Russia-Ukraine Live News: Attack destroys Odessa airport runway | Russo-Ukrainian War

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  • Russia has carried out missile attacks in southern and eastern Ukraine, including one that destroyed the runway at Odessa airport.
  • A group of 20 civilians left the steelworks of Azovstal, where the last Ukrainian troops are entrenched in Mariupol, according to the Azov regiment.
  • A Russian reconnaissance plane briefly violated Swedish airspace, Swedish defense officials said.
  • A Russian official has told state media that the risks of nuclear war should be minimized amid the conflict in Ukraine.
  • Fourteen Ukrainians, including a pregnant soldier, were freed in the latest prisoner exchange with Russian forces, Ukraine said, without revealing the number of Russians sent back to Moscow.

Here are the latest updates:


Russia says civilians killed in shelling near Kherson

The Russian Defense Ministry said shelling by Ukrainian forces of villages in the Kherson region had killed and injured civilians, according to Russian news agency RIA.

The ministry said Ukrainian forces shelled a school, a kindergarten and a cemetery in the villages of Kyselivka and Shyroka Balka. He gave no information on the number of people killed or injured, or on the date of the shelling.

There was no immediate response from Ukraine to the report.


UK says Russian troll factory is spreading misinformation on social media

The UK Foreign Office says Russia is using a troll factory to spread disinformation about the war in Ukraine on social media and target politicians in a number of countries, including the UK and South Africa .

The Foreign Office cited UK-funded expert research, which it has not published. He said the research revealed how the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign was designed to manipulate international public opinion over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, build support and recruit new sympathizers.

“We cannot allow the Kremlin and its shady troll farms to invade our online spaces with their lies about Putin’s illegal war,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.

“The UK government has alerted its international partners and will continue to work closely with allies and media platforms to undermine Russian information operations.”


Can Europeans live without Russian gas?

The crisis between Russia and Europe, triggered by the war in Ukraine, has taken a new turn.

This time, Moscow kept its promise to stop gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland for not paying in rubles, the Russian currency. Although the action was feared by some in the European Union, many had already predicted it.

Member States are now working to find alternative long-term supplies.

But what are these alternatives? Find out in the latest episode of Inside Story.


Turkey promises ‘great efforts’ to end war

Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for the Turkish president, promised “great efforts” to end the conflict in Ukraine after a meeting with Zelenskyy.

“The continuation of the Istanbul process, in particular, can play a key role in ending this war,” Kalin told Turkish news agency Anadolu. “We will continue to make great efforts to end the war from now on. Because there will be no winner in this war. Ukraine and Russia will lose.

But the “continued conflict and attacks by Russia makes the [negotiation] more difficult process,” he said.

Kalin added that he had long discussions about evacuating civilians, especially those trapped in Mariupol.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin is pictured during an interview with Reuters in Istanbul, Turkey, September 27, 2020.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin is pictured during an interview with Reuters in Istanbul, Turkey, September 27, 2020 [File: Murad Sezer/ Reuters]

Zelenskyy promises to rebuild the Odessa track

The Ukrainian president has accused Russia of launching attacks on the Dnipropetrovsk region as well as the city of Odessa in the south of the country.

“Time and time again, Russian troops prove that the people of Odessa are the same enemies of Russia as all other Ukrainians. The runway at Odessa airport was destroyed. We will of course rebuild it. But Odessa will never forget such Russian attitudes towards it,” Zelenskyy said in his evening speech.

He added that efforts were being made to “restore normal life” in areas previously occupied by Russian forces.

“The work of humanitarian units has already started on the territory of 93% of the vacated settlements. We are actively clearing the liberated territory. Every day, several dozen settlements are added to the list of those where mine clearance has ended. 69% of the disoccupied colonies are again endowed with full local autonomy.


Russia lost 23,000 troops in ‘senseless war’, says Zelensky

Ukraine’s president said Russia had lost more than 23,000 troops in what he described as a “senseless war”.

Speaking in his nightly video address, Zelenskyy said Ukraine destroyed more than a thousand Russian tanks, nearly 200 aircraft and almost two thousand five hundred armored vehicles during the conflict.

He added that “thousands more Russian soldiers will be killed and thousands injured in the coming weeks.”


The future of Europe depends on the war in Ukraine, according to Moldova FM

Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu said the future of Europe depends on an end to the war in Ukraine.

“I think the future of the whole continent rests on Ukraine’s ability to maintain its political system, its country, its resilience,” Popescu told British broadcaster Sky News.

Moldova has been following the conflict in Ukraine closely, especially after a senior Russian military official said Russian forces were aiming to take full control of southern Ukraine, saying such a move would also open a corridor overland to the separatist region of Transnistria, where Russia has troops stationed.

Transnistria, a strip of land of about 470,000 people between Moldova and Ukraine, has been under the control of separatist authorities since a 1992 war with Moldova.


Ballerina Olga Smirnova leaves the Bolshoi Ballet after the war in Ukraine

A well-known Russian ballerina starts a new life in the Netherlands because of the war in Ukraine.

Olga Smirnova says she was so ashamed of the invasion that she left the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow to dance in Amsterdam.


Turkish presidential spokesman meets Zelenskyy in Kyiv

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday in Kyiv, his office said.

There were no immediate details about the content of Kalin’s meetings in kyiv, but Ankara has mediated between Ukraine and Russia in efforts to end the war.

Kalin was accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal.

Turkey is trying to pave the way for an Istanbul summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Zelenskyy.


Russian military plane briefly violates Swedish airspace

A Russian reconnaissance plane briefly violated Swedish airspace, Swedish defense officials say, as the Scandinavian country mulls a bid for NATO membership after Russia invaded Ukraine .

“A Russian AN-30 propeller plane violated Swedish airspace on Friday evening,” the Swedish Ministry of Defense said in a statement on Saturday evening, adding that its teams had been monitoring the incident and photographing it.

The ministry said the plane was flying east of Bornholm, a Danish Baltic island, before heading into Swedish territory.

“It is totally unacceptable to violate Swedish airspace,” state broadcaster SVT quoted Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist as saying.


20 civilians leave Mariupol steelworks: Azov Battalion

A group of 20 civilians left the steelworks of Azovstal, where the last Ukrainian troops are entrenched in the port of Mariupol on the Black Sea, according to the Azov battalion.

“Twenty civilians, women and children…have been transferred to a suitable place and we hope that they will be evacuated to Zaporizhzhia, in territory controlled by Ukraine,” said Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov regiment.

Earlier on Saturday, a correspondent for Russian news agency TASS reported from the town that 25 civilians – including six children under the age of 14 – had left the site.


Russian rocket attack destroys Odessa runway

A Russian missile attack has destroyed an airport runway in Odessa, Ukraine’s third-largest city and a key Black Sea port, the Ukrainian military has said.

In a Telegram article, Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command said there was no way the Odessa runway could be used following the missile attack.

Local authorities have urged area residents to shelter in place as Ukraine’s UNIAN news agency, citing military sources, reported that “several” explosions were heard in Odessa.

The Odessa regional governor said the missile was fired from Russian-occupied Crimea. Maksym Marchenko said no injuries were reported.


Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Read the Saturday April 30 updates here.


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