Oil depots were ablaze in both Russia and Ukraine on Wednesday as both sides escalated a drone war targeting infrastructure ahead of Kyiv’s planned spring counter-offensive to try to end Moscow’s all-out invasion.
* At least three civilians were killed in a Russian attack on a hypermarket in the southern Ukraine city of Kherson, the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office and the Interior Ministry said.
* Scores of firefighters battled a huge fire that Russian authorities blamed on a Ukrainian drone crashing into an oil terminal on Russia’s side of the bridge it built to occupied Crimea.
* In Ukraine, a fuel depot was also on fire after a suspected Russian drone strike on the central city of Kropyvnytskyi.
* Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said seven people connected with Ukrainian intelligence had been detained in Crimea, state-owned news agency TASS reported.
* An explosion caused a second freight train to derail in the Russia region of Bryansk bordering Ukraine. One also derailed on Monday following a blast.
* The Ukrainian general in charge of ground forces said his troops would not give up the eastern city of Bakhmut as they prepare to begin a counteroffensive against occupying Russian forces.
* The United States plans to announce as soon as Wednesday a $300 million military aid package for Ukraine that will include a short-range air-launched rocket for the first time, two U.S. officials said.
* Ukrainian President Zelenskiy told the Washington Post he was not informed by the White House about a leak of U.S. classified military documents concerning the war in Ukraine.
* The European Union plans to boost ammunition production to aid Ukraine and replenish the stocks of EU member countries.
* Belarus will hold another round of checks of the combat readiness of its military in May, including joint patrols of its airspace by Belarusian and Russian warplanes, the country’s Defence Ministry said.
* Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said talks between Russia and the United Nations on the Black Sea grain deal will be held in Moscow on May 5.
* Turkey’s trade data has started to reflect that Ankara has stopped allowing the re-export of Western goods under sanctions to Russia after repeated warnings from Washington, a senior U.S. Treasury Department official said.
* Ukraine’s agricultural exports fell by 31% in April compared to March to 5.3 million tonnes, the lowest level in the past eight months, the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club (UCAB) business association said late on Tuesday.
* The European Commission said it set restrictions until June 5 on imports of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed to ease the excess supply of these grains in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
* Egypt’s state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), bought 655,000 tonnes of wheat in an international tender on Tuesday with cheap Russian wheat dominating the business, traders said.
* “We will continue, despite all the forecasts and advice, to hold Bakhmut, destroying Wagner and other most combat-capable units of the Russian army” – General Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukrainian ground forces.
* INSIGHT-Russia digs in as Ukraine prepares to attack
* ANALYSIS-Russia crosses new lines in crackdown on Putin’s enemies
* EXCLUSIVE-The Russian military commandant who oversaw reign of fear in Ukraine town
* EXCLUSIVE-Kazakhstan has ramped up oil exports bypassing Russia -sources
* Liberated villages offer glimpse of precarious Ukrainian health system.
Traces of the explosions are seen in the sky over the city during a Russian drone strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 3, 2023. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Police are seen at the site of a residential area hit by a Russian military strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the town of Pavlohrad, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine May 1, 2023. REUTERS/Sofiia Gatilova
Parents, Inna and Dimitri, along with their son, Mikhail, pay respects during the funeral of their two children, Sofia and Kyrylo, who officials said were killed on Friday by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the town of Uman, Cherkasy region, Ukraine April 30, 2023. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Local resident Marina Sandei, 58, reacts inside her house destroyed by shelling in the course of Russia-Ukraine conflict in Donetsk, Russian-controlled Ukraine. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
Local resident Nikolai Danko, 63, clears the rubble at the site of his house destroyed by recent shelling in the course of Russia-Ukraine conflict, in the settlement of Panteleimonivka in the Donetsk region, Russian-controlled Ukraine, April 27, 2023. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
Smoke rises over a fuel tank following an alleged drone attack in Sevastopol, Crimea, April 29, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer
Natalia Kulinchenko, 51-year-old, reacts next to a house of her relative destroyed by a Russian drone strike in the village of Malotaranivka, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, Ukraine. REUTERS/Sofiia Gatilova
A still image from a video shows smoke rising following an alleged drone attack on oil depot in Sevastopol, Crimea, April 29, 2023. Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhaev via Telegram/Handout via REUTERS
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin takes a question from a journalist during a news briefing following a phone call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in Beijing, China April 26, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lo
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov holds a news conference at United Nations headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S. April 25, 2023. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva gestures as he speaks during a business meeting with Spanish Minister for Economic Affairs Nadia Calvino, at Casa de America, in Madrid, Spain April 25, 2023. REUTERS/Juan Medina
Tennis – WTA 250 – Birmingham Classic – Edgbaston Priory Club, Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain – June 13, 2021 Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko in action during her qualifying round match against Britain’s Naiktha Bains Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs
A local resident and a rescuer stand on the debris of a local museum heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the town of Kupiansk, Kharkiv region, Ukraine April 25, 2023. REUTERS/Viktoriia Yakymenko
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pose for photos as they attended a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on “Effective multilateralism through the defence of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations,” at the U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., April 24, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A general view during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on “Effective multilateralism through the defence of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations,” at the U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., April 24, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Ukrainian servicemen are seen next to a BMP infantry fighting vehicle near a front line, amid Russia’s invasion, in Donetsk region, Ukraine April 22, 2023. REUTERS/Sofiia Gatilova
Soccer Football – UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifiers – Group C – England v Ukraine – Wembley Stadium, London, Britain – March 26, 2023 Players from both teams join to hold a Ukraine flag with a message of peace before the match REUTERS/Carl Recine
FILE PHOTO: Commercial vessels including vessels which are part of Black Sea grain deal wait to pass the Bosphorus strait off the shores of Yenikapi during a misty morning in Istanbul, Turkey, October 31, 2022. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
A view shows a residential building damaged by shelling in the town of Chasiv Yar, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, near a front line in Donetsk region, Ukraine April 22, 2023. REUTERS/Sofiia Gatilova
A view shows a residential house damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the village of Kotliary outside of Kharkiv, Ukraine April 23, 2023. REUTERS/Yevhen Titov
Ukrainian servicemen pull a damaged pick-up car by a BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle in the town of Chasiv Yar, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, near a front line in Donetsk region, Ukraine April 22, 2023. REUTERS/Sofiia Gatilova
U.S. Army Abrams tank leaves ship during operation Atlantic Resolve rotation in Riga port, Latvia, October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins