Ukraine war - latest updates: Outrage as Russia takes charge of UN Security Council; Kim Jong Un's sister accuses Kyiv of calling for nuclear weapons (2023)

Key points
  • Russia assumes the presidency of the UN Security Council
  • Kim Jong Un's sister accuses Ukraine of seeking nuclear weapons
  • Ukraine to attempt 'splitting Russian troops in two' with counter-offensive
  • Five-month-old boy killed by Russian artillery
  • Top Russian tennis players react to end of Wimbledon ban|Ukraine demands UK ban their visas
  • 'War commander pushing his luck with Kremlin'
  • Finland to join NATO 'within days' and double the alliance's border with Russia
  • Live reporting by Chris Lockyer, and earlier, Brad Young


The medical train that has evacuated over 3,000 patients

A single train has evacuated more than 3,000 patients since the beginning of the war, according to the Ukrainian ministry of health.

What started as a four-car train in March 2022 has doubled in size, including fully-fledged wards and an intensive care carriage.

The train is run by the charity Doctors Without Borders in conjunction with the government, and staffed by anesthesiologists, cardiologists, intensive care nurses and a translator, the ministry said in a statement.

Christopher Stokes, the chief emergency coordinator of Doctors Without Borders, said there was a "very strong emotional connection" between patients and staff, reported the organisation in a post on Facebook.

In the same statement, they quoted the head of the train Igor Komarov as stressing the time-sensitive nature of their work.

"Sometimes there is a small gap of time between the shellings," he said.

"We have to quickly take the patients to a safe place. Most of all, children with amputations and severe injuries are remembered."

Mr Stokes added the train has also been used to return people to their homes in areas like Kherson in recent months.


Ukraine asks court to put religious leader under house arrest over alleged pro-Russia stance

Ukraine's security agency has asked a court to put a senior Orthodox priest under house arrest over suspicions he condoned Russia's invasion.

Metropolitan Pavel strongly rejected the claim and described the accusations against him as politically driven, threatening Volodymyr Zelenskyy with damnation.

He is abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery where the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) is based, which has been accused of having ties to Russia by Ukrainian security agencies.

The monastery is owned by the Ukrainian government, which notified the monks their lease would be terminated on Wednesday, but Pavel has resisted the order to vacate.

(Video) The Murder of Kim Jong-un's Brother | North Korea: Inside the Mind of a Dictator

Authorities claim the monks made unapproved alterations to the historic site and other technical infractions - allegations the monks reject, filing their own lawsuit to stop the eviction.

The Kyiv government has recently cracked down on the UOC over its historic ties to the Russian Orthodox Church, whose leader, Patriarch Kirill, supported Russia's invasion.

Authorities raided holy sites of the church and posted photos of roubles, Russian passports and leaflets with messages from Patriarch Kirill, claiming they are proof some church officials have been loyal to Russia.

The UOC has insisted it is loyal to Ukraine and has denounced the Russian invasion from the start.

The church declared its independence from Moscow.


Kim Jong Un's sister accuses Ukraine of seeking nuclear weapons

The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has accused Ukraine of seeking nuclear weapons, according to state media.

Kim Yo Jong said a pro-nuclear Ukrainian petition - which has received just 611 signatures - was a political plot by Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office, reported KCNA.

Ms Kim, herself a senior North Korean official, provided no evidence for the assertion, which appears to be based solely on a public petition filed to the Ukrainian presidential office's website on Thursday.

The petition followed an announcement by Vladimir Putin that Russia plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in neighbouring Belarus.

Kyiv officials have not commented on the petition sofar.

North Korea has been forging closer ties with Kremlin and supported Moscow's proclaimed annexation of parts of Ukraine after it invaded last year.

For context:Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in the 1990s, having inherited them after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In exchange, world powers including Russia promised not to violate its security.

A foreign policy adviser to the Ukrainian deputy prime minister said this was "a mistake" in March last year, suggesting Russia would never have invaded if Ukraine had kept its nuclear capabilities.

Who is Kim Yo Jong?

Ms Kim's official title is vice department director of the Central Committee of the North's ruling Workers' Party, but South Korea's spy agency has said that she handles relations with both South Korea and the US.

It has been said she is the North's second-most powerful person after her brother.


(Video) North Korea likens U.S. to 'barking dog'; Kim Jong-un's sister blasts UN 'double standards'

World's biggest cargo aircraft destroyed in fighting

The commander of the joint forces of the armed forces of Ukraine met with mobile air defence units at the Antonov airport in Hostomel, on the outskirts of Kyiv, today.

Serhiy Nayev spoke with soldiers before they posed in front of the gutted remains of an Antonov An-225, the world's biggest cargo aircraft.


Ukraine to buy 100 armoured transport vehicles from Poland

Ukraine will buy 100 armoured transport vehicles from Poland, the Polish Prime Minister has announced.

Mateusz Morawiecki said EU and US cash will be used to pay for the "top shelf" Rosomaks combat transporters.

Poland has already handed over their pledged Leopard tanks, and promised four MiG-29 fighter jets earlier this month.


Ukraine criticises 'symbolic blow' of Russia leading UN Security Council

A top Ukrainian official has called Russia's presidency of the UN Security Council a "symbolic blow" to international order.

Russia has today taken charge of the security body, whose remit covers international peace and conflict resolution, in its monthly rotation of leadership.

"It's not just a shame. It is another symbolic blow to the rules-based system of international relations," said Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian president's chief of staff.

The last time Moscow held the post was in February 2022, when it invaded Ukraine.

In comments made on Twitter, Mr Yermak also called Iran a "terror state", with Kyiv and its allies having accused the country of supplying Russia with hundreds of assault drones.

(Video) Ukraine’s ambassador to UN labels Russia a 'terrorist state' after missile attacks

Tehran denies supplying Russia with weapons.


April Fool's Twitter spat between UK and Russian governments

The UK and Russian foreign ministries have been engaged in an April Fool's Twitter spat.

Yesterday, Russia published its updated foreign policy doctrine, which outlined responses to so-called "existential threats" and support for non-Western regional leaders in a challenge to perceived US hegemony.

Alongside the announcement, its ministry for foreign affairs tweeted: "Russian foreign policy is peaceful, open, predictable, consistent, and pragmatic and is based on the respect for universally recognized principles and norms of international law."

The UKForeign, Commonwealth and Development Office replied: "April Fool's Day is TOMORROW."

The Russian foreign ministry has today responded with a link to its website, which includes entries titled "political crimes committed by the UK" and "examples of Western countries fabricating pretexts for aggression".

The accompanying text on Twitter read: "April Fool's! Here, fixed the link for you."


The boy who cried wolf: Should Putin's nuclear threat be believed?

By military analyst Sean Bell

Vladimir Putin's decision to forward deploy tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus has made headlines around the world - but forward-basing of nuclear weapons has limited military benefit.

Intercontinental ballistic missiles have virtually unlimited range, so forward-deploying nuclear weapons to Belarus territory is not driven by military necessity.

However, the primary benefit is maintaining the omnipresent threat of nuclear confrontation at the forefront of Western leaders' minds, to deter continued western military support forUkraine.

So, this appears to be further sabre-rattling by Putin - but at what cost?

Read Mr Bell's full analysis here...

(Video) Russia-Ukraine War l Why Putin Should Be Wary Of NATO’s “Flexible Response” Nuclear Policy


'War commander pushing his luck with Kremlin'

Russia's most senior soldier is likely pushing his luck with the Kremlin after "squandering" Russia's advantage in winter, according to British military intelligence.

Chief of the General Staff (CGS), General Valery Gerasimov, took personal command of the invasion in January, but has made only made "marginal gains", the UK Ministry of Defence has said.

This is despite a personnel advantage granted to him by Russia's autumn troop mobilisation.

"After ten years as CGS, there is a realistic possibility that Gerasimov is pushing the limits of how far Russia’s political leadership will tolerate failure," the UK MOD said in its analysis.

"Gerasimov's tenure has been characterised by an effort to launch a general winter offensive with the aim of extending Russian control over the whole of the Donbas region.

"Eighty days on, it is increasingly apparent that this project has failed."

The MOD pointed to the tens of thousands of Russian casualties lost across the Donbas front.


Russia to boost ammunition supplies after criticism from paramilitary

Russia will increase munition supplies to the frontline, according to defence minister SergeiShoigu.

Footage published by the defence ministry today shows Mr Shoigu telling senior military officers that "necessary measures" are being taken to meet demand.

The meeting at Russian forces headquarters in Moscow included General Valery Gerasimov, Russia's most senior soldier.

Shoigu has in recent months come under bitter criticism from hardline war advocates including Yevgeny Prigozhin.

The head of the Wagner mercenary group accused Mr Shoigu of failing to supply sufficient munitions to the frontline.

(Video) North Korea Blasts US Live : Pyongyang Calls US 'Barking Dog', Slams UN 'Rabble' | World News


1. Reasons behind N. Korea's recent missile launches, and how to tackle it?
(Arirang News)
2. Ukraine Says 40 Towns Shelled, Russia Admits Mobilisation Mistakes, Putin Gives Snowden Citizenship
3. The Story Of Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s Nuclear Armed Dictator & The Man The West Loves To Hate
4. North Korea Test Fires ‘Monster Missile’ Hwasong-17 That Can Strike US l Kim Celebrates, Biden Fumes
5. Russia's Putin: The US is parking missiles "on the porch of our house"
(Sky News)
6. Ukraine & Russia face-off at the UNSC: Russia counters Zelensky's address | World English News


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