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Alpha Protocol

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Alpha Protocol Wiki

Beneficial Mission Order

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Beneficial Mission Order is one of the walkthrough you should look through if you want to know what benefit you if you do which order of mission.

  • 1 Important note:
  • 2 Saudi Arabia
  • 3 Recommended order up to this point
  • 4 During the "free roam" portion of the game.
  • 8 Recommended order

Important note: [ ]

Alpha protocol is "mission driven" and player may control the order (to some extent) in which he does those mission. This order will have different effects on the game both on gameplay and plot levels. This page focuses mainly on how various missions interact with each other depending on controllable order . Consequences on missions that invariably come later or general consequences that depend on how the mission is done is out of the scope of this page as well, unless when is also a factor. Some of the choices you make affect the game differently based on when they are made. For example you may lose reputation with Marburg if you are on good terms with SIE , however if you already met Marburg you may gain favorable reputation with SIE without affecting you reputation with Marburg . Some consequences of some choices do not depend on mission order however (such as triad assistance at the end of Taipei) those will not be mentioned.

In short this page focuses on things you may miss and actions you may regret if you do something at a wrong time .

Saudi Arabia [ ]

1. Intercept Nasri the Arms Dealer

  • After this mission is complete the following Intel disappears from the clearinghouse (but remains in effect if already purchased).
  • Killing Nasri will net you a -1 reputation point with Mina if Bug Al-Samad Airfield is done after. (Clearinghouse equipment selection is reduced).
  • Extorting Nasri will make the following intel appear in the clearinghouse.(Clearinghouse equipment selection unaffected.)
  • Arresting Nasri will net you a +1 reputation point with Mina if Bug Al-Samad Airfield is done after. Also it will make the following intel appear in the clearinghouse.(Clearinghouse equipment selection is reduced.)

2. Bug Al-Samad Airfield

  • If done after Intercept Nasri the Arms Dealer your reputation with Mina will change according to your actions in that mission (see above).
  • Receiving Darcy 's dossier information from Mina during this mission's briefing will allow you to get Darcy 's secret fact during Investigate Jizan Weapon Stockpile mission's briefing.
  • If this mission is done second you get a chance for a +1 reputation point with Mina during debriefing (by asking about the last mission and selecting "Sympathize" response).

3. Investigate Jizan Weapon Stockpile

  • Doing Intercept Nasri the Arms Dealer before this mission will affect this mission's intel selection (See above).
  • Acquiring Darcy 's dossier information from Mina during Bug Al-Samad Airfield mission's briefing will allow you to get Darcy 's secret fact during this mission's briefing.

Recommended order up to this point [ ]

Do the missions as numbered above. Note however that, depending on your financial plan and decision about Nasri, this order might be next to worst possible.

During the "free roam" portion of the game. [ ]

This is the biggest part of the game with a lot of missions and choices. I'll first list the effects individual missions have of your "free roam" depending on their order of completion.The list may seem intimidating at first glance, but it boils down to a few simple "links" and breakpoints (should be easy to draw a simple graphic showing mission connections) and the effects themselves are not critical. Later down the page I'll list recommended order and my reasons for that order.

Contact Grigori the Informant

  • Grigori is a source of intel for Moscow. He also provides the following intel for Taipei Intercept Assassination Plans mission.

Assault Lazo's Yacht and Retrieve Data & Contact Albatross

  • G22 is a clearinghouse supplier of equipment who's support you may lose (especially valuable for stealth focused characters) and a source intel. Albatross is a handler. Aside from subsequent missions G22 's help is available for Intercept Assassination Plans and Stop Omen Deng at Memorial Rally missions.
  • If Investigate Warehouse District Data Trail is done after this mission you may lose G22 's support. If done right however you will keep G22 's support with no penalties.

Investigate Weapon Shipments

  • SIE is a handler and a provider of Intel. Aside from subsequent missions SIE 's help is available for Investigate Marburg's Villa and Intercept Marburg at the Museum of Art missions.
  • Having positive reputation with SIE will decrease your reputation with Conrad Marburg .
  • Having negative reputation with SIE will increase your reputation with Conrad Marburg .
  • Having positive reputation with Conrad Marburg without finishing Rome hub will decrease reputation with SIE . (confirmation needed)
  • Having negative reputation with Conrad Marburg without finishing Rome hub will increase reputation with SIE . (confirmation needed)
  • Interfering with Conrad Marburg 's plans in Rome may increase your reputation with SIE (note that a low reputation with Conrad Marburg in not required for this)
  • It is possible to lose SIE 's assistance during Intercept Marburg at the Museum of Art if you chose to save Madison Saint James (confirmation needed).

Intercept Surkov at US Embassy & Contact Surkov at Moscow Office

  • You can brag about doing Intercept Surkov at US Embassy mission during Contact Steven Heck mission. (clarification on exact effects of this needed)
  • Surkov is a clearinghouse equipment supplier who's support you may lose.
  • Having a good reputation with Surkov will allow you to buy intel that the Russians are associates of his and thus on your side during the Investigate Delivery at Warehouse mission.

Assault Brayko's Mansion

  • Having met Heck before this mission will allow you to spike Brayko 's drugs making the fight easier.
  • Depending on this mission's development your handler (either SIE or Albatross ) may die. Obviously this make his/her help unavailable in later missions.
  • There's a possible bug (or intended effect) that Prevent Surkov's Escape mission will disappear if you leave the hub after this mission.
  • Having a good reputation with Brayko will allow you to buy additional intel: "Ally support - Brayko owes you his life and will send some of his thugs to help you out, should you wish it."

Prevent Surkov's Escape

  • Depending on this mission's development you may lose Surkov 's support.

Please note that depending on your actions Conrad Marburg may be killed in Rome, and while for some players this comes out almost naturally for others that may be a challenge needing an entirely different approach to mission order.

Contact Jibril Al-Bara/Halbech Informant

Investigate Marburg's Villa

  • SIE is a possible handler option for this mission. (Need information on exact requirements aside from having met her)

Investigate Delivery at Warehouse

Intercept Marburg at the Museum of Art

  • Having high reputation with SIE will make the following intel available.
  • It is possible to lose SIE 's assistance during Intercept Marburg at the Museum of Art if you chose to save Madison Saint James (confirmation and more information needed).
  • Completing this mission before meeting SIE may increase your reputation with her. (more information needed)

1. Contact Steven Heck

  • If this is your first mission in Taipei you will gain 1 reputation point more with Heck than otherwise
  • Heck is a source of intel for Taipei.
  • Will unlock Retrieve NSB Data from Grand Hotel mission
  • Aside from subsequent missions Heck 's help is available for Assault Brayko's Mansion .

Contact Hong Shi

  • Hong Shi is a clearinghouse supplier of equipment who's support you may lose and a source of intel for Taipei.

Investigate Warehouse District Data Trail

  • If you had G22 's support before this mission you may lose it here. If done right however you will keep G22 's support with no penalties.

Assault Triad Headquarters in Slums

  • You may lose Hong Shi 's support as a result of this mission.

Intercept Assassination Plans

  • Grigori provides the following intel for this mission.
  • Albatross is a possible handler for this mission. (Separately noted since you can change your reputation with him through your actions in Moscow, so plan accordingly)

Stop Omen Deng at Memorial Rally

  • G22 can provide assistance during this mission. (You can gain this even if your first interaction with G22 is in Taipei, confirmed after bluffing Albatross about the 6th bug)

Recommended order [ ]

Please note that the advantages here are comparable to cosmetic and the displeasing hassle of jumping around hubs may far outweigh them.

Contrary to what previous version of this page said I found NO evidence of Rome activity's affecting Heck (confirmation anyone?) or anything in Taipei for that matter. Taipei does not seem to affect Rome either. So you may safely jump from Taipei to Rome or from Rome to Taipei whenever you wish . Both of them do affect Moscow, but it works best if Moscow is visited first.

Start with Moscow hub. (to get both G22 and SIE 's support for other hubs)

1. Contact Grigori the Informant - lot's of intel for Moscow, some intel for Taipei.

2. Continue with Moscow hub up to Assault Brayko's Mansion but don't do this mission. Delay it until after Contact Steven Heck to get Heck to spike Brayko 's drugs. If you plan to get on both Surkov 's and Brayko 's bad sides and want Russian mafia's support during Investigate Delivery at Warehouse (waste of EXP I say) delay until then as well. Also note that your handler may die during this mission. To get the best results you'll need 8 points in Technical Aptitude or "Veteran" background (or so the wiki says anyway) so it might be wise to delay until you fulfill those requirements or until you are "done" with your handler in Rome/Taipei (assuming you'd chose data over your handler). You may also chose to finish off your handler yourself (why you'd do that is beyond my understanding though) in which case it is also recommended to delay this mission until Rome/Taipei interactions with your handler are done.

3. Once you have got all you may have wanted (Heck's aid, Russian's aid in Rome, Handler's aid elsewhere if that handler is going to die) proceed with Assault Brayko's Mansion and if available Prevent Surkov's Escape. DON'T try to switch hubs between those two missions as there's a bug that makes Moscow hub unavailable after completing Assault Brayko's Mansion .

Continue to the hub of your choice.

Order for Rome

1. Do Bug CIA Listening Post and Intercept NSA Intelligence or skip to Identify Jibril Al-Bara at Chateau . This will not affect anything outside of Rome.

2. Contact Jibril Al-Bara/Halbech Informant . Marburg 's reputation is tied to SIE 's reputation. SIE is easy to affect. Marburg 's rep can be used to persuade him to change sides or to kill him. Gaining positive reputation with Marburg is easy. Gaining Negative reputation with Marburg can be hard. This is why I recommend gaining SIE 's favor in Moscow first. If you then need positive reputation with Marburg it's still easy. If you want negative it's easier than otherwise. IF you are REALLY focused to have as high as possible reputation with both of them you may want to do Rome hub before Moscow. That way you can gain High reputation with Marburg , spoil his plans and by that gain a plus to your reputation with SIE . I don't recommend it though, neither SIE 's nor Marburg 's high reputations are a problem, and SIE is a possible handler in Rome.

3. Proceed to Investigate Marburg's Villa . We've been to Moscow so you have an option of SIE being your handler on this mission. (Though you may want to still chose Madison to gain rep with her, but hey, an options is an option)

4. Investigate Delivery at Warehouse should now be available. You should still have the support of Russian mafia at this point if you want it. If this is the only thing that was delaying your completion of Moscow hub you may move there and finish it.

5. Proceed until Intercept Marburg at the Museum of Art becomes available. In most cases you may safely proceed to finish the Rome hub . However, if you are planing to save Madison and your relationship with SIE is fragile enough and you still want her support for Assault Brayko's Mansion or you want to use it to gain reputation with her to keep her support for later, than delay completion of Rome hub until Moscow hub is done. (and if your plans do not include SIE surviving Assault Brayko's Mansion be sure to buy her intel for Intercept Marburg at the Museum of Art before going there) Anyway once Rome is done your further involvement with SIE is limited to Moscow and "endgame sequence", so feel free to do with her whatever you want.

Order for Taipei

1. Contact Steven Heck . This will allow you to Spike Brayko 's drugs. If this is the only thing that was delaying your completion of Moscow hub you may move there and finish it. Doing this mission "first in region" will net you some bonus reputation with Heck .

2. Contact Hong Shi . With this and the previous we should now have all the Taipei "native" intel and equipment.

3. You may lose access to G22 's and Hong Shi 's services during Investigate Warehouse District Data Trail and Assault Triad Headquarters in Slums . It's not necessarily going to happen , but if you fear that it is, then do some shopping from whoever you're afraid of missing/losing and in case of missing G22 it may be wise to finish Moscow hub first.

4. Proceed to Intercept Assassination Plans . We've been to Moscow, so you should have intel from Grigori . If you didn't visit him in Moscow hub yet, consider doing it before this mission.

5. Proceed to finish the hub. With Taipei done your further involvement with G22 is limited to Moscow and "endgame sequence", so feel free to do with them whatever you want.

  • 2 Madison Saint James
  • 3 Scarlet Lake

Altered Gamer

Alpha Protocol Walkthrough: Moscow - Meeting SIE at the Train Station

Alpha Protocol Walkthrough: Moscow - Meeting SIE at the Train Station

Introduction

This is primarily a combat mission and it will be very fast paced for most players. We’ll also meet SIE here. She’s an “interesting” person who actually likes it if you’re mean to her.

Stealth players need to be ready to move fast and strike quickly in order to survive. The only way to stay hidden for most of the level is if you have a silenced pistol. Hopefully you can shoot well with it. Bring an assault rifle as your backup weapon. You will really need something with range for a few of the fights.

You definitely need to talk to Grigori before this mission, if possible. He will tell you about a load of weapons and give you the option to send it to him to earn a favor and a lot of money. You can get more by shipping the weapons to him than by shipping them to yourself, so doing this is very helpful.

I suggest you get the dossiers if you care about that kind of stuff.

The sniper rifle isn’t really worth it, unless you just like using one.

You can get the disgruntled mercenary to leave some extra gear behind if you want. It’s your call whether you want the gear.

Well, things are a little complicated. It seems that another one man army is here. SIE is leading some mercenaries in a quick mission. As a quick note, if you want to gain experience with SIE then you need to be tough with her. Be aggressive and demand your own terms. Agree to cooperate at the very end though. No reason not to do it. We’ll need the help.

Once the game really starts, take cover behind the boxes and just wait. Several mafia guards will come out. Just wait for SIE to gun them down and clear the path. Go through the little side office and watch for money and intel. Sneak out carefully. Two VCI guards are on the other side fighting a few guards. If you can, try to help them out. It’s much easier if they survive. Their survival is heavily based on luck though. Use the barriers to try and get a shot on nearby guards. Move over to the right and bypass the keypad to the caged area. Then pick the lock on the door to get a weapon mod. Watch for a new guard coming out of the area though. Just try to take him out quickly. The VCI side doesn’t have anything interesting though.

Move forward through the offices to the next big area.

The Water Tower

Alpha Protocol Walkthrough - Moscow: Investigate Weapons Shipments

Use the silenced pistol to kill the closest guard and then knife the second one patrolling around the boxes. Hack the computer to get some Intel on their clients and then grab the data disk from the table. You’ll get a lot of money and Intel on Grigori. Pick up the ammo too. If you can, try to kill the wandering guard with a silenced shot or a takedown. The snipers in the water tower will probably see you though. If they don’t, then they’ll freak out when they see the body. Don’t worry though. Just sprint toward the tower and shoot the gas tank at the base. The explosion will bring down the tower and kill both snipers. It even counts as a bonus objective. Stay in cover in case the two guards by the guardhouse investigate. You can use the catwalks to get the drop on them (I actually barely took any damage by just rushing them, so don’t worry too much).

Alpha Protocol Guide - Moscow Train Station - Riding the Crane

Go through this door to reach the first trainyard. I believe that there should be a computer here that you can hack for Intel on SIE. Keep an eye out for it. Move up the ladder and knife the guard on the catwalks. You should be able to go right past his body and down the ladder without anyone noticing. Go to the back right corner and walk under the crane to get a briefcase with some Halbech Intel you can sell. Move up the next ladder as the guard walks past it. Do a takedown and quickly get into the little niche to hide from the second patrolling guard. As soon as he turns back around, move behind him and do a takedown. Start climbing the ladder at the end and wait for the guard up here to walk past. You know the drill. Take him out and sneak up to get the second guard by the crane. This is our big goal. Get on and start the crane. Two mafia guards will come out on the left side. Hopefully you can use a weapon skill to take them out quickly. The men at the end will be taken out by our friends though. An explosion will kill the elevated guard and the VCI should flank the three on the ground. Help them out if you can.

Move down and out the door that they just opened. This will take us to the main trainyard.

Finding the Weapon Shipment

Alpha Protocol Walkthrough - Moscow Train Yard - A Very Bad Situation After Alerting the Gunner

This is another rare area where I suggest that you just leave the guards alone. The ones in the catwalk can be taken out slowly, but one of them will usually spot you and trigger a whole lot of angry guards. The turret gunner is also a real pain. I suggest that you wait for the first train to pass and then follow the guard to the edge of the train car while keeping an eye on the guard inside the train car.

Takedown this first patrolling guard and then follow the tracks. Move around the train cars to get behind the gunner. Pop him with a silenced round just to be sure. The train car next to him is the one that we really want. Open the door and go inside. You can now choose to either destroy the cache or reroute it. Mina doesn’t appreciate you taking valuable time to reroute a weapons shipment, but rerouting it will net you a fair bit of money and potentially get Grigori’s friendship. Once you make your choice, you can open the door. Watch for a new guard that should wander past the car we’re in. Move ahead carefully and take him down. Then get to the next door and get inside the warehouse. Hack the computer to grab the shipping manifest and then reroute the shipment. Just send it to Grigori, if that’s an option. He pays more anyway.

Escaping the Train Station

Alpha Protocol Walkthrough - Dmitri and SIE

A few guards will move into the room though and there isn’t a lot of cover. See if you can do a takedown by getting the closest guard from the side or by using a silenced shot. You should be able to take care of the other patrol easily. Move outside and watch the two guards on the lower side. You want to kill the closest guard as he walks away from you and then circle around to kill the other. As soon as he is down, you need to get to cover. There are some heavy hitters coming. Three mafia guards and Dmitri. Dmitri is technically a boss, but he’ll die with one headshot. If you have chainshot or a similar ability, then use it. Beat up Dmitri or put a round between his eyes from the cover of the crate to end the battle.

SIE is here though. Remember to be mean to her if you want her approval. Carry out the conversation, but go ahead and attack her as she approaches the helicopter. The two VCI that zipline in are close enough for easy kills with whatever you have. You’ll need something with range or a few chainshots to take SIE out that. Note that she is actually aroused by the damage you cause to her, so you’ll get some free experience and get a reputation point with her.

The level itself is over though. Head on back and check your email for some payments and intel.

This post is part of the series: Alpha Protocol Walkthrough - Moscow

Our efforts to find the Halbech missiles will require us to track down a lot of leads in Moscow. We’ll meet up with SIE in the train station, raid Lazo’s Yacht, meet Sis and fight Sis, raid the US Embassy for Surkov, go after Brayko and finally put an end to Surkov’s reign.

  • Alpha Protocol Walkthrough - Moscow: Lazo’s Yacht
  • Alpha Protocol Walkthrough - Moscow: Investigate Weapons Shipments
  • Alpha Protocol Walkthrough - Moscow: US Embassy
  • Alpha Protocol Walkthrough - Moscow: Assault Brayko’s Mansion

alpha yachts 102

Ukraine war latest: Russian forces take control of village in Kharkiv region - defence ministry

Russian troops are continuing to advance in the Kharkiv region - with the defence ministry claiming it had taken control of 12 settlements in a week.

Saturday 18 May 2024 12:25, UK

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  • Russia takes control of village in Kharkiv - defence ministry
  • Putin concludes trip to China with veiled reference to West
  • One dead in airstrike on Odesa | Person killed gardening in Russia, local governor says
  • Analysis: Great power politics on display in China visit
  • Were Putin and Xi really pictured with their 'nuclear footballs'?
  • Live reporting by Josephine Franks

Ask a question or make a comment

At least 30 people have died trying to escape conscription by crossing a river separating Ukraine from neighbouring Romania and Hungary.

The near-naked, disfigured body of a man was recovered from the Tisza River this week by Romanian border guards. 

It appeared he had been floating there for days. He was the 30th known casualty, Ukraine’s border service said.

Thousands of Ukrainians have fled the country to avoid the draft since Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.

New laws have lowered the age of conscription from 27 to 25, increased fines for draft dodgers and offered convicts a place in the army (see our 12.12 post for more).

Laws overhauling how army mobilisation works in Ukraine came into force today. 

The legislation, which was watered down from its original draft, will make it easier to identify every conscript in the country.

It also provides incentives to soldiers including cash bonuses or money toward buying a house or car - which some analysts say Ukraine cannot afford.

The law was passed in mid-April, a week after Ukraine lowered the age for men who can be drafted from 27 to 25.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also signed two other laws on Friday, allowing prisoners to join the army and increasing fines for draft dodgers.

The measures reflect the growing strain of more than two years of war on Ukraine’s stretched forces, who are now trying to repel Russia's advances in the Kharkiv region. 

However, experts and commanders say it could take several months before fresh recruits reach the front and reinforce exhausted troops there.

Russia could step up its offensive, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned, saying its operation in Kharkiv is potentially only the "first wave" in a summer assault. 

Mr Zelenskyy renewed his calls for allies to send more air defence and fighter jets on Friday in an interview with the AFP news agency.

He said Ukraine only had a quarter of what it needed in terms of air defence to protect its skies. 

He played down Russia's gains, but warned that Moscow was advancing. 

"We have to be sober and understand that they are going deeper into our territory. Not vice versa. And that's still their advantage."

On Friday,  Mr Zelenskyy said the situation in Kharkiv had "stabilised", adding Russian forces' "deepest point of their advance" was 10km.

Russian forces have captured the village of Starytsia in Ukraine's Kharkiv region, Russia's defence ministry says. 

Russian troops are continuing to advance in the area, it added. 

On Friday, the defence ministry said it had taken control of 12 settlements in Kharkiv in a week. 

Russia launched an offensive in the Kharkiv area on 10 May, heaping pressure on to Ukraine's stretched forces.

A 33-year-old man has died in hospital after a reported Russian airstrike on Friday, officials say, bringing the total number of dead to four. 

Regional governor Oleh Syniehubov said 16 people are still in hospital after the attack on Kharkiv, with two in a serious condition. 

A shell dating back to the 1940s exploded in the basement of a military academy in St. Petersburg on Friday, injuring seven Russian servicemen.

Russian military officials confirmed the incident but did not give an update on the conditions of those injured at the Budyonny Military Academy of Communications.

The academy trains soldiers serving in the army's signal corps.

The explosion happened while the basement was being cleaned and rubbish moved, according to reports in Russian media. 

The explosion was caused by a 76mm shell dating to the 1941-45 period, the Interfax news agency reported the region's military command as saying.

It was not clear why this ammunition was stored at the academy.

Ukrainian soldiers were forced to communicate only by radio and phone when intense Russian jamming disrupted their satellite internet connection, according to a report by the Washington Post.

The Ukrainian brigade in northern Kharkiv lost connection to drone and communications systems as Russian forces began their incursion on 10 May, the newspaper reported. 

It is reportedly the first time that Russian electronic warfare has completely knocked out the Ukrainian Starlink connection since the start of the war. 

A Ukrainian soldier told the Washington Post the disruptions prevented Ukrainian forces from conducting basic reconnaissance.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said it was "notable" Russian forces were able to achieve such a widespread effect and said they may have waited to deploy a new electronic warfare adaptation during the beginning of the operation. 

Ukraine's military claims it has shot down all 13 drones it says Russia launched overnight from Primorsko-Akhtarsk and Kursk. 

The Ukrainian Air Force said that, along with missile units of the Armed Forces, it intercepted the drones over Kharkiv, Poltava, Vinnytsia, Mykolaiv, and Dnipropetrovsk regions. 

One person has been killed and another injured in a Ukrainian drone attack in Russia's Kursk region, acting regional governor Alexei Smirnov said.

It comes after a resident in the southern Russian region of Belgarod was killed by a drone while gardening on Friday (see our 7.43am post). 

Russian forces launched drone attacks on two energy facilities in Ukraine overnight, according to the country's grid operator Ukrenergo.

There were no casualties and power was not cut off to customers, the company wrote on Telegram. 

One of the attacks was in the central region of Poltava, Filipp Pronin, head of the regional military administration, said on Telegram. 

The other damaged facility is in the east of the country, Ukrenergo said. 

For context: Russia has increased its attacks on Ukrainian energy systems in recent months.

Sky News analysis of data from Ukrenergo shows in March 2024, an average of 889,000 Ukrainians were without power on any given day - the highest number since the war began in February 2022.

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102 Alpha Custom Yachts Sold by David Johnson [VIVACE]

102 Alpha Custom Yachts Sold by David Johnson [VIVACE]

December 20, 2021 9:28 am

VIVACE, a new build Spritz 102 by Alpha Custom Yachts was sold by Denison Yachting who represents the shipyard in North America. David Johnson introduced the buyer.

The Spritz 102 is an ideal, new construction yacht. This model has an industry-leading beam of 27 feet, which is felt throughout the whole boat. The interior spaces connect guests with the environment thanks to the excellent use of glass, while the exterior spaces are optimized to enjoy yachting.

Alpha Spritz 102 Sold

The aft deck is particularly impressive (awarded Best Deck Design by Design Et Al in the 2021 International Yacht and Aviation Awards). The layout of the stern is tiered so that it fits a hydraulic swim platform, heated plunge pool, aft-facing lounge seating, and alfresco dining.

Alpha Custom Yachts worked with Giorgio Cassetta to create an elegant interior layout for the Spritz 102. The interior of this yacht prioritizes comfort without compromising personal space. The lower deck hosts 5 cabins including ​​2 twin cabins, 2 queen cabins, and a full-beam master stateroom.

This new construction Spritz 102 by Alpha Custom Yachts was asking $13,400,000 million at the time of sale. VIVACE will be available for immediate charter with Denison. Other Alpha Custom Yachts available as a new construction project include the Spritz , Al Fresco , and Squalo lines.

David Johnson

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alpha yachts 102

Russia-Ukraine war live: Putin tries to claim Russia isn’t after Kharkiv – despite massive attack on region

LIVE – Updated at 08:09

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed there are “no plans” to take the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv despite tens of thousands of his forces having recently stormed across the border into the region and getting within artillery range of the city.

Speaking on the second day of his two-day tour of China , Putin claimed he had ordered the attack to create a “buffer zone” between Ukrainian soldiers and the Russian region of Belgorod.

When asked if Russian forces planned to take control of Kharkiv city, some 20 miles from the current fighting, Putin said: “As for Kharkiv, there are no such plans as of today.”

While Ukrainian officials and military analysts maintain that Russian forces in the Kharkiv region do not have the manpower or weaponry to take its namesake capital, and that the attack is likely an attempt to create a “buffer zone”, as Putin puts it, as well as draw Ukrainian forces away from other battles further east, there is little doubt that Russia would try to invade the city if it had the capability.

Ukraine says it has halted Russian advance in Kharkiv town

  • Ukraine launches massive drone attack against occupied Crimea and across Russia

What’s the latest in Russia and Ukraine? Day 814

  • Vladimir Putin speaks on final day of China tour

Russia's Putin arrives in China for state visit in a show of unity between the authoritarian allies

Vladimir Putin landed in Beijing on Thursday for a two-day state visit to China in a show of unity between the authoritarian allies.

Putin‘s visit comes as Russia has become more economically dependent on China following Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine more than two years ago.

On the eve of the visit, Putin said in an interview with Chinese media that the Kremlin is prepared to negotiate over the conflict in Ukraine. “We are open to a dialogue on Ukraine, but such negotiations must take into account the interests of all countries involved in the conflict, including ours,” Putin was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.

The Russian leader’s two-day trip comes as his country’s forces have pressed an offensive in northeastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv region that began last week in the most significant border incursion since the full-scale invasion began, forcing almost 8,000 people to flee their homes.

Along with Moscow’s efforts to build on its gains in the nearby Donetsk region, the 2-year-old war has entered a critical stage for Ukraine’s depleted military that is awaiting new supplies of anti-aircraft missiles and artillery shells from the United States.

“We have never refused to negotiate,” Putin was quoted as saying by Xinhua. “We are seeking a comprehensive, sustainable and just settlement of this conflict through peaceful means. We are open to a dialogue on Ukraine, but such negotiations must take into account the interests of all countries involved in the conflict, including ours.”

Ukrainian military moves out troops due to ‘intensive’ enemy fire'

Heavy enemy fire has prompted Ukraine’s military to reposition some troops in the Kupiansk direction to the east of the country’s second largest city, Kharkiv, the General Staff said today.

“In certain districts, as a result of intensive enemy fire, our units regrouped to more advantages positions,” the late-night report said.

Kupiansk was occupied by Russian troops in the first weeks of the February 2022 invasion, but recaptured by Ukrainian forces later in the year. The area has seen heavy fighting in recent months.

Putin says he is ‘grateful to China' for peace efforts on Ukraine war

Vladimir Putin said he spoke to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping about Russian invasion of Ukraine after he reached Beijing for a two-day visit.

“We are grateful to China for its efforts to resolve the Ukraine crisis,” he said. The Russian president said he would brief the Chinese leader on the situation in Ukraine where Russian forces are advancing on several fronts.

China had issued a proposal for peace in Ukraine last year but the bid did not conclude and Kyiv has put forth its own peace agreement, seeking ejection of Russian troops from its territory.

Mr Putin’s visit to Beijing comes as Moscow presses forward on a new offensive in Ukraine.

What’s the latest in Ukraine and Russia? Day 813

Good morning.

Intense fighting has continued in the northeast Kharkiv region in what British Defence Minister Grant Shapps said should be a “wake up call” to Ukraine’s allies who have become “distracted” from the war.

“We must back [the Ukrainians] all the time, not just periodically,” Mr Shapps said, adding that a $60bn US military package “took too long to get through Congress”. It was blocked for seven months by Donald Trump-supporting Republicans keen to shore up more funds for securing their border with Mexico.

Ukrainian war tracker DeepState said Russian forces had advanced into a stretch of land between the villages of Hlyboke and Lyptsi, which is less than 20 miles from the region’s capital Kharkiv, home to some 1.3 million civilians.

An aid worker in Kharkiv city running a shelter for evacuees from Lyptsi told me on Wednesday that the civilians could hear the bombs “coming closer and closer” as they fled the village.

In the fight next-door, a local Ukrainian official said Russian forces had entered the streets of Vovchansk, a town some 35 miles from Kharkiv city.

In southern Ukraine, Russia fired three deadly glide bombs, nicknamed “building destroyers”, at the centre of Kherson city, injuring at least 19 people and destroying several homes.

“The city centre of Kherson. In the middle of the day, three Russian aerial bombs hit a residential area,” regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on Telegram yesterday.

In China, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, where the Russian leader said he was “grateful” to China for its efforts to end the war in Ukraine, referring to their peace proposal that was dismissed by Ukraine as simply a recital of the Kremlin’s demands.

Xi lauds China-Russia ties as Putin arrives in Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to work with counterpart Vladimir Putin to “rejuvenate” their countries as the pair started a day of talks in Beijing, saying China would “always be a good partner” of Russia, according to Chinese state media.

Putin arrived on Thursday for a two-day state visit that will include detailed talks on Ukraine, Asia, energy and trade with Xi, his most powerful political backer and fellow geopolitical rival of the United States.

“The China-Russia relationship today is hard-earned, and the two sides need to cherish and nurture it,” Xi told Putin as they met in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

“China is willing to ... jointly achieve the development and rejuvenation of our respective countries, and work together to uphold fairness and justice in the world.”

China and Russia declared a “no limits” partnership in February 2022 when Putin visited Beijing just days before he sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine, triggering the deadliest land war in Europe since World War Two.

A compilation of Russia’s latest propaganda claims …

Below is a compilation of the latest Russian claims regarding its war in Ukraine.

The claims cannot be verified but we repost them to show you the mood inside Moscow and the messages they are trying to convey to their own public. Much of the propaganda they push is intended to give the impression to the Russian population that the West is funding a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine and that, despite this, Russia is nevertheless succeeding in its war.

Russia’s Federal Security Service has claimed it has detained Ukrainian agents in Crimea, and that one of them admitted to having transferred information on air defence systems protecting the Crimean bridge, state news agency RIA reported.

The speaker of Russia’s State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, meanwhile, said this morning that Ukraine was dragging the US and Europe into a big war, and Western leaders needed to avoid a major global catastrophe.

Vladimir Putin arrives in China to meet Xi Jinping as West watches with growing concern

China has rolled out the red carpet to welcome Russian president Vladimir Putin for a potentially consequential and heavily symbolic state visit that will be closely watched in the West.

Mr Putin’s second visit in less than a year comes as Western nations, led by the US, are putting pressure on China to stop throwing its economic and industrial weight behind Russia’s war in Ukraine .

The two-day trip is Mr Putin’s first abroad since starting his new term as president earlier this month.

Vladimir Putin arrives to meet Xi Jinping in China as West watches with concern

How Ukraine’s war changed Oleksandr Usyk – and how it didn’t

Russian forces trying to take Lyptsi village in Ukraine's Kharkiv region -RIA

Russian forces are on the approaches to the village of Lyptsi, in Ukraine's Kharkiv region, and have started work to seize it, Russian state news agency RIA reported, citing a local Russian-installed official.

The claim cannot be verified and Russian officials often issue premature reports - but civilians fleeing Lyptsi over the past few days told aid workers in Kharkiv city that they could hear the bombs coming “closer and closer”.

The latest update from Ukrainian war tracker DeepState, known to have close ties to the military, suggests Russia forces are still more than three miles away from the village.

The small village of Lyptsi is around 16 miles north of the city centre of Kharkiv, the region’s namesake capital that is home to some 1.3 million citizens.

Ukraine’s Zelensky cancels foreign visits as Putin’s forces advance around Kharkiv

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has cancelled all his upcoming foreign trips as he looks to concentrate on Russia’s advance in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region .

It comes as US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced a new $2 billion (£1.6bn) weapons deal during a visit to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv , before suggesting Washington could sign a bilateral agreement with Ukraine in the coming weeks.

Mr Blinken did not go into detail about what would be included in the latest pledge, which will be drawn from the $61bn package passed by Congress last month.

Zelensky cancels foreign visits as Putin’s forces advance around Kharkiv

Zelensky travels to Kharkiv amid Russian offensive in region’s north

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has travelled to the city of Kharkiv amid a raging Russian offensive in the north of the region.

Mr Zelensky said on Telegram he held a meeting with the military, and described the situation as extremely difficult though “controlled in general”.

“As of today, the situation in Kharkiv Oblast is generally under control, our soldiers are inflicting significant losses on the occupier. But the direction remains extremely difficult - we are strengthening our units,” he wrote.

Earlier, the Ukrainian military said its forces were fighting Russian troops in northern districts of Vovchansk in the Kharkiv region but the invaders had been unable to break through deeper into the border town.

“The enemy’s plans to penetrate deeper into the town of Vovchansk and gain a foothold there were thwarted,” the Ukrainian General Staff said in a statement.

US will send artillery, rockets and ammunition in $1bn arms package to Ukraine

US sending largest military aid package to Ukraine so far

Photos show Putin and Xi meeting in Beijing

We have some more photos dropping on the wires from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing.

It’s time we gave Ukraine the tools it needs to finish the job

Maps show the state of Russia’s advance in the Kharkiv region

Updated maps published by Ukrainian war tracker DeepState have shown the state of Russia’s offensive in the northeast Kharkiv.

The attack began last Friday, at around 5.30am, and took place across two sectors.

In the first assault, Russian forces have advanced to the north and northwest suburbs of Vovchansk, a small city from where thousands of civilians have been evacuated. They have pushed roughly three and a half miles from the Russian border into the Kharkiv region, occupying nearly 22 square miles of territory.

In the second assault, Russian forces are advancing towards the village of Lyptsi, having taken Hlyboke and Lukiantsi yesterday. They have pushed nearly five miles from the Russian border into the Kharkiv region, occupying 31 square miles of territory.

That means that Russian forces are within artillery range of Kharkiv city, the region’s namesake capital, which is home to 1.3 million civilians.

AP gets rare look as Ukraine tries to slow Russia with drones on new front

Sri Lanka to send delegation to Russia to help repatriate men duped into Ukraine fighting

Sri Lanka will dispatch a high-level delegation to Russia to investigate the fate of hundreds of nationals reportedly fighting in the war in Ukraine, a top official said on Thursday.

Social media campaigns via WhatsApp have targeted ex-military personnel with promises of lucrative salaries and promises of citizenship, the Defence Ministry has said, warning its nationals not to be duped.

The messages, sent by Sri Lankan nationals, provide a number to agents, who then arrange the documentation and the flights.

The campaigns have proved appealing as Sri Lanka struggles to emerge from its worst financial crisis in more than seven decades, which has doubled poverty rates from pre-pandemic levels and pushed hundreds of people to migrate.

Earlier this month, Sri Lankan authorities launched investigations into reports of its citizens, mostly with military training, being trafficked to fight in the war in Ukraine, said State Minister for Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya.

“The primary challenge lies in determining the exact number of individuals in Russia. As per unofficial sources, approximately 600-800 Sri Lankan individuals are in Russia,” he told reporters.

Ukraine says it has checked Russia's offensive in a key town, but Moscow says it will keep pushing

Ukrainian units locked in street battles with the Kremlin’s forces in a key northeastern Ukraine town have halted the Russian advance, military officials in Kyiv claimed Thursday, though a senior Moscow official said the frontline push had enough resources to keep going.

Russian attempts to establish a foothold in the town of Vovchansk, which is among the largest towns in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region with a prewar population of 17,000, “have been foiled,” Ukraine’s general staff said in a midday report.

Russian forces ‘executing’ fleeing civilians in Vovchansk, says Ukrainian minister

Russian forces have “executed” civilians desperately trying to flee the battered Ukrainian town of Vovchansk, Ukraine’s Interior Minister has claimed.

Ihor Klymenko, writing on the Telegram messenger service, said Russian soldiers were killing civilians who were trying to flee Vovchansk on foot after the soldiers entered the north and northwest suburbs of the town. He added that they were “kidnapping” civilians that remained in the town and “herding [them] into basements”.

“As of now, according to operational information, the Russian military, who were trying to gain a foothold in the city, did not allow local residents to evacuate: people began to be kidnapped and herded into basements,” he wrote.

“It is known about the first executions of civilians by the Russian military. In particular, one of the inhabitants of Vovchansk tried to escape on foot, refused to obey the commands of the invaders - the Russians killed him.”

Denmark to send military aid worth $815 million to Ukraine

Denmark will send a new military aid package to Ukraine, including primarily air defense and artillery, worth around 5.6 billion Danish crowns (£644 million), the Danish Defence Minister wrote on social media platform X on Thursday.

China and Russia reaffirm their ‘no-limits’ partnership

Russian President Vladimir Putin has thanked Chinese leader Xi Jinping for China’s proposals on ending the war in Ukraine, which have been rejected by Ukraine and its western supporters as largely following the Kremlin’s line.

At their summit, Mr Putin and Mr Xi reaffirmed a “no-limits” partnership that has grown deeper as both countries face deepening tensions with the West, and criticised US military alliances in Asia and the Pacific region.

China claims to take a neutral position in the conflict, but it has backed Moscow’s contentions that Russia was provoked into attacking Ukraine by the West, and continues to supply Russia with key components that Moscow needs for its productions of weapons.

A joint statement after Mr Putin and Mr Xi met said that both sides believe that for “a sustainable settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, it is necessary to eliminate its root causes”.

Zelensky visits Kharkiv as battleground situation deteriorates

President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the northeastern city of Kharkiv on Thursday to boost morale and reinforce Ukraine’s troops in the region where Russian forces are trying to press their new offensive beyond the border areas.

Moscow has made inroads of at least several kilometres into the north of Kharkiv region since Friday, forcing Kyiv’s outmanned troops to try to hold the line on a new front as Russia mounts more pressure on the front in the east.

“The direction remains extremely difficult - we are strengthening our units,” Zelensky said after holding a meeting in the city with his top commander and senior military leaders.

The Ukrainian leader, who has cancelled all his upcoming foreign trips as the battlefield situation deteriorates, met wounded soldiers recovering at a medical facility and posed for photographs with troops at another location.

International Monetary Fund to assess Ukraine’s war-torn economy

The International Monetary Fund will start a new Ukraine mission in coming weeks to assess the war-torn country’s economy and performance under a $15.6 billion loan program, IMF spokesperson Julie Kozack said on Thursday.

Kozack told a regular press briefing that the mission on the next loan program review will assess the latest economic developments in Ukraine and revise its macroeconomic framework and analysis of the country’s debt sustainability.

Russia expels British embassy official in tit-for-tat response

Russia has expelled the defence attache at the British Embassy in Moscow in a tit-for-tat response to the expulsion of one of its own diplomats from London last week.

The Russian foreign ministry said an embassy official had been summoned on Thursday and told Captain Adrian Coghill must leave the country within seven days.

The move follows the expulsion of Russian defence attache Colonel Maxim Elovik on May 8, whom the Home Secretary said was an “undeclared military intelligence officer”.

In a statement on its Telegram channel, the Russian foreign ministry said the expulsion of Col Elovik had been politically motivated and caused significant damage to relations between the two countries.

US announces new sanctions over North Korea-Russia arms transfers

The United States announced sanctions on Thursday on two Russian individuals and three Russian companies for facilitating arms transfers between Russia and North Korea, including ballistic missiles for use in Ukraine.

It is the latest round of sanctions imposed by the Treasury and State departments to disrupt and expose arms transfers between the two countries, a Treasury Department statement said.

“Today’s action reflects our commitment to disrupt the DPRK’s (Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea) deepening military cooperation with Russia,” Brian Nelson, the under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in the statement.

“The United States will continue to take action to hold accountable those who seek to facilitate the shipment of weapons and other materiel to enable Russia’s war,” Nelson added.

It’s horrifying what’s happened to Ukrainians with disabilities during Russia’s war – we cannot abandon them

Used as human shields, starved or deprived of medicines , tortured, abducted, disappeared. These are the potential crimes that have been committed against people with disabilities since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine , according to a new 18-month investigation by The Independent .

That doesn’t even cover what those close to the frontline face with no way of getting to shelter or accessing food and water, under some of the most ferocious bombardments of our time.

As Maksym – a Ukrainian man with a disability who was disappeared into Russia early on in the war – told me, those with disabilities are the last to be remembered and the first to be left behind.

Read the full article here:

We cannot abandon Ukrainians with disabilities suffering during war

Zelensky seeks to boost troop morale with visit to Kharkiv as soldiers battle Putin’s advancing forces

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky sought to boost the morale his troops with a visit to the northeastern city of Kharkiv – with Russian forces making advances across the region .

Kyiv has rushed military units from other parts of the 600-mile front lines to shore up its forces in the area where the Russians launched their attack a week ago, exploiting weak fortifications and undergunned Ukrainian forces to make rapid advances which have sent thousands of refugees fleeing from their homes.

Vladimir Putin ‘s forces have made inroads of at least several kilometres into the north of Kharkiv region since Friday, with the city of Kharkiv itself only about 30 miles from the border with Russia .

Zelenky seeks to boost troop morale with Kharkiv visit as battle rages

People with disabilities face some of the most brutal conditions during war. We need urgent change

The devastating images from the war in Ukraine are a stark illustration of the consequences of conflict for ordinary people . The threat of injury or death from shelling, drones or missiles hangs over everything – but there is also facing day-to-day shortages of food and water , the destruction of schools and hospitals and potential criminal or sexual violence .

But it is also a fact that these harmful effects are not uniformly felt. Instead, studies show that minority groups are more significantly impacted by the destructive effects because war amplifies inequalities and vulnerabilities that already exist in society.

Read the full analysis from William Pons here:

People with disabilities face some of the most brutal conditions during war

Russia ramps up strike drone use on Kharkiv front, Ukrainian artillery crew says

Ukrainian artillery on the Kharkiv frontline are facing a bigger threat than ever from Russia’s fleet of Lancet kamikaze drones, according to a howitzer crew fighting there.

One comes, then a second one comes, 10 minutes later a third one comes,” said call sign Artist, the fresh-faced 21-year-old commander of an artillery battery of the 42nd Brigade which has been firing non-stop to repel Russia’s new offensive in the region over the past week.

The soldiers requested that they only be referred to by their military call signs to protect their identities.

The drone, with X-shaped wings and carrying several kilograms of explosive, was already one of the biggest threats to Ukrainian artillery and armour for over a year.

The presence in Kyiv of the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, at what is becoming a critical juncture in Ukraine’s war of survival against Russia , is, of course, extremely welcome.

Were they being undiplomatically honest, however, the Ukrainians would admit that they would far rather have received a bumper consignment of Patriot missile defence systems, F-16 fighters and Abrams armoured vehicles than the distinguished statesman.

That way, they might have a better chance of preventing the Russians from destroying their second city, Kharkiv . Such a denouement is unlikely – but the possibility of it cannot be dismissed.

Putin and Xi Jinping claim their ‘unprecedented partnership’ is a stabilising influence at Beijing talks

Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held talks in Beijing on Thursday aimed at presenting a united front amid the pomp and spectacle of a state visit that was being closely watched around the world.

There was not a great deal of substance to the statements issued publicly by the two leaders after their meeting, which included a state dinner on Thursday night as well as talks ranging across a broad range of subjects from the war in Ukraine to their shared trade interests.

But nor was there any sign that recent US sanctions against Chinese companies exporting to Russia had dampened Mr Xi’s enthusiasm for relations with the man he welcomed as his “old friend”.

Putin and Xi Jinping laud world stabilising influence at Beijing talks

It’s horrifying what’s happened to Ukrainians with disabilities during Russia’s war

Read the full article from Bel Trew here:

Ukrainian soldiers fighting street battles have finally halted Russian forces near Kharkiv, foiling their advance to capture the key northeastern town of Vovchansk, military officials said.

Ukraine’s General Staff confirmed in a midday report yesterday that the Russian attempts to grab a foothold in Vovchansk “have been foiled”.

The town, among the largest in the Kharkiv region, had a pre-war population of 17,000.

As of yesterday evening, Ukrainian authorities had evacuated some 8,000 civilians from the town. The Russian army’s usual tactic is to reduce towns and villages to ruins with aerial strikes before its units move in.

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, calculated that Russian forces attacking in Kharkiv have advanced no more than 8km (5 miles) from the shared border.

It reckons Moscow’s main aim in Kharkiv is to create a “buffer zone” that will prevent Ukrainian cross-border strikes on Russia’s neighbouring Belgorod region.

Russia incapable of major advance in Ukraine, says Nato military chief

Nato’s top military officer has said he believes that Russia’s armed forces are incapable of any major gains in Ukraine at the moment.

“The Russians don’t have the numbers necessary to do a strategic breakthrough, we don’t believe,” US General Christopher Cavoli, Nato’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, told reporters after a meeting of the organisation’s top military brass in Brussels.

“More to the point, they don’t have the skill and the capability to do it; to operate at the scale necessary to exploit any breakthrough to strategic advantage,” he said.

On being asked about whether Russia might be about to launch its anticipated summer offensive early, General Cavoli said “we can never be sure,” but he added that “what we don’t see is large numbers of reserves being generated some place” which would be needed for any such offensive.

Zelensky says Kharkiv’s difficult situation ‘under control’

Volodymyr Zelensky said he met with his top military chiefs fighting the Russian offensive in Kharkiv and that the fierce fighting there is now “generally under control”.

He acknowledged on social media that the situation is “extremely difficult” and said Ukraine was again strengthening its units in Kharkiv. Mr Zelensky also met with wounded soldiers and handed out medals.

“We clearly see how the occupier is trying to distract our forces and make our combat work less concentrated,” he said in his nightly video address.

In Russia, former Russian defence minister and now the head of the presidential Security Council Sergei Shoigu insisted Russian troops are pushing the offensive in many directions and that “it’s going quite well.”

“I hope we will keep advancing. We have certain reserves for the purpose, in personnel, equipment and munitions,” he said in televised remarks.

Russia expels UK defence attache in tit-for-tat diplomatic row

Russia has expelled Britain’s defence attache in a tit-for-tat response to the expulsion of one of its own diplomats from London last week, the country’s foreign ministry has said.

Captain Adrian Coghill, a Royal Naval officer based at the British Embassy in Moscow , was given a week to leave the country on Thursday, according to a post on the Russian foreign ministry’s Telegram channel.

The move follows the expulsion on May 8 of Russia’s defence attache in London, Colonel Maxim Elovik, on the grounds that he was an “undeclared military intelligence officer”.

Mother-son duo killed in drone attack, says Russia

A Ukrainian drone strike killed a mother and her four-year-old son who were travelling in a car in Russia’s southern Belgorod region, the regional governor said early today.

Vyacheslav Gladkov said one of several drones fired at the region hit a car in the village of Oktyabrsky, killing a woman at the site of the attack.

Her young son died of his injuries after being taken to a hospital. The boy’s father and a man driving the car were injured, but survived.

Additionally, the Russia-appointed governor of the port of Sevastopol in Crimea said air defence units intercepted several Ukrainian drones over the city.

Russia claims oil refinery fire contained after drone attack

Russian authorities say they have managed to contain a fire at the Tuapse oil refinery in Krasnodar, which broke out after a Ukrainian drone attack.

They claimed that there were no casualties in the incident, according to preliminary information.

Russian air defence and the Black Sea Fleet destroyed 102 Ukrainian drones and six uncrewed boats last night, Russia’s defence ministry said this morning.

An electrical substation was damaged in Sevastopol as a result of the attack, local governor Mikhail Razvozhaev said on Telegram. “There will be isolated blackouts,” he said.

“In view of the situation, I made a decision to cancel classes in all schools, institutions of secondary vocational education and kindergartens.”

Sevastopol closes schools after Ukrainian drone barrage

All schools have been closed in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol and classes cancelled after the region came under a heavy Ukrainian drone attack overnight.

At least 51 drones were intercepted overnight in Crimea, Russia’s defence ministry claimed.

Local governor Mikhail Razvozhaev took to Telegram and confirmed the shutdown.

“In view of the situation, I made a decision to cancel classes in all schools, institutions of secondary vocational education and kindergartens,” he said, adding that the region will see isolated blackouts.

In a major overnight aerial raid, Ukraine’s military hit an electricity substation in the region, causing rolling blackouts throughout the city housing Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet.

Ukraine does not typically comment on attacks on Russia and Russia-occupied Crimea but it says attacking energy and military infrastructure there aids Kyiv by weakening Russian capabilities.

Kim's sister denies North Korea has supplied weapons to Russia

The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un again denied Friday that her country has exported any weapons to Russia, as she labeled outside speculation on North Korea-Russian arms dealings as “the most absurd paradox.”

The US, South Korea and others have steadfastly accused North Korea of supplying artillery, missiles and other conventional weapons to Russia for its war in Ukraine in return for advanced military technologies and economic aid. Both North Korea and Russia have repeatedly dismissed that.

Foreign experts believe North Korea’s recent series of artillery and short-range missile tests were meant to examine or advertise the weapons it was planning to sell to Russia.

As Ukraine claims the fighting in its northeast Kharkiv region has “stabilised” a week after Russia launched its surprise attack, both sides say they have successfully repelled overnight drone attacks.

Ukrainian forces said they shot down all 20 drones fired by Russia. Among the regions attacked was the Kharkiv region.

It damaged five buildings, one of them belonging to the district administration, Kharkiv’s regional governor, Oleh Syniehubov, said on Telegram.

In Russia, authorities said they had managed to contain a fire at an oil refinery in the town of Tuapse that broke out after a Ukrainian drone attack. The coastal town in southwest Russia is hundreds of miles from the nearest Ukrainian soldiers and demonstrated, again, the increasing range of Kyiv’s drone programme.

In Belgorod, just across the border with Ukraine, the region’s mayor Vyacheslav Gladkov claimed that a mother and her son were killed by a Ukrainian drone strike. He did not provide evidence.

Further afield, Vladimir Putin began the second day of his two-day trip to China. He arrived in “Little Moscow” this morning, located in Harbin, the capital of China’s north-eastern Heilongjiang province, which shares a border with Russia. He lauded the two countries’ “inseparable” partnership in a speech.

And in the Middle East last night, Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk held a press conference with British boxer Tyson Fury ahead of their Saturday heavyweight boxing clash.

Mr Usky was wearing a traditional Ukrainian embroidered band in honour of Vyshyvanka Day, an annual celebration of Ukrainian unity. He is fighting to unify the heavweight division.

Zelensky says situation in Kharkiv region ‘stabilised' as of Friday

Russian forces have advanced six miles into Ukraine‘s Kharkiv region in one area but the situation has “stabilised” as of Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said, according to by RBC-Ukraine media outlet.

”Today, our defence forces have stabilised the Russians where they are now. The deepest point of their advance is 10 km,” Mr Zelensky told journalists.

Footage appears to show the aftermath of a Ukrainian drone attack on southwest Russia

Footage collated from various Russian Telegram channels appear to show the aftermath of a series of Ukrainian drone strikes on southwest Russia.

Satellite imagery shows destroyed Russian fighter jets

Satellite imagery released this morning has shown that at least Russian fighter jets have been destroyed at an airbase in occupied Crimea.

The Russian defence ministry reported an attack on Tuesday night on the Belbek airbase on the port city of Sevastopol, claiming that US-supplied ATACMS long-range missiles had been used in the assault.

But they claimed that they had “destroyed” all ten missiles fired.

This new satellite imagery appears to cast doubt on that claim.

Zelensky: Not a single week in more than two years has gone by without Russian terror

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that “not a single week” in more than two years of war has gone by without Russia committing “terror against our people”.

In a message on Telegram, which included images of the latest attacks in Ukraine perpetrated by Russian forces, Mr Zelensky said Ukraine “must force Russia to a real, just peace”, referring to recent claims by Vladimir Putin that he was interested in a peace deal - though only one on his terms.

“There has not been a single week in more than two years of this war when Russia refrained from terror against our people,” Mr Zelensky wrote.

“Russia is trying to expand the war, accompanying it invariably with empty words about peace. We must force Russia to a real, just peace by all means. Our defence against assaults and blows is decisive.

“Thank you to everyone who defends Ukraine! Thanks to all the countries that help us!”

Vladimir Putin tours ‘Little Moscow’ as he trumpets deepening ties with China

Vladimir Putin kicked off his second day in China with a visit to Harbin city as the Russian president trumpets deeping economic and strategic ties between the two powerful neighbours.

Harbin in the northeastern Heilongjiang province, which borders Russia’s Far East , has deep social, economic and cultural ties with its neighbouring country. The city was once known as “Little Moscow ” for its substantial Russian population and cultural influence.

It remains a centre of Sino-Russian cooperation.

Vladimir Putin tours ‘Little Moscow’ Harbin as he trumpets deepening ties with China

Russian forces expanded area of active combat by almost 70 km, Ukraine's army chief says

Russian forces have expanded the area of active combat by almost 43 miles (70 km) by launching their offensive in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine's army chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said on Friday

“The enemy expanded the zone of active hostilities by almost 70 kilometers, thus trying to force us to use an additional number of brigades from the reserve,” he wrote on Telegram.

He added that he expected fighting to intensify as Kyiv troops are also preparing to defend in northern region of Sumy.

Zelensky seeks to boost troop morale with Kharkiv visit as battle rages

Photos show Ukrainian soldiers defending against the Russian attack in the northeast Kharkiv region

Some photos have just dropped on the wires showing Ukrainian soldiers fighting against the Russian advance in the northeastern Kharkiv region.

The images are a rare insight into what life is like on the frontlines for Ukrainian soldiers.

Capturing Ukraine's Kharkiv is not part of Russia's current plan, says Putin

President Vladimir Putin has said that capturing the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv is not part of Russia’s current plan and that Russian forces operating nearby are creating a “buffer zone” for Russia’s own security.

Putin, who said that all of the military operations were proceeding according to plan, was speaking at a new conference in China.

More information on the Ukrainian long-range strikes across Russia and occupied Ukraine

We have some more information on the long-range Ukrainian strikes across Russia and occupied Crimea overnight.

A Kyiv intelligence source told Reuters that one of the attacks, on an oil refinery in the coastal Russian village of Tuapse, has caused damage that will require repairs. Another strike on a power station in Sevastopol has also caused power cuts.

Russia expels British defense attaché in a tit-for-tat move

We have some more photos from the Ukrainian battle in Kharkiv

1Below we have some photos showing the Ukrainian battle with advancing Russian forces in the northeast Kharkiv region.

Zelensky signs law allowing some convicts to serve in Ukraine’s army

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a law allowing some categories of convicts to serve in the army, parliament’s database shows.

A separate law enhancing fines for those not abiding by army mobilization rules was signed as well, its entry on the parliament’s website showed.

UK is a de facto participant in Ukraine war, says Russian ambassador

Russia’s ambassador to Britain has said that London is a de facto participant in the Ukraine war because of the weapons it was supplying to Kyiv and said it was also sharing real-time intelligence too.

Andrei Kelin, Russia’s ambassador to Britain, made the comments to Russia’s Rossiya-24 state TV channel.

A small group of demonstrators have gathered in the Ukrainain capital of Kyiv, outside the city hall, to demand protection of LGBTQ people’s rights to mark the International Day against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia.

Putin’s playing a game of thrones with his inner circle. And one man is rising in the shadows

Sergei Borisovich Korolev, the first deputy director of the FSB, is said by European officials to have emerged a winner behind the scene in the Russian president’s recent Kremlin reshuffle . The Independent’s World Affairs Editor Kim Sengupta on the rise of Mr Korolev and why is so dangerous. You can read the piece here .

At least two dead in Russian airstrike in Kharkiv, officials say

At least two people have been killed and a further 13 wounded after Russian forces fired bombs at Kharkiv city, officials in the region have announced.

The governor of the wider Kharkiv region, Oleh Syniehubov, said the Russians strike twice using “anti-aircraft guns”.

Igor Terekhov, mayor of Kharkiv, home to around 1.3 million civilians, announced the explosions just after 1.30pm GMT. Around 10 minutes ago, he updated the death toll of the strike to two.

“Already two dead and 13 wounded,” he said. Four of those injured are in serious condition.

We will bring you more details when we can. At this point, there is no footage or photos of the affected area.

Boxing’s coming home – Tyson Fury ready to put on a show against Oleksandr Usyk

Why did Russian forces advance in the Kharkiv region?

While Putin maintains that his forces are not trying to take Kharkiv city but rather create a “buffer zone” in the region, the question of how his troops were able to occupy more than 50 square miles of territory and advance up to six miles into the region remain unanswered.

In just one week - the surprise attack started in the early hours of last Friday - Russian forces have made noticeable gains, though they may not prove significant.

Below, military analyst Emil Kastehelmi has gone into depth about how the attack was unable to unfold. He helps run the Black Bird Group, which has tracked the war in Ukraine daily for more than two years.

Russian missile damages civilian infrastructure in Ukraine's Odesa region

A Russian missile attack has damaged civilian infrastructure and injured at least five people in Ukraine‘s southern Odesa region, the regional governor said.

Three people were hospitalized, Oleh Kiper added on the Telegram messaging app.

“In the Odessa district, a heavy fire occurred at the site,” he said.

Ukraine‘s air force said Russia had launched at least four missiles, and local chats reported a series of powerful explosions.

Russian troops also attacked the region overnight with drones that Ukraine said it had downed.

Taiwan’s foreign minister says China and Russia are supporting each other's ‘expansionism’

We’re pausing our live coverage of the Ukraine war this evening but keep checking independent.co.uk for the latest updates.

Ukrainian drone attack kills one in Belgorod in southern Russia, governor says

A Ukrainian drone attack killed one person and injured another in southern Russia's Belgorod region, Regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Friday.

Gladkov, writing on the Telegram messaging app, said the drone hit the village of Novaya Naumovka, just inside the Russian border, where the two residents were tending a garden.

Russia's Defence Ministry later reported that air defence units had intercepted and destroyed 14 multiple-launch rockets originating in Ukraine.

Reuters could not independently confirm the reports.

Ukraine has launched frequent drone and shelling attacks on Belgorod and other Russian regions on its border.

GettyImages-2152501414.jpg

Big wave of Ukrainian drones kills two in Russia, causes refinery fire

  • Medium Text

Smoke rises from a fire at an oil refinery, in Tuapse

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Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin outside Moscow

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Slovak prime minister fico stable but in serious condition.

The condition of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has stabilised but remains serious, the country's health minister said on Saturday, following Wednesday's assassination attempt against the central European leader.

The Communist Party of Vietnam has nominated police minister To Lam to be state president, the government said on Saturday.

Displaced Palestinians wait to receive United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) aid, in Rafah

China's agriculture minister is being investigated for suspected violations of law and discipline, the country's anti-graft watchdog said on Saturday.

Russians Plunged into Darkness After Monster Drone Attack

Moscow says over 100 UAVs were involved in the assault, which also targeted the occupied Crimean peninsula.

Dan Ladden-Hall

Dan Ladden-Hall

News Correspondent

Ukraine launched a massive drone attack across multiple regions of Russia and the occupied Crimean peninsula, Russian officials said.

Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

Ukraine launched a massive drone attack against military and energy facilities in Russia and the occupied peninsula Crimea overnight, with Moscow saying Friday that over 100 unmanned weapons had been involved in the operation.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed its forces had intercepted and destroyed 102 UAVs over four different regions while another six drone boats were taken out in the Black Sea. While the ministry did not reveal the extent of the damage from the attack, multiple explosions were reported in the Russian city of Novorossiysk and the Kremlin-backed governor of Sevastopol said a substation was damaged and the power supply was disrupted.

A source from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) told the Kyiv Independent that the assault was a joint operation conducted by the SBU and Ukraine’s military intelligence. “Today’s operation proved that the Russians are unable to protect their main naval bases in Sevastopol and Novorossiysk,” the source said.

Residents in Novorossiysk in Russia’s Krasnodar Krai region said local oil infrastructure was attacked and shared videos online in which blasts can be heard and air defenses are seen operating. Krasnodar Krai Governor Veniamin Kondratyev said 10 drones were shot down, creating “local fires” but not causing any casualties, according to preliminary information. “I ask Novorossiysk residents to remain calm and not post photos and videos of the operation of our air defense systems on social networks,” he wrote on Telegram.

Mikhail Razvozhaev, the governor of Sevastopol, separately claimed that debris from “downed UAVs fell on the substation,” leading to a partial blackout. Early Friday, he said that the power outages would last “about a day” while workers restore the power grid. He later announced the cancellation of classes in “all schools, secondary vocational education institutions and kindergartens,” and said the city would take measures to save energy during the repairs. That included the cancelation of trolleybus services and keeping lights in the city and shopping centers off.

Ukraine has been attacking infrastructure and military targets on Russian soil for the past few months. Kyiv is currently also dealing with a major new Russian offensive launched earlier this month in Ukraine’s northeastern territory, sparking fears that Kharkiv—Ukraine’s second-largest city—could soon fall.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters during a visit to China that his assaults on the Kharkiv region were launched in response to Ukrainian shelling on Russia’s Belgorod region. “I have said publicly that if it continues, we will be forced to create a security zone, a sanitary zone,” he said, according to the Associated Press . “That’s what we are doing.”

Putin also said that, for the moment, there are no plans to capture the city of Kharkiv.

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