Ivanov.

Ivanov is accused of accepting large bribes and will be kept in custody until 23 June after appearing at a Moscow district court last week.

He was in charge of property management, housing, construction and mortgages at the ministry - whose spending has spiralled since the Ukraine war began.

A number of defence ministers have already been questioned or detained after Ivanov's arrest.


Ukrainian army HQ targeted by missiles, Russia claims

The Russian military claims it has attacked the headquarters of the Ukrainian army's southern grouping.

The attack was carried out using Russian air force missiles and artillery, Moscow's defence ministry said.


In pictures: Apocalyptic city where Ukrainian troops are desperate for ammunition

Ukrainian forces defending Chasiv Yar have said they are desperately waiting for more ammunition to arrive from the US.

Oleh Shyriaiev, commander of Ukraine's 225th SeparateAssault Battalion, which is fighting in the eastern city, called specifically forlong-range weapons.

He said they would "cut [Russianforces] off from logistics and supplies".

Commander Shyriaiev also called for cluster munitions, which are banned by a number of countries over the danger they pose to civilians.

Earlier, we reported that Russian troops appear to be concentrating advances in the direction of Chasiv Yar - which is 80km north of Avdiivka.

If captured, the city would give the Russians a better opportunity to target towns and cities further to the west.

The images below show the apocalyptic scenes in Chasiv Yar after bombardment by the Russians.


Russian guided bombs kill at least two

At least two people have been killed after Russian guided bombs struck the northeast Ukrainian region of Kharkiv.

A man and a woman were killed in their car as they travelled in the village ofZolochiv, Oleh Syniehubov, the regional governor, said.

A man, 77, and a woman, 74, were injured after three fires broke out after the strike.

Ten homes were also damaged.

The region of Kharkiv has been under intense fire by Russian forces targetting energy infrastructure.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy said yesterday that his country needed a "significant acceleration" in the delivery of weapons to enable its troops to push back advancing Russian troopsin several parts of the frontline.


Ukrainian security service carry out security checks in capital

The Ukrainian security service (SBU) is today conducting counterintelligence measures in a Kyiv district.

Officials will inspect some buildings and premises searching for unspecified prohibited items, the SBU said.

The district of Shevchenkiv, including the Sofiyska and Mykhailivska squares in the old part of the city, is the main focus of the operation.

Checks will also be carried out on citizens, some of who may be asked to show identification documents and observe curfew.

The SBU said the national police force and the military law and order service will be involved.


American admits attempting to sell drone parts to Russia

An American man has admitted plotting to smuggle sensitive drone technology worth more than $250,000 (£200,000) into Russia.

Nikolay Grigorev, 36, pleaded guilty yesterday after more than 11,500 electronic components were stopped from going to Russia.

He faces up to five years in prison.

Lisa Monaco, deputy attorney general in New York, said: "The justice department will continue to hold accountable those who defy our sanctions and export controls to support Russia's unprovoked and unjustified aggression in Ukraine - whether they're based in New York City or overseas."

The justice department said it is still searching for two other people connected to the case.


In pictures: Devastation in Kharkiv

These images show devastation in Kharkiv after Russian strikes yesterday.

One person died in the attack, which appeared to target the northeastern region's railway infrastructure.

Two districts of the city were hit and at leastnine people were injured.


When will US weapons reach Ukraine?

As we told you earlier, Sergei Shoigu, the Russian defence minister, has ordered new weapons for Moscow (see 6.56am post).

But what about weapons for Kyiv?

After a massive US military aid package was passed last week, deliveries to Ukraine have started.

The White House confirmed that on Monday.

"The aid into Ukraine is ongoing. They have been receiving that security assistance," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

"I want to be very careful, because there is operational security," she added, "but we hope that the aid will get to the frontlines soon so that Ukraine can continue to defend itself."

The bill, under which Ukraine will receive more than $60bn in support, was finally signed into law on 24 April after months of debate in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.


Signs Russian battlefield focus could be shifting

Russia's focus on the battlefield may be shifting north of Avdiivka, according to a leading thinktank.

Moscow's forces have seen their considerable progress slow to the west of the city, with troops appearing to be concentrated in the direction of Chasiv Yar, the US-based Institute for the Study of War said.

Chasiv Yar is around 80km north of Avdiivka.

"The Ukrainian General Staff's morning and evening reports yesterday stated that Ukrainian forces repelled a total of 47 Russian attacks in the Avdiivka direction and 57 Russian attacks in the Bakhmut direction throughout the day, notably a much higher number of attacks in the Chasiv Yar direction than Ukrainian sources have recently reported out on," the ISW said.

"One day's worth of reporting is not sufficient to establish a pattern," it said, "but it may suggest that Russian forces are somewhat slowing down the rate of attacks around Avdiivka while re-committing to offensive pushes around Chasiv Yar."

Russia has reportedly set its sights on the strategic town of Chasiv Yar, which, if captured, would make it easier for Moscow to advance further in the east.

The ISW also highlighted recent Russian successes near Avdiivka, notably at Ocheretyne, northwest of Avdiivka, and Novokalynove, north of Avdiivka, but said "the rate of confirmed advances appears to have slowed".

Here's what the battlefield situation looks like, according to the ISW...


Russia orders more weapons for war

Russia's defence minister has ordered bigger and speedier weapon deliveries for its troops in Ukraine, the Russian defence ministry has said.

In a statement, the Kremlin's defence minister Sergei Shoigu said: "To maintain the required pace of the offensive it is necessary to increase the volume and quality of weapons and military equipment supplied to the troops, primarily weapons."

The comments were made days after Ukraine's troops were compelled to make a tactical retreat from three villages in the eastern region, where the Kremlin's forces have been making incremental gains.

Ukraine and its Western partners are in a race against the clock to deploy critical new military aid that can help check the recent steady Russian advance across eastern areas, as well as thwart drone and missile attacks.

Ukraine-Russia war latest: Russia could be shifting battlefield focus (2024)
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