Aftermath of a Russian strike on Beryslav in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine (File)
Map: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1328 GMT:
Germany’s parliament has authorized €7.6 billion ($8.2 billion) of military aid to Ukraine in the Government’s budget for this year.
The proposal passed 388-279 in the Bundestag, the lower chamber of the parliament. The upper chamber, the Bundesrat, then gave its approval.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy expressed gratitude.
I welcome the German Bundestag's approval of 7.6 billion euros in military aid to Ukraine in the 2024 budget. I appreciate that our agreements with @Bundeskanzler are being implemented.
My special thanks to @bundesrat and 16 lands for the important political resolution in…
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 3, 2024
UPDATE 1109 GMT:
The Ukraine Air Force says air defenses downed 9 of 14 Iran-made drones launched by Russia overnight.
For the second night in a row, the Russians attacked the city of Kryvyi Rih in south-central Ukraine, targeting energy infrastructure.
Mayor Oleksandr Vilkul, said damage to energy facilities were hit caused blackouts for thousands of people and disrupted water and heating in some districts amid freezing temperatures.
UPDATE 1100 GMT:
Two Ukrainian drones have hit the Lukoil refinery in Volgograd in southwestern Russia.
The operation was overseen by Ukraine’s State security service SBU.
Russian Telegram channels confirmed the strike and the fire at the refinery, about 350 km (217 miles) from the Ukraine border.
Governor Andrei Bocharov later posted:
Last night, air defense and electronic jamming repelled an attack by drones in the Volgograd region’s Kalachyovsky and Zakanalye districts.
A fire started at the Volgograd refinery after one of the downed drones fell.
He said the blaze was under control by the morning.
UPDATE 0818 GMT:
Ukraine and Canada have launched an international coalition for the return of Ukrainian children seized by invading Russian forces.
The Coalition was announced, with presentation of its Framework Document, as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hosted Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly in Kyiv.
Today, I welcomed Canadian Foreign Minister @MelanieJoly.
We discussed continued support for Ukraine, joint steps to implement the Peace Formula, the development of a system of security commitments for Ukraine, and the work of the International coalition for the return of… pic.twitter.com/6FbTJYZsS5
— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 2, 2024
Ukrainian officials say they have confirmed the deportation of almost 20,000 children to Russia or Russian-occupied areas. The actual number is likely much higher, given lack of access to territory seized by the Russians.
Last March the International Court of Justice issued arrest warrants for Vladimir Putin and Russia’s “Children’s Rights” Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova over the deportations.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: A Russian airstrike on southern Ukraine has killed two French aid workers.
The men were murdered by a drone assault on Beryslav in the Kherson region on Thursday.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron confirmed the killings in a “cowardly” and “outrageous” attack. Prosecutors of Paris’ Anti-Terrorism Office will open a war crimes investigation.
“My solidarity goes out to all the volunteers who are committed to helping people,” Macron said.
Deux humanitaires français ont été tués en Ukraine par une frappe russe. Acte lâche et indigne. Je pense à leurs proches et camarades blessés.
Ma solidarité va à tous les bénévoles qui s’engagent pour aider les populations.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) February 2, 2024
The victims worked for Switzerland’s non-governmental organisation HEKS/EPER, who posted about “the tragic loss of two dear colleagues and injuries to others”.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy responded, “The brave French aid workers assisted people and we will always be grateful for their humanity. My condolences go out to their loved ones.”