A volunteer of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces walks on the debris in Baryshivka, east of Kyiv. AP
Air raid sirens were heard across Ukrainian cities in the early hours of Saturday as Russian forces regrouped and inched closer to capital Kyiv.
Local media reports said that air raid sirens were heard in major cities including Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Cherkasy as well as in the Sumy region.
Explosions were also heard going off in Kyiv overnight and continued into the early hours of Saturday morning, reported CNN.
As the Russian invasion entered its 17th day, satellite images showed that Russian military units were advancing towards Kyiv and firing towards residential areas.
The main attack force has been stalled on roads north of Kyiv, but images released by private US satellite firm Maxar showed armoured units manoeuvring in and through towns close to an airport on the city’s northwest outskirts.
Volunteers pass an improvised path under a destroyed bridge as they evacuate an elderly resident in Irpin. AP
Earlier, Ukraine’s defence intelligence agency had claimed Vladimir Putin may be planning to launch a “terrorist attack” on the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to distract the rest of the world from his brutal assault on the country.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said his country had reached a “strategic turning point” in the war with Russia.
Italy seizes £530m yacht owned by Russian businessman
Russian businessman Andrey Melnichenko’s mega yacht has been seized on Friday, according to a statement from Italy’s finance police.
The vessel called “SY A” is worth about £530m and was in storage at the northeastern port of Trieste.
Melnichenko had been sanctioned by the European Union on 9 March after it noted that he and 36 other business leaders met Russian President Vladimir Putin after the invasion of Ukraine began to discuss the potential economic impact of EU and US sanctions.
70 children dead in Russian aggression
More than 70 children have died since Russia started its war on Ukraine, foreign affairs minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Friday.
A child looks out a steamy bus window in Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine. AP
“‘Denazification’. ‘Demilitarization’. These are the ‘reasons’ why Putin has sent his army to kill Ukrainians, including children,” the minister said in a tweet.
“Over 70 of them already died. This aggression is a barbaric crime not seen since WWII and I swear we will ensure that each war criminal faces justice.”
On Thursday, Ukraine officials said that a maternity and children’s hospital in the city of Mariupol had been destroyed by Russian air strikes.
Russia has dismissed these claims, and dubbed them as “fake news” by Ukraine. It claimed that the hospital had no patients at the time of the air strikes.
Russia's new 'fake news' law casts chill
Russia has started implementing its new law under which citizens who spread what it described as “fake” information about the military can be jailed for up to 15 years.
People cross the Irpin river as they evacuate from Irpin town next to a destroyed bridge outside of Kyiv. Reuters
Vera Kotova became one of the first persons to be fined under the law for writing “No to war” in the snow at the foot of a statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in a square in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk during a sparsely attended protest rally, reported Reuters.
Kotova has been fined 30,000 roubles (£170) but she has yet to pay it, pending appeal.
The average monthly wage in Russia is about 78,000 roubles.
The fine comes as Russian president Vladimir Putin continues to crack down on protesters taking to the streets to demonstrate against the conflict, which entered its 17th day on Saturday.
Its forces have captured the town of Kherson in the south, giving them a foothold just 100km (62 miles) north of Russian-annexed Crimea, and have mostly occupied Mariupol, a strategic eastern port city on the Azov Sea.
Hours after the strikes, a Moscow-installed official in southern Ukraine said the Odesa and Mykolaiv regions would soon be "liberated” by Russian forces, just like the already occupied Kherson region further east.
Shabia Mantoo, a UNHCR spokeswoman, said the latest and still growing count had 281,000 in Poland, more than 84,500 in Hungary, about 36,400 in Moldova, over 32,500 in Romania and about 30,000 in Slovakia.
Governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyy posted photographs of the charred shell of a four-story building and rescuers searching rubble. In a later Facebook post, he said many Russian soldiers and some local residents also were killed during the fighting on Sunday.
The shooters claimed that the woman wanted to marry her cousin Waqas, brother of Abbas, who was living in Italy but her brother opposed it. According to the report, the brother wanted her sister to marry a well-educated person, but she refused.
Several infrastructure projects and emissions from nearby refineries were the possible reasons, said a government official who did not want to be named as he was not authorised to talk to the media.
"I think it's very exciting that the UAE, an OPEC member, is going to host COP28, and it's so important that you have an oil and gas producing nation step up and say we understand the challenge of the climate crisis,” Kerry told Reuters in an interview.