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Ukraine’s ‘Harry Potter castle’ hit in Russian strike

Five civilians have been killed after a Russian missile attack struck an educational institution in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odesa.

At least 32 people have been injured, local officials said, including a four-year-old and a pregnant woman.

Regional governor Oleh Kiper said that in addition to those killed in the attack, one man died after suffering a stroke attributed to the strike.

The roof of the grand ornate building, which has been dubbed the ‘Harry Potter castle’, has been all but destroyed in the attack as footage shows flames engulfing the architecture.

“Monsters. Beasts. Savages. Scum. I don’t know what else to say,” Odesa Mayor Hennadii Trukhanov said in a video posted on Telegram. “People are going for a walk by the sea and they are shooting and killing.”

The attack came after Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg condemned the slow delivery of aid from Ukraine’s allies in the West and said “serious delays” allowed Russians to advance on the war frontline in the 25-month-old invasion.

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Western insurers say Russian oil price cap doesn’t work

A group of Western insurers has said a Russian oil price cap has become unenforceable and only pushed more ships into joining a shadow fleet, delivering one of the harshest rebukes to the measure that had been meant to cut revenue to the Kremlin.

The G7 group of industrialised nations approved a so-called price cap for Russian oil after Washington lobbied to curb the Kremlin’s revenue amid the war in Ukraine while keeping Russian oil flowing to avoid a an energy price spike.

The cap allows Western shippers and insurers to participate in Russian oil trading as long as oil is sold below $60 per barrel.

The International Group of P&I Clubs said in a statement the price cap has had little success since being introduced 2 years ago as Russia has switched to its own fleet as well as ships outside Western oversight.

The statement was submitted as written evidence to a UK parliamentary hearing on Tuesday. The group says it comprises 12 marine third-party liability insurers covering 87% of the world’s ocean-going tonnage.

“The oil price cap appears increasingly unenforceable as more ships and associated services move into this parallel trade. We estimate around 800 tankers have already left the International Group Clubs as a direct result of the introduction of the oil price cap,” the statement said.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain30 April 2024 11:42

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Russia is plotting attacks across Europe – and they’re only going to get worse

The Kremlin stands accused of everything from arson attacks in the UK to targeting GPS systems used to navigate flights, writes Keir Giles.

As the country recruits more freelancers to act on its behalf, we should prepare for the dangers ahead:

Maryam Zakir-Hussain30 April 2024 11:20

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Russian-installed official says ATACMS missiles shot down over Crimea

The Russian-backed head of Crimea said on Tuesday that long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) were shot down over the peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

Sergei Aksyonov posted on Telegram a photo showing what he described as undetonated submunitions of ATACMS missiles.

Aksyonov did not specify when and how many missiles had been shot down.

The United States in recent weeks secretly shipped long-range missiles to Ukraine, which has so far used them twice, a U.S. official said last week.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain30 April 2024 11:03

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In pictures: Odesa’s majestic ‘Harry Potter castle’ ablaze

Maryam Zakir-Hussain30 April 2024 10:30

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Russia will sink Britain under nuclear tidal wave, warns top Putin propagandist

Dmitry Kiselyov also warned the US will be reduced to radioactive ash as he said any bid by the West to put boots on the ground in Ukraine would result in Armageddon. Kiselyov’s threats were made during a live broadcast on Russian television on Monday (29 April).

The 71-year-old said: “If Nato countries send their troops into Ukraine in order to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, then the very moment about which Putin once said, ‘Why do we need the world, if there is no Russia in it?’ would come.”

Russia will sink Britain under nuclear tidal wave, warns top Putin propagandist

Maryam Zakir-Hussain30 April 2024 10:10

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Russia says United States is being hypocritical over ICC and Israel

Russia said on Tuesday that the United States was being hypocritical by opposing the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation of Israel but supporting the court’s warrant for the arrest of President Vladimir Putin.

The ICC – which can charge individuals with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide – is investigating Hamas’ Oct. 7 cross-border attack and Israel’s devastating military assault on Hamas-ruled Gaza, now in its seventh month.

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said on Monday the United States did not support the ICC’s investigation of Israel and did not believe that the court had jurisdiction.

U.S. President Joe Biden said last year that the ICC decision to issue an arrest warrant for Putin was justified. The United States has shared details of alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine with the ICC.

Russia says the warrant against Putin is a meaningless attempt by the West to soil Russia‘s reputation and denies war crimes in Ukraine. Ukraine says Russia committed war crimes. Russia says the West has ignored Ukraine‘s crimes, a charge denied by Kyiv.

“Washington fully supported, if not stimulated, the issuance of ICC warrants against the Russian leadership,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a post on Telegram.

But “the American political system does not recognise the legitimacy of this structure in relation to itself and its satellites,” Zakharova said, adding that such a position was intellectually “absurd”.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain30 April 2024 09:45

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Russian strike kills at least two in Ukraine’s Kharkiv, say officials

A Russian strike killed at least two people and wounded six more in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Tuesday, according to local officials.

The Russian forces used guided bombs to carry out the attack on the city, according to preliminary information, Governor Oleh Synehubov said on the Telegram messaging app.

The attack damaged a residential building in one of the city districts, Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov wrote on Telegram. The emergency services were working at the site, local officials said.

Russia denies targeting civilians in the war that is now in its third year.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain30 April 2024 09:20

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Flames engulf Ukraine’s ‘Harry Potter castle’ after deadly Russian missile attack

Flames engulf a Ukraine building, known locally as “Harry Potter castle” after a deadly Russian missile attack on Monday night.

Five people have been killed and another 32 injured after a Russian attack on Ukraine’s southern port of Odesa, local officials say.

The building damaged in the strike is the residence of prominent former MP Serhiy Kivalov, who was among the wounded.

It houses the Odesa Law Academy, which is run by Mr Kivalov.

Footage shows the towers of the famous Kivalov mansion on the waterfront on fire.

Ukraine’s ‘Harry Potter castle’ hit in Russian strike

Maryam Zakir-Hussain30 April 2024 08:57

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Duchess of Edinburgh denounces Putin’s forces for using rape as a weapon of war

The Duchess of Edinburgh denounced Vladimir Putin’s forces for using rape as a “weapon of war” on her visit to Ukraine on Monday (29 April). The Duchess, who is the first member of the royal family to visit Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion, said “women and girls pay the highest price” in war. In her speech at an evening reception at the residence of the UK ambassador to Ukraine, Martin Harris, she said: “Rape is used to demean, to degrade and to destroy. And we have to get better at trying to prevent that from happening. “Where we cannot prevent it from happening. What we must do is put measures in place to support those who have fallen victim to such crimes.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain30 April 2024 08:23

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Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, becomes first royal to visit Ukraine since Russian invasion

Sophie, 59, made the surprise visit on behalf of the Foreign Office to show solidarity with those impacted by the war and as part of her work to champion survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

While there, she met with survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and survivors of torture who shared their stories, as well as female volunteers who help their communities cope with the aftermath of the attacks with mental health care activities for children.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain30 April 2024 08:09

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