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Explosions, air raid alerts throughout Ukraine

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Air raid alerts sounded throughout Ukraine early on Friday, with some areas later reporting explosions and officials saying anti-aircraft units were in action in several regions. The alerts extended to all regions of the country for about an hour from 2 am. Read our live blog for all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine. All times are Paris time  (GMT+2). 

02:30am: No reported casualties after air raid alerts

But there were no reports of strikes on infrastructure or civilian targets and no indications of casualties as the alerts were withdrawn in Kyiv and in central and southern regions.

Air raid alerts remained in force into the early morning throughout western Ukraine, but only in two regions in the east and Russian-annexed Crimea in the south.

The head of Kyiv’s military administration said Russian forces had sent successive waves of drones towards the capital, the 10th attack this month and the second in less than 24 hours.

“This Kremlin tactic is an attempt to overwhelm our anti-aircraft forces and put psychological pressure on civilians. It won’t happen!” Serhiy Popko wrote on Telegram.

“All air targets sent toward Kyiv were destroyed by our anti-aircraft defences.”

Several regions reported anti-aircraft units in operation.

01:30am: UK to ban Russian diamonds at G7 in fresh round of sanctions

Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak plans to announce a ban on Russian diamonds and imports of metals from Russia including copper, aluminium and nickel in support for Ukraine, his government said in a statement.

Britain is also targeting an additional 86 people and companies from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military industrial complex, in addition those involved in energy, metals and shipping industries.

They include those supporting the Kremlin to actively undermine the impact of existing sanctions, as Britain continues to work with G7 partners to tackle all forms of sanctions circumvention, the government said.

10:20pm: US, G7 to unveil new sanctions targeting Russia over Ukraine

The United States and the rest of the “Group of Seven” major economies will unveil new sanctions and export controls targeting Russia over its war against Ukraine, a US official said ahead of a G7 summit in Japan.

The official, speaking to reporters ahead of the gathering, said the G7’s latest efforts were aimed at disrupting Russia’s ability to get materials it needs for the battlefield, close loopholes used to evade sanctions, further reduce international reliance on Russian energy, and narrow Moscow’s access to the international financial system.

“Our commitment to continue tightening the screws on Russia remains as strong as it was last year,” the official said.

The latest US sanctions package will include “extensively restricting categories of goods key to the battlefield” as well as preventing some 70 entities from Russia and third countries from receiving US exports by adding them to the US Commerce Department’s blacklist

8:52pm: Pentagon overvalued Ukraine weapons aid by $3 billion, sources say

The Pentagon overestimated the value of the ammunition, missiles and other equipment it sent to Ukraine by around $3 billion, a Senate aide and a defence official said on Thursday, an error that may lead the way for more weapons being sent to Kyiv for its defence against Russian forces.

The error was the result of assigning a higher than warranted value on weaponry that was taken from US stocks and then shipped to Ukraine, the two officials told Reuters on the condition of anonymity.

“We’ve discovered inconsistencies in how we value the equipment that we’ve given” to Ukraine, one of them said.

In its accounting, the Pentagon used replacement cost to value the weapons aid, instead of the weaponry’s value when it was purchased and depreciated, they said.

While it is uncertain how Congress will react to the news, changing the valuation of the equipment could delay the Biden administrations’ need to ask Congress to authorise more funds for Ukraine. 

Read yesterday’s live blog to see how the day’s events unfolded

© France Médias Monde graphic studio


(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP & Reuters)

This story originally appeared on France24

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