- 4 May 2023 - 19:47(19:47 GMT)
Did Ukraine launch a drone attack on the Kremlin?
Russia says its air defences foiled a US-planned attack by Ukrainian drones, labelling it an attempt to assassinate Putin.
Moscow is threatening retaliation.
Both Kyiv and Washington have denied involvement in any such attack.
What might the consequences of this incident be?
- 4 May 2023 - 19:06(19:06 GMT)
Ukraine says enemy drone downed in Kyiv attack
The head of Zelenskyy’s office says an enemy drone was downed in Kyiv.
Andriy Yermak gave no further details in a post on Telegram.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said a fire had broken out in the Solomyanskyi district in the west of the city. He said on Telegram there could be wreckage from drone fragments and emergency crews were at the scene.
Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv City military administration also reported a drone had been downed. There was no word on casualties or damage.
- 4 May 2023 - 17:59(17:59 GMT)
Air raid alert for Kyiv: Gunfire, explosions in city
Drones attacked Kyiv on Thursday evening, subjecting residents to spasms of gunfire and explosions in the fourth attack on the capital in as many days, Reuters news agency reported.
Witnesses heard gunfire and repeated heavier explosions near the city centre just after 8pm (17:00 GMT).
One witness said a drone was seen going down in an area near Dynamo football stadium and the bank of the Dnipro River – just outside the city centre.
Local authorities declared an alert for both the capital and the surrounding area and anti-aircraft units went into operation, Reuters reported. The gunfire and explosions went on for about 20 minutes.
- 4 May 2023 - 17:27(17:27 GMT)
Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, UN to discuss grain deal
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar says technical personnel from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, and the United Nations will meet on May 5 to discuss a deal that allows the exports of Ukrainian grains on the Black Sea.
The meeting will come in advance of the planned deputy defence ministers of Russia, Ukraine and Turkey next week, Akar said, adding that Ankara continues its efforts for further extension of the deal that will expire on May 18.
- 4 May 2023 - 16:59(16:59 GMT)
Drone shot down near airbase in Crimea: Russian authorities
Russian-installed authorities say a drone has been shot down near an airbase in Russian-annexed Crimea, the latest in a string of such incidents in recent days.
“Another attack on Sevastopol. At about 7:00pm [16:00 GMT] air defence forces destroyed an unmanned aerial device in the area of the Belbek airfield,” Moscow-installed Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev said on Telegram.
- 4 May 2023 - 16:19(16:19 GMT)
US envoy to UN discusses Ukraine war in trip to Brazil
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield says she discussed the war between Ukraine and Russia in a trip to Brazil, adding that peace negotiations could “not be based on rewarding Russia”.
Thomas-Greenfield said Brazil’s top foreign policy adviser Celso Amorim will “soon” visit Ukraine and that relations between the US and the South American country were “enduring and built on shared values”.
- 4 May 2023 - 15:42(15:42 GMT)
US envoy to Russia visits jailed US Marine, Paul Whelan
US Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy has visited former US Marine Paul Whelan in Mordovia, a southeastern Russian region.
“Today, Ambassador Tracy visited Paul Whelan at IK17 prison in Mordovia,” the US Embassy in Russia said on Twitter.
“The US government will continue to engage Russian authorities on his case so Paul can come home as soon as possible,” it said, calling his release an “absolute priority”.
Whelan has been imprisoned in Russia for more than four years on charges of espionage.
Today, Ambassador Tracy visited #PaulWhelan at IK17 prison in Mordovia. Paul has been wrongfully detained in Russia for more than 4 years, and his release remains an absolute priority. The U.S. government will continue to engage Russian authorities on his case so Paul can come… pic.twitter.com/0DzL2falKk
— Посольство США в РФ/ U.S. Embassy Russia (@USEmbRu) May 4, 2023
- 4 May 2023 - 15:14(15:14 GMT)
Russia ‘unlikely’ to use nuclear weapons: US
Russia is very unlikely to use its nuclear weapons, a top US intelligence official said, suggesting restraint by Moscow even as it endures heavy casualties.
“It’s very unlikely, is our current assessment,” Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
- 4 May 2023 - 14:53(14:53 GMT)
Israeli missile detection system being tested: Ukraine
Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel says an Israeli-designed missile detection system is being tested in Kyiv and may be activated within two months.
Yevgen Korniychuk said the system is fed with data from Ukrainian radars.
“It allows for identifying the different objects, including ballistic missiles, and calculates where they will go and basically that allows us to close certain parts of the country rather than the whole country,” he told the Reuters news agency, referring to the air-shelter orders being issued when Ukraine under attack.
When complete, the system will warn residents of areas about to be struck by Russian missiles or drones, either by sounding sirens nearby or with alerts on mobile phones, he said.
Last year, Israel agreed to share technologies with Ukraine but has not agreed to Kyiv’s requests for weapons.
- 4 May 2023 - 14:27(14:27 GMT)
Talks on F-16 jets progressing, says Dutch PM
Talks on a potential donation of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine are progressing and there are “no taboos”, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.
“We are working closely with our partners Belgium, others, UK, Denmark, on getting that debate somehow to a conclusion. We are not there yet,” he said.
The Dutch prime minister has previously said the Netherlands would consider any kind of military support for Ukraine if it does not trigger conflict between NATO and Russia.
“But at this moment the panzer-howitzers are in Ukraine, [and] the Leo 2s are being delivered to Ukraine,” he noted.
“So we will work on this diligently, on the F-16s, and clearly there is support in parliament for this government to work on that.”
- 4 May 2023 - 13:59(13:59 GMT)
Former Russian leader calls EU’s Borrell a ‘fool’
The former Russian president and deputy head of the country’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, called the European Union’s foreign policy chief an “impudent old fool” after he warned Moscow against escalating the war following an alleged drone attack.
On Twitter, Medvedev said, “[Josep] Borrell has spoken out against using the attack on the Kremlin for possible further escalation of the conflict.
“An impudent old fool. It is exactly to the escalation of the conflict it will lead, the terrorist attack committed by the Kyiv authorities, guided by the US, and approved by the EU leadership.
“This is just what Washington and many dumbheads in Brussels want.”
Borrell has spoken out against using the attack on the Kremlin for possible further escalation of the conflict.
An impudent old fool.
It is exactly to the escalation of the conflict it will lead, the terrorist attack committed by the Kiev authorities, guided by the US, and…
— Dmitry Medvedev (@MedvedevRussiaE) May 4, 2023
- 4 May 2023 - 13:37(13:37 GMT)
EU foreign policy chief warns Moscow against escalation
Josep Borrell warns Moscow against using the alleged drone attack to escalate its war in Ukraine.
“We call on Russia not to use this alleged attack as an excuse to continue the escalation of the war,” Borrell told journalists as he attended an EU ministers meeting in Brussels.
“This is what worries us: This can be used to justify more conscription of people, more soldiers, more attacks on Ukraine.”
Borrell said he had heard Zelenskyy deny that Ukraine was behind the attack and that Ukraine’s president said: “Clearly, Ukraine is not involved in the attacks, that they are defending their country, but they are fighting on their soil, that they are not attacking Russian soil.”
- 4 May 2023 - 13:17(13:17 GMT)
Who controls what?
Here are four maps that chart the latest war developments.
- 4 May 2023 - 12:52(12:52 GMT)
Ukraine is ‘realistic’ that it cannot join NATO during the war
Zelenskyy says Ukraine is “realistic” in that it cannot join NATO while still fighting Russia.
“We are realistic, we know we will not be in NATO during the war,” Zelenskyy said after meeting Dutch and Belgian Prime Ministers Mark Rutte and Alexander De Croo.
“But we want a very clear message that we will be in NATO after the war,” Zelenskyy added.
- 4 May 2023 - 12:36(12:36 GMT)
Vital that West speeds up deliveries: Zelenskyy
Zelenskyy says it is crucial that Western governments deliver weapons to Kyiv as quickly as possible as it defends itself against Russian forces and prepares for a counteroffensive.
The Ukrainian leader also told a joint news conference in The Hague with the Dutch and Belgian prime ministers that Ukraine was already a de facto NATO member but should join the alliance formally.
Zelenskyy said Russia was demoralised on the battlefield and that Kyiv believed its planned counteroffensive would be successful.
- 4 May 2023 - 12:13(12:13 GMT)
Netherlands pledges unwavering support for Ukraine
The Netherlands will be unwavering in its support for Ukraine, the Dutch prime minister has said during a visit by Zelenskyy to The Hague.
Mark Rutte added that Russia could not win the war and must be held accountable for what he said were crimes of aggression.
- 4 May 2023 - 11:54(11:54 GMT)
US denies it was behind attack on Kremlin
Russia’s claims that the US was behind a drone attack on the Kremlin are false, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby says.
“I can assure you that there was no involvement by the United States in this. Whatever it was did not involve us,” Kirby told MSNBC in an interview. “We had nothing to do with this.”
The US does not encourage or enable Ukraine to strike outside its borders, he added.
Kirby said it was unclear what exactly happened at the Kremlin and that Washington was still looking into the incident.
- 4 May 2023 - 11:30(11:30 GMT)
Zelenskyy calls for a special tribunal
Zelenskyy says a special tribunal must be created to hold Russia to account for its “crime of aggression”.
“There should be responsibility for this crime. And this can only be enforced by the tribunal,” he told diplomats and officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“Only one Russian crime led to all of these crimes: this is the crime of aggression, the start of evil, the primary crime. There should be responsibility for this crime,” he said in his speech.
“That’s why we insist on the tribunal creation.”
For months, Kyiv has been pressing for a special tribunal to be set up to prosecute Moscow for the crime of aggression.
- 4 May 2023 - 10:53(10:53 GMT)
Russian spokeswoman calls Zelenskyy’s comments ‘nonsense’
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova calls Zelenskyy’s statements at the ICC “nonsense about a nuclear bomb”, the Tass news agency reports.
On Telegram, Zakharova quoted Zelenskyy, who said Ukraine wants to “make this war the last in the world”, and responded, “A drug addict is delusional about a nuclear bomb.”
- 4 May 2023 - 10:30(10:30 GMT)
Kremlin says it is unaware of secret Vatican peace plan
The Kremlin says while it knows Pope Francis is thinking about ways to end the conflict, it is not aware of any detailed peace plans from the Vatican.
Francis said on Sunday that the Vatican was involved in a peace mission to try to resolve the conflict but that it was “not yet public”.
“We know that the pontiff is constantly thinking about peace, and we know that the pontiff is thinking about how this conflict can be ended,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
“But we are not aware of any detailed plans that have been proposed by the Vatican in this context,” he said.
- 4 May 2023 - 10:09(10:09 GMT)
Zelenskyy says Putin ‘deserves’ to be punished by ICC
Putin must be brought to justice for his war in Ukraine, Zelenskyy says during a visit to The Hague, where the ICC is based.
“We all want to see a different Vladimir here in The Hague, the one who deserves to be sanctioned for his criminal actions here, in the capital of international law,” Zelenskyy said in a speech, referring to Putin.
“I’m sure we will see that happen when we win,” the Ukrainian president said, adding: “Whoever brings war must receive judgement.”
In March, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Putin for the alleged deportation of children from Ukraine.
- 4 May 2023 - 09:40(09:40 GMT)
‘Absolutely ridiculous’ for Kyiv, US to disown attack: Kremlin
Moscow says it is “absolutely ridiculous” for Kyiv and Washington to try to disown Wednesday’s alleged drone attack on the Kremlin.
Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Washington should be aware that Russia knew it was selecting the targets and Ukraine was merely implementing US plans.
But he did not provide any evidence to support the claim.
“Attempts to disown this, both in Kyiv and in Washington, are, of course, absolutely ridiculous. We know very well that decisions about such actions, about such terrorist attacks, are made not in Kyiv but in Washington,” Peskov said.
He alleged that the US often selected the targets for Ukraine to attack and the means to attack them.
- 4 May 2023 - 09:23(09:23 GMT)
Drone attack ‘must not go unanswered’, Russia says
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says an alleged Ukrainian drone attack against the Kremlin “must not go unanswered” and showed Kyiv had no desire to end the war through negotiations.
In a statement, the ministry also condemned the West’s “silence” over the incident and called on others to condemn what Moscow has called an attempt to kill Putin.
- 4 May 2023 - 08:56(08:56 GMT)
Zelenskyy arrives at The Hague
Zelenskyy has arrived at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague during a visit to the Netherlands.
The ICC in March issued an arrest warrant for Putin for the alleged deportation of children from Ukraine.
- 4 May 2023 - 08:38(08:38 GMT)
Russia complains to Finland over vandalism at consulate
Finland has received a diplomatic note from Russia complaining about vandalism at a Russian consulate on the Aland Islands, the Finnish foreign ministry said.
“Aland police is clarifying and investigating the incident. The case is regrettable,” it said in an email.
On Wednesday evening, the Russian foreign ministry also said a group of people had thrown “an explosive noise device”, causing damage to the building.
“The perpetrators’ actions posed a direct threat to the life and health of the staff of the Russian mission,” it said.
- 4 May 2023 - 08:27(08:27 GMT)
‘Millions of Ukrainians didn’t sleep last night’: Official
Ukrainian adviser to the minister of internal affairs says Russia’s accusation on Wednesday has left many Ukrainians worried about a possible escalation.
Anton Gerashchenko said on Twitter, “Yesterday, Ukrainians were warned about a heightened risk of Russian attacks, and there were many rumours about nuclear strikes. Millions of Ukrainians didn’t sleep last night. Every morning, we wake up and are grateful to have survived the night.”
He added that “global danger must be defused” as Russia raising the stakes of the war is a “threat to the whole world”.
Yesterday, Ukrainians were warned about a heightened risk of Russian attacks, and there were many rumors about nuclear strikes. Millions of Ukrainians didn't sleep last night. Every morning, we wake up and are grateful to have survived the night. We worry about our children…
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) May 4, 2023
- 4 May 2023 - 08:01(08:01 GMT)
Kherson shelling death toll rises to 23
Russian shelling near Kherson on Wednesday has killed at least 23 people, the regional governor says.
“The enemy’s targets are the places where we live. Their targets are our lives and the lives of our children,” Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said in an online video, adding that a hypermarket, a railway station and residential buildings were hit.
Prokudin said 46 people had been wounded in the attacks.
- 4 May 2023 - 07:17(07:17 GMT)
What we know so far about the alleged drone attack on the Kremlin
Russia has threatened to retaliate against Ukraine for an attempt to assassinate President Vladimir Putin in an alleged drone attack on the Kremlin citadel in Moscow.
Kyiv has denied any involvement and accused Russia of readying itself for a major offensive in Ukraine.
Read more here.
- 4 May 2023 - 06:55(06:55 GMT)
Threats amid Ukraine war boosting arms sales, UK defence firm says
Elevated threat levels internationally from the war in Ukraine are continuing to boost weapons sales, the United Kingdom’s largest defence company BAE Systems says.
Demand for weapons, ammunition and military equipment soared as the UK, the United States and allies support Ukraine, and as they look to keep their own arms inventories well-stocked, the company said. In the Asia-Pacific region, growing threats are also driving military spending, it added.
The NATO membership of Finland, which joined the military alliance in April, could also lift sales for BAE’s partnership in the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet and its shareholding in missile company MBDA as Finland raises defence spending to meet NATO commitments.
BAE expects earnings per share to rise 5 to 7 percent in 2023.
- 4 May 2023 - 06:29(06:29 GMT)
Zelenskyy at The Hague, may visit Germany
German police say Zelenskyy would travel to Berlin on May 13, though a security source later said public disclosure of the visit was premature and it was now unclear if it would go ahead.
The Ukrainian president is expected to speak in The Hague on Thursday. He will also meet Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and members of parliament.
- 4 May 2023 - 05:23(05:23 GMT)
Ukraine destroys 18 of 24 drones launched in pre-dawn attack
Ukrainian air defences have shot down 18 out of 24 kamikaze drones that Russia launched in a pre-dawn attack.
Kyiv city administration said all missiles and drones targeting the Ukrainian capital for the third time in four days were destroyed.
“The Russians have attacked Kyiv using Shahed loitering munitions and missiles, likely the ballistic type,” the Kyiv administration said in a statement.
Out of 15 Shahed kamikaze drones fired at the Black Sea coastal city of Odesa, Ukraine’s air defences destroyed 12, while three struck a university compound. There were no casualties, the Ukrainian southern military command said.
- 4 May 2023 - 05:12(05:12 GMT)
Delivery of F-16V jets to Taiwan delayed as Ukraine war disrupts supply chains
Delivery of the first of 66 new F-16Vs fighter jets from the United States to Taiwan has been delayed due to supply chain disruptions, Taiwan Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng has said.
Taiwan has since last year complained of delays to US weapons deliveries, such as Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, as manufacturers direct their supplies towards Ukraine to support Kyiv’s defence against Russia’s invasion.
Speaking to reporters at parliament, defence minister Chiu said Taiwan had asked the US to ”make up for deficiencies”, including prioritising spare part deliveries for the island’s existing fleet of warplanes.
The US in 2019 approved an $8bn sale of Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, a deal that would take the island’s F-16 fleet to more than 200 jets, the largest in Asia.
- 4 May 2023 - 04:34(04:34 GMT)
Kremlin attack likely staged to prepare for ‘wider societal mobilisation’: ISW
Washington, DC-based think tank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said the alleged drone attack by Ukraine on the Kremlin was probably staged by Moscow.
“Russia likely staged this attack in an attempt to bring the war home to a Russian domestic audience and set conditions for a wider societal mobilization,” the ISW on Thursday.
The ISW points out that Russia has recently increased domestic air defences around Moscow and that it is “extremely unlikely that two drones could have penetrated multiple layers of air defense and detonated or been shot down just over the heart of the Kremlin”.
The shooting down also “provided spectacular imagery” which was “caught nicely on camera”, ISW said.
The “official Russian narrative around the [drone] strike suggests that Russia staged this incident in close proximity to the May 9th Victory Day holiday in order to frame the war as existential to its domestic audience”, it added.
The #Kremlin may use the strike to justify canceling or further limiting May 9th celebrations, actions that would likely augment the information effort framing the war in #Ukraine as directly threatening #Russia's observance of revered historical events. https://t.co/TLr6LL5vq3 https://t.co/oDgqitSJo9
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) May 4, 2023
- 4 May 2023 - 03:52(03:52 GMT)
Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 435
Click here for a roundup of the key events from day 435 of the war.
- 4 May 2023 - 03:43(03:43 GMT)
Russia oil refinery fire extinguished after drone attack: Governor
A fire at an oil refinery in the Ilsky settlement in Russia’s southern Krasnodar region has been extinguished, the regional governor said.
Krasnodar Governor Veniamin Kondratyev said the refinery fire had been localised to a 400-square-metre (4,300 sq ft) area and was quickly extinguished by emergency services following a drone attack earlier on Thursday morning, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.
In the nearby village of Volna on Wednesday, a similar blaze at an oil reservoir engulfed 1,200 sq metres (almost 13,000 sq ft), with officials blaming a drone crash.
Kyiv does not comment on apparent sabotage attacks inside Russian territory or parts of Ukraine annexed by Russia.
- 4 May 2023 - 02:49(02:49 GMT)
‘They ignore all requests’ for ammunition: Wagner chief
The leader of Russia’s Wagner mercenary force has again complained that his requests for ammunition were being ignored.
Yevgeny Prigozhin said the expected Ukrainian counteroffensive had begun, that his fighters were observing heightened activity along the front line in Ukraine, and yet his forces were short of ammunition.
“The Ministry of Defence has not provided us with artillery ammunition and we only have resources for a few days,” Prigozhin said.
“They ignore all requests from Wagner.”
In an audio message published by his press service on social media, Prigozhin said that the “active phase” of the counteroffensive “could be a matter of days” away.
Prigozhin has long accused Russia’s defence ministry of leaving his fighters short of supplies in the 10-month-long battle for the key Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.
- 4 May 2023 - 02:38(02:38 GMT)
Zelenskyy makes unannounced visit to the Netherlands
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made a surprise visit to the Netherlands, Dutch media report.
Citing security concerns, a Dutch government spokesperson declined to provide further details on Zelenskyy’s visit, which would be his first to the country.
The Dutch foreign ministry said Zelenskyy was expected to deliver a speech titled “No Peace Without Justice for Ukraine” during his visit.
Local media said he is scheduled to visit the International Criminal Court at The Hague and hold meetings with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte as well as members of the country’s parliament.
The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin and the presidential children’s commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova, in March for alleged war crimes linked to the deportation of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.
- 4 May 2023 - 02:31(02:31 GMT)
Explosions heard in Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Odesa
Blasts have been heard in Kyiv and other cities in the early hours of the morning, with some local authorities reporting that anti-aircraft defences were at work.
“Air defences are working in the Kyiv region,” the regional military administration said on Telegram.
A Reuters news agency witness in the capital said there had been at least one loud blast.
Ukrainian media reported explosions in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia and the head of the regional military administration said on Telegram that anti-aircraft defences had been in operation.
Local media also reported blasts in the Black Sea port of Odesa.
- 4 May 2023 - 02:22(02:22 GMT)
Oil refinery in Russia catches fire after drone attack: TASS
Part of an oil refinery in southern Russia is on fire after the facility was hit by a drone attack, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.
TASS said the incident occurred at the Ilsky refinery near the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. It cited a source as saying a fuel reservoir was on fire but gave no details.
On Wednesday, a fuel depot further to the west in Russia’s Krasnodar region caught fire near a bridge linking Russia’s mainland with the occupied Crimean peninsula.
“A second turbulent night for our emergency services,” Krasnodar Governor Veniamin Kondratyev wrote on Telegram on Thursday. He said tanks with oil products were on fire at the Ilsky refinery but did not give a reason. There were no casualties, he said, citing preliminary data.
Last June, the Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery in Russia’s Rostov region, bordering Ukraine, suspended operations after two drones attacked its facilities.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies