Russia’s defence ministry claimed on Monday that Ukraine had launched a “major” attack in the Donetsk region, the Russian state news agency Tass reported. The ministry said Ukraine had launched the attack using six mechanised and two tank battalions but that Russian forces had thwarted it. It is not yet possible to confirm Russia’s claim, and the Ukrainian side has not yet responded. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy had said in an interview published on Saturday that Ukraine was ready to launch its long-awaited counteroffensive to recapture Russian-occupied territory. “We strongly believe that we will succeed.”
A two-year-old girl has been found dead under the rubble of a house after a missile attack that hit several buildings near the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro, the regional governor said. Another 22 people were injured, including five children, said Serhiy Lysak. Three boys – aged 15, 11 and six – were in intensive care after the strike.
Russia launched a wave of air attacks on Ukraine early on Sunday morning but military officials jn Kyiv said air defence systems repelled all missiles and drones on their approach to the capital. All of Ukraine was under air raid alerts for nearly three hours.
The Russian defence ministry has said its forces have used artillery to repel a cross-border incursion by Ukrainian saboteurs, Interfax news agency reported. The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region said earlier on Sunday that fighting with a “Ukrainian saboteur group” was taking place in the town of Novaya Tavolzhanka, near the Ukrainian border.
A Ukrainian minister has expressed “disbelief” after learning that nearly half of Kyiv bomb shelters inspected during an initial audit were closed or unfit for use. Oleksandr Kamyshin, Ukraine’s minister of strategic industries, said on Sunday that out of 1,078 shelters examined on the first day, 359 were unprepared and another 122 locked, while 597 were found to be usable.
The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, has said he is willing to meet a pro-Ukraine group of Russian fighters keeping two Russian soldiers captive. The group said earlier it was willing to hand over the soldiers in exchange for a meeting with the governor.
Ukrainian forces have shelled a market area in the town of Shebekino, near the Ukrainian border, according to Gladkov. He said no one was injured but the attack had caused fires to break out near the market, a private area and a grain depot.
The Kremlin has said any supply of long-range missiles to Kyiv by France and Germany would lead to a further round of “spiralling tension” in the Ukraine conflict. Britain last month became the first country to supply Ukraine with long-range cruise missiles.
Zelenskiy has said that Russia’s war, now in its 16th month, has killed at least 500 Ukrainian children. It was impossible to establish the exact number of children who have become casualties, however, because of the continuing fighting and because some areas are under Russian occupation, he said.
Four people have been detained in a criminal investigation into the death of a Kyiv woman outside a locked air-raid shelter, the Kyiv regional prosecutor’s office has said. It said one person, a security guard who had failed to unlock the doors, remained under arrest, while three others, including a local official, had been put under house arrest.
Five drones were shot down and four were jammed and did not hit their targets in Dzhankoi in Crimea, according to a Russian official. There were no casualties but windows were broken in several houses, Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-backed head of Crimea’s administration, said on Sunday.