- A missile fired from Ukrainian-held territory was shot down over the Black Sea town of Feodosia in Russian-controlled Crimea, the Moscow-installed head of Crimea's administration said Saturday.
- Russia’s campaign to “severely degrade” Ukraine’s energy system this winter has probably failed, Britain’s Defense Ministry said in a post on Twitter Saturday.
- Thirty-one children, “kidnapped by the Russians from Kherson and Kharkiv regions” are back in Ukraine after being separated from their parents for several months.
Thirty-one children were reunited with their families in Ukraine this weekend after what the head of a humanitarian group said Saturday was one of its most difficult operations to return children from Russia, where they had been taken during the war.
Kyiv estimates nearly 19,500 children have been taken to Russia in what Ukraine condemns as illegal deportations since Moscow invaded in February of last year. Moscow claims the children were transported away for their own safety.
So far, the Save Ukraine humanitarian organization says it has undertaken five missions to return Ukrainian children to their families. The group has helped with the transportation and planning needed to help parents bring their children back.
Mykola Kuleba, the head of Save Ukraine and Ukraine’s former commissioner for children's rights, told reporters no one in Russia was trying to find the children’s parents.
Missile downed over Crimea
A missile fired from Ukrainian-held territory was shot down over the Black Sea town of Feodosia in Russian-controlled Crimea, the Moscow-installed head of Crimea's administration said Saturday.
"A missile launched from Ukraine was shot down over Feodosia," Sergei Aksyonov said on Telegram, without providing any detail on the kind of projectile in question.
Feodosia, located in the southeastern part of Crimea, is almost 300 kilometers from the nearest Ukrainian-held area. Kyiv did not comment Saturday, and it is not publicly known to possess missiles with that range. U.S.-supplied HIMARS rockets used by Ukraine have a range of 80 kilometers.
Reuters said it could not immediately verify the reports and that it was unclear how Ukraine could have attempted such a strike.
Ukrainians placed flowers at a small memorial Saturday to the 61 people killed a year ago when a Russian missile struck the transportation hub as about 4,000 people gathered there to board evacuation trains. Experts said the Tochka-U missile was armed with cluster munitions. More than 160 people were injured.
"What is there to say? My close friend and her daughter and their dog died. What more can be said?" 67-year-old Tetiana Syshchenko told Agence France-Presse, tearing up.
She said she narrowly avoided being killed in the blast.
Residents arrived a few at a time to approach the small plaque topped with flowers and children's toys at the station.
Russia denied responsibility for the attack.
Classified documents leaked
The U.S. Justice Department said Friday it has begun an investigation into the leak of several classified U.S. military documents that have been posted on social media.
"We have been in communication with the Department of Defense related to this matter and have begun an investigation. We decline further comment," a Justice Department spokesperson said Friday.
A new batch of classified documents that appear to detail U.S. national security secrets from Ukraine to the Middle East to China surfaced on social media sites Friday, The New York Times reported.
Russia or pro-Russian elements are likely behind an earlier leak of several classified U.S. military documents posted on social media that offer a skewed, month-old snapshot of the war in Ukraine, three U.S. officials told Reuters Friday.
Black Sea Grain Initiative impasse
Russia warned Friday that it would not renew the Black Sea Grain Initiative signed by the Kremlin, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations last July unless Moscow's terms are fulfilled.
The deal allows Ukraine — one of the world's top grain producers — to export grain through a safe corridor in the Black Sea. According to official data, more than 27 million tons of grain and other foodstuffs have been exported from Ukraine aboard 881 outbound vessels since the initiative began last August. According to the U.N., continuing the deal is vital to averting a world food crisis.
At a news conference in Ankara, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov threatened to abandon the agreement if the West does not remove obstacles to Russian agricultural exports, allow a resumption in supplies of agricultural machinery and parts, lift restrictions on insurance and reinsurance, and unblock assets and accounts of Russian companies involved in food and fertilizer exports.
Lavrov said that if those terms are not honored, Russia would bypass the U.N.-brokered initiative exporting products and Ukraine would have to use land and river routes for its exports.
Tatiana Vorozhko of VOA’s Ukraine Service contributed to this report. Some material in this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.