Russia-Ukraine war live: explosion derails Russian train; at least 34 injured after Pavlohrad attack | Ukraine


Russian freight train derailed by explosion in Bryansk, governor confirms

Pjotr Sauer

Pjotr Sauer

An explosion in the western region of Bryansk bordering Ukraine derailed a Russian freight train on Monday, the local governor said in a social media post.

“An unidentified explosive device went off, as a result of which a locomotive of a freight train derailed,” Bryansk governor Alexander Bogomaz said on Telegram, adding that there were no casualties reported.

Local authorities said that the derailed train was transporting “fuel and building materials.”

Pictures shared on social media showed several tank carriages laying on their side and dark grey smoke rising into the air at the site of the derailment, about 37 miles north of Russia’s border with Ukraine.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack.

There has been an uptick in incidents involving Russia’s railway system in the 14 months since Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian authorities have arrested at least 66 Russians on suspicion of railway sabotage since last fall, according to the independent Russian website Mediazona.

Separately, the governor of Russia’s Leningrad region near St. Petersburg said a power line had been blown up overnight and an explosive device found near a second line.

Key events

Ukrainian counterattacks have ousted Russian forces from some positions in the besieged eastern city of Bakhmut, but the situation remains “difficult”, a top Ukrainian general said in comments published on Monday.

During the past few months the battle for Bakhmut has become the fulcrum of a conflict that has seen little shift in frontlines since late last year, leaving both sides looking for a breakthrough, Reuters reported.

“The situation is quite difficult,” said Col Gen Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of ground forces, in a statement on Telegram.

“At the same time, in certain parts of the city, the enemy was counterattacked by our units and left some positions,” he said while visiting frontline troops on Sunday.

New Russian units, including paratroopers and fighters from the Wagner group, are being “constantly thrown into battle” despite taking heavy losses, he said, adding: “But the enemy is unable to take control of the city.”

The head of the Wagner private militia renewed his appeal to Russia’s defence ministry to increase ammunition shipments to his fighters trying to seize the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.

Yevgeny Prigozhin has frequently clashed with Moscow’s defence establishment over the conduct of Russia’s campaign in Ukraine and what he says is insufficient support being provided to his Wagner soldiers.

In a video posted on his Telegram channel, Prigozhin said he needs at least 300 tonnes of artillery shells a day for the assault, Reuters reported.

“Three hundred tonnes a day is 10 cargo containers – not a lot at all … But we are being given no more than a third of that,” Prigozhin said as he inspected boxes of rifles in a warehouse he said was in the town of Soledar, to the north-east of Bakhmut.

Bakhmut, which had a prewar population of over 70,000, has been levelled by months of artillery shelling and urban combat between Russian and Ukrainian soldiers. Prigozhin claimed on 11 April his forces, which are leading the assault, controlled more than 80% of the city.

Wagner is not part of Russia’s official armed forces, and Prigozhin has previously accused the defence ministry of “betraying” his fighters – and Russia’s overall war aims – by not providing sufficient ammunition.

In an earlier video in front of a destroyed building in Soledar, Prigozhin said on Monday was the anniversary of Wagner’s founding, and that if the group was destined to die, it would be “not at the hands of the Ukrainian army or Nato but because of our domestic bastard-bureaucrats”.

In today’s attack on Pavlohrad, in the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region, seven missiles were fired at the city, Serhii Lysak, the region’s top official, said.

“Some were intercepted” but others hit an industrial facility, sparking a fire, and a residential neighbourhood where 19 apartment buildings, 25 homes, six schools and five shops were damaged, he said.

Missiles also hit three other areas in the region, damaging residential buildings and a school, he said.

Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Monday that Russia conducted “a group missile strike with long-range precision-guided airborne and seaborne weapons on facilities of Ukraine’s defence industry … all designated facilities were struck”.

The attacks also damaged Ukraine’s power network infrastructure, which will take several days to repair, according to energy minister Herman Haluschenko.

He said that nearly 20,000 people in the city of Kherson and the wider region had been left without power, along with an unspecified number of people in the Dnipropetrovsk region, including the city of Dnipro.

A residential area was hit during a Russian military strike on the Ukrainian city of Pavlohrad, struck twice overnight amid Russian missile attacks on a number of areas. An industrial zone, 19 apartment buildings and 25 homes in Pavlohrad were damaged or destroyed. Here is a video clip showing the aftermath.

Ukrainian homes destroyed in Russian strike on Pavlohrad – video

The governor of Chernihiv, Viacheslav Chaus, has reported the death of a child after a mid-afternoon strike on the region. He posted to Telegram:

The enemy continues to hit the civilian infrastructure. Around 3:37pm (1.37pm BST), a hit was recorded at a closed educational institution in Novhorod-Siverskyi. There are reports of the death of a child who was nearby. Information about the victims is being clarified.

The claims have not been independently verified.

Suspilne, Ukraine’s state broadcaster, reports that its correspondents have again heard explosions in Kherson. This is a frequent occurrence during the day in the city, which sits across the Dnieper River from the southern portion of Kherson region, an area that remains occupied by Russian forces.

Vladimir Rogov, chair of the We Are Together with Russia organisation that operates within the occupied Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine, has posted to Telegram to claim that a man has been killed by his own explosives in occupied Melitopol. Rogov posted to Telegram:

In a detached barn, an IED with submunitions self-detonated. As a result of the incident, a local resident born in 1961, who assembled this device, died.

When examining the scene of the incident, it was established that the cause of the explosion was the operation of a non-shell explosive device with a charge mass of about 2kg. In the same place, a second IED was found with an explosive mass of 500g.

Rogov claimed that the size and design of the IED meant they would only have been use against civilian targets, as they were not sufficiently large for military use. He said the detontation happened “as a result of the inept handling of explosives”, and that “police are looking for possible accomplices of the deceased.”

The post was accompanied by pictures which claim to show the remaining IED. The claims have not been independently verified.

A view of a residential area hit by a Russian military strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the town of Pavlohrad, Dnipropetrovsk region.

A view of a residential area hit by a Russian military strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the town of Pavlohrad, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine.
A view of a residential area hit by a Russian military strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the town of Pavlohrad, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine. Photograph: Reuters

Here’s some more on that claim from Russia’s defence ministry that it carried out missile strikes on Ukrainian military targets overnight.

Reuters is reporting:

Russia’s defence ministry said on Monday its forces had carried out missile strikes overnight against Ukrainian military sites, including weapons depots and ammunition factories, and that all its designated targets had been hit.

Earlier, Ukrainian officials said the airstrikes – the second such wave in three days – had caused a fire in the Ukrainian city of Pavlohrad, a railway hub behind the southern and eastern fronts, wounding at least 34 people and damaging dozens of homes.

“Overnight, Russia’s armed forces launched a group of missile strikes using high-precision long-range air and sea-based weapons against Ukraine’s military-industrial facilities,” the Russian defence ministry said in a statement.

“The objectives of the strike were achieved … the work of enterprises making ammunition, weapons and military equipment for Ukrainian troops has been disrupted,” it said.

Ukraine said 15 out of 18 cruise missiles launched by Russia were shot down, shielding the capital Kyiv and other major cities where air raid sirens rang.

In its daily briefing on developments on the frontline, Moscow also said Russian forces had continued their advance in the city of Bakhmut – the now devastated eastern Ukrainian city that Russia has been trying to capture for months.

On Friday, Russia killed 23 civilians with a missile that hit a high-rise apartment building in the city of Uman, part of its first large countrywide volley of airstrikes in nearly two months.

Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilians during the 14 months since it invaded Ukraine.

Russia’s defence ministry said its forces carried out missile strikes against Ukrainian military targets overnight, Russian state news agencies reported.

The defence ministry said all its designated targets – including weapons depots and ammunition factories – had been hit, Reuters reported.

It also said Russian forces were continuing their advance in the city of Bakhmut.

Russian freight train derailed by explosion in Bryansk, governor confirms

Pjotr Sauer

Pjotr Sauer

An explosion in the western region of Bryansk bordering Ukraine derailed a Russian freight train on Monday, the local governor said in a social media post.

“An unidentified explosive device went off, as a result of which a locomotive of a freight train derailed,” Bryansk governor Alexander Bogomaz said on Telegram, adding that there were no casualties reported.

Local authorities said that the derailed train was transporting “fuel and building materials.”

Pictures shared on social media showed several tank carriages laying on their side and dark grey smoke rising into the air at the site of the derailment, about 37 miles north of Russia’s border with Ukraine.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack.

There has been an uptick in incidents involving Russia’s railway system in the 14 months since Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian authorities have arrested at least 66 Russians on suspicion of railway sabotage since last fall, according to the independent Russian website Mediazona.

Separately, the governor of Russia’s Leningrad region near St. Petersburg said a power line had been blown up overnight and an explosive device found near a second line.

Summary of the day so far …

  • Russian missiles have struck warehouses reportedly storing ammunition at a railway depot in the Ukrainian city of Pavlohrad, in an apparent effort to slow Kyiv’s preparations for its much anticipated counteroffensive expected to start shortly. Thirty-four people, including five children, were reported to be injured in the attack. Two women are said to be in intensive care.

  • Video posted on social media showed secondary detonations amid a significant blaze at the site of the strike, which came amid overnight missile launches against a number of Ukrainian cities by Russian strategic bombers. Among the buildings damaged or destroyed were an industrial zone, 19 apartment buildings and 25 homes, according to Mykola Lukashuk, the head of the Dnipro region council.

  • The Ukrainian military reported that air defence crews had destroyed 15 out of 18 missiles launched by Russian forces in the early hours of Monday morning with air raids sirens and air defence batteries audible in Kyiv and across the country.

  • Ukrainian counterattacks have ousted Russian forces from some positions in the besieged eastern city of Bakhmut, but the situation remains “difficult”, a top Ukrainian general has said. “The situation is quite difficult,” said Col Gen Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of ground forces. “At the same time, in certain parts of the city, the enemy was counterattacked by our units and left some positions.” Syrskyi made the remarks while visiting frontline troops on Sunday, the military said.

  • One person was killed and three others were injured by Russian shelling in the Kherson region over the past 24 hours, the region’s administration said.

  • Russian media reported on Monday what looked like two separate overnight incidents of sabotage within the Russian Federation. Alexander Bogomaz, governor of Bryansk, said a freight train was derailed as a result of an explosive device blowing up on railway tracks in the region. Aleksandr Drozdenko, governor of Leningrad region, claimed that a power transmission line support was blown up there. He wrote that an explosive device was also found on a second power pylon, but that electricity supplies had not been disrupted. Authorities in Russia say they are investigating both incidents.

  • Since last summer Russia has built “some of the most extensive systems of military defensive works seen anywhere in the world for many decades” in the areas it controls in Ukraine as well as in its own border regions, the UK’s Ministry of Defence has written in its latest intelligence update on the conflict.

  • Poland’s ministry of foreign affairs has issued a statement condemning the former children’s ombudsman of Russia, Pavel Astakhov, for comments he made on Russian state TV that murdering ambassadors is “within the framework of international law”, with specific reference to Poland’s ambassador. Poland called on Russia “to ensure the safety of all diplomats in accordance with the Vienna Convention”.

  • Volodymyr Zelenskiy has spoken to New Zealand’s prime minister, Chris Hipkins. Ukraine’s president said the pair discussed “further cooperation on defence and humanitarian issues” and “the need for further consolidation of the countries of the Pacific region in supporting Ukraine.”

Peter Beaumont

Peter Beaumont

Peter Beaumont is in Ukraine for the Guardian:

According to some Ukrainian sources, one location hit in Pavlohrad was a plant that produced solid fuel for Soviet-era rocket motors and which had a number of expired solid fuel motors awaiting decommissioning, although that claim could not be immediately verified.

Russian media is reporting this morning on what looks like two separate overnight incidents of sabotage within the Russian Federation.

Tass reports that Alexander Bogomaz, governor of Bryansk, has posted to his Telegram channel to say that a freight train was derailed as a result of an explosive device blowing up on railway tracks in the region.

Meanwhile, Aleksandr Drozdenko, governor of Leningrad region, has claimed on his Telegram channel that a power transmission line support was blown up there. He wrote that an explosive device was also found on a second power pylon, but that electricity supplies had not been disrupted.

The claims have not been independently verified. Authorities in Russia say they are investigating both incidents.

Poland’s ministry of foreign affairs has issued a statement condemning the former children’s ombudsman of Russia, Pavel Astakhov, for comments he made on Russian state TV that murdering ambassadors is “within the framework of international law”, with specific reference to Poland’s ambassador.

In the show, Astakhov recalled how red paint was poured over Russia’s ambassador to Poland, Sergei Andreev, last year. Astakhov then said he wondered why Poland’s ambassador to Russia was yet to be “found floating in the Moskva River”.

Russian Ambassador to Poland, Ambassador Sergey Andreev reacts after being covered with red paint during a protest in Warsaw, May 2022.
Russian Ambassador to Poland, Ambassador Sergey Andreev reacts after being covered with red paint during a protest in Warsaw, May 2022. Photograph: Wojtek Radwański/AFP/Getty Images

Łukasz Jasina, spokesperson for Poland’s ministry of foreign affairs, said in the statement:

The ministry of foreign affairs of the Republic of Poland condemns Pavel Astakhov’s statement that the murder of the Polish ambassador is admissible. We call on Russia to ensure the safety of all diplomats in accordance with the Vienna Convention.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy has posted to Telegram to say that he has spoken to New Zealand’s prime minister, Chris Hipkins.

Ukraine’s president said:

Had a phone call with prime minister of New Zealand Chris Hipkins. Thanked New Zealand for the participation in the training of our military. We count on its continuation, as well as on further cooperation on defence and humanitarian issues. We discussed the need for further consolidation of the countries of the Pacific region in supporting Ukraine.

Streaks of tracer fire lit up the sky last night over Kyiv as Ukrainian air defence systems repelled Russian missile attacks and air raid sirens blared across the country for more than three hours. Here is a short video clip of what that looked like.

Ukraine air defence tracer fire targeting Russian missiles lights up Kyiv sky – video

The US ambassador to Ukraine has condemned the latest overnight attack by Russia as “barbaric” in a tweet. Bridget Brink wrote:

Russia again launched missiles in the deep of night at Ukrainian cities where civilians, including children, should be able to sleep safely and peacefully. I am grateful for those who protect Ukraine’s skies, and the US will continue to work hard and fast to support them and their ability to defeat Russia’s barbaric attacks on the people of Ukraine.



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