US President Joe Biden announced an $800 million military aid package for Ukraine on Wednesday as international prosecutors said the war-torn Western ally was a ‘scene of crime’ amid fears of a massive reworked Russian assault.
The announcement came as news emerged of the Russian flagship’s evacuation from the Black Sea after it was allegedly hit by two Ukrainian cruise missiles.
Here are more of the biggest stories – and what you may have missed – on day 50 of the war in Ukraine.
To read the previous i24NEWS report providing a recap of Day 49 of the Ukrainian War, click here.
Biden gives Ukraine ‘crime scene’ $800m to hold back Russia
The United States unveils a major new aid program for Ukraine, including equipment such as helicopters, howitzers and armored personnel carriers.
The package includes equipment that Washington had previously refused to provide kyiv for fear of an escalation of the conflict with nuclear-armed Russia.
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Russia’s Black Sea flagship ‘seriously damaged’
Russia said on Thursday a warship in the Black Sea was “severely damaged” after Ukraine said its forces hit it with two missiles, while the Russian Defense Ministry said attributed to an explosion of ammunition.
“As a result of a fire, ammunition exploded on the guided-missile cruiser Moskva. The ship was badly damaged,” the ministry said, as reported by Russian state media.
The ship’s crew was forced to evacuate following the damage, the incident representing Ukraine’s first major sea victory since the start of the war, the BBC reported.
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Russia threatens Ukrainian command centers based in Kyiv
The Russian military has threatened to strike Ukrainian command centers in Kyiv as “we are witnessing attempts by Ukrainian troops to sabotage and strike Russian territory”, the Moscow Defense Ministry said.
“If such cases continue, the Russian armed forces will strike at decision-making centers, including in kyiv,” the ministry said.
According to Kharkiv governor, more than 500 civilians and a number of children have been killed since the start of the war
At least 503 civilians have been killed in the Kharkiv region of eastern Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion on February 24, the local governor said on Thursday.
Oleg Synegubov wrote on Telegram that the dead included 24 children. – AFP
Germany seizes world’s largest yacht from owner of Russian oligarch
Germany has officially confiscated the world’s largest superyacht owned by Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, as part of sanctions against Moscow after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, law enforcement sources said Thursday.
The 1,680-foot-long “Dilbar” has an estimated value of $600 million, according to Forbes magazine.
Since last October, the boat had been moored for repairs in a shipyard in Hamburg.
German customs observed the superyacht for several weeks, but were unable to officially seize her earlier due to a legal entanglement over her ownership. – AFP