Russia-Ukraine war live: Russian missile strike hits Kharkiv hotel; US Republican hopefuls split over aid for Ukraine | World news

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Russia’s Belgorod region bordering Ukraine is going through “hard times” due to recent fatal shelling by Kyiv, its governor said on Thursday. Speaking at an expo in Moscow, as reported by AFP, governor of Belgorod oblast, Vyacheslav Gladkov said that residents were “afraid” and that “not everyone can physically cope with it”.

Hundreds of residents including children have already left the Russian border region’s capital city following attacks that have left over two dozen dead. Gladkov said:

The Belgorod region is going through hard times. What Belgorodians have endured and are enduring, not everyone can physically cope with it. Everyone is afraid, but it is one thing when you sit and are afraid alone, and another thing when we cope with this misfortune together.

Schools near the border have switched to remote learning due to the threat of further attacks and homes have been destroyed, he added. The evacuations represent a frustration for the Kremlin, which has tried to maintain normality ahead of presidential elections this spring.

It has vowed that Russia’s military would do “everything” it can to stop the attacks, and has responded with deadly strikes on Ukrainian territory.

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, will be continuing on his tour of Baltic states today, with a visit to Estonia, where he will meet with the country’s leaders.

On Wednesday, Zelenskiy met his Lithuanian counterpart, Gitanas Nausėda, in Vilnius and held a bilateral meeting. The pair took part in a news conference for the press, at which Zelenskiy warned that western hesitation on aid to Ukraine would help Putin. He added that “Russia can be stopped”.

Zelenskiy also expressed his desire to see action on Ukraine gaining Nato membership at this year’s Nato summit, adding that 2024 would be decisive for Ukraine and its allies.

Following the meeting, the Lithuanian government announced that it had approved a €200m (£172m) package of long-term military assistance to Ukraine.

AP have outlined what Zelenskiy’s day will look like: he is to meet with Estonia’s president and prime minister and then address the parliament before heading to Latvia. We will bring updates on his comments and today’s events in Tallinn as they come in.

The first foreign visit in 2024 is to Lithuania and other Baltic States.

This is more than just a visit of gratitude. This is a visit of confidence—the shared confidence of the nations bordering Russia.

We stand together and we are not going to lose our unity.

— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) January 10, 2024

11 people injured after two Russian missiles struck a Kharkiv hotel

Two Russian missiles struck a hotel late on Wednesday in the centre of Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, reports Reuters. The attack has left 11 people injured, one person seriously, the regional governor said.

Posting on Telegram, the Kharkiv governor, Oleh Synehubov, described the strike taking place at about 10.30pm, local time, and involving S-300 missiles in the city’s Kyiv district. “Nine of those injured have been taken to medical facilities,” wrote Synehubov. “One of them, a 35-year-old man, is in serious condition.”

Pictures emerging from the area show blown out windows blown out and balconies destroyed with large piles of rubble in the street below. Emergency teams have been making their way through gaping holes in the facade to sift through rubble inside.

A hotel in Kharkiv with blown out windows and rubble. It was destroyed by Russian missile strikes late on Wednesday.
A hotel in Kharkiv destroyed by Russian missile strikes late on Wednesday. Photograph: Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images


  • Two Russian missiles hit a hotel in Kharkiv late on Wednesday, injuring 11 people, one seriously, said the regional governor, Oleh Synehubov. Visiting Turkish journalists were among the injured, he wrote. Earlier, a 48-year-old woman was killed and a school partially destroyed in Russian airstrikes against Kharkiv oblast, Ukraine’s state emergency service said.

  • Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis, who are vying for the Republican presidential nomination in the US, were split over continuing support for Ukraine’s defence in a debate on Wednesday night. DeSantis suggested it was not a top US priority and accused Haley of wanting an “open-ended commitment” of US money and arms. Haley cast supporting Ukraine and stopping Russia’s aggression as a vital US priority. “You do not have to choose” between priorities like the US-Mexico border and Ukraine, she said. “This is about keeping America safe. This is about preventing war.” Donald Trump did not show up.

  • Ukraine is effectively a test site for North Korean nuclear missiles because Kim Jong-un’s regime is supplying Russia with rockets that can deliver an atomic bomb, South Korea has said. “By exporting missiles to Russia, the DPRK uses Ukraine as the test site of its nuclear-capable missiles,” said the South Korean ambassador to the UN, Hwang Joon-kook, using the official name of North Korea. One of the missiles flew 460km, the distance from a North Korean launch site to South Korean’s city of Pusan. “From the ROK [South Korean] standpoint, it amounts to a simulated attack, Hwang said.

  • Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, met his Lithuanian counterpart, Gitanas Nausėda, in Vilnius on Wednesday. The surprise visit marked the start of Zelenskiy’s tour of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia – all former Soviet republics and now EU and Nato members. In a statement on X, Zelenskiy called the countries “reliable friends and principled partners” to Ukraine.

  • Western hesitation on aid to Ukraine helps Putin, Zelenskiy warned in a news conference with Nausėda. Zelenskiy expressed his desire to see action on Ukraine gaining Nato membership at this year’s Nato summit, adding that 2024 would be decisive for Ukraine and its allies. At the news conference in Lithuania, he said: “Russia can be stopped”.

  • A €200m (£172m) package of long-term military assistance to Ukraine has been approved by the Lithuanian government. The news was announced after a bilateral meeting between Zelenskiy and Nausėda on Wednesday.

  • Pope Francis has expressed his concern that international attention is shifting away from the nearly two-year-old Russian war against Ukraine, and warned that it risks becoming a “forgotten” war.

  • An “explosive” new attack drone has been developed by Iran for Russia’s war in Ukraine, Sky News reported. The existence of a jet engine-powered version of the Shahed drone has been reported in recent days.

  • Russia accidentally bombed a Russian village, said the UK Ministry of Defence, with “inadequate training” and “crew fatigue” among Russian forces likely exacerbating accidents.

  • A majority (63%) of Russians continue to support the full-scale war against Ukraine, according to a poll released by the University of Chicago’s nonpartisan National Opinion Research Center (Norc).

  • Ukraine’s agricultural product exports via its alternative Black Sea corridor reached 4.8m tonnes in December, surpassing the maximum monthly total exported via a former UN-brokered grain deal, brokers said on Wednesday.

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