Ukraine-Russia war latest: Liz Truss to meet G7 leaders after Vladimir Putin’s latest assault on Kyiv
The missile attacks on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities are the heaviest since the war broke out in February.
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Liz Truss will today hold a virtual meeting with fellow G7 leaders and President Volodymyr Zelensky, to urge them to remain steadfast in support of Ukraine.
This follows Moscow’s barrage of missiles against Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv, which was the heaviest bombardment for months. At least 19 people have been confirmed dead and 64 injured following the fresh assault.
Vladimir Putin confirmed this is Moscow’s retaliation for the bombing of the Kerch Bridge, which connects Russia to its annexed territory of Crimea. He threatened a “harsh response” if attacks continue against Russia.
Follow our live blog for the latest updates and analysis from NationalWorld reporters.
Russian missiles hit Kyiv - live
Putin’s decision making has been ‘flawed'
Sir Jeremy Fleming has described Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision-making during the invasion of Ukraine as “flawed”.
While delivering the RUSI annual security lecture, the leader of GCHQ said Mr Putin’s plan has “failed in two major military strategies” having “hit the courageous reality of Ukrainian defence”.
He told guests at the lecture: “With a little effective internal challenge, Putin’s decision-making has proved flawed. Yesterday’s attacks in Kyiv and across Ukraine are another example. It’s a high-stakes strategy that is leading to strategic errors in judgment. The gains are being reversed, the costs to Russia in people and equipment are staggering.”
He added that Russian people have started to understand this. They’re seeing just how badly Putin has misjudged the situation,” he said.
“They’re fleeing the draft, realising they can no longer travel. They know their access to modern technologies and external influences will be drastically restricted. They’re feeling the extent of the dreadful human cost of his war of choice.”
Putin would be willing to meet Biden at G20 summit
Vladimir Putin would be willing to meet US President Joe Biden at a forthcoming G20 meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.
Speaking on an interview to state TV channel Rossiya 1, he said Moscow would be willing to listen to any suggestions of a possible meeting between Russia and the West in Turkey. Lavrov said that Turkish President Erdogan and President Putin might discuss this during a meeting in Kazakhstan later this week.
He denied that the Kremlin would initiate a nuclear war, saying that Putin has “repeatedly said that in our nuclear doctrine we regard this as an exclusively retaliatory measure”.
Russia is ‘running short of munitions and troops'
The head of GCHQ has said Russia appears to be running out of military weapons after missiles were deployed in Ukraine on Sunday.
Sir Jeremy Fleming told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We believe that Russia is running short of munitions, it’s certainly running short of friends.
“We’ve seen, because of the declaration for mobilisation, that it’s running short of troops. So I think the answer to that is pretty clear. Russia and Russia’s commanders are worried about the state of their military machine.”
He added: “The word I’ve used is ‘desperate’. We can see that desperation at many levels inside Russian society and inside the Russian military machine.
“It certainly doesn’t imply complacency.
“Russia, as we’ve seen in the dreadful attacks yesterday, still has a very capable military machine. It can launch weapons, it has deep, deep stocks and expertise. And yet, it is very broadly stretched in Ukraine.”
Liz Truss to urge fellow G7 leaders to ‘stay the course'
Liz Truss will today urge G7 leaders to remain steadfast in support of Ukraine during crisis talks following Russian strikes on Kyiv and other major Ukrainian cities.
A sign of how seriously Western leaders are taking the Russian bombardment, Ms Truss and her G7 counterparts will hold a virtual meeting later on Tuesday, with the Prime Minister also expected to call for a full meeting of Nato leaders in the coming days.
The video call will also be attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who spoke to Ms Truss and other world leaders on Monday.
Ms Truss is expected to urge fellow G7 leaders to “stay the course” in the battle against Mr Putin.
“The overwhelming international support for Ukraine’s struggle stands in stark opposition to the isolation of Russia on the international stage,” she is expected to say on Tuesday.
“Their bravery in the face of the most brutal acts of violence has earned the people of Ukraine global admiration.
“Nobody wants peace more than Ukraine. And for our part, we must not waver one iota in our resolve to help them win it.”
Zelensky says he has spoken to Liz Truss
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he has spoken to the UK Prime Minister Liz Truss following today’s attacks.
He said: “We count on Great Britain’s leadership in consolidating international political and defense support for Ukraine, in particular regarding the protection of our skies. And also in further isolation of Russia.”
Incredible video shows the Ukrainian army intercepting a Russian missile
The Kyiv Independent reporter Illia Ponomarenko has posted an astonishing video, which he says shows Ukrainian soldiers shooting a Russian missile out of the sky.
The footage shows a man in fatigues firing a rocket, which leads to an explosion. The Ukrainians shout “come on b****, go down” and then celebrate.
Watch the footage below.
Crimea bridge attack
Vladimir Putin has said that the wave of attacks hitting Ukraine is due to the explosion on the Kerch bridge, which connects Crimea and Russia.
Why is the bridge important?
It provides a crucial link by both rail and road for people and goods to travel back and forth between the annexed area of Crimea and Krasnodar on the Russian mainland.
It has been of major strategic importance to Russia during the recent conflict with Ukraine as a way of transporting military personnel and supplies.
Damaging the bridge could be seen as striking a greater psychological than practical blow against Russia, due to its symbolic importance.
Putin personally opened the Kerch Bridge in May 2018 by driving a truck across it as a symbol of Moscow’s claims on Crimea.
How was the bridge blown up?
The attack on the bridge has left many analysts unsure of the exact method which caused the explosion. Russian authorities promptly claimed the blast was caused by a truck-bomb from a white van which can be seen in footage of the incident.
Despite some suggestions that Ukrainian forces could have launched a missile attack on the bridge, most experts believe this method to be unlikely, as the bridge was likely out-of-range of Kyiv’s rocket systems.
Some Ukrainian officials seem to have accepted Russia’s claims that a truck-bomb was the source of the explosion, although there has been further speculation that the bridge could have been blown up some kind of water-based attack.
Some of the video released after the attack appears to suggest that a small boat or vessel of some kind may have been travelling underneath the bridge moments before the explosion.
There were reports of an unmanned maritime drone washing up on the shore in Crimea earlier this year, which could be taken as confirmation that Ukraine has the technical capacity to launch an attack of this kind from the water.
Who is responsible for the explosion?
As the bridge is owned by Russia and its continued operation is of great importance to Moscow, the most likely source of the attack would seem to be Ukraine. Russia has blamed Ukrainian special forces, launching a fierce wave of attacks against a number of targets inside the country in response to the incident.
“There’s no doubt it was a terrorist act directed at the destruction of critically important civilian infrastructure of the Russian Federation,” Mr Putin said in a video of a meeting on Sunday with the chairman of the investigative committee, Alexander Bastrykin. “And the authors, perpetrators, and those who ordered it are the special services of Ukraine.”
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Alexander Rodnyansky, an adviser to Zelensky, said Ukraine has not “formally” taken responsibility, instead suggesting that the attack may have been carried out by parties within Russia.
Will Russia use nuclear weapons?
This weekend’s attack on the Kerch Bridge has reawakened fears that a cornered Vladimir Putin and his faltering military effort in southern Ukraine may lead to him lashing out with the country’s formidable stockpile of weapons, particularly those with nuclear capabilities.
But would Putin ever actually order a nuclear strike? My colleague Alex Nelson looks at how likely this is.
In July 2014, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the Russian foreign minister stated that his country had the right to defend the peninsula using nuclear weapons.
Just under a year later, President Putin said that during the invasion of Crimea he’d been prepared to put nuclear forces on alert, so it sounds like he would be prepared to use such weapons on the territory of Ukraine.
Speaking in the House of Lords in November 2021, former Navy chief Lord West of Spithead said: “The greatest risk to the survival of mankind isn’t global warming, it’s an accidental thermo-nuclear war.”
He added: “One has to look at the dreadful behaviour of Putin, not just around the Ukraine but in a number of other ways and his very loose talk about his de-escalatory policy of using a nuclear weapon should he be losing a conventional war, to see what the real risks are.”
Earlier this year, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat said Russia sees battlefield nuclear weapons as simply “a bigger bang” and could give a military order to use them.
The Conservative MP told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme: “The Russian military doctrine doesn’t work in the same way as the Nato military doctrine.
“They do assume that they may use battlefield nuclear weapons and they see them as just a, if you’ll excuse the expression, a bigger bang. They don’t treat fallout in the same way we do.”
He added that although the situation was “concerning,” it was not unprecedented for Russia to threaten nuclear action.
Last month, Dmitry Medvedev, a former president of Russia and close ally of Putin, said Moscow had the right to defend itself with nuclear weapons if it is pushed beyond its limits and that this is “certainly not a bluff”.
German consulate hit by Russian missiles
The German consulate in Kyiv has been hit during Russian missile strikes, the Independent has reported.
It has not been in use since the war broke out. The German defence ministry also said its Government is delivering four air defence systems to Ukraine in coming months.
“The renewed missile fire on Kyiv and the many other cities show how important it is to supply Ukraine with air defence systems quickly,” Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said in a statement.
Image from Ukraine
Here are a selection of the latest photos emerging from Ukraine, all from Getty Images:
Emergency service personnel attend the site of a blast in Kyiv.
The site of a blast next to a children’s playground in a park in Kyiv.
A segment of partially destroyed multi-storey office building after several Russian strikes hit the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
An emergency worker carries dogs as he escorts a local resident outside a partially destroyed multi-storey office building.
Healthcare workers provide medical care to an injured man in Kyiv.
Police experts examine destroyed cars in the centre of Ukrainian capital of Kyiv after several Russian strikes.
Birds fly as smoke rises over Dnipro river.