Commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet killed, says Ukraine; Russian strikes kill six and cause ‘significant damage’ to Odesa port

Ukraine has claimed it killed Adm Viktor Sokolov, the commander of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, along with 33 other officers, in one of Kyiv’s boldest attacks yet on the occupied peninsula of Crimea. The Ukrainian military said Friday’s attack on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol was timed to coincide with a meeting of naval officials.

Russian air defence units repelled several Ukraine drone attacks over the Belgorod and Kursk regions late on Monday, destroying at least 11 drones in total, Russia’s defence ministry said. The ministry in several separate statements on its Telegram messaging app said that seven drones were downed over the Belgorod region and four over the Kursk region. The ministry provided no information on possible damage or injuries from the attacks. Moscow rarely discloses details, unless civilian or non-military infrastructure is damaged.

Russian airstrikes and shelling killed six people in Ukraine and caused “significant damage” to infrastructure at the Black Sea port of Odesa and to grain storage facilities, Ukrainian officials said on Monday.

Fragments of a missile were found in a village in Moldova’s breakaway Transnistria region on Monday after a major Russian aerial attack on neighbouring Ukraine overnight, regional authorities said. The pro-Moscow separatist region broke away after a brief civil war after the collapse of the Soviet Union and is not recognised internationally. “An S-300 missile warhead … fell in [the village of] Chitcani, near a house, and got stuck in the ground,” Oleg Belyakov, co-chairman of a commission in charge of peacekeeping operations in Transnistria, told Russia’s state-run TASS news agency.

A UN investigation into human rights violations in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion warned that evidence indicates the use of torture by Russian forces has been “widespread and systematic”.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has confirmed that his army had taken delivery of US Abrams battle tanks, boosting Kyiv’s forces in their slow-moving counteroffensive against Russian troops.

Poland raised the prospect of providing Ukraine with older weapons from its country’s arsenal after they are replaced with more modern equivalents, in an apparent attempt to defuse a row that caused relations to sour last week.

Hungary will not support Ukraine on any issue in international affairs until Ukraine restores “the former rights for ethnic Hungarians on its territory”, the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, told his country’s parliament.

The EU’s trade commissioner has warned that China’s position on the war in Ukraine could endanger its relationship with Europe, while calling for a more balanced economic relationship with China and noting an EU trade deficit of nearly $425bn.

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