Joe Biden announces new weapons package for Kyiv

Joe Biden announced another package of military assistance for Ukraine on Friday as dozens of civilians were evacuated from Mariupol’s besieged steelworks, the last pocket of resistance against Russian troops in the pulverised city.

Worth $150 million (£122 million), the latest US security assistance for the “brave people of Ukraine” includes artillery munitions and radars, Mr Biden said. A senior US official said it would also include counter-artillery radars used for detecting the source of enemy fire, and electronic jamming equipment.

The latest batch brings the total value of US weaponry sent to Ukraine since the invasion began to $3.8 billion – and the President on Friday urged Congress to further approve a $33 billion package including $20 billion in military aid “to strengthen Ukraine on the battlefield and at the negotiating table”.

Mr Biden, other G7 leaders, and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, are to meet virtually on Sunday to discuss Western support for Kyiv in its struggle against the Russian invasion.

Follow the latest updates below.

08:14 AM

Russia says it destroyed US and European equipment in Kharkiv region

Russia’s defense ministry said it had destroyed a large stockpile of military equipment from the United States and European countries near the Bohodukhiv railway station in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region.

The ministry said it had hit 18 Ukrainian military facilities overnight, including three ammunition depots in Dachne, near the port city of Odesa.

08:00 AM

3D tech turns Soviet grenades into airborne tank killers

Drones are becoming the new snipers of the Ukraine war as Kyiv’s forces are using 3D-printing technology to give old kit a lethal second life, reports Dominic Nicholls.

Outdated grenades that nowadays pose more of a risk to the soldier deploying them than the enemy have been given a new lease of life thanks to plastic fins which have turned them into airborne killers.

Photos released by Aerorozvidka, originally a civilian company but now subsumed into the Ukrainian military, Soviet-era grenades show with newly produced fin assemblies attached.

The modifications mean the weapons are now highly accurate at destroying Russian tanks and other armoured vehicles by attacking the relatively less-protected top of the turret.

Read the full story here.

07:46 AM

Russia’s chief diplomat in Scotland condemns invasion in social media post

The Russian consul general in Edinburgh has condemned Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and called for more Western weapons to be sent to Kyiv in a social media post, report Joe Barnes and James Kilner.

“I categorically condemn the behavior of the military special operation of the Russian Armed Forces against the sovereign, independent Ukraine,” Andrey Yakovlev said, according to a screenshot of the now-deleted Instagram post.

“I fully support any assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces from EU countries.”

Mr Yakovlev’s presence in the Scottish capital has attracted a number of protests since Russian troops invaded Ukraine on Feb 24.

Read the full story here.

07:38 AM

MoD: Conflict taking a heavy toll on some of Russia’s most capable units

07:23 AM

‘Vladimir Putin’s superyacht’ seized in Italy

Italian authorities on Friday night impounded a multi-million pound superyacht that allegedly belongs to Vladimir Putin amid speculation it was about to leave the marina in which it has been berthed for months, reports Nick Squires in Rome.

Daniele Franco, the Italian economy minister, signed a decree late on Friday night that freezes any movement of the Scheherazade, a huge vessel that boasts spas, a cinema and helipads and is thought to be worth £500 million.

The minister acted after the Guardia di Finanza, Italy’s finance and customs police, said they had found linked evidence that the vessel is to elements in the Russian government.

Without naming names, they said there were links between the yacht and Russians who have been hit with EU sanctions, a list that includes Putin.

Read the full story here.

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