War in Ukraine: Latest developments

·3-min read
Workers clear rubble from a building destroyed by Russian shelling in Cherkaske, eastern Ukraine (AFP/Yasuyoshi CHIBA) (Yasuyoshi CHIBA)

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- Ukraine to hold first war crimes trial -

Ukraine says it will put a 21-year-old Russian soldier, accused of gunning down an unarmed civilian while he was riding his bike, on trial for war crimes. This is the first such case to go to court since the war began.

Vadim Shishimarin is accused of killing the 62-year-old man on February 28 near the central village of Chupakhiva, Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova's office said.

Shishimarin is in custody in Ukraine. He faces possible life imprisonment if convicted of war crimes and premeditated murder. No date has been given for the trial.

Russian troops are accused of widespread war crimes in Ukraine.

- Finland seeks NATO membership -

Finland's president and prime minister say they want their country to join NATO in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"NATO membership would strengthen Finland's security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance," President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said.

Finland has been non-aligned militarily for decades but has had a change of heart since neighbouring Russia invaded Ukraine. Sweden is also considering joining the Western military alliance.

Russia has warned of non-specified consequences if they do.

"You caused this. Look in the mirror," was Niinisto's response.

- Gas row escalates -

Russia says it has banned transactions with more than 30 EU, US and Singaporean energy companies in retaliation for Western penalties over Ukraine.

The list contains 31 companies, most of which belong to the Gazprom Germania group of subsidiaries of Russian energy giant Gazprom. It also includes Poland's EuRoPol GAZ S.A., part-owner of the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which carries gas from Russia to Germany.

Meanwhile, Gazprom says Russia's Europe-bound gas transiting Ukraine is down almost a third after Kyiv suspended supplies through a key route. Kyiv had accused Russia of interfering with a transit point.

- Ukraine accused of deadly cross-border attack -

The governor of the southwestern Russian region of Belgorod accuses Ukraine of shelling the border village of Solokhi, killing one person and injuring three others.

Over the past month, authorities in Russian frontier regions have repeatedly accused Ukrainian forces of launching cross-border attacks, including bombing a fuel depot.

- 'Three killed' in strike on north Ukraine -

Ukraine says three people were killed and 12 others wounded in a Russian strike in Ukraine's northern Chernigiv region on Wednesday night.

The attack comes nearly two months after Russian forces withdrew from the north to focus on the east and south.

It took place in the town of Novgorod-Siversky, according to the emergency services. Chernigiv governor Vyacheslav Chaus says "critical infrastructure", including a school, were hit.

- Keep us a spot in EU: Ukraine -

Ukraine has asked Brussels to keep it a spot in the European Union, even if obtaining full membership takes time.

"It is not about the fastest possible membership for Ukraine in the EU. But what is very important for us is for this spot to be reserved for Ukraine," Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told German broadcaster ARD.

Ukraine asked Brussels in February to fast-track its EU membership bid.

Brussels has promised a response next month.

French President Emmanuel Macron this week warned it would take "decades" for Kyiv to join the bloc and suggested the creation of a broader European political community to help aspiring EU members like Ukraine.

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