Ukraine war LIVE: Putin nuclear alert as Russia unleashes 'unstoppable' hypersonic missile

Former NYT journalist Brent Renaud killed in Ukraine

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Putin is taunting the West by showing off menacing military force in new footage of an “unstoppable” Zircon [Tsirkon] nuclear-capable Mach 9 hypersonic missile, being launched from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate warship. Tsirkon, or known by NATO as SS-N-33, is a vertically launched maneuvering anti-ship weapon said to reach a speed of Mach 8 (eight times the speed of sound), or 9,800 km/h. No other missile defense systems can intercepted this deathly rocket. Air Force General John E Hyten told the Washington Post that hypersonics are “the threat of the future.” He said: “That’s not just because they can fly so fast but also because their trajectory is so unpredictable. When tracking a ballistic missile, US surveillance systems can predict soon after launch where it will land. But a low-flying, hypersonic cruise missile can zig and zag, avoiding detection and targeting and posing an eerie, perhaps unstoppable danger.”

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Ukraine LIVE: Putin nuclear warning as Russia unleashes 'unstoppable' hypersonic missile

Ukraine LIVE: Putin nuclear warning as Russia unleashes ‘unstoppable’ hypersonic missile (Image: Russian Defence Ministry)

Rachel Hagan

Three airstrikes reported in and around Kyiv today

In the Kurenivka district, the remainder of a shot down Russian missile struck a tram on a residential street and killed one civilian. The debris destroyed then bus and set fire to a residential building, luckily the bus was empty. 

Secondly, in the Obolon district, one person was killed when a nine-storey apartment building was hit by an artillery shell. Three further people were taken to hospital and officials say 15 residents were rescued and 63 evacuated. Ukrainian television footage showed firefighters clambering through rubble and up a ladder into what was left of the smouldering apartment block.

The Antonov aircraft plant was struck by three Russian rockets but there were no immediate reports of any deaths.

Rachel Hagan

Russia denies asking China for military help in Ukraine

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russian troops could take “major population centres under full control” in Ukraine.

When asked by Reuters about remarks by US officials who had said Russia had asked China for military equipment, Peskov denied the claims.

He said: “Russia possesses its own independent potential to continue the operation. As we said, it is going according to plan and will be completed on time and in full.”

Rachel Hagan

Zelensky pulls out of EU address due to ‘very urgent, unforeseen circumstances’

Ukraine’s President Zelensky has pulled out of a planned address to the Council of Europe today.

CNN reports that Tiny Kox, the council’s President, said that Zelensky “informed me that due to very urgent, unforeseen circumstances, he will not be able to address our assembly now and instead he has asked the Prime Minister of Ukraine to speak on his behalf.”

It is unclear what the circumstances are.

Rachel Hagan

Ukrainian MP: ‘If they penetrate Kyiv, we will make hell for them’

Ukrainian MP Alexey Goncharenko has been spoke to Sky News and said:

“We need to stop it as soon as we can, we need to provide Ukraine with air assistance and aircraft just to stop this horror.

“It’s people’s lives, it’s hundreds of people whose lives would be saved if we were provided with aircraft.

“If we do not stop Putin, tomorrow it will be Warsaw, tomorrow it will be Riga and I don’t know what will be next.”

He added that he is “sure” that the Russian army “could not take Kyiv”.

“They can destroy it yes, but they cannot take it. If they penetrate the city, we will make hell here for them. It is already hell for us.”

Rachel Hagan

EU to add Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to list of sanctioned Russians

Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich, has been hit with a sanction by the EU.

The informal greenlight to Abramovich’s listing came in a meeting on Sunday and the EU envoys will reconvene later this morning to adopt the measure and a further set of economic sanctions against Russia.

Rachel Hagan

Javid says Putin will be held responsible for war crimes

Vladimir Putin will be “held responsible” for war crimes in Ukraine at the international criminal court in The Hague, the health secretary, Sajid Javid, has pledged.

Javid told BBC One’s Breakfast programme that it fills him with rage to see appalling atrocities committed on innocent civilians.

He continued: “These are war crimes and Putin will be held responsible for sure by the international court. Today, the justice secretary, my colleague, is going to The Hague and he’ll be meeting there with the chief prosecutor and others, offering UK support to gather evidence.”

Rachel Hagan

4,000 Ukrainian visa applications granted so far

Sky News is reporting that as of 3pm on Sunday, a total of 4,000 visas have been issued under the Ukraine Family Scheme.

This allows those fleeing the war in Ukraine to join family members in the UK.

So far, a total of 32,200 applications have been opened by the Home Office, while 10,600 Ukrainian refugees have made appointments at visa application sites.

Rachel Hagan

Turkey will not join Western sanctions against Russia

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a diplomatic forum in Antalya on Sunday that they will not be issuing sanctions against Russia. 

He said: “We believe that the sanctions will not resolve the problem. Take the airspace. In accordance with the Montreux Convention we have no power to close it. This is a legal obligation.”

Rachel Hagan

Furious London protesters ‘occupy home of Russian oligarch’ in fury at Putin’s war

Rachel Hagan

UK to send 500 generators to Ukraine

Following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s request, the UK government will donate 500 generators to Ukraine. 

They will be used to power 20,000 buildings, and will help keep hospitals, shelters and public services running.

The UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has said the move will “weaken Putin’s attempts to throttle Ukraine’s energy supply”.

Rachel Hagan

Pregnant woman pictured being evacuated from bombed Mariupol hospital dies with baby

Reports said the mother cried out “kill me now!” as doctors tried to save her and after she realised she was losing her baby.

Surgeon Timur Marin discovered her hip was crushed and her pelvis detached in the Mariupol attack.

The infant was delivered via caesarean section but showed “no signs of life,” the surgeon added.

Focusing on the woman, “more than 30 minutes of resuscitation of the mother didn’t produce results”.

Rachel Hagan

Death toll in Mariupol rises to 2,500

Oleksiy Arestovych, Ukrainian Presidential Adviser, has confirmed this morning that the death toll in Mariupol has risen to 2,500. 

This comes as the Red Cross has warned of a “worst-case scenario” for hundreds of thousands of civilians in the besieged city of Mariupol.

The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, said in a statement that residents “have endured a weeks-long life-and-death nightmare”.

Mr Maurer continued: “Dead bodies, of civilians and combatants, remain trapped under the rubble or lying in the open where they fell. Life-changing injuries and chronic, debilitating conditions cannot be treated. The human suffering is simply immense.”

Rachel Hagan

Russia ‘using banned white phosphorus bombs’

Markiyan Lubkivsky, from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, has said to the BBC that President Putin wants to turn Ukrainian cities into “Aleppos” [a city in Syria] and has claimed that Russia used white phosphorus in bombing attacks.

Mr Lubkivsky’s said to situation is “quite critical” and referred to the Syrian city that suffered mass destruction during its civil war. After Putin intervened in the Syrian war in 2015, the Russians pounded whole districts in rebel-held Aleppo.

White phosporous bombs can create thick white smoke screens that can hide military forces or mark targets.

It also causes huge fires and can cause horrendous injuries.

Their use in populated areas and against military targets in areas surrounded by civilian populations is banned.

Liudmila Denisova, Ukraine’s human rights ombudswoman, also claimed on Sunday that Moscow had used them in an overnight attack on the town of Popasna in eastern Luhansk region.

Oleksi Biloshytsky, head of police in Popasna wrote on Facebook: “It’s what the Nazis called a ‘flaming onion’ and that’s what the Russcists [amalgamation of ‘Russians’ and ‘fascists’] are dropping on our towns. Indescribable suffering and fires.”

Russia is using white phosphorus bombs on civilians in #Ukraine u2014 which is a #WarCrime.

When phosphorus comes in contact with air, it ignites.

It burns at around 5,000u00b0F.

Thatu2019s nearly twice the melting temperature of steel.

No civilians survived this attack.#StopRussia pic.twitter.com/X2CBKMadiO

u2014 JAKE (@USMC_Liberal) March 13, 2022

Rachel Hagan

Australia and the Netherlands launch legal action against Russia over MH17 flight disaster

Australia and the Netherlands have launched legal proceedings against Russia through the International Civil Aviation Organization for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

The Russian federation shot down the plane in 2014 and killed 298 people, including 38 Australians. Russia denies all involvement. 

Australia’s foreign minister, Marise Payne, and attorney general, Michaelia Cash announced this morning they would be launching joint action with the Netherlands. 

Ms Payne said in a statemement: “We have maintained since May 2018 that the Russian Federation is responsible under international law for the downing of Flight MH17.

“Today’s joint action by Australia and the Netherlands is a major step forward in both countries’ fight for truth, justice and accountability for this horrific act of violence.

“The Russian Federation’s refusal to take responsibility for its role in the downing of Flight MH17 is unacceptable and the Australian Government has always said that it will not exclude any legal options in our pursuit of justice.

“Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine and the escalation of its aggression underscores the need to continue our enduring efforts to hold Russia to account for its blatant violation of international law and the UN Charter, including threats to Ukraine’s sovereignty and airspace.”

Australia and the Netherlands launch legal action against Russia over MH17 flight disaster

Australia and the Netherlands launch legal action against Russia over MH17 flight disaster (Image: GETTY)

Rachel Hagan

Ukrainian children with cancer to receive care through the NHS in England

The UK government, yesterday evening, brought 21 Ukrainian children with cancer to receive care through the NHS in England, as part of the UK’s humanitarian response to the war.

The UK has also already sent more than 650,000 medical items to Ukraine as part of its humanitarian response to the crisis.

NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard said the NHS would continue to work with ministers to provide both the necessary supplies and the “crucial treatment” the children need.

“Colleagues at paediatric hospitals around the country have gone above and beyond to help these children during their greatest hour of need,” she added.

Rachel Hagan

China says it is ‘disinformation’ that Russia is seeking military aid from them

A U.S. official said Russia asked China for military equipment to use in its invasion of Ukraine. 

However, China’s foreign ministry have said this is disinformation from the US.

Rachel Hagan

Good morning

Good morning I’m Rachel Hagan, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the Ukraine war for the next few hours. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

Email: rachel.hagan@reachplc.com

William Murphy

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