Five developments as Russian civilians are killed

A truck driver is said to be one of the first Russian civilians to die during the war. The man and other people were injured in southwestern Russia after an attack in a village on the border with Ukraine, the governor of the Kursk region announced on Thursday.

“Another enemy attack on Tyotkino, which took place at dawn, unfortunately ended in tragedy. At the moment we know of at least one civilian death,” Governor Roman Starovoyt said on Telegram, hinting that the attack came from Ukraine.

And in a sign of some return to normal life in Kyiv, the US Embassy has reopened. On Wednesday evening, the US Senate confirmed that Bridget Brink would be the new ambassador to Ukraine. The United States has not had a Senate-confirmed permanent envoy to Ukraine since 2019, when Donald Trump removed Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch from her post.

Here’s what happened overnight – and you can follow the latest updates on our live blog.

1. The Russians “got off lightly” in the rail explosion

Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Force said its fighters blew up an armored train carrying Russian troops, but an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky later said the attack was limited to the tracks near the train.

The defense forces’ claim, posted on Facebook, says they carried out the attack in the occupied town of Melitopol in southern Ukraine.

The city is in the Zaporizhzhia region and in a belt of land in southern Ukraine occupied by Russian forces.

The Defense Force – the reserve branch of Ukraine’s armed forces – said explosives were detonated under a train car carrying military personnel. He did not specify the extent of the damage.

But hours later, presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych gave a contradictory account, saying Ukrainian forces blew up the tracks in front of the train.

“The supporters got it, although they didn’t blow up the armored train itself,” he said in a video posted to social media. He said the Russians “got off lightly.”

Mr Arestovych said the incident showed the partisan movement was actively disrupting Russian forces.

2. At least one killed as Ukraine bombs village in Russia

One person died and others were injured in southwestern Russia after an attack in a village on the border with Ukraine, the governor of the Kursk region announced on Thursday.

“Another enemy attack on Tyotkino, which took place at dawn, unfortunately ended in tragedy. At the moment we know of at least one civilian death,” Governor Roman Starovoyt said on Telegram, hinting that the attack came from Ukraine.

He said initial reports said the victim was a truck driver making a delivery to a local distillery, who was hit “several times”.

Starovoyt added that other people were injured and that work was underway to put out the fires in the village of about 4,000 people on the border with Ukraine, where Russia sent troops on February 24.

Authorities in Russian regions bordering Ukraine have repeatedly accused Ukrainian forces of launching attacks.

3. Putin “weaponizes” the global food supply

Vladimir Putin is “weaponizing” the world’s food supply by stealing grain and destroying farm equipment as part of his war in Ukraine, Western officials have said.

The Kremlin is believed to be dismantling the infrastructure needed for food production and blocking ports that are vital for shipping grain out of the country, known as “Europe’s breadbasket”.

Officials fear Russia has embarked on a “deliberate policy” of disrupting food supplies, triggering a global crisis and raising the prospect of famine in developing countries.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the war “threatens to push tens of millions of people into food insecurity”.

What could follow would be “malnutrition, mass hunger and starvation, in a crisis that could last for years”, says Gutteres, urging Russia to free Ukrainian grain exports.

Read the full story here.

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