War in Ukraine: Latest developments

·3-min read
US President Joe Biden on Thursday accused Moscow of issuing 'idle comments' and 'disturbing rhetoric' (AFP/Anna Moneymaker) (Anna Moneymaker)

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- Stop 'idle' nuclear threats: Biden -

US President Joe Biden blasts Moscow for "idle comments" on the possible use of nuclear weapons in the Ukraine conflict, saying such talk showed Russia's "desperation."

His comments come a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that if Western forces intervene in Ukraine, they will face a "lightning-fast" military response, saying "We have all the tools for this."

Biden says the US is "not attacking Russia" despite Moscow's "disturbing rhetoric".

Biden also says that the United States will not let Russia use "gas blackmail" to pressure European allies and to undermine sanctions placed on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

Asking Congress for $33 billion more for Ukraine, he says it is "not cheap" but that Washington can not stand by in the face of Russia's "atrocities and aggression."

Earlier the White House proposed using assets seized from Russian oligarchs to compensate Ukraine for damage caused by the war.

- 'More than 8,000' war crimes cases -

Ukrainian investigators have identified more than 8,000 cases of suspected war crimes since Russia's invasion, prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova tells Deutsche Welle.

"It's actually 8,600 cases only about war crimes, and more than 4,000 cases that are connected with war crimes," Venediktova says.

Earlier her office said they have identified 10 Russian soldiers suspected of committing war crimes in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.

The prosecutor general's office says the troops from the 64th motorised infantry brigade are suspected of "premeditated murder", cruel treatment and other violations of the laws and customs of war during their occupation of Bucha in March.

- UN chief visits ruined towns -

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visits Bucha and two other towns where Russian forces are accused of massacring civilians, on his first visit to Ukraine since Russia invaded.

"I imagine my family in one of those houses that is now destroyed and black. I see my granddaughters running away in panic," he says, calling the war "evil" and urging Russia to cooperate with an international war crimes probe.

- Kremlin warning on weapons -

The Kremlin says that Western arms deliveries to Ukraine are a threat to European security.

"The tendency to pump weapons, including heavy weapons into Ukraine, these are the actions that threaten the security of the continent, provoke instability," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells reporters.

He was reacting to comments by Britain's Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who called on Kyiv's allies to send more tanks and other heavy weapons to Ukraine. The German parliament meanwhile backs providing Ukraine with heavy weapons, marking a shift from its previously cautious approach to Russia.

- Briton killed -

The UK's foreign ministry confirms to AFP that a British citizen has been killed in Ukraine and another is missing.

British media report that the pair may have been fighting Russian forces. Several British and dual British-Ukrainian citizens are known to have volunteered on the Ukrainian side.

- Depots hit -

Russia says it used missiles to destroy two arms and ammunition depots in eastern and southern Ukraine and also carried out airstrikes on dozens of military sites.

- Return of the ruble -

The administrator of the Russian-controlled city of Kherson in southern Ukraine says that the ruble will soon be introduced in areas under Moscow's control.

- 'We have to be stronger' -

Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov urges fellow EU members to be "stronger" and find alternatives to Russian gas, a day after Moscow cut off its supplies to Bulgaria.

"We have to be stronger. We have to be tough," Petkov said during a visit to the war-scarred Kyiv suburb of Irpin, adding: "If we are able to do it, everybody in Europe should be able to."

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