Ukraine war latest: Putin arrives in China for crucial talks on 'new directions' for cooperation – as Russian military … – Sky News

The northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv is under attack tonight, according to its mayor, following repeated Russian attacks in recent weeks. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin is in China, where he has met with president Xi Jinping.
Thursday 16 May 2024 22:34, UK
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Following on from our previous post, Kharkiv mayor Ihor Terekhov has now said that Kharkiv is “under missile attack”.
This was also reported by regional governor Oleh Synehubov, who has urged citizens to move to air raid shelters.
At least five Russian drones have hit the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv and a fire has broken out, according to officials.
Regional governor Oleh Synehubov reported the drone strike and said the city remained at risk.
Kharkiv mayor Ihor Terekhov said the Osnovyanskyi district has been struck, sparking a fire.
Neither official has reported any casualties.
Kharkiv city has come under frequent fire in recent weeks, while thousands of people have been forced to flee the wider Kharkiv region after Russian troops launched a surprise incursion last week.
The relationship between Russia and China is under scrutiny as Vladimir Putin visits the country in what is largely a symbolic visit.
For Xi Jinping, this visit is about power, says our Asia correspondent Nicole Johnston.
You can watch Nicole’s full report here…
“Nothing new.”
That’s what the US has to say of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping signing a joint statement on deepening the strategic partnership between their two countries.
“The statement is nothing new,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at a briefing this evening, adding that Washington has been “very clear” where it stands on the issue.
“We find it unacceptable that Chinese companies are helping Putin wage this war against Ukraine. We’ve been very clear about that. And if China purports to support peace in Europe, it cannot continue to field the biggest threat of European security,” she said.

Ms Jean-Pierre dismissed a question over whether the US had any power to persuade China away from supporting Russia.
Vladimir Putin has arrived in the Chinese city of Harbin for day two of his state visit after spending Thursday in Beijing meeting Xi Jinping (a reminder that China is several hours ahead, meaning it’s early morning there now).
The northeastern city, which borders Russia’s far east, has cultural and historic ties to Russia.
While there, Mr Putin is expected to attend trade and cooperation forums and meet students at the Harbin Institute of Technology.
Earlier, the Russian president and Mr Xi reaffirmed their “no-limits partnership and criticised US military alliances in Asia and the Pacific.
Mr Putin also thanked the Chinese leader for Beijing’s peace proposal for the Ukraine war, which Kyiv and the West rejected.
Six people have been injured in a fresh Russian attack on the eastern town of Vovchansk, including the head of its military administration, an official has said.
Kharkiv governor Oleg Synegubov said on Telegram that the ages of the wounded people ranged from 28 to 50.
He claimed Russian forces attacked the town using cluster munitions.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed the head of Vovchank’s administration was injured.
In his evening address posted to social media, Mr Zelenskyy said Ukrainian counterattacks continue in the key frontline town in the northeast, which has been heavily targeted in Moscow’s new offensive.
“Our results in repelling assaults and destroying the occupier should increase,” said the Ukrainian president.
G7 finance ministers are preparing to back an EU plan to use profits from frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine in the war.
An Italian treasury official said the announcement will be made when ministers meet in Stresa next week.
Some $300bn (£237bn) worth of financial assets were frozen by the G7 after Moscow invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
Earlier this month, EU nations agreed a deal in principle to provide Kyiv with additional funds for military supplies using Russian asset profits.
It followed weeks of tough negotiations among member states.
UK defence secretary Grant Shapps has branded the expulsion of British defence attache Adrian Coghill from Russia a “desperate move”.
Moscow announced earlier it had made the move in retaliation to the UK kicking out his Russian counterpart over spying allegations last week.
Mr Coghill was reportedly called to the Russian embassy, where he was told of his expulsion (seen 16.25 post).
In a post on social media, Mr Shapps said Vladimir Putin’s issue with Mr Coghill was that he “personified the UK’s unwavering support for Ukraine”.
Four women have been killed in a Ukrainian attack in Russia-controlled Donetsk, Russian news agency TASS is reporting, citing claims from local authorities.
Sky News cannot independently verify the claim.
Vladimir Putin’s trip to China, his first since his re-election, demonstrates a show of unity between the two countries as they develop their “no limits” partnership.
Ahead of the visit, Mr Putin told Chinese media that his meeting with President Xi Jinping would be a “dialogue between friends”.
But what are his aims from the visit? Our Moscow correspondent Ivor Bennett explains…
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