Kyiv/Moscow | Reuters: A Russian missile strike at the airport in the southwestern port of Odesa - a city that has so far been relatively unscathed in the war - has damaged the runway and it can no longer be used, the Ukrainian military said.

Here are the top developments


* The Russians were trying to capture the areas of Lyman in Donetsk and Sievierodonetsk and Popasna in Luhansk, the Ukrainian military said in a daily update. "Not succeeding - the fighting continues," it said.

* Ukraine's military said Russian planes had continued to launch strikes on the besieged city of Mariupol, focusing on the Azovstal steelworks where troops and civilians are sheltering.

* Russia said its artillery units had struck 389 Ukrainian targets overnight, including 35 control points, 15 arms and ammunition depots, and several areas where Ukrainian troops and equipment were concentrated.

* The governor of Russia's western Kursk region said several shells were fired at a checkpoint near its border from the direction of Ukraine.

* Russian air defences prevented a Ukrainian aircraft from entering the Bryansk region, Russian news outlets reported citing the region's governor, adding that as a result shelling hit parts of an oil terminal and adjacent territory. Reports of battlefield developments could not be immediately verified by Reuters.


* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the lifting of sanctions imposed on Russia is part of peace talks with Ukraine, but senior Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak denied that this was the case.

* Russia believes the risks of nuclear war should be kept to a minimum and that any armed conflict between nuclear powers should be prevented, the TASS news agency quoted a foreign ministry official as saying.

* U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday she hopes to pass Biden's $33 billion aid package "as soon as possible."

* President Emmanuel Macron said France would step up military and humanitarian support to Ukraine during a phone call with Zelenskiy, Paris said.


* More than 1 million people have been evacuated from Ukraine into Russia since Feb. 24, Lavrov said. They include 120,000 foreigners and people evacuated from Russian-backed breakaway regions of Ukraine, the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People's republics.

* Ukraine carried out a prisoner exchange with Russia on Saturday, with seven soldiers and seven civilians coming home, deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a online posting. She did not say how many Russians had been transferred.


* Russian forces have stolen "several hundred thousand tonnes" of grain in the areas of Ukraine they occupy, Ukraine's deputy agriculture minister said.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha