Russia-Ukraine live: Air raid sirens as EU summit begins

  • European Union leaders and Ukrainian officials gather for a summit in Kyiv to discuss Ukraine’s push to join the bloc.
  • Air raid sirens ring out across Ukraine before the talks, which are not expected to result in a rapid path to EU membership for Ukraine.

    Norway to order 54 Leopard 2 tanks from Germany

    Norway will order 54 new German-made Leopard 2 tanks for its army from the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Group, the country’s prime minister has said.

    “We ensure that we have the same tanks as our Nordic neighbours and many key NATO allies,” Jonas Gahr Store told a news conference.

    He added Norway, which shares a border with Russia, will have the option to buy a further 18 tanks at a later time. “This further strengthens our relationship with Germany,” Store said.

    The Nordic nation, a NATO member, had been weighing up whether to choose either German-made Leopard 2 A7 tanks or the rival Korean-produced K2 Black Panther, made by Hyundai Rotem, as part of a new bout of military procurement.

    Ukraine opens criminal case against Wagner Group founder

    The office of Ukraine’s prosecutor general says it has opened a criminal case against Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Moscow-aligned Wagner Group which is fighting in Ukraine.

    Prigozhin has been charged with encroaching on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine and waging a war of aggression against the country, the office said in a statement posted on Telegram.

    Prigozhin is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his mercenary forces have been locked in bloody battles of attrition in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region in recent months

    EU official says there will be ‘no let up’ in support for Ukraine

    The president of the European Council has said there will be “no let up” in the EU’s support for Kyiv in the face of Russia’s offensive as he readies for talks with Ukrainian officials.

    “Back in Kyiv for the EU-Ukraine summit with [Volodymyr] Zelensky [European Commission President] Ursula von der Leyen and [EU foreign policy chief] Josep Borrell,” Charles Michel said in a post on Twitter.

    Air raid sirens sound across Ukraine

    Air raid alerts have sounded in Kyiv and across Ukraine as EU leaders and Ukrainian officials gather in the country’s capital for a summit.

    The EU’s top officials have promised to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes” in the face of Russia’s invasion but are not expected to offer Kyiv a quick path to joining the 27-nation bloc.

    Russia rejects reports of secret Ukraine peace plan

    The Kremlin has rejected as a “hoax” reports that CIA Director William Burns had offered Moscow a secret peace deal that involved ceding Ukrainian territory to Russia.

    The claim, reported by the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, has also been dismissed by Washington.

    Russian-installed authorities nationalise properties in Crimea

    Russian-installed authorities in Crimea say they have nationalised about 500 properties in the occupied peninsula, including some belonging to senior Ukrainian politicians and business figures.

    Vladimir Konstantinov, the speaker of the Crimean parliament, said in a Telegram post the move targeted “accomplices of the Kyiv regime” and that the nationalised properties included banks and tourist and sport infrastructure.

    According to a document published on a Crimean government website, properties belonging to former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and businessmen Igor Kolomoisky, Rinat Akhmetov and Serhiy Taruta were among those confiscated.

    Crimea, which is internationally recognised as part of Ukraine, has been controlled by Moscow since early 2014, when Russia unilaterally annexed the peninsula.

    CIA chief says next six months will be ‘critical’ for Ukraine

    CIA Director William Burns says the US intelligence agency believes the next six months will be “critical” for Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s invasion.

    Speaking on Thursday in Washington, DC, Burns said Russian President Vladimir Putin was betting on waning Western support for Ukraine and “political fatigue” that would afford his military a chance to make battlefield gains.

    “Putin, I think, is betting right now that he can make time work for him,” he told a foreign policy event at Georgetown University. “The key is going to be on the battlefield in the next six months, it seems to us.”

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