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Russia-Ukraine war live updates: Russian drone attack kills rescue workers in Kharkiv; Moscow says NATO dialog at ‘zero’ but does not seek conflict

Russia’s Grushko: NATO-Moscow dialog at ‘critical zero,’ but no intention of open conflict

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg are seen during NATO-Russia Council at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium January 12, 2022.

Olivier Hoslet | Reuters

As NATO foreign ministers gather in Brussels to mark the defense alliance’s 75th anniversary, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told state news agency RIA that dialog with Moscow had been reduced to a “critical zero” by Washington and Brussels.

Grushko reportedly said relations were “predictably and deliberately” deteriorating, but that Russia has no intention of entering into open conflict with any NATO member.

Elliot Smith

Russian drone strike in Kharkiv kills four, including three rescue workers

Russian drone strikes on Kharkiv early Friday morning killed four people, including three rescue workers, and injured 12 more, according to Ukrainian officials.

In a post on the Telegram messaging app, Kharkiv Mayor Igor Terekhov said Iranian-made shahed drones struck a 14-story residential apartment block, destroying several floors and resulting in a death and multiple casualties.

“Three rescuers died during a repeated attack on a residential building in another place. In total, we have four dead,” Terekhov added.

“Also among the victims was an emergency medical nurse who, together with the brigade, arrived at the scene to provide assistance.”

Elliot Smith

Images show the latest from the Russia-Ukraine war

Photos published via Getty Images on Wednesday show people reacting to Russian shelling in the Sumy region of northern Ukraine and a military band performing to commemorate the 34th anniversary of raising the Ukrainian flag in western Lviv.

People load survived food from a damaged store in truck after Russian shelling on April 3, 2024 in Sumy Oblast, Ukraine. A man died in the Krasnopillia community due to shelling by Russian army. twenty houses, a school, kindergarten, village council and a dispensary were also damaged. 

Global Images Ukraine | Global Images Ukraine | Getty Images

An employee of enterprise stands amid ruins of warehouse with product after night Russian air attack on April 3, 2024 in Sumy Oblast, Ukraine.

Global Images Ukraine | Global Images Ukraine | Getty Images

Olena, relative of deceased man, reacts after Russian shelling on April 3, 2024 in Sumy Oblast, Ukraine. A man died in the Krasnopillia community due to shelling by Russian army. twenty houses, a school, kindergarten, village council and a dispensary were also damaged.

Global Images Ukraine | Global Images Ukraine | Getty Images

Military band of Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi National Ground Forces Academy performs on Rynok (Market) Square in front of the Lviv City Hall on the 34th anniversary of raising the Ukrainian flag on April 3, 2024 in Lviv, Ukraine.

Global Images Ukraine | Global Images Ukraine | Getty Images

Russian Prosecutor General’s Office sends Western countries inquiries over terror attacks

The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office sent official requests for information to the U.S., France, Germany and Cyprus over its suspicion of Western states’ potental involvement in terror attacks inside Russia, state news outlet Tass reported, citing a statement from the government office.

Tass reported that the office was prompted to send the inquiries following requests from members of Russia’s State Duma to investigate potential foreign involvement in terror attacks including the attack at Moscow’s Crocus City concert hall in late March which killed at least 144 people, as well as the Nord Stream gas pipeline explosions.

In its statement, Russia’s top prosecution body said it hoped that “our colleagues in these countries will earnestly consider the requests and fulfill their obligations under the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the 1997 International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, which involve investigating the information provided, facilitating efforts to obtain evidence necessary for probes, and ensuring that punishments be duly carried out.”

— Natasha Turak

NATO’s Stoltenberg pitches plan to change how aid is sent to Ukraine

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is pressing for the alliance to be more directly involved in the delivery of military aid to Ukraine.

Speaking at the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels, Stoltenberg said the organization will examine how it can take on a greater role in coordinating weapons and other equipment for Kyiv — something that has thus far been the purview of a U.S.-led contact group.

“Ukraine has urgent needs — any delay in providing support has consequences on the battlefield as we speak,” Stoltenberg told the meeting’s attendees. “So we need to shift the dynamics of our support.”

“We must ensure reliable and predictable security assistance to Ukraine for long haul so that we rely less on voluntary contributions and more on NATO commitments, less on short term offers and more on multiyear pledges,” he said, declining to provide specifics but adding that a multi-year financial commitment would also be part of the plan.

“NATO allies provide 99% of all military support to Ukraine,” he said. “So doing more under NATO would make our efforts more efficient and more effective.”

— Natasha Turak

Ukraine thanks Finland for 188 million euro military aid package

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine’s president, speaks during a news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Wednesday, April 3, 2024.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Ukraine’s defense minister thanked Finland for a 188 million euro ($202.5 million) military aid package the Nordic country announced for Kyiv, detailing the two countries’ latest cooperation in a post on X.

“I am grateful to our Finnish partners and Minister @anttihakkanen for another military aid package for Ukraine valued at up to €188 million,” Rustem Umerov wrote in his post. “We also strengthened our defense cooperation: today, Ukraine and Finland signed an agreement on security cooperation and long-term support.”

“Finland will provide long-term military and financial assistance and step up political, financial, humanitarian, and reform cooperation,” the post read. “Together, we are stronger. Thank you for your steadfast support.”

— Natasha Turak

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