Russia-Ukraine war live: German defence minister in Kyiv on surprise visit | World news

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Key events

Russia said on Tuesday that marines, aviation and artillery had scuppered more Ukrainian attempts to gain a foothold on the eastern bank of the River Dnipro and on islands at the mouth of the river in southern Ukraine, Reuters reports.

Ukraine said this month that its forces had crossed the Dnipro and established several bridgeheads on the eastern banks of the river, though Russia said it was pummelling the Ukrainian positions.

“Black Sea fleet marines are stopping all attempts by the armed forces of Ukraine to carry out amphibious landings on the Dnipro islands and the left bank of the Dnipro River,” Russia’s defence ministry said.

The Russian defence ministry published a video which it said showed marines from the 810th Guards Naval Infantry Brigade defeating Ukrainian forces. Soldiers were shown firing a variety of weapons, though the result of the fighting was unclear.

It said Ukrainian forces were suffering heavy casualties and losing equipment in unsuccessful attempts to land on islands in the Dnipro. Reuters was unable to immediately verify battlefield accounts from either side.

It is still unclear how significant the Ukrainian attempt to gain a foothold on the eastern bank of the Dnipro is. Crossing the Dnipro leaves Ukrainian units exposed between river and marshland on one side and heavily fortified Russian lines on the other.

According to unverified reports by pro-Russian bloggers, Russia has been harrying Ukrainian forces near the village of Krynky, near marshes on the eastern bank upriver from Kherson, from which Russia withdrew its forces in autumn 2022.

The US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, has announced the Pentagon will be sending an additional $100m in weapons to Ukraine from existing US stockpiles, including artillery and munitions for air defence systems. He made the announcement in a surprise visit to Kyiv – a day before a visit by the German defence minister.

Austin’s visit to Kyiv was a high-profile push to keep money and weapons flowing to Ukraine. After travelling to Kyiv by train from Poland, Austin met President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the defence minister, Rustem Umerov, and the chief of staff, Gen Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

The package includes another High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or Himars. Austin said Ukraine’s effort to defeat Russian forces “matters to the rest of the world” and that US support would continue “for the long haul”.

Reuters reports that Ukraine air defences shot down one missile and nine out of 10 drones in a Russian overnight strike, the country’s air force said on Tuesday.

The air force said in a statement the Russian forces launched Iranian-made drones from Russian territory on several directions.

Two killed by Russian shelling, Ukrainian officials say

Reuters reports that two people were killed and six were wounded in overnight Russian missile attacks and shelling in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Kharkiv regions, Ukrainian officials said on Tuesday.

Missiles hit a hospital in the Donetsk town of Selydove and a coalmine, the interior minister, Ihor Klymenko, said on the Telegram messaging service.

“Two buildings of the hospital were damaged, six civilians were injured. There may be victims under the rubble, search operations continue,” Klymenko said.

One worker was killed in the attack on the coalmine, he said.

“Four buildings, 19 vehicles and a power line were damaged. 39 miners were trapped underground. As of now, all miners have been brought to the surface,” he said.

Invading Russian forces have occupied much of Donetsk and Russia has said it intends to take over the whole region.

In Kharkiv, one person was killed in Russian shelling, the region’s governor, Oleh Synehubov, said.

Neither Reuters or the Guardian was not able to verify the reports.

Germany’s defence chief has arrived in Ukraine on a surprise visit.

Boris Pistorius arrived in Kyiv on Tuesday by train, , according to the AFP news agency. It’s understood he is seeking to offer reassurances on Germany’s support for Ukraine in its war against Russia.

The German defence minister is due to hold talks with his Ukrainian counterpart as well as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. This is his second visit to the capital since he took on the role.

It’s a visit that comes after an increase in Russian air attacks on Ukraine and as Kyiv braces for an expected rise in strikes on the country’s energy facilities over the coming winter months.

It is Pistorius’s second visit to Kyiv since he became defence minister at the start of this year and it comes a day after the US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, made an unannounced trip to Ukraine.

Berlin is the second-biggest supplier of military assistance to Kyiv after the US. The chancellor, Olaf Scholz, pledged last month that Germany would maintain its aid to Kyiv, insisting that “we will support Ukraine as long as necessary”.

Welcome and summary

Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine.

The German defence minister, Boris Pistorius, has arrived in Kyiv for an unannounced visit, Agence France-Presse is reporting. He arrived by train and will hold talks with his Ukrainian counterpart as well as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Berlin is the second-biggest supplier of military assistance to Kyiv after the US and is seeking to offer reassurances after the shift in focus to the Middle East war prompted concerns about waning support for Ukraine.

More on this shortly. In the meantime, here are the other key recent developments:

  • Ukraine sacked two senior cyber-defence officials, a government official said, as prosecutors announced an investigation into alleged embezzlement in the government’s cybersecurity agency. Yurii Shchyhol, the head of the state service of special communications and information protection of Ukraine (SSSCIP), and his deputy, Viktor Zhora, were dismissed by the government, senior cabinet official Taras Melnychuk wrote on Telegram.

  • Ukrainian forces were engaged in containing increasing Russian attacks on Monday around the shattered eastern town of Bakhmut, which was seized by Moscow in May, military officials said. Volodymyr Fityo, a spokesperson for Ukrainian ground forces, said Russian troops focused attacks on Klishchiivka, a nearby village on heights retaken by Ukrainian forces in September.

  • Russia barred entry to a number of officials from Moldova on Monday and complained about moves by its pro-European government to block Russian media outlets ahead of local elections earlier this month. The moves were the latest in a series of acerbic exchanges between the two sides and allegations by Moldova that Russia has been exerting pressure on the ex-Soviet state’s affairs and President Maia Sandu’s drive to join the European Union.

  • Zelenskiy met the Fox Corp CEO, Lachlan Murdoch, in the Ukrainian capital in what Kyiv said on Monday was a “very important signal” of support at a time when global media attention has shifted from the war in Ukraine. Media titan Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son is a leading figure in media with a US Republican-leaning audience. His visit comes as concern in Ukraine mounts over the future of vital American military and economic aid with the war with Russia showing no end in sight.

  • Russia has placed a Ukrainian singer who won the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest on its wanted list, state news agencies reported on Monday. The reports said an interior ministry database listed the singer Susana Jamaladinova, known as Jamala, as being sought for violating a law adopted last year that bans spreading so-called fake information about the Russian military and the fighting in Ukraine.

  • Two people were killed early on Monday after Russian forces shelled a parking lot in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, authorities said. Regional prosecutors opened a war crimes investigation into the artillery strike, which injured one other person, the regional prosecutor’s office said.

  • An elderly woman was also killed and a man injured in Russian artillery strike on the town of Nikopol, in the central region of Dnipropetrovsk, the regional governor said. “A power line and a gas pipeline were damaged,” Serhiy Lysak said on Telegram.

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