Russia has accused the US of direct involvement in the Ukraine war after claims the US was sharing targeting intelligence with Ukrainian forces.
Russia said it was responding to comments by Vadym Skibitsky, Ukraine’s deputy head of military intelligence, about the way Kyiv used US-supplied long-range Himars rocket launch systems based on what he called excellent satellite imagery and real-time information.
Skibitsky had said in an interview with a British newspaper that there was consultation between US and Ukrainian intelligence officials before strikes, and that Washington had an effective veto on intended targets, though he said US officials were not providing direct targeting information.
Russia’s defence ministry said the interview showed that Washington was directly involved despite repeated assertions that it was limiting its role in the conflict to arms supplies because it did not want a direct confrontation with Moscow.
“All this undeniably proves that Washington, contrary to White House and Pentagon claims, is directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine,” the Russian defence ministry said in a statement.
“It is the Biden administration that is directly responsible for all Kyiv-approved rocket attacks on residential areas and civilian infrastructure in populated areas of Donbas and other regions, which have resulted in mass deaths of civilians,” the defence ministry said.
Reuters reports there was no immediate reaction to the defence ministry’s allegations from the White House or Pentagon.
Russia’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, is additonally quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying: “No other confirmation of the direct involvement of the United States in the hostilities on the territory of Ukraine is required. The supply of weapons is accompanied not only by instructions on its use, but in this case they perform the function of gunners in their purest form.”
- Russia’s supreme court has designated the Azov regiment – a former volunteer battalion that was incorporated into Ukraine’s army – a “terrorist” organisation, allowing for lengthy jail terms for its members. On Tuesday, the court ruled to “recognise the Ukrainian paramilitary unit Azov a terrorist organisation and to ban its activities on the territory of the Russian Federation”, the judge said.
- The role of American intelligence in the war in Ukraine is under scrutiny on Tuesday after Russia accused the White House of supplying targeting information used by Kyiv to conduct long-range missile strikes. Russia’s defence ministry claimed Washington was “directly involved” in the war, and had passed on intelligence that had led to the “mass deaths of civilians”. The US was responsible for rocket attacks by Kyiv on populated areas in the eastern Donbas and in other regions, it said.
- Deadly strikes have been carried out against Ukrainian forces in Ukraine’s southern Mykolaiv region and eastern Kharkiv region, Russia said on Tuesday. The defence ministry also said it destroyed seven ammo depots in the east and south of the country, including in Zaporizhzhia region.
- The US announced Monday a new tranche of weapons for Ukraine’s forces fighting Russia, including ammunition for increasingly important rocket launchers and artillery guns. The $550m package will “include more ammunition for the high mobility advanced rocket systems otherwise known as Himars, as well as ammunition” for artillery, national security council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
- Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu has said that Russia had destroyed six US-made Himars missile systems since the beginning of the latest Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- Three people have reportedly been killed by Russian shelling while evacuating in a minibus near Kherson, Ukraine’s military is reporting. Ukraine’s Operational Command “South” reported that three people died from the attack on the bus near Dovhove.
- Ukrainian officials say they are struggling to establish the truth surrounding an explosion in a prison that killed dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war captured by the Russians following the fall of Mariupol. Ukraine’s human rights chief, Dmytro Lubinets, said he has tried to establish a direct link with his Russian counterpart in order to arrange a joint visit to the prison in Olenivk.
- Turkey’s representative at the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul has said that the first ship carrying Ukrainian grain to world markets was expected to anchor at Istanbul on Tuesday night. At a briefing held at the JCC, general Özcan Altunbulak said the course of the ship was going as planned. Another official said “The plan is for a ship to leave every day. If nothing goes wrong, exports will be made via one ship a day for a while.”
- Ukraine’s state security service says it is investigating 752 cases of treason and collaboration. According to the agency, the greatest amount of cases have been documented in the regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson.
- The United Nations’ secretary general, António Guterres, has warned that a misunderstanding could spark nuclear destruction, as the US, Britain and France urged Russia to stop “its dangerous nuclear rhetoric and behaviour”.
- Sabina Higgins, the wife of Ireland’s president, Michael D Higgins, has triggered a political row in Ireland by urging Russia and Ukraine to call a ceasefire and enter negotiations. Critics said the intervention amounted to Kremlin propaganda because it appeared to equate Moscow’s aggression with Kyiv’s fight for survival.
- The US has accused Russia of using Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant as a “nuclear shield”. US secretary of state Antony Blinken said Washington was “deeply concerned” that Moscow was now using the plant as a military base and firing on Ukrainian forces from around it and called Russia’s actions around the plant “the height of irresponsibility”.
- The first shipment of grain to leave Ukraine under a deal to ease Russia’s naval blockade has reached Turkish waters and is expected in Istanbul “after midnight”. The Sierra Leone-registered ship, Razoni, set sail from Odessa port for Lebanon Monday under an accord brokered by Turkey and the United Nations that it is hoped will get millions of tonnes of trapped Ukrainian produce to world markets and curb a global food crisis.
We’re closing the liveblog now. Thanks so much for joining us.
Italy’s Chamber of Deputies approved a bill on Tuesday to ratify the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, Reuters reports.
The lower house voted by 398 votes to 20 in favour of the bill which now needs a second, final green light from the Senate.
Meloni said in a statement:
In the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine, strengthening the European front of the Alliance is an important step that can act as a deterrent to new Russian threats.
The accession needs to be ratified by the parliaments of all 30 North Atlantic Treaty Organization members before Finland and Sweden can be protected by the NATO defence clause that states that an attack on one member is an attack against all.
Sabina Higgins, the wife of Irish president Michael D Higgins, has condemned Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and said she was “dismayed” at criticism she has received in recent days.
Government senators and commentators have criticised Higgins for writing a letter that called for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine, which critics said amounted to Kremlin propaganda because it appeared to equate Moscow’s aggression with Kyiv’s fight for survival.
Sabina Higgins made the call in a letter to the Irish Times that was published last week – and also posted on the president’s official website.
In a statement released on Tuesday evening, Higgins said she was “dismayed” at the criticism.
I have from its outset strongly condemned the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine and I cannot be but dismayed that people would find anything unacceptable in a plea for peace and negotiations when the future of humanity is threatened by war, global warming and famine.
The statement follows fter an outcry from Ukrainians – including a member of Ukraine’s parliament – the letter disappeared from the website but the president has resisted a clamour to publicly disown the letter or clarify his views on it.
A spokesperson for the president on Monday said he had been “unequivocal” in condemning Russia’s invasion as illegal, immoral and unjustifiable. “He has called for an immediate Russian withdrawal and end to the violence.”
Irish politicians said the statement was insufficient and that Higgins – and the government – needed to explicitly distance the Irish state from the letter.
The first official shipment of Ukrainian grain since Russia’s invasion reached Turkish territorial waters on Tuesday near the entrance to the Bosphorus Strait, AFP reports.
The Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni is due to be inspected on Wednesday near Istanbul by a team that includes Russian and Ukrainian officials before delivering its cargo of 26,000 tonnes of maize to Tripoli, Lebanon.
“The inspection of the ship by the joint inspection team will begin (Wednesday) morning,” the Turkish defence ministry said.
The delivery, which set off from the Black Sea port of Odessa on Monday, is the first under a UN-backed deal brokered with the help of Turkey last month.
The role of American intelligence in the war in Ukraine is under scrutiny on Tuesday after Russia accused the White House of supplying targeting information used by Kyiv to conduct long-range missile strikes.
Russia’s defence ministry claimed Washington was “directly involved” in the war, and had passed on intelligence that had led to the “mass deaths of civilians”. The US was responsible for rocket attacks by Kyiv on populated areas in the eastern Donbas and in other regions, it said.
“All this undeniably proves that Washington, contrary to White House and Pentagon claims, is directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Biden administration has so far given more than $8bn (£6.55bn) in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s February invasion, including an additional $550m tranche unveiled on Monday. But it strongly denies it is a participant in the conflict or is at war with Russia.
The Kremlin’s comments follow an interview given to the Telegraph on Monday by Vadym Skibitsky, Ukraine’s acting deputy head of military intelligence. Skibitsky said the US-made long-range Himars artillery systems had been extremely effective in wiping out Russian fuel and ammunition dumps.
He said excellent satellite imagery and real-time information had helped. He denied US officials were providing direct targeting information. But he acknowledged there was consultation between US and Ukrainian intelligence officials before strikes, so Washington could vet and if necessary veto intended targets.
Russia’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, leaped on the remarks. She told the RIA Novosti news agency: “No other confirmation of the direct involvement of the United States in the hostilities on the territory of Ukraine is required.
“The supply of weapons is accompanied not only by instructions on its use, but in this case they perform the function of gunners in their purest form.”
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A report by Yale University’s School of Management in the United States says Russia’s economy has been deeply damaged by Western sanctions and the departure of multinationals since the invasion, AFP reports.
The report, which was compiled using data from companies, banks, consultants and Russian trading partners, concludes:
Not only have sanctions and the business retreat worked, they have thoroughly crippled the Russian economy at every level.
The report challenges the belief that Russia is riding out the economic storm thanks to the tens of billions of dollars the country reaps each month from oil and gas exports.
It estimates that Russian retail sales and consumer spending have fallen at an annual rate of 15-20%, and that car sales have shrunk from 100,000 a month to 27,000 a month.
Here are some of the latest images to be sent to us from Ukraine over the news wires.
Ukrainian officials say they are struggling to establish the truth surrounding an explosion in a prison that killed dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war captured by the Russians following the fall of Mariupol, the Associated Press reports.
Ukraine’s human rights chief, Dmytro Lubinets, said he has tried to establish a direct link with his Russian counterpart in order to arrange a joint visit to the prison in Olenivka, a town in eastern Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists.
Dialogue is when there is a conversation between two parties. At this moment, this is an official request from me, which remains unanswered.
Separatist authorities and Russian officials say 53 Ukrainian POWs were killed and a further 75 were wounded in the blast on Thursday night that ripped through a building at the prison. Both sides have blamed the other for the attack, saying it was premeditated with the aim of covering up atrocities.
Moscow opened an investigation, sending a team to the site from its Investigative Committee, the country’s main criminal investigation agency. The state-run RIA Novosti agency claimed that fragments of US-supplied precision High Mobility Artillery Rocket System rockets were found at the site.
The Ukrainian military, however, denied conducting any rocket or artillery strikes in Olenivka, and it accused the Russians of attacking the prison to cover up the torture and execution of Ukrainians there.
Based on the analysis of the photos and videos that we have access to, we can say that it was an explosion from the inside of this barrack.
He said images from the scene show damage to only one building and not all the windows were blown out something he says would not be possible if the complex was shelled.
Ukraine has appealed to the United Nations and to the International Committee of the Red Cross for help in investigating the blast and to find out more about the condition of the injured.
The former UK Labour leader has urged western countries to stop arming Ukraine in a TV interview likely to underscore Keir Starmer’s determination not to readmit him to the Labour party.
“Pouring arms in isn’t going to bring about a solution, it’s only going to prolong and exaggerate this war,” Jeremy Corbyn said. “We might be in for years and years of a war in Ukraine.”
Corbyn gave the interview on Al Mayadeen, a Beirut-based TV channel that has carried pro-Russia reporting since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
What I find disappointing is that hardly any of the world’s leaders use the word peace; they always use the language of more war, and more bellicose war.
This war is disastrous for the people of Ukraine, for the people of Russia, and for the safety and security of the whole world, and therefore there has to be much more effort put into peace.
He called for the UN to be “much more centre stage”, and suggested involving other international bodies such as the African Union or the League of Arab States if the UN were unable to help negotiate a ceasefire.
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