Russia-Ukraine live updates: US announces $2.6B in new security aid for Ukraine

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(NEW YORK) — More than a year after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine, the countries are fighting for control of areas in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Ukrainian troops have liberated nearly 30,000 square miles of their territory from Russian forces since the invasion began on Feb. 24, 2022, but Putin appeared to be preparing for a long and bloody war.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Apr 10, 4:28 PM EDT
Gershkovich designated as wrongfully detained by Russia

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has determined that Wall Street Journalist reporter Evan Gershkovich is being wrongfully detained by Russia, according to a statement released Monday afternoon.

Two Americans are now considered to be wrongfully detained by Russia — Gershkovich and Paul Whelan.

Gershkovich’s case will now be transferred to the Office of the Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs, the U.S. government’s top hostage negotiator.

Gershkovich, a 31-year-old New Jersey native who has lived and worked in Moscow as an accredited journalist for the last six years, was in a restaurant in Yekaterinburg on March 29 when Russia’s Federal Security Service arrested him on espionage charges that the Wall Street Journal, his colleagues and the U.S. government have said are absurd.

-ABC News’ Shannon K. Crawford

Apr 06, 8:00 PM EDT
Pentagon reviewing reported leak of classified Ukraine war planning documents to social media

The Pentagon is investigating the reported leak of classified U.S. and NATO documents posted on Twitter and Telegram, a spokesperson said.

The New York Times first reported the investigation.

“We are aware of the reports of social media posts, and the Department is reviewing the matter,” Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said in a statement provided to ABC News.

The war plans provided statistics on Ukrainian troop and casualty numbers as well as information about weapons deliveries and Ukrainian troop schedules, the New York Times reported.

-ABC News’ Luis Martinez

Apr 05, 12:16 PM EDT
Blinken says he views WSJ reporter as ‘wrongfully detained’ in Russia

At a press conference following a bilateral NATO meeting in Brussels, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters the U.S. is going through a formal process to determine whether it will designate Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich as wrongfully detained in Russia, but said he has no doubt that is the case.

“In Evan’s case, we are working through the determination on wrongful detention, and there’s a process to do that, and it is something that we are working through very deliberately but expeditiously as well,” Blinken answered a WSJ reporter who had asked about the determination.

“I’ll let that process play out. In my own mind, there’s no doubt that he’s being wrongfully detained by Russia, which is exactly what I said to Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov when I spoke to him over the weekend and insisted that Evan be released immediately,” Blinken added.

Blinken said he expected the formal process to be “completed soon.”

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Apr 04, 5:22 PM EDT
Zelenskyy invited to NATO summit in July

NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced that he invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to a NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 11 and 12.

Zelenskyy will meet with alliance member states, according to Stoltenberg.

-ABC News’ William Gretsky

Apr 04, 3:35 PM EDT
US ‘working diligently’ to get WSJ reporter consular access: White House

The U.S. is continuing to push for consular access for Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter detained in Russia, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a briefing Tuesday, adding that “this is a priority” for President Joe Biden.

Asked how worrying it was the U.S. still didn’t have consular access, Jean-Pierre said, “We’re concerned.”

“We’re taking this very seriously,” Jean-Pierre said, pointing to Secretary Antony Blinken’s conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov over the weekend. “We’re working diligently, very hard to get a counselor to Evan.”

Jean-Pierre declined to say whether the U.S. was close to determining that Gershkovich was being “wrongfully detained” or provide a timeline of when that determination may happen, saying the State Department’s process “is currently ongoing.” That classification would allow the federal government to use more resources to try to free him.

-ABC News’ Ben Gittleson

Apr 04, 12:05 PM EDT
US announces $2.6B in new security aid for Ukraine

The Pentagon announced $2.6 billion in new security assistance for Ukraine on Tuesday.

The aid will come in two forms: a $500 million presidential drawdown authority package pulling from existing U.S. stockpiles (the 35th such package for Ukraine); and $2.1 billion from Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funds to procure new equipment.

Both the PDA and USAI packages are largely focused on providing munitions for Ukraine, including additional Patriot air-defense missiles and HIMARS ammunition. They also include anti-drone weapons, vehicles, communications equipment, spare parts and more.

-ABC News’ Matt Seyler

Apr 03, 10:21 PM EDT
At least 501 children killed, almost 1,000 injured since February 2022: UNICEF chief

At least 501 children have been killed and almost 1,000 others injured since February 2022, Catherine Russell, executive director of UNICEF, tweeted Monday.

“Another tragic milestone for Ukraine’s children and families,” she wrote, adding: “This is just the UN verified number. The real figure is likely far higher, and the toll on families affected is unimaginable.”

Apr 03, 1:45 PM EDT
Russia to arrest anyone who supports ICC warrant for Putin

The Russian State Duma will arrest anyone who agrees with the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin accusing him of committing war crimes, the State Duma said on its official Telegram channel Monday.

Russia will imprison those who “call for the implementation of the decision” of the International Criminal Court “on the arrest of Vladimir Putin accused of war crimes,” the State Duma of the Russian Federation said.

“The profile committees of the State Duma are preparing amendments to the Federal Law ‘On Security,’ which will prohibit the activities of the International Criminal Court and international bodies directed against the Russian Federation on our territory and its citizens,” Chairman of State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin said.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Putin for war crimes in March, accusing him of personal responsibility for the abductions of children from Ukraine.

-ABC News’ Oleksiy Pshemyskiy

Apr 03, 5:11 AM EDT
Suspect arrested in St. Petersburg explosion, report says

A suspect in a St. Petersburg cafe blast that killed a Russian military blogger on Sunday has been arrested, Inferfax reported.

The Russian Investigative Committee said on Telegram that Darya Trepova was arrested on suspicion of involvement, the Russian wire service reported.

-ABC News’ Joe Simonetti

Apr 02, 5:21 PM EDT
Russia to move tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus’ western border

Russia plans to move tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus to the country’s western borders, Boris Gryzlov, the Russian ambassador to Belarus, said Sunday.

Gryzlov’s announcement comes just three days after Russia and the United States clashed in the United Nations over the Kremlin’s plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. U.S. officials denounced the move as a desperate attempt by Russia to avoid military defeat and “threaten the world with nuclear apocalypse.”

Gryzlov said in an address aired on the Belarusian STV channel that tactical nuclear weapons “will be moved to the western borders of our Union State and will increase the possibilities for ensuring our security.”

The western border of Belarus is shared by Poland, a NATO country supporting Ukraine. Russian forces have used Belarus as a staging ground for the war in Ukraine.

“This will be done despite the noise in Europe and the United States,” Gryzlov said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the decision and slammed Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, saying he “no longer decides which weapons are on his territory.”

“And does (Vladimir) Putin threaten the world? Of course, if Ukraine does not resist, it will fall, Putin will move on, we have emphasized this many times,” Zelenskyy said. “With the help of our friends and partners, our army will stand firm and win what is rightfully ours. Victory and our independence.”

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky

Apr 02, 4:20 PM EDT
Zelenskyy condemns deadly Russian missile strike on Kostiantynivka

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned a Russian missile strike on Sunday in the eastern Ukraine city of Kostiantynivka that killed six people and injured at least 11.

In an address to his country Sunday night, Zelenskyy called Russia an “evil state” for targeting residential buildings in Kostiantynivka with long-range missiles.

“The evil state must be defeated,” Zelenskyy said.

Kostiantynivka, which is close to Bakhmut, is being used as a second-line staging area for Ukrainian troops holding the line on that part of the front.

Zelenskyy said the fighting in Bakhmut was “especially hot” on Sunday.

He predicted a day would come when Ukraine will “celebrate the last Russians being killed or driven out of currently Russian occupied territories, including Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson Oblasts, as well as Crimea.”

-ABC News’ Edward Szekeres

Apr 02, 5:45 PM EDT
St. Petersburg bomb attack kills pro-war blogger

A top Russian pro-war blogger has been killed in a bomb attack on a cafe in Russia, according to police.

The explosion on Sunday tore through a cafe in St. Petersburg, killing Vladlen Tatarsky, one of the best-known of the Russian military bloggers who have become influential during the war in Ukraine.

At least 30 other people were injured in the blast, according to the Ministry of Health. Video circulating online appeared to capture the aftermath, showing bloodied people emerging from the heavily damaged cafe.

The Russian Interior Ministry said an explosion has occurred in a cafe on the city’s Universitetskaya Embankment.

“One person was killed in the incident, it was military correspondent Vladlen Tatarsky, the Russian Interior Ministry press center told reporters on Sunday.

Denis Pushilin, acting head of the Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic, issued a statement describing Tatarsky as “a great patriot” of the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine and Russia. Pushilin blamed the attack on the Kyiv regime, calling it a terrorist regime.

“A man with a difficult fate, Vladlen earned the respect of his comrades-in-arms because he lived and worked for the sake of truth and justice, for the sake of victory,” Pushilin said of Tatarsky. “He managed to fight, and in the status of a military correspondent to make his contribution.”

Pushilin said Tatarsky was to be awarded a medal “for the liberation of Mariupol” in eastern Ukraine.

It was the most serious bomb attack on a pro-war Russian figure inside Russia since the high-profile assassination of the Daria Dugina, the daughter of the ultra-nationalist Alexander Dugina, who was killed in a car bombing last year.

Tatarsky was a Russian ultra-nationalist and one of the best-known military bloggers, who strongly supported the war in Ukraine. He had also criticized the execution of the war by Russia’s military command.

Tatarsky had become a significant source of information for how the war was being fought on the Russian side.

His killing will likely set off speculation on whether Ukraine or Russia was behind his killing, similar to the Dugina episode.

In the Dugina case, U.S. intelligence sources eventually told The New York Times that Ukraine was behind the attack.

-News Patrick Reevell

Apr 02, 4:20 PM EDT
Zelenskyy condemns deadly Russian missile strike on Kostiantynivka

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned a Russian missile strike on Sunday in the eastern Ukraine city of Kostiantynivka that killed six people and injured at least 11.

In an address to his country Sunday night, Zelenskyy called Russia an “evil state” for targeting residential buildings in Kostiantynivka with long-range missiles.

“The evil state must be defeated,” Zelenskyy said.

Kostiantynivka, which is close to Bakhmut, is being used as a second-line staging area for Ukrainian troops holding the line on that part of the front.

Zelenskyy said the fighting in Bakhmut was “especially hot” on Sunday.

He predicted a day would come when Ukraine will “celebrate the last Russians being killed or driven out of currently Russian occupied territories, including Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson Oblasts, as well as Crimea.”

-ABC News’ Edward Szekeres

Apr 02, 1:53 PM EDT
St. Petersburg bomb attack kills pro-war blogger

A top Russian pro-war blogger has been killed in a bomb attack on a cafe in Russia, according to police.

The explosion on Sunday tore through a cafe in St. Petersburg, killing Vadim Tatarsky, one of the best-known of the Russian military bloggers who have become influential during the war in Ukraine.

At least 16 other people were injured in the blast, according to Russian police. Video circulating online appeared to capture the aftermath, showing bloodied people emerging from the heavily damaged cafe.

The Russian Interior Ministry said an explosion has occurred in a cafe on the city’s Universitetskaya Embankment.

“One person was killed in the incident, it was military correspondent Vladlen Tatarsky. Sixteen people were injured and are being examined by medics,” the Russian Interior Ministry press center told reporters on Sunday.

It was the most serious bomb attack on a pro-war Russian figure inside Russia since the high-profile assassination of the Daria Dugina, the daughter of the ultra-nationalist Alexander Dugina, who was killed in a car bombing last year.

Tatarsky was a Russian ultra-nationalist and one of the best-known military bloggers, who strongly supported the war in Ukraine. He had also criticized the execution of the war by Russia’s military command.

Tatarsky had become a significant source of information for how the war was being fought on the Russian side.

His killing will likely set off speculation on whether Ukraine or Russia was behind his killing, similar to the Dugina episode.

In the Dugina case, U.S. intelligence sources eventually told The New York Times that Ukraine was behind the attack.

-News Patrick Reevell

Apr 02, 12:26 PM EDT
6 Ukrainian civilians killed, 8 injured in Russian missile strike

At least six civilians were killed and eight others were injured Sunday when Russian missiles slammed into houses and apartment buildings in an eastern Ukrainian city, Ukrainian officials said.

The attack occurred in downtown Kostiantynivka, a city in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, the site of the war’s fiercest fighting.

Andriy Yermak, deputy head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, said at least six people were killed in the attack.

Three Russian S-300 long-range missiles and four other rockets hit homes and apartment buildings in Kostiantynivka, according to Pavlo Kyrylenko, the regional governor.

Kostiantynivka is about eight miles west of the embattled town of Bakhmut, currently the main hotspot of the war.

-ABC News’ Tatiana Rymarenko

Apr 02, 11:33 AM EDT
Blinken speaks to Russian counterpart about arrested US journalist

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged the Kremlin to release imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich in a phone call Sunday with his Russian counterpart, according to a State Department spokesperson.

Blinken spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, conveying the United States’ “grave concern” over the “unacceptable detention” of a U.S. citizen, according to Vedant Patel, a deputy spokesperson for the State Department.

“The secretary called for his immediate release. Secretary Blinken further urged the Kremlin to immediately release wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Paul Whelan,” said Patel, referring to the American held in Russia on espionage charges since 2018.

According to a read out of the phone call released by the Kremlin, Lavrov emphasized that Gershkovich “was taken red-handed while trying to obtain classified information, collecting data constituting a state secret under the guise of journalistic status.”

“In the light of the established facts of illegal activity of a U.S. citizen, of whose detention the U.S. Embassy in Moscow was notified in accordance with the established procedure, his further fate will be determined by the court,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

The Kremlin said that during the conversation, Lavrov emphasized officials in Washington and the Western media are “escalating the hype with the clear intention of giving this case a political coloring.”

Blinken and Lavrov also spoke of the “importance of creating an environment that permits diplomatic missions to carry out their work,” according to Patel.

Apr 02, 9:27 AM EDT
World media groups demand Kremlin release Wall Street Journal reporter

More than three dozen of the world’s top news media organizations are calling on Russia to release Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.

The news groups joined the Wall Street Journal and the Committee to Protect Journalists, in penning a letter to Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, writing Gershkovich’s “is a journalist, not a spy.” The media organizations — including the Associated Press, New York Times, the Washington Post and The Times of London — wrote that Kershkovich’s “unwarranted and unjust arrest” represents “a significant escalation” of anti-press actions by the Russian government.

“Russia is sending the message that journalism within your borders is criminalized and that foreign correspondents seeking to report from Russia do not enjoy the benefits of the rule of law,” the letter reads.

The media groups urged Russia to immediately give Gershkovich access to a lawyer hired by the Wall Street Journal and allow him to communicate with his family.

The Kremlin has yet to publicly respond to the letter.

-ABC News’ Patrick Reevell

Mar 31, 1:09 PM EDT
Finland set to join NATO in ‘coming days,’ Stoltenberg says

Finland will formally join NATO in the “coming days,” after the country was able to clear its final hurdle, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

“Their membership will make Finland safer and NATO stronger. Finland has highly capable forces, advanced capabilities and strong democratic institutions. So Finland will bring a lot to our alliance,” Stoltenberg said in a statement Friday.

Turkey was the last of the 30 NATO allies to approve Finland’s bid to join the alliance.

Mar 30, 4:22 PM EDT
6 missiles fired at Kharkiv

Russia just struck Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine with multiple missiles, Ukrainian officials said Thursday night.

Local officials in Kharkiv said Russia fired six Soviet-era S-300 surface-to-air missiles.

ABC News reporters heard explosions outside the city center and saw Ukrainian air defense active just before and during the attacks.

There are currently no reports of casualties or damage to infrastructure as a result of the strikes in Ukraine’s second-largest city.

There are also reports of Russian strikes in the Dnipro region.

-ABC News’ Tom Soufi Burridge

Mar 30, 1:37 PM EDT
Russia to enlist 147,000 soldiers in April

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Thursday ordering a spring conscription. Russia will call up 147,000 people to join the Russian Armed Forces from April 1 to April 15.

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky

Mar 30, 11:10 AM EDT
Russia preparing to start another soldier recruitment, UK says

Russian media reporting suggests authorities are preparing to start a major military recruitment aiming to sign up an additional 400,000 troops, the United Kingdom’s Defense Ministry assessed.

Russia is presenting the campaign as a drive for volunteer, professional personnel, rather than a new, mandatory mobilization. There is a realistic possibility that in practice this distinction will be blurred, and that regional authorities will try to meet their allocated recruitment targets by coercing men to join up, UK officials said.

Russian authorities have likely selected a supposedly ‘volunteer model’ to meet their personnel shortfall in order to minimize domestic dissent. It is highly unlikely that the campaign will attract 400,000 genuine volunteers, according to UK officials.

However, rebuilding Russia’s combat power in Ukraine will require more than just personnel; Russia needs more munitions and military equipment supplies than it currently has available, UK officials said.

Mar 30, 6:22 AM EDT
WSJ ‘vehemently denies’ spying allegation against reporter

The Wall Street Journal said on Thursday that it “vehemently denies” the spying allegations brought by Russia’s intelligence service against its reporter.

“The Wall Street Journal vehemently denies the allegations from the FSB and seeks the immediate release of our trusted and dedicated reporter, Evan Gershkovich,” a spokesperson for the WSJ said in a statement to ABC News. “We stand in solidarity with Evan and his family.”

Mar 30, 4:24 AM EDT
WSJ reporter detained in Russia on spying charge

Russia’s FSB intelligence agency said on Thursday it had detained a journalist working for The Wall Street Journal on spying charges.

Russian state media cited an FSB statement saying Evan Gershkovich was detained in Ekaterinburg, a city in central Russia, and accusing him of collecting “state secrets” on an enterprise belonging to Russia’s military industrial complex on behalf of the United States.

A criminal case has been opened against him, the officials said.

“It is established that Evan Gershkovich, acting on the instruction of the American side, was collecting information consisting of state secrets, about the activity of one of the enterprises of the Russian military industrial complex. He was arrested in Ekaterinburg during an attempt to receive secret information,” Russian media said, quoting FSB officials.

Earlier reports from local media said that Gershkovich had been in Ekaterinburg reporting on the Wagner private military company.

Gershkovich is a reporter for the WSJ covering Russia, Ukraine and the former Soviet Union. He previously reported for Agence France-Presse and The Moscow Times, according to his WSJ profile. He also served as a news assistant at The New York Times.

Mar 28, 4:45 PM EDT
US will support special tribunal to try ‘crime of aggression’ against Russia

The U.S. will support the creation of a special tribunal to prosecute top Kremlin officials for Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine, State Department officials said Tuesday, marking a significant shift for the Biden administration and a notable step toward outlining what accountability on the international stage might look like after the conflict.

A department spokesperson said the administration envisioned the tribunal would take the form of an international court that is “rooted in Ukraine’s judicial system” but ideally located in another European country.

The spokesperson added that such a mechanism would work to “facilitate broader international support and demonstrate Ukraine’s leadership in ensuring accountability for the crime of aggression” as well as “maximize the chances of achieving meaningful accountability for the crime of aggression.”

Ukraine and other Western countries have long called for a special tribunal, but until now, the U.S. has not publicly declared if it would support the creation of a new structure.

Mar 27, 12:21 PM EDT
Two dead, 29 hurt in Russian missile strike on Sloviansk

At least two people were killed and 29 were injured Monday morning when a pair of long-range Russian missiles slammed into buildings in a city in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian officials said.

The two S-300 Russian missiles hit administrative and office buildings, and private homes in Sloviansk, according to Pavlo Kyrylenko, the regional governor.

Sloviansk is in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, where heavy fighting has been waged since the start of the war.

The missiles struck the city around 10:30 a.m. local time, Kyrylenko said.

He said the town of Druzhkivka in the Donetsk region was also targeted in Monday’s missile attacks. Kyrylenko said a Russian missile “almost completely destroyed” an orphanage in Druzhkivka, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

“Another day that began with terrorism by the Russian Federation,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a statement.

Zelenskyy said Ukraine “will not forgive the torturing of our people.”

“All Russian terrorists will be defeated,” Zelenskyy said. “Everyone involved in this aggression will be held to account.”

Mar 26, 1:47 PM EDT
Ukrainian drone injures 3 inside Russia

Three people were injured in an explosion in the Kireevsky district of the Tula region on Sunday, Yekaterina Makarova, press secretary of the region’s Ministry of Health, told Interfax.

Russian authorities and law enforcement agencies said a Ukrainian drone with ammunition caused the explosion in the town far from the two countries’ border.

Kireevsk is about 180 miles from the border with Ukraine and 110 miles south of Moscow.

The Russian state-run news agency Tass reported authorities identified the drone as a Ukrainian Tu-141. The Latvia-based Russian news outlet Meduza reported that the blast left a crater about 50 feet in diameter and 16 feet deep.

-ABC News’ Anastasia Bagaeva

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