Russian drone strike on Kharkiv, Biden slams lack of US aid, Ukraine’s new military commander

All the latest developments on the war in Ukraine.

Deadly Russian drone strike in Ukraine

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At least seven people, including three children, were killed in an overnight Russian drone strike on Kharkiv, according to authorities in the northeastern city. 

A six-month-old baby and two children aged seven and four are among the dead, regional governor Oleg Synegubov said on Telegram. 

The Russian drone hit a petrol station late Friday night, spraying nearby homes with burning fuel. Some 14 houses were reportedly set ablaze.

At least 50 people had to evacuate, said Kharkiv mayor Igor Terekhov. 

Kharkiv has been frequently attacked since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. 

Russia’s military has not commented on the strike. 

Ukraine’s new military commander sets out plans

Ukraine’s new military chief signalled on Friday that he wants to build new momentum, saying his immediate goals are to improve troop rotation at the front lines and harness the power of new technology. 

This comes at a time when Kyiv’s forces are largely on the defensive in the war with Russia.

Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, who previously was the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, spoke a day after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy put him in charge of the battlefield campaign, with the war poised to enter its third year.

He replaced the broadly popular Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

Biden compares inability to support Ukraine to ‘criminal act’

President Joe Biden slams the US Congress for its inability to financially support Ukraine as being “close to criminal neglect” during an Oval Office meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

“It is outrageous,” Biden said. “(Henry) Kissinger was right when he said not since Napoleon has Europe not looked over its shoulder and worried about Russia until now.”

Scholz arrived in Washington ready to amplify an argument Biden himself has been making for months now: A Russian win in Ukraine would imperil the West and its allies. 

Scholz is also looking to highlight that Germany continues to provide robust funding for Ukraine despite budget constraints.

However, “without the support of United States, and without the support of the European states, Ukraine will have not a chance to defend its own country,” Scholz said.