Russia-Ukraine live news: Moscow cuts gas to Poland, Bulgaria

  • Kyiv accuses Moscow of ‘trying to shatter the unity’ of its Western allies after Russia suspends gas exports to Bulgaria and Poland.
  • Authorities in Transnistria, Moldova’s Russia-backed breakaway region, say shots were fired into the territory from Ukraine overnight.
  • Ukraine’s military says Russian troops seized have two towns in the eastern Donbas region, where Moscow has focused the new phase of its offensive.
  • Explosions have been reported in three Russian regions near the border with Ukraine – Kursk, Belgorod and Voronezh.

INTERACTIVE_UKRAINE_CONTROL MAP DAY63_April 27_INTERACTIVE Russia Ukraine War Who controls what Day 63

Here are all the latest updates:

German gas lobby group calls for stockpiling

A German gas lobby group has said the country must immediately begin stockpiling the energy source following Russia’s move to cut supplies to Bulgaria and Poland.

“We need to save gas now so that we have enough in winter,” Timm Kehler, the head of Zukunft Gas, said in a statement.

Russia claims it hit arms depot in Zaporizhzhia

Russia’s defence ministry says its forces have struck an arms depot in Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhzhia region with Kalibr missiles.

The ministry said the depot was housing weapons from the United States and European countries provided to Kyiv.

It added its air force had destroyed a total of 59 Ukrainian military targets overnight.

There was no immediate reaction to the claims from Kyiv. Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the ministry’s report.

Moldovan breakaway region reports shots fired from Ukraine

Transnistria’s interior ministry says that shots were fired from Ukrainian territory overnight towards a village in the Russia-backed breakaway region that houses a large ammunition depot.

The ministry also said that it had detected drones that it alleged were launched from Ukraine.

While internationally recognised as part of Moldova, Transnistria has been under the control of separatist authorities since 1992, following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russia has an estimated 1,500 soldiers in the region, which Kyiv fears could be used as a launchpad for new attacks on Ukraine.

Ukrainian official portrays blasts in Russia as payback

An aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has described explosions heard in three Russian provinces bordering Ukraine on Wednesday as “karma” and linked them to payback for Moscow’s offensive.

Mykhailo Podolyak stopped short of acknowledging Kyiv was responsible for the incidents, however.

“The reasons for the destruction of the military infrastructure in (Russian) border areas can be quite varied,” he said in a post on Telegram, adding that “sooner or later the debts will have to be repaid” when one country decides to attack another country.

Swiss sign agreement with NATO on classified information exchange

Switzerland’s government says it has approved an agreement that will enable it to exchange sensitive information with the United States-led NATO transatlantic military alliance.

Such agreements make it possible, among other things, for Swiss companies to apply for contracts with classified content that are advertised by NATO, the Swiss government said.


Bulgarian PM accuses Russia of blackmail over gas supplies

Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov says Russia’s warning it was shutting off gas supplies to Bulgaria over demands to change the payment scheme is a grave breach of a current contract and amounts to blackmail.

Petkov said Bulgaria was reviewing all of its contracts with Gazprom, including for transit of Russian gas to Serbia and Hungary, because “one-sided blackmail was not acceptable”.

Petkov said he talked to the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who assured him the 27-member bloc would have a common response. Gazprom said it had halted gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland for failing to pay in roubles.

Russia seizes two towns in Donbas: Ukraine military

Ukraine’s army says Russian forces have captured two towns in the Donbas.

Moscow’s troops seized the town of Zarichne as part of their assault on the northern part of the Donetsk region, the General Staff of Armed Forces said in a Facebook post.

Russian troops also entered the town of Novotoshkivske, which stands on the road linking separatist-controlled parts of Ukraine’s Luhansk region with the Kyiv-controlled town of Lysychansk, the post added.

Russian military vehicles are seen in Mariupol
Russia has said it is focused on completely ‘liberating’ eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region [File: Alexei Alexandrov/AP]

Russian speaker: Cut off gas to ‘unfriendly’ countries

Russia’s top lawmaker says Gazprom has made the right decision in fully suspending supplies to Bulgaria and Poland, adding that Moscow should do the same with other “unfriendly” countries.

“The same should be done with regard to other countries that are unfriendly to us,” Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the Duma, wrote on his Telegram channel.

‘Ukraine is strengthening’ after US, allies promise more heavy weaponry

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak says he welcomes promises by the United States and its allies to send more heavy weaponry to Ukraine following talks at a German airbase.

“One of Russia’s odd demands at the start of the war was the ‘full demilitarisation’ of Ukraine. After yesterday’s epochal meeting of 40 defense ministers, I have bad news for Russia. Capacity, speed, simplified logistics, an expanded range of weapons – Ukraine is strengthening,” he wrote on Twitter.

Polish gas company confirms Gazprom supplies to Poland halted

Polish gas company PGNiG confirms Gazprom has halted supplies to Poland, adding that company clients are still getting the fuel in line with their needs.

“Cutting gas supplies is a breach of contract and PGNiG reserves the right to seek compensation and will use all available contractual and legal means to do so,” the company said.

INTERACTIVE - Russian gas imports into the EU - Europe's reliance on Russian gas
(Al Jazeera)

Russia destroys bridge in Odesa to protect ‘paratrooper operation’ in Moldova: Official

Russia destroyed a key bridge in the southwestern part of the Odesa region early on Monday to safeguard its possible attempt to land paratroopers in neighbouring Moldova, an aide to Zelenskyy has said.

“They apparently did it to prevent the possibility of deploying our forces there. What can we presume? That they could organise a paratrooper operation there,” Oleksiy Arestovich said.

Russian cruise missiles have destroyed the bridge across the estuary of the Dniester River near the strategic town of Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky, regional Governor Serhiy Bratchuk said on Telegram.

The strike, the second in the past 24 hours, cut off the railway connection between Ukraine’s mainland and the Budjak province that borders Romania and Transnistria.

Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Kyiv.

Poland brings forward completion of LNG terminal

Poland wants to finish its floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in 2025, earlier than planned, the minister in charge of energy security has said.

“We want the facility to be ready in 2025, we are speeding this up. The plan was to have it ready in 2027,” Piotr Naimski told RMF FM radio after Russia said it was halting gas supplies to Poland.

Bulgaria says Russia’s gas halt breach of contract

Bulgaria’s energy minister says the country has paid for Russian gas deliveries for April and halting gas supplies would be a breach of its current contract with Gazprom, the Reuters news agency reported.

Alexander Nikolov told journalists Bulgaria would observe the European Commission’s stance urging countries not to pay in roubles for Russian gas as demanded by the Russian president.

“Because all trade and legal obligations are being observed, it is clear that at the moment the natural gas is being used more as a political and economic weapon in the current war,” Nikolov said.

Russia’s gas cuts add to ‘economic pariah’ status: UK

Russia’s decision to cut off the gas supply to Poland will add to its status as an economic and political pariah, Britain’s deputy minister has said.

“It [halting gas supply] will have a … very damaging effect on Russia as well because it is becoming further and further, more and more, not just a political pariah, but an economic pariah,” Dominic Raab told Sky News.

Gazprom says gas to Poland, Bulgaria suspended

Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom says it has suspended gas supplies to the Bulgarian company Bulgargaz and the Polish PGNiG as neither had paid on time in roubles.

“Gazprom Export has notified Bulgargaz and PGNiG of the suspension of gas supplies from April 27 until payment is made in accordance with the procedure established by the decree,” Gazprom said in a statement.

It also warned that if they siphon gas intended for other European customers, the deliveries would be reduced by that amount.

The move follows Putin’s order for payments for Russian gas supplied to Europe to be made in roubles.

A sign, which reads: "Warsaw", at the Gaz-System gas distribution station in Gustorzyn, central Poland.
A sign, which reads: ‘Warsaw’, at the Gaz-System gas distribution station in Gustorzyn, central Poland, September 12, 2014 [File: Wojciech Kardas/Agencja Gazeta via Reuters]

Hungary still receiving Russian gas: Minister

Hungary is receiving Russian gas according to its contract with Gazprom via Bulgaria and Serbia, Hungary’s foreign minister has said.

Gazprom informed Hungary that transit shipments via Bulgaria are separately handled, Reuters has reported.

“I want to assure everyone that the non-delivery of gas shipments to Bulgaria does not mean a halt in transit shipments via Bulgaria,” Peter Szijjarto said on his Facebook page.

Szijjarto said Hungary’s next payment obligation for Russian gas is due on May 22, and the country will transfer its payment in euros to Gazprombank, where the amount will be converted into roubles.

Russian gas to Austria continues to flow: Minister

Russian natural gas deliveries to Austria are continuing unrestricted and there is no indication that will change, Austria’s energy minister has told ORF radio.

Asked if there were any indications that gas from Russia could be cut off as in Poland or Bulgaria, Leonore Gewessler said: “No, we have no such indications … deliveries to Austria remain unrestricted.”

Austria obtains 80 percent of its gas from Russia.

Blasts heard in Russia’s Kursk, Voronezh provinces

The governor of Russia’s Kursk province, which borders Ukraine, said explosions had been heard in Kursk city early on Wednesday which were most likely the sounds of air defence systems firing.

In Voronezh, the administrative centre of another province of the same name adjacent to Ukraine, Russia’s TASS news agency cited an emergencies ministry official as saying that two blasts had been heard and the authorities were investigating.

Ukraine still controls most of its airspace: UK

Ukraine retains control of most of its airspace, while Russia has failed to effectively destroy the Ukrainian Air Force or suppress the country’s air defences, the UK defence ministry has said in its latest intelligence briefing.

It added that Russia’s air activity was focused mainly on southern and eastern Ukraine and that it had very limited air access to the north and west of the country.

The briefing also said Russia was likely using “unguided free-falling bombs” in its air attacks on Mariupol. “These weapons reduce Russia’s ability to effectively discriminate when conducting strikes, increasing the risk of civilian casualties,” the defence ministry added.

Ukrainian Premier League season terminated

The Ukrainian Premier League (UPL) season has been terminated and the title will not be awarded due to continuing martial law in the country, the league has said.

No matches have been played since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Chinese drone giant DJI suspends business in Russia, Ukraine

DJI, the world’s largest drone manufacturer, has announced it is temporarily halting operations in Russia and Ukraine, in a rare example of a Chinese firm suspending business in response to the war in Ukraine.

“DJI is internally reassessing compliance requirements in various jurisdictions,” the Shenzhen-headquartered firm said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Pending the current review, DJI will temporarily suspend all business activities in Russia and Ukraine,” the statement added.

Read more here.

Lilia stands next to a place where a bomb heavily damaged the basement of a residential building killing, according to the residents, a 8-year-old girl.
Lilia stands near to where a bomb damaged the basement of a residential building and killed, according to the residents, an eight-year-old girl in Lyman, Ukraine, on Tuesday, April 26, 2022 [Leo Correa/AP]

Russia says it ‘liberated’ entire Kherson region

Russia’s defence ministry has said its forces have liberated the entire Kherson region in the south of Ukraine, Interfax news agency has reported.

It cited a senior official as saying elsewhere in the south of Ukraine, Russian troops had taken parts of the Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv regions, as well as part of the Kharkiv region to the east of Kyiv.

Russia shelled Sumy region for ‘more than a day’: Governor

Russia fired mortar bombs at various settlements in the Sumy region from across the border, the region’s governor has said.

“We see that these shellings continue for more than a day from Bachevsk to Billopillya. Almost the entire border line is fired from heavy artillery and mortars,” Dmitry Zhivitsky said in a Facebook video message on Tuesday.

Ukraine destroyed Russian missile system on Snake Island: Army

Ukraine’s army has said its forces destroyed a Russian surface-to-air missile system on Snake Island, known as Zmiinyi Island in Ukrainian, in the Black Sea.

“Our forces defeated hostile positions on Zmiinyi Island. A hit on the control point was recorded, the destruction of the Strela-10 anti-aircraft missile system. The losses of the rashists are being specified,” The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote on Facebook. Ukraine’s army often refers to Russia’s forces as “rashists”.

The post also said that Russian forces had tried to advance towards the Mykolaiv region through the villages of Tavriyskoye and Novaya Zarya on Tuesday, “but had no success, suffered significant losses and retreated”.

Ukraine has recaptured three villages in Mykolaiv: Official

Ukraine’s army now has full control of three settlements in the Mykolaiv region, an adviser to the head of Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has said.

“The Armed Forces of Ukraine have returned full control over three villages west of Snihurivka: Shirokoye, Lyubino and Novopetrivka,” Anton Gerashchenko said on Telegram.

Al Jazeera could not verify this report.

Men carry an elderly woman as residents from Mykolaiv arrive by bus in Odesa, after being evacuated following shelling.
Men carry an elderly woman as residents from Mykolaiv arrive by bus in Odesa, after being evacuated following shelling on April 16, 2022 [Igor Tkachenko/REUTERS]

Czech Republic’s FM calls Putin a ‘product of KGB’

The foreign minister of the Czech Republic has told reporters that “Sadly, Putin’s mind is a product of KGB Soviet era”.

“He really believes in this Soviet myth. They do not consider Ukraine a sovereign state, which means they are against the international order. And this imperialistic vision tends to snowball,” Jan Lipavsky said in Washington before a meeting with his US counterpart.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised the Czech Republic for being a “remarkable supporter of Ukraine” and taking in more than 300,000 refugees from the country.

Gazprom has not confirmed gas suspension to Poland: TASS

Russia’s Gazprom has not confirmed that the supply of Russian gas to Poland has already been stopped, a spokesman for the energy giant has said, according to state news agency TASS.

Sergey Kupriyanov told reporters that Gazprom stressed that “today Poland is obliged to pay for gas supplies in accordance with the new payment procedure”.

He did not comment on Bulgaria’s claims.

On March 31, Putin signed a decree for a new procedure for the payment of gas by “unfriendly countries”.

“Now such states must transfer funds in foreign currencies to Gazprombank, which will buy roubles on exchanges and transfer them to special rouble accounts of importers. Poland is on the list of unfriendly countries,” TASS reported.

UN approves measure requiring states to justify veto

The 193 members of the UN General Assembly have adopted by consensus a resolution requiring the five permanent members of the Security Council to justify their use of the veto.

The push for reform, which was greeted with applause in the chamber, was revived by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The measure is intended to make veto-holders the US, China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom “pay a higher political price” when they use the veto to strike down a Security Council resolution, said one ambassador who asked to remain anonymous.

Read more here.

More blasts heard in Russia’s Belgorod: Governor

A series of explosions have been heard in the early hours of the morning in the Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukrainian border, according to the region’s governor.

Vyacheslav Gladkov said in a Telegram message that authorities were trying to establish the location and cause of the explosions.

Russia this month accused Ukraine of attacking a fuel depot in Belgorod with helicopters and opening fire on several villages in the province.

Russia probes ‘neo-Nazi’ explosive device use in Mykolaiv

Russia is investigating the “installation of explosive devices by neo-Nazis in Mykolaiv,” state news agency TASS has reported, citing a Telegram post of The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.

“According to the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, in Nikolaev [Mykolaiv], near an aircraft repair plant, neo-Nazis have installed radio-controlled explosive devices with damaging elements that they plan to detonate in a mass gathering of people and blame the Russian military for this,” the report said.

The investigative committee has reportedly requested that Russia’s defence ministry “analyse and attach this information to the available materials of the investigation”.

Russia hits railway bridge that links Odesa with Romania: Officials

Russian missiles knocked out a strategic railway bridge along a route that links southern Ukraine’s Odesa port region to neighbouring Romania, Ukrainian authorities have said.

No injuries were reported.

Ukrainian officials also said Russian forces shelled Kharkiv, which lies in the northeast, outside the Donbas, but is seen as key to Russia’s apparent bid to encircle Ukrainian troops in the Donbas from the north, east and south.

Ukrainian forces reportedly struck back in the Kherson region in the south.

A woman from Luhansk region cries while sitting on evacuation train in Pokrovsk, eastern Ukraine,
A woman from Luhansk region cries while sitting on an evacuation train in Pokrovsk, eastern Ukraine, on Tuesday, April 26, 2022 [Evgeniy Maloletka/AP]

Russia launched 35 air raids on Azovstal in one day: Ukraine officials

Ukrainian authorities have said that Russian forces launched 35 air raids on Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant over the past 24 hours.

“Russia has drastically intensified strikes over the past 24 hours and is using heavy bunker bombs,” Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to Mariupol’s mayor, said on Tuesday.

“The number of those wounded will be clear once the rubble is cleared,” he added.

Russia pushing to encircle Rubizhne: Think-tank

Russian forces are making “better progress” along the line from Izyum to Rubizhne in eastern Ukraine than any other Russian advances in this phase of the war, the Institute for the Study of War says.

“They are pushing from Izyum southwest toward Barvinkove and southeast toward Slovyansk. They are also pushing several columns west and south of Rubizhne, likely intending to encircle it and complete its capture,” the institute said.

It added that Russia is proceeding “methodically rather than rapidly” but it is unclear if it will be able to “encircle Ukrainian forces in large numbers”. It also says Russian offensive operations elsewhere along the line in eastern Ukraine remain unsuccessful.

Russia staging false-flag attacks in Transnistria: Think-tank

Russia is staging false-flag attacks in Transnistria, Moldova, likely to set conditions for further actions on that front, the Institute for the Study of War says in its latest briefing.

It noted the battalions stationed illegally in the Moldovan breakaway region since the end of the Cold War are not sufficient to mount a credible attack on Odesa. But they could support more limited attacks to the northwest of the city, “possibly causing panic and creating psychological effects to benefit Russian operations in the south of Ukraine”.

The institute also said that despite Putin’s claim there is no more fighting in Mariupol, Russian troops are continuing to attack Ukrainian defenders in the city, including in the Azovstal Plant.

Zelenskyy meets Romania’s prime minister in Kyiv

Ukraine’s president has praised Bucharest’s humanitarian assistance to his nation in a meeting with Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca who was on a visit to Kyiv.

Zelenskyy also thanked Ciuca for Romania’s support for Ukraine becoming a “full member of the European family as soon as possible”, according to a statement from his office.

“An important component of the common European future will be the absolute protection and development of our national minorities – the Ukrainian community in Romania and the Romanian community in Ukraine,” the statement added.

The Roma in Ukraine make up an estimated 400,000 people. Despite being persecuted throughout Ukraine’s history, many are contributing enthusiastically to the war effort.

A mother and daughter who fled Russia's invasion of Ukraine at a local resident's home, in Tiszabecs, Hungary.
A mother and daughter who fled Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at a resident’s home, in Tiszabecs, Hungary on March 2, 2022 [Bernadett Szabo/REUTERS]

Australia sending Ukraine M777 howitzers

Australia has announced it will send six M777 howitzers and ammunition for the long-range weapons, to Ukraine after being asked to do so by the US and Ukrainian embassies.

The latest package of military assistance is worth 26.7 million Australian dollars ($19m), taking Australia’s military aid to the war-torn country to more than 225 million Australian dollars ($160m).

Australia has already sent other weapons and military equipment, along with 20 of its Bushmaster armoured vehicles.

Ukraine’s military ready for escalation in Transnistria:  Zelenskyy

Ukraine’s president has said that his military is “ready for a possible escalation in the temporarily occupied territory” of Moldova.

He made his comments in a press conference after meeting with IAEA Director Rafael Grossi in Kyiv, after a series of attacks targeted sites in Transnistria, a Russian-backed breakaway region in Moldova which borders Ukraine.

Zelenskyy said Russia’s goal was “to destabilise the situation in the region, to threaten Moldova. They show that if Moldova supports Ukraine, there will be certain steps”.

He added he knew the Russian troops in Transnistria were in a state of “constant readiness” and that the Armed Forces of Ukraine were “ready for this” and “are not afraid of them”.

Putin agrees ‘in principle’ to UN role in Mariupol evacuations

Russia’s president has agreed “in principle” to UN and International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) involvement in the evacuation of civilians from a besieged steel plant in Ukraine’s southern city of Mariupol, according to the UN.

During a meeting in Moscow, Putin and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres discussed the situation at the Azovstal steel plant, where the last Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol are holed up after months of Russian siege and relentless bombardment.

“Follow-on discussions will be had with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Russian Defence Ministry,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement after the meeting.

Read more here.

Nearly three in four Americans back arms shipments to Ukraine: Poll

Some 73 percent of Americans support US efforts to supply Ukraine with weapons, the highest level of support since Russia’s invasion began, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The poll also showed that 46 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s response to the war.

British auction house launches benefit sales for Ukraine

Christie’s auction house has launched a three-part series of benefit sales, expected to raise $1m for Ukrainian heritage, Ukraine’s foreign ministry has announced.

In a tweet, the foreign ministry said the British company aims “to help heritage professionals in Ukraine lay the groundwork for future rehabilitation”.

Ukraine tears down monument symbolising friendship with Russia

A Soviet-era monument symbolising friendship between Russia and Ukraine was dismantled in Kyiv, the city’s mayor has said.

The statue depicted a Ukrainian and Russian worker on a plinth, holding aloft together a Soviet order of friendship. The statue was located underneath the People’s Friendship Arch, erected in 1982 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Soviet Union.

“This monument … symbolised friendship between Ukrainian and Russian nations. We now see what this ‘friendship’ is – destruction of Ukrainian cities, ruining the lives of Ukrainians, killing tens of thousands of peaceful people. I am convinced such a monument has an entirely different meaning now,” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

Russian gas cut-off a ‘seismic warning shot’: Expert

Tom Marzec-Manser, head of gas analytics at data intelligence firm ICIS, has said Russia’s alleged threat to suspend gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria is “a seismic warning shot”.

“Poland has had an anti-Russia and anti-Gazprom stance for a number of years, which is not the case for Bulgaria, so to see Bulgaria also be cut off is also quite a development in its own right,” he told Reuters.

Poland’s energy supplies are secure, its climate ministry said, adding that there was no need to draw from gas reserves and that gas to consumers would not be cut. Bulgaria said it has taken steps to find alternative gas supplies and no restrictions on gas consumption were required for now.

UK to urge West to ‘double down’ on Ukraine support

Countries opposed to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine must double down on their support for Kyiv, including the supply of heavy weapons, tanks and aeroplanes, British foreign secretary Liz Truss will say in a speech.

“If Putin succeeds there will be untold further misery across Europe and terrible consequences across the globe. We would never feel safe again. So we must be prepared for the long haul and double down on our support for Ukraine,” she will say according to advance extracts of a speech she will give later on Wednesday to diplomats and business leaders in London.

“Heavy weapons, tanks, aeroplanes – digging deep into our inventories, ramping up production. We need to do all of this.”

Ukraine slams reported Russian threat as ‘gas blackmail’

Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff to Zelenskyy, has said Russia was “beginning the gas blackmail of Europe” by its reported threat to cut off supplies to Poland and Bulgaria.

“Russia is trying to shatter the unity of our allies. Russia is also proving that energy resources are a weapon,” Yermak said.

“That is why the [European Union] needs to be united and impose an embargo on energy resources, depriving the Russians of their energy weapons.”

Poland, Bulgaria say Gazprom is suspending gas supplies

Polish and Bulgarian officials say Russian energy giant Gazprom is suspending supplies to the two countries starting on Wednesday.

If confirmed, Poland and Bulgaria would be the first countries to have their gas cut off by Europe’s main supplier since Moscow started its all-out invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Putin has demanded that countries he terms “unfriendly” agree to a scheme under which they would open accounts at Gazprombank and make payments for Russian gas imports in euros or dollars that would be converted into roubles.

US offers $10m for information on cyberattackers

The US Department of State is offering a $10m reward for information leading to the “identification or location of any person” engaged in cyberattacks against critical US infrastructure.

In a statement, the department said the US is specifically seeking information on six officers from the Russian military intelligence service (GRU) “for their role in a criminal conspiracy involving malicious cyber activities affecting US critical infrastructure”.

The US Justice Department had charged the same officers in 2020 in connection to a 2017 malware attack that targeted international and US businesses.

The reward offer comes as the US government is urging private sector companies to tighten their cyberdefences against possible Russian attacks.

Canada to alter it sanctions law

The Canadian government will change its sanctions law to allow for seized and sanctioned foreign assets to be redistributed as compensation to victims or to help in rebuilding a foreign state from war, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly has said.

“Today, we are seeking the capacity to not only seize but to allow for the forfeiture of the assets of sanctioned individuals and entities and to allow us to compensate victims with the proceeds,” Joly said in a statement.

“These changes would make Canada’s sanctions regime the first in the G7 to allow these actions.”

IAEA to help repair damage to Ukraine’s Chernobyl plant

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said he agreed with Ukraine to help repair the defunct Chernobyl nuclear power plant after it was occupied by Russian troops.

“It is visible that there is damage and we are assessing that,” IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi told a news conference in Kyiv after visiting the station.

US says it is seeking ‘strategic defeat’ for Russia

The US State Department spokesperson has said Washington is seeking a “strategic defeat” for Moscow in Ukraine that would leave Russia economically weaker and more isolated internationally.

“When we talk about strategic defeat, we’re talking about Moscow’s positioning in the international system,” Ned Price told reporters.

“The Moscow that prepared to invade and that on February 24 went forward with its invasion, will not be the same Russian Federation in terms of its positioning on the world stage.”

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Read all the updates from Tuesday, April 26 here.

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