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Ukraine war: Odesa drone attack kills three as US delegation promises to deliver aid

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The latest updates from the war in Ukraine.

Russian drone strike on Odesa kills three


At least three people died in Odesa last night after a Russian drone attack caused a fire in a shopping district.

Posting on Telegram, regional governor Oleh Kiper said that Ukrainian air defence forces had destroyed nine of the ten drones launched during the night at the port city in southern Ukraine.

Ukrainian military sources said Russia launched a total of 31 drones against Ukraine last night, with air defences destroying 23 of them.

Some of the drones that escaped Ukrainian defence crashed in the city of Dnipro, injuring eight people. According to the local authorities, they hit a nine-storey building destroying several flats. Search operations are still underway.

According to the Ukrainian NGO Humanitarian Platform, an independent body of 78 Ukrainian and international NGOs providing humanitarian assistance in Ukraine, the war has killed more than 10,500 civilians, including 587 children, and left around 20,000 injured.

The constant shelling, they say, is leaving a “generation traumatised, displaced and fearful for their lives”.

US Senate delegation in Ukraine as aid hangs in balance

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is heading to Ukraine on Friday to try to reassure President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other officials that Congress will deliver another round of military aid, even as a package that would provide $60 billion to Ukraine remains in limbo in the House of Representatives.

Schumer’s surprise trip comes at a perilous time for Ukraine. Zelenskyy has said that delays in aid from the US and other Western countries are creating an opening for Russia to make advances on the battlefield, with Ukrainian forces running dangerously low on ammunition and weaponry.

While the Senate passed a $95 billion (€87.7 billion) package to aid Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan last week on a bipartisan vote, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has not yet put forward a plan for passing it in the House.

Schumer told The Associated Press that he plans to tell Ukrainian officials that “we’re going to win this fight, and America is not abandoning them.”

Zelenskyy has stressed that all possible efforts must be made to end the war by the end of 2024.

EU targets foreign companies over alleged dual-use exports to Russia

The European Union announced Friday that it is imposing sanctions on several foreign companies over allegations that they have exported dual-use goods to Russia that could be used in its war against Ukraine.

Companies making electronic components, which the EU believes could have military as well as civilian uses, were among 27 entities accused of “directly supporting Russia’s military and industrial complex in its war of aggression against Ukraine,” a statement said.

Those companies – some of them based in India, Sri Lanka, China, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Thailand and Turkey – face tougher export restrictions. The names of the companies will only be made public once they are published in the EU’s official journal, which should be a matter of days.

The 27-nation bloc also said that it was targeting scores of Russian officials including “members of the judiciary, local politicians and people responsible for the illegal deportation and military re-education of Ukrainian children.”

The asset freezes and travel bans constitute the 13th package of measures imposed by EU against people and organisations it suspects of undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

The package was timed to mark the second anniversary of the Russian invasion.

“Today, we are further tightening the restrictive measures against Russia’s military and defence sector,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said. “We remain united in our determination to dent Russia’s war machine and help Ukraine win its legitimate fight for self-defence.”

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