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Latest on the Ukraine war: Drones attack Kyiv and Dnipro

2023-05-03T09:26:07Z

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.

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