July 20, 2024

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy shakes hands with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during his welcome, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv on Saturday. Photo: Reuters

Moon Desk: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is on a visit to Ukraine, in a signal of continuing British support for Ukraine and its president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The first train from the Ukrainian capital Kyiv arrives in Kherson a week after Russian troops pulled out from the southern city.

Five people have been injured in a Russian attack on a humanitarian station in southern Ukraine, a senior aide to President Zelenskyy has said.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the presidential administration, said the attack took place in the town of Bilozerka, just west of the city of Kherson, which Ukrainian troops retook from Russian forces last week. He said the centre had been handing out bread.

The United Nations has said more than 16,000 civilians have been killed since Russia’s February 24 invasion. Moscow has denied targeting civilians.

Moscow has not officially contacted Kyiv about peace negotiations, but Russia would in any case need to completely withdraw its forces for talks to take place, a top Ukrainian official has said.

“We have not any official application from the Russian side about … negotiations,” Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian presidential chief of staff, said in English remarks made via video link at the Halifax International Security Forum.

Any talks not based on Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity within the limits of its internationally recognised borders are “not acceptable”, he said.

His remarks came a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissed the idea of a “short truce” with Russia, saying it would only make things worse.

“Russia is now looking for a short truce, a respite to regain strength. Someone may call this the war’s end, but such a respite will only worsen the situation,” the Ukrainian leader said in remarks broadcast at the same security forum.

At least 437 Ukrainian children have been killed as a result of Russia’s invasion, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office has said.

More than 837 children have also been injured in a tally that officials said was “not final” because they were still verifying information from zones of active fighting, liberated areas and territory still occupied by Russian forces.

The eastern Donetsk region was the most affected, with 423 children killed or injured, the prosecutor’s office said.

The United Nations has said at least 16,295 civilians have been killed since Russia’s February 24 invasion, which Kyiv and Western leaders have denounced as an act of unprovoked aggression. Moscow denies targeting civilians.

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