Russia Starts Attacks on Kyiv and Other Cities in Ukraine

On April 26, Ukrainian military personnel train in the Donbas region.
Russia Starts Attacks on Kyiv and Other Cities in Ukraine

Early on Friday morning, Russia launched a new round of aircraft attacks across Ukraine, killing at least five people and destroying a number of structures. The first attack to occur in Kyiv in more than a month was marked by explosions.

The meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, according to Zelenskiy, provided a chance to infuse relations with Beijing with "fresh vigour." For Xi, though, there is still more work to be done before China can be seen as a reliable and impartial mediator in Russia's battle in Ukraine.

At its meeting on Thursday, Ukraine's central bank upped its forecast for economic growth by more than six times, to 2% from an earlier 0.3%, while keeping interest rates unchanged at 25%, as was predicted.

After the US refused to provide Russian journalists visas for Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's visit to the UN this week, Russia rejected a request from the US Embassy to meet imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.

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At Least 5 Persons Are Dead After an Aerial Attack (7 a.m.)
Drones and Tu-95 strategic aircraft from the Caspian Sea region participated in the assault on Friday morning, according to Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief

According to Ukrainian TV channel TSN, explosions were also heard in a number of areas, including Kremenchuk, Dnipro, Mykolayiv, Poltava, and Cherkasy.

In Dnipro, a woman and a kid perished. According to Interior Affairs Minister Ihor Klymenko, at least three people have died and eight more have been injured in the town of Uman in the Cherkasy area. A multistory house was struck by a missile.

Explosions are heard after strikes by Russia (4:15 a.m.)
On Friday morning, Russia launched further attacks on Ukraine. The capital of Ukraine, Kyiv, heard several explosions, the first such attacks in more than a month.

Authorities in Kiev said that the air defence systems were operational.

According to Tass, which cites Ukrainian TV channel TCH, explosions were also heard in the Kremenchuk, Dnipro, Mykolayiv, Poltava, and Cherkassy regions.

Following the government's announcement that it will transfer the management of confiscated overseas assets to domestic enterprises that have been harmed by sanctions, the Russian oil giant Rosneft PJSC may come into control of local utilities controlled by Germany's Uniper SE and Finland's Fortum Oyj.

Following a presidential directive allowing state control of such assets under specific circumstances, top Rosneft executives were nominated to lead the Fortum and Uniper businesses, the companies stated on Wednesday. According to the Interfax news service, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev said on Thursday that "the management would be carried out by a corporation that has suffered from unfriendly countries."

The ministry claimed it expressed its displeasure over the "provocative" steps that stopped Russian media from obtaining visas to a senior US diplomat. This week, Lavrov presided over UN Security Council meetings as Russia rotated its leadership.

Gershkovich, 31, was detained in March while travelling to the Russian Urals city of Yekaterinburg on a reporting assignment. He is currently being incarcerated in Moscow's Lefortovo prison on espionage-related charges.

According to a footage shown on Russian official television, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell spoke on the phone with two Russian impersonators of Zelenskiy.

The video shows Powell responding to inquiries about anything from the prospects for inflation to the Russian central bank, apparently believing he was speaking to Zelenskiy. There were a number of clips that each lasted for roughly 15 minutes, and it's unknown whether the footage was changed.

Ukraine raises its growth forecast while maintaining rates (1:30 p.m.)
The central bank of Ukraine held interest rates steady and upped its forecast for economic growth by more than six times, suggesting it would start undoing the effects of wartime monetary tightening sooner than anticipated.

The expectation for economic growth in 2023 was lifted to 2% from 0.3% earlier, and the end-year inflation forecast was lowered to 14.8% from 18.7%.

Now is the difficult part for Xi. Following Zelenskiy Call (1 p.m.)
Chinese leader Xi Jinping faces more difficult obstacles in his efforts to put a stop to Russia's war in Ukraine, which this week entered its 15th month, after finally speaking with the president of that country.

Xi's efforts to present China as a neutral mediator were already hampered by his close friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin; now, an uproar generated by a Chinese official who questioned the sovereignty of former Soviet states last week has dealt him another blow.

Questions about when a Chinese envoy may travel to Ukraine and if Beijing would back any move by Moscow to retain captured territory have so far been avoided or dismissed by Chinese officials.

Further OPEC+ Reduction Are Not Needed, Says Russia, according to Interfax (12 p.m.)
According to Interfax, which cited Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, there is no need for further limits to oil production beyond those that major producers have already agreed to.

"We only made this choice a month ago, and it 

Grain Export Agreement Renewal: Prime Minister Requests Assistance from Italy and the Vatican (12:20 p.m.)
Minister Denys Shmyhal stated in Rome that Ukraine needs assistance from all of its allies, including Italy and Pope Francis, to put pressure on Russia to continue operating the grains deal corridor after May 18 without extra restrictions.

He argued that Russia needs to be pressed to stop restricting the export of Ukrainian wheat as it is now doing.