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Russia-Ukraine war latest: Russian use of laser weapons shows invasion has failed, says Zelenskiy – live | Ukraine

Ukrainian forces have shelled a Russian village close to the border between the countries at dawn on Thursday, killing at least one civilian, the regional governor said.

Shells hit an alcohol factory in the village of Tyotkino in the Kursk region and several other buildings, Roman Starovoit wrote on messaging app Telegram.

G7 ministers to discuss how to fix Ukraine’s finances

G7 finance ministers will meet in Germany on Thursday hoping to thrash out a plan to bolster Ukraine’s war-ravaged economy.

United States treasury secretary Janet Yellen said ahead of the meeting in Koenigswinter that what had been agreed so far was “not enough” and called on US partners to “join us in increasing their financial support”.

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen in Koenigswinter ahead of the G7 finance ministers’ meeting on Thursday.
US treasury secretary Janet Yellen in Koenigswinter ahead of the G7 finance ministers’ meeting on Thursday. Photograph: Sascha Steinbach/EPA

The United States has forged ahead with a $40bn aid package to fill Kyiv’s coffers and military stores.

Japan said on Thursday morning that it will double aid for Ukraine to $600m in a coordinated move with the World Bank.

Food crisis could last years, says UN chief

UN secretary general António Guterres has warned that the food shortages stoked by the war in Ukraine could cause “malnutrition, mass hunger and famine, in a crisis that could last for years” across the world.

Speaking at a food summit in New York, Guterres implored Russia to lift its Black Sea blockade which is preventing shipments of Ukrainian grain to overseas markets.

“Let’s be clear: there is no effective solution to the food crisis without reintegrating Ukraine’s food production,” Guterres said. “Russia must permit the safe and secure export of grain stored in Ukrainian ports.”

However, he said he was in “intense” talks with Russia to try to find a solution.

Workers unload wheat at a wholesale market near Delhi. India has banned the export of wheat amid continued inflationary pressure and food shortages.
Workers unload wheat at a wholesale market near Delhi. India has banned the export of wheat amid continued inflationary pressure and food shortages. Photograph: Mayank Makhija/NurPhoto/REX/Shutterstock

Between them, Ukraine and Russia produce 30% of the world’s wheat and experts are concerned a lack of supply will mean millions of people will go hungry.

The blockade has also exacerbated already high grain prices with wheat almost doubling in the past year. High energy prices – also in part caused by the war – has made production of fertiliser more expensive, further pushing up prices.

Here’s our full story:

Hello. I’m Martin Farrer and welcome to our rolling coverage of the war in Ukraine.

If you’re just waking up or dropping in for an update on what’s been happening, these are some of the main developments in the past few hours.

  • UN secretary general António Guterres has warned that the food shortages stoked by the war in Ukraine could last years and cause mass hunger and famine across the world. Speaking at a food summit in New York, Guterres implored Russia to lift its Black Sea blockade which is preventing shipments of Ukrainian grain to overseas markets.
  • The World Bank will make $30bn available to help stem a food security crisis threatened by Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has cut off most grain exports from the two countries. The total will include $12bn in new projects and over $18bn funds from existing food and nutrition-related projects that have been approved but have not yet been disbursed, the bank said.
  • Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy used his nightly address to say that Russia’s alleged use of laser weapons systems “indicates the complete failure of the invasion” and that mistakes had been made at the highest level. He compared their use to propaganda efforts by Nazi Germany promoting a “wunderwaffe” or “wonder weapon”. Russia has claimed it is using a new generation of laser weapons to burn up drones.
  • Zelenskiy said he had signed a decree to extend martial law by 90 days in order to allow further time to expel invasion forces. The decree needs to be approved by parliament.
  • A Russian tank commander has pleaded guilty to shooting dead a civilian on a bicycle, in Ukraine’s first trial for war crimes committed during the Russian invasion. Vadim Shysimarin, 21, has been accused of firing his AK-47 at a 62-year-old man from the window of a car in the north-eastern Sumy region in late February.
  • G7 finance ministers meet in Germany on Thursday hoping to find a solution for Kyiv’s budget troubles. The European Commission has proposed an extra €9bn (£7.6bn) in EU loans to Ukraine to keep the country running as well as a €210bn plan for Europe to end its reliance on Russian fossil fuels by 2027. Zelenskiy said the €9bn support package would “help Ukraine win the war.
  • The US embassy in Kyiv has resumed operations, the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said after nearly three months of closure. A small number of diplomats will return initially to staff the embassy, according to a spokesperson.
  • At least 10 Ukrainian civilians, including two children, were killed by Russian forces Donetsk, regional governor Pavlo Kirilenko said. A further seven people had been injured, he said.

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