Ukraine urged civilians near its northeastern front line to evacuate on Thursday as Russia launched an offensive to recapture territory it had already seized once during the conflict. Kupiansk and surrounding areas in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region were recaptured by Kyiv forces in September but Moscow has since returned to the region. Follow our live blog for all the latest developments in the war in Ukraine. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).
9:12am: Explosions heard in Kyiv after air raid alert issued across Ukraine
Several explosions were heard in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Thursday after authorities declared an air-raid alert across the country, witnesses told Reuters.
Mayor Vitali Klitschko told residents to stay in air raid shelters. Kyiv city officials said Ukraine’s air defenses are working.
7:55am: Kupiansk authorities ‘maintain’ that residents ‘must be evacuated’
There has been an increase in Russian attacks in recent days in Kupiansk, as well as in 30 surrounding towns and villages. The Kupiansk authorities therefore “maintain that the population of this front line must be evacuated”, said Emmanuelle Chaze of FRANCE 24, reporting from Kyiv. Although these areas were “liberated” by the Ukrainian army last September, the Russian army has since invaded this territory, leaving the population at risk.
After a Russian attack on a hotel in Zaporizhzhia used by NGOs and journalists, Sergiy Kyslytsya, the UN representative in Ukraine, “condemned the attacks, saying that the UN fearing the increasing number of attacks against civilians, against civilian infrastructure launched by Russian forces”, said Chaze.
Click the video below to view the full report.
7:12am: Two Ukrainian drones have gone down near Kursk in Russia
Two Ukrainian drones were destroyed by air defenses near the Russian city of Kursk late Thursday, the TASS news agency reported on Friday, citing regional governor Roman Starovoit.
10:56pm: Ukraine urges evacuations as Russia claims victory
Ukraine urged civilians near its northeastern front line to evacuate on Thursday as Russia launched an offensive to recapture territory it had already seized once during the conflict.
Kupiansk and surrounding areas in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region were recaptured by Kyiv forces in September but Moscow has since returned to the region.
“Due to the difficult security situation and the increasing number of attacks by Russian terrorist forces in the community of Kupiansk, you have the opportunity to evacuate to a safer place,” the city administration said.
It said residents could evacuate to Kharkiv, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) to the west, where they had the option of moving to safer regions, and urged children, the elderly and the sick to leave.
The warning came as Russia’s defense ministry announced that its soldiers were “improving their position” on the front line near the city, after reporting improvements earlier in the week.
10:51pm: Biden asks US Congress for $13 billion in new military spending in Ukraine
US President Joe Biden’s administration on Thursday asked Congress for more than $13 billion in new military spending for Ukraine, citing the need for continued support after Russia’s “unprovoked” invasion of country last year.
The fund will support Ukraine and other vulnerable countries “affected by Russia’s unprovoked and brutal aggression”, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young wrote in a letter to Congress leader Kevin McCarthy and others.
Key developments from Thursday, August 10:
Ukraine on Thursday said the situation on the northeastern front line near the town of Kupiansk was “difficult but under control” after an increase in Russian attacks on the settlement. Earlier this day, local authorities urged vulnerable residents to leave the area.
In the southern city of Zaporizhzhia, a Russian strike on a civilian building killed at least one person and wounded five, Ukrainian officials said. “A fire broke out in a civilian building after the occupants hit it with a missile. One person was reported dead today,” wrote President Volodymyr Zelensky in Telegram. The head of the city’s military administration, Anatoliy Kurtiev, added that five people were injured in the strike.
read yesterday’s live blog to see how the day’s events unfolded.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)