WEISSENHAUS, Germany — Britain’s top diplomat has called for more international efforts to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told reporters at a meeting with her counterparts from the Group of Seven powerful economies on Friday that “it is very important right now that we keep up the pressure on Vladimir Putin by supplying more arms to Ukraine and increasing the sanctions. ”
“G-7 unity is vital during this crisis to protect freedom and democracy,” he added.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR:
— Finland’s leaders in favor of applying for NATO membership
— ‘This breaks my soul’: a Ukrainian boy and a murder
— Protesters express fury at French company for staying in Russia
— The Ukrainian circus arrives in the city and stays in Italy, in the middle of the war
Follow all AP stories on Russia’s war against Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
KYIV, Ukraine — The Ukrainian military says Russian forces attacked several villages in eastern Ukraine as they tried to expand control there, but not all were successful.
In its daily operational note on Friday, the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said that Russia’s military continued to launch artillery and air strikes on the port of Mariupol, focusing on blocking Ukrainian fighters in their last stand in the Azovstal steelworks.
In the Russian campaign in the east, villages were attacked near Donetsk, Lyman, Bakhmut and Kurakhiv, the Ukrainian military said.
He said Russian forces also fired artillery at Ukrainian troops in the direction of Novopavlovsk and Zaporizhzhia, a major industrial city that has become a haven for refugees fleeing Mariupol.
The Ukrainian military said Russian forces are transferring additional artillery units to border areas near the Chernihiv region of northern Ukraine, where deadly Russian strikes hit a school and a dormitory on Thursday.
KHARKIV, Ukraine — The war has closed Ukraine’s schools and changed the lives of millions of children. But teachers are trying to restore some sense of normalcy, including holding lessons in a metro station used as a bomb shelter in the eastern city of Kharkiv.
“It helps support them mentally. Because now there is a war and many lost their homes…some people’s parents are fighting now,” said teacher Valeriy Leiko. Thanks in part to the lessons, she said, “They feel someone loves them.”
Primary school children joined Leiko around a table for history and art lessons in the subway station, which has become home to many families and where children’s drawings line the walls.
Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city and a strategic target near the Russian border, has faced heavy shelling by Russian forces.
Kharkiv professor Mykhailo Spodarets has been lecturing on Ukrainian literature online from his basement. His student Anna Fedoryaka said that her friends found it difficult to continue learning due to problems with internet access, as well as the psychological pressures of war.
“It’s hard to concentrate when you have to do your homework with explosions by your window,” Fedoryaka said.
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian officials say their forces shot down another Russian ship in the Black Sea.
Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, said Thursday night that the logistics ship Vsevolod Bobrov was attacked while trying to deliver an anti-aircraft system to Snake Island. He said the ship was badly damaged, but she was not believed to have sunk.
A spokesman for the Odessa regional military administration said the ship caught fire after the attack. There was no confirmation from Russia and no reports of casualties.
The British Defense Ministry said this week that Ukraine has been attacking Russian air defenses and supply ships on Snake Island in an effort to disrupt Moscow’s efforts to expand its control over the Black Sea coast.
The Ukrainian military sank the cruiser Moskva, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, last month. In March, the military destroyed the landing ship Saratov.
MUNICH — German industrial giant Siemens AG says it is pulling out of Russia, where it has operated for nearly 170 years.
“We condemn the war in Ukraine and have decided to carry out an orderly process to liquidate our industrial business activities in Russia,” Roland Busch, CEO of the Munich-based company, said on Thursday.
Siemens had been one of the first companies to suspend all new business in Russia, along with international deliveries to the country, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
The company said it had been assessing the situation with the aim of ensuring the safety of its 3,000 employees in Russia.
The train and industrial equipment maker said Russia’s sanctions cut some 600,000 euros ($623,000) from its fiscal second-quarter results, which were reported Thursday.
KYIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian forces attacked the Chernihiv region and schools Thursday night.
“Of course, the Russian state is in such a state that any education only stands in its way. But what can be achieved by destroying Ukrainian schools? All Russian commanders who give such orders are simply sick and incurable.”
He condemned what he suggested were senseless attacks on the refinery in Ukraine’s central industrial hub of Kremenchuk, in the Zaporizhzhia and Donbas region.
“They are cowards and try to hide the truth behind missiles, air strikes and artillery shelling,” he said in his nightly video address to the nation. “Therefore, our task is to fight until we achieve our goals in this war: liberate our land, our people, and ensure our security.”
Noting that Thursday is International Nurses Day, Zelenskyy thanked Ukraine’s nurses and other medical workers for their part in the fight and urged all Ukrainians to do the same. He said that since the invasion began on February 24, the Russian military has damaged 570 medical facilities, completely destroying 101 hospitals.
“What is that? It is stupidity. It is barbarism. It is the self-destruction of Russia as a state that anyone in the world could see as a cultured nation.”
KYIV, Ukraine — The rocket attacks in Ukraine’s central Poltava region on Thursday were “perhaps the most intense during the war,” the regional governor said earlier that day.
“Today’s shelling of the Poltava region is perhaps the largest during the course of this large-scale war,” Dmitry Lunin wrote in a Telegram post. “12 Russian missiles hit the infrastructure in (the city of) Kremenchuk; most of them hit an oil refinery that wasn’t operational anyway.”
“The rescuers are putting out a fire at the refinery. Fortunately, no one was injured,” Lunin added.
Kremenchuk is on the Dnieper River, south of kyiv and north of Dnipro and Zaporizhzhia. The river, flowing from north to south, divides Ukraine in half. In the south, it flows through Kherson before emptying into the Black Headquarters.
KYIV, Ukraine — At least two civilians were killed Thursday as a result of shelling on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, local authorities said earlier that day.
“As a result of the shelling, two people were killed, four more were injured, two of whom are doctors. All these people are civilians,” Vyacheslav Zadorenko, mayor of the suburban city of Derhachi, wrote in a Telegram post.
He added that the attack also damaged a building that houses a humanitarian aid unit, municipal offices and hospital facilities.
“None of the sites that were bombed, not to mention the private houses that are destroyed on a daily basis, had anything to do with military infrastructure,” Zadorenko said.