Ukraine war latest: Zelenskyy urges countries not to wait until November to repel Russia at NATO summit (2024)

Key points
  • NATO allies commit to sending air defence systems to Ukraine
  • 'Putin trying to humiliate US' - Zelenskyy urges countries not to wait until November to repel Russia
  • Missile that struck hospital was Russian, Sky News finds
  • Doctor recalls 'hell' of attack on children's hospital
  • Listen:Is new support for Ukraine a game-changer?
  • Ivor Bennett analysis:Modi's comments during visit prove awkward for Putin
  • Deborah Haynes analysis:Russia sending a message to NATO
  • Your questions answered:Has the West been honest about Ukraine's failures?| Is Kyiv next?

07:07:39

Two people killed in Russian missile attack, says Ukrainian governor

Two people have been killed in a Russian missile attack in a southern Ukrainian city, the local governor has said.

The strike on Odesa has also damaged a civilian ship, port infrastructure, warehouses and trucks, Oleh Kiper said on Telegram.

He did not identify the two people killed, but confirmed one was a security guard and the other was a truck driver.

"Another man, a watchman, was injured. Currently, the victim is receiving all the necessary help in the hospital," he added.

It comes after the Ukrainian air force said Russia had launched five missilesand 20 drones overnight, with Odesa port as one of the targets.

A total of 14 drones were shot down by Ukrainian forces, it said.

06:58:17

Keir Starmer to meet US president and NATO leaders today

Sir Keir Starmer will meet the US president and other NATO leaders at summit celebrating the military alliance's 75th birthday today.

The prime minister has been pressing for European nations to increase defence spending.

However, he has refused to guarantee that he will meet his flagship commitment on defence spending within his first term in office, despite a "cast iron" promise to get there.

Speaking to reporters, Sir Keir was repeatedly pressed on whether the goal of spending 2.5% of GDP would be reached.

He said: "We are committed to the 2.5%, as I have said before the election and I say again after the election. That is obviously subject to our fiscal rules, but the commitment is there.

"The strategic review will take place, that will happen next week, and we will set out the details of that.

Later this afternoon, he will hold talks with Joe Biden in the White House.

It comes as Mr Bidden facing domestic pressures over his age and ability to run the US for a second term.

06:30:34

Zelenskyy appears to admit concern over what US election means for war

Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed concern that the US election may prevent the West from providing Ukraine with the support it needs to repel and push back Russia over the coming months.

He used the opening of a NATO summit to urge world leaders to accelerate assistance - perhaps mindful that the willingness of the US to provide aid could change if Donald Trump is elected in November.

The Ukrainian president said Vladimir Putin believes that "war might pay" and is "trying to humiliate America" by breaking free nations.

Delivering a pivotal address during a NATO summit last night, he said: "It's time to step out of the shadows to make strong decisions to act and not wait for November or any other months to descend.

"We must be strong and uncompromising all together."

He added that the US must be "uncompromising in defending democracy, uncompromising against Putin and his coterie".

"How much longer can Putin last? The answer to this question is right here in Washington. Your leadership, your actions, your choice. The choice to act now," he said.

Mr Zelenskyy's visit to Washington was the latest in a series of trips where he has called for more military assistance to defend his country against Russia.

It comes as he continues to push for Ukraine to become a NATO member - a demand that current members are not in a hurry to meet.

As the NATO summit continues, he'll be trying to navigate a tumultuous American political landscape as Joe Biden attempts to show his strength on the world stage amid concerns about his ability to lead.

06:12:31

Good morning

Welcome back to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine, as NATO leaders meet in Washington in the wake of devastating Russian strikes.

We'll bring you updates and analysis throughout the day - but first, here's a recap of the key developments over the course of the last 24 hours.

  • US President Joe Biden opened NATO's summit in Washington by promising further air defence support to Ukraine;
  • Mr Biden said Kyiv would go "to the front of the line" when it came to delivering tactical air defence systems;
  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy has thanked the world leaders who have condemned Russia's attack on a children's hospital in Kyiv;
  • Russia has pledged to begin discharging Indian nationals who had been "misled" into joining its military;
  • A state-owned arms manufacturer from Ukraine has opened its first foreign office in Washington;
  • A court in Moscow's issued an arrest warrant for the widow of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, Yulia Navalnaya, after accusing her of being part of an "extremist" group.

00:05:21

We're pausing our live coverage

We are ending our live coverage for today.

Scroll back to find out all the day's latest developments.

23:58:54

What is the presidential medal of freedom?

Jen Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, was awarded the presidential medal of freedom by President Joe Biden during the ceremony in Washington tonight.

But what exactly is the honour?

In short, the medal of freedom is the highest civilian honour in the US.

It is presented to individuals who have made "exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavours," the White House website states.

Other recipients of the medal of freedom from this year include former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Oscar-winning actress Michelle Yeoh.

Presenting Mr Stoltenberg with the medal earlier tonight, Mr Biden said: "NATO's alliance of nations is also made up of leaders.

"And one person in particular has done an extraordinary job of leading NATO for the last decade.

"So much of the progress made by the alliance is thanks to the secretary. He is a man of integrity, intellectual rigour and a diplomat who works with leaders across the political spectrum."

Speaking directly to Mr Stoltenberg, Mr Biden said: "Secretary, you have guided this alliance through one of its most consequential periods in its history...

"Today NATO is stronger, and more energised than when you began."

Mr Stoltenberg is due to stay on as secretary general until October after the 31 NATO states decided to keep him on rather than opting for a replacement.

23:37:19

Analysis: Word-perfect Biden reaffirms power of NATO as alliance faces its greatest challenge to date

President Joe Biden's speech commemorating the 75th anniversary of NATO was a "passionate reaffirmation of the power of the alliance," our US correspondent Mark Stone says.

Stone says surrounded by pomp and ceremony, Mr Biden defended the importance of NATO, which he said has only been strengthened since Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine.

"What is clear is that behind all of what we have watched is it is a significant challenge," Stone says.

"On its 75th birthday, NATO faces the greatest challenge it has ever faced, and it is clear to is that Vladimir Putin believes has the upper hand.

"What we did not hear from President Biden is any talk of Ukraine joining NATO immediately, but that will be a focus of discussions over the next few days."

The "elephant in the room" during the speech was Mr Biden's performance, Stone goes on to say.

The US president has been under intense pressure over the last few days to prove he is capable to remain in the Oval Office following a disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump.

But, according to Stone, the US leader "appeared to be pretty word-perfect" speaking with the help of an autocue.

"I am sure his team will be pretty pleased in what was a very important moment for him," says Stone.

23:16:38

NATO allies commit to sending air defence systems to Ukraine

President Joe Biden has just finished speaking at a NATO summit in Washington.

During his speech, he announced that the US and other NATO allies will send Ukraine dozens of air defence systems in the coming months - including at least four of the powerful Patriot systems that Kyiv has been desperately seeking.

According to the statement, the US, Germany and Romania will send Ukraine additional Patriot batteries, while the Netherlands and others will provide Patriot components to make up one more battery.

While Italy will provide a SAMP-T air defence system.

Other nations, including Canada, Norway, Spain and the UK, will provide a number of other systems that will help Ukraine expand its coverage.

Earlier today, Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a social media post that air defence is still his country's key request, adding he is "confident we will succeed" in being given them.

22:46:29

US will help provide 'historic donation' of air defence equipment to Ukraine - Biden

US President Joe Biden is now speaking at a NATO summit in Washington.

Mr Biden begins his speech by speaking about how NATO was formed following the Second World War in a bid to "answer threats at once" and to "prevent future wars and protect democracy".

Speaking about the growth of NATO, he says that "Finland and Sweden joined the alliance not just because their leaders thought it, but because their citizens called for it, in overwhelming number".

Mr Biden adds that Russian President Vladimir Putin "wants nothing less than Ukraine's total subjection".

"Make no mistake, Russia is losing this war," he says.

He tells the room that "Putin won't stop at Ukraine" but that NATO's full support can help Ukraine stop Putin's aggression.

Moving on to support for Ukraine, the US president says the country will go "to the front of the line" when it comes to receiving air defence intercept systems from the US, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, and Italy.

Mr Biden says the US will help provide a "historic donation of air defence equipment", with "dozens" of additional tactical air defence systems.

Mr Biden then quotes former US president Ronald Reagan: "If our fellow democracies are not secure, we cannot be secure."

He then presents Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's secretary general, with the presidential medal of freedom.

22:42:22

NATO summit taking place in Washington

We're still waiting for US President Joe Biden to take to the stage at the NATO summit in Washington.

Currently, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's secretary general, is speaking.

He says that NATO - celebrating its 75th year - is the "safest, most strong and longest lasting alliance in history".

You can follow along by watching the live stream above.

Ukraine war latest: Zelenskyy urges countries not to wait until November to repel Russia at NATO summit (2024)
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