Ukraine war briefing: Zelenskiy says Putin trying to falsely blame Kyiv for Moscow concert attack | Ukraine

  • The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said Vladimir Putin and others were seeking to divert the blame for the Moscow concert hall massacre on to Ukraine. The Russian president claimed, without evidence, that Ukraine had collaborated with the terrorist suspects who massacred at least 133 people on Friday night and that the four arrested gunmen planned to flee to Ukraine. Zelenskiy said on Saturday it was “absolutely predictable” that Putin had remained silent for 24 hours before trying to tie the rampage to Ukraine. Kyiv denies having any involvement in the attack, for which the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility.

  • Moscow claimed a new territorial victory over Ukraine’s forces in the country’s east while the two sides staged deadly aerial attacks on each other. Russia’s military said it had seized the Ukrainian village of Ivanivske – just west of Bakhmut, the devastated city seized 10 months ago – on Saturday. Russian forces have taken control of a string of frontline settlements in recent weeks as Ukrainian forces suffer troop and ammunition shortages.

  • Multiple Ukrainian air attacks on the Russian border region of Belgorod adjoining Ukraine killed two people and injured at least seven, the regional governor said. Farther east, a drone attack on the Samara region caused a fire at a major oil refinery, the latest in a series of strikes against Russia’s energy industry. Belgorod’s governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said two regional districts as well as Belgorod city had been hit in drone and air attacks.

  • Russia said on Saturday it had repulsed a barrage of Ukrainian missiles fired at the annexed city of Sevastopol in Crimea. But Sevastopol’s governor, Mikhail Razvozhayev, later said rocket fragments had killed a 65-year-old resident and four other people had been injured, calling it “the biggest attack in recent times”.

  • Energy workers in Ukraine were still restoring electricity supplies to some consumers a day after what Kyiv said was Moscow’s biggest attack of the war on the country’s power grid, authorities said on Saturday. Zelenskiy said on Telegram that the “technical possibility for electricity supply” had been restored in most affected regions, but that the situation in the eastern Kharkiv region remained difficult.

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