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Ukraine updates: 7 killed in Russian drone strike on Kharkiv

Published February 10, 2024last updated February 10, 2024

Dozens of people were evacuated when an Iranian-made drone sparked a massive fire in Ukraine's second-largest city. Meanwhile, US lawmakers are still trying to pass a multibillion-dollar package for Kyiv. DW has more.

Firefighters put out a fire at a gas station after a Russian attack on a residential neighborhood in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024.
The overnight attack hit a petrol filling station in Kharkiv and so caused a much larger fire than a more typical drone strikeImage: Yevhen Titov/AP Photo/picture alliance
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

Three children were among seven people killed overnight into Saturday when Ukraine's northeastern city of Kharkiv was struck by a Russian drone.

In an interview with a German newspaper, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg urged European countries to increase their production of weapons and ammunition to ward off Russia's military threat.

The US Senate continues to push through a new $60 billion aid bill for Ukraine, despite fierce opposition by some Republican lawmakers.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's new military chief — appointed this week — says he will prioritize the use of drones and electronic warfare to counter Russia's invasion.

This live updates article has been closed. Thanks for reading. For the latest developments concerning the war in Ukraine, please click here

Here's a look at developments in Russia's war in Ukraine on Saturday, February 10.

Skip next section Zelenskyy: Military shake-up ongoing, talks with Macron
February 10, 2024

Zelenskyy: Military shake-up ongoing, talks with Macron

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said rescue efforts were ongoing in Kharkiv after what he described as Iranian-made Russian drones hit a gasoline filling station in the country's second most populous city. He called for those behind such attacks to one day face justice, and said that they would. 

Zelenskyy said he had spent the day in meetings with the military and the government. This follows his appointment of a new commander-in-chief of the military earlier in the week. 

"We continue to reboot the management of the Armed Forces," he said. "Now, people who are well known in the army and who themselves know what the army needs are taking on new responsibilities." 

He described the new senior officers as "combat commanders of this war, whose experience will be useful at the all-army level," before listing several individuals and new roles. 

Zelenskyy also said that he had spoken with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday in what he called "very fruitful, much-needed talks." 

He said he had updated Macron on the frontline fighting, and also discussed threats for Kyiv and its needs. 

"We discussed the current shortage of artillery rounds and how we can fill it," Zelenskyy said. 

How much aid has Ukraine received from the EU?

Skip next section Several arrested at Russian anti-war protests
February 10, 2024

Several arrested at Russian anti-war protests

Police in the Russian cities of Moscow and Yekaterinburg made several arrests during protests by relatives of Russian soldiers mobilized for the war in Ukraine.

The Russian OWD-Info civil rights website reported that five people were led away in Yekaterinburg, a large city in the Urals, as they laid flowers at a military monument.

In Moscow, police detained two journalists, the independent Russian SOTA website reported. Both were subsequently released.

The Moscow rally was held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Kremlin Wall, amid a large police presence.

A long queue of people, many with red carnations, formed in front of the memorial.

Ahead of the demonstration, Moscow's state prosecutor had issued a statement warning that the gathering was illegal, along with calls made on social media calling on the public to show up.

Last weekend, several journalists were among those detained in Moscow as they reported on a similar anti-war rally.

Skip next section Russia ramping up military drone production, says defense minister
February 10, 2024

Russia ramping up military drone production, says defense minister

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says the country has ramped up the production of military drones in the past year.

"The production capacities that have been created allow us to complete most of the tasks that we are faced with today," Shoigu said in video footage published by his ministry.

The defense minister admitted that certain technical issues related to the technology still needed tackling.

He made the comments during a tour of drone production facilities in the Volga River region of Udmurtia.

Russia previously vowed to build 6,000 attack drones by summer 2025.

Last month, TASS news agency cited the government as saying that Moscow now planned to produce 32,000 drones a year by 2030 and for domestic producers to account for 70% of the market.

Western sanctions imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 made it difficult for the country to import parts needed to produce unmanned combat aerial vehicles.

Until now, Russia has had to rely on cheap Iranian-made Shahed drones to launch attacks on Ukraine.

Skip next section Ukrainian drone attack on Bryansk repelled, says Moscow
February 10, 2024

Ukrainian drone attack on Bryansk repelled, says Moscow

Russia's air force intercepted three Ukrainian drones over Russia's southwestern Bryansk region early Saturday, the Defense Ministry in Moscow said.

No details were initially given about injuries or damage but the Ministry said the drones had been destroyed.

The information could not be independently verified.

The Bryansk region has been targeted by Kyiv's military before now.

Last month, a Ukrainian drone attack sparked a blaze at an oil depot in the city of Klintsy, about 60 kilometers (40 miles) from the Ukrainian border.

Four oil reservoirs with a total capacity of 6,000 cubic meters (1.6 million gallons) burned for several hours.

Skip next section Lithuania delivers winter military supplies to Ukraine
February 10, 2024

Lithuania delivers winter military supplies to Ukraine

Lithuania has sent winter clothing and equipment to the Ukrainian military, the Defence Ministry in Vilnius said late on Friday.

"We are supplying gear and clothes to tens of thousands of Ukrainian fighters to keep them protected from cold weather conditions while positioned in field conditions," Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said.

"Every package we contribute is also one more step closer to victory," he added.

Lithuania has been a staunch ally of Ukraine, particularly since Russia began its invasion in February 2022.

The Baltic state has so far delivered €0.9 billion ($0.97 billion) in military, financial, humanitarian and reconstruction support to Kyiv.

The country is the second-largest contributor worldwide in terms of percentage of its GDP, according to a tracker on global support for Ukraine by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IFW Kiel).

Lithuania, along with most other European countries, is also hosting tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.

Skip next section German army chief meets new Ukrainian counterpart in Kyiv
February 10, 2024

German army chief meets new Ukrainian counterpart in Kyiv

The head of Germany's army Carsten Breuer has traveled to Kyiv for talks with Ukraine's newly appointed military chief.

In his first full day on the job on Friday, Olexander Syrskyi updated his German counterpart about the situation on the front and thanked Berlin for helping to boost Ukraine's defense against Russia's invasion.

"The needs of the Ukrainian defense forces in weaponry, ammunition and air defense systems were discussed," Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umyerov wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, following the talks.

Both sides focused on "fruitful cooperation, effective communication, and a real-time exchange of experience," he added. 

Syrskyi replaced Valery Zaluzhnyi on Thursday after weeks of rumors about the latter's future almost two years into the conflict.

Skip next section Kyiv's new military chief seeks more drones, electronic warfare
February 10, 2024

Kyiv's new military chief seeks more drones, electronic warfare

The new chief of Ukraine's armed forces Oleksandr Syrskyi has said one of his top priorities is to step up the use of drones and electronic warfare.

Syrskyi said this technology was key to Ukraine's future success in liberating occupied territory from Russian forces.

"Only by changing and constantly improving the means and methods of warfare will we be able to successfully pursue this path," he wrote on Telegram.

Syrskyi described the rapid and efficient supply of front-line troops as equally important, adding that, "the lives and health of the soldiers were and remain the most important value of the Ukrainian army."

He said military leaders want troops to be rotated from the front more often, and be given more rest periods and training.

The replacement of exhausted troops and further mobilization has been the subject of heated debate in recent months.

Syrskyi replaced former military chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi, who was fired on Thursday after nearly two years of conflict and following the failure of Ukraine's counteroffensive.

Zaluzhnyi and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fell out after the armed forces commander warned of endless casualties and destruction without new technology.

Zaluzhnyi had also recently called for up to half a million draftees, which the president was against.

The former military chief has been awarded the honorary title of Hero of Ukraine.

Skip next section NATO head urges Europe to increase arms production
February 10, 2024

NATO head urges Europe to increase arms production

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called on Europe to shift to "high tempo conflict production" of arms to step up support for Ukraine against Russia's invasion.

Ahead of a key meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels next Friday, Stoltenberg insisted that "we need to reconstitute and expand our industrial base faster, to increase deliveries to Ukraine and refill our own stocks."

"This means shifting from slow peacetime to high-tempo conflict production," he told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, adding that it would prevent "potentially decades of confrontation" with Moscow.

Stoltenberg said: "There is no imminent military threat against any ally," but emphasized that "peace in Europe cannot be taken for granted."

"As long as we invest in our security and we stay united, we will continue to deter any aggression."

Ukraine has continued to press its allies for more shells, ammunition and other military aid as the conflict prepares to enter its third year later this month.

At a meeting at the White House Friday, US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged US lawmakers Friday to approve a long-delayed military aid package for Ukraine.

"The failure of the United States' Congress in not supporting Ukraine is close to criminal neglect," Biden said as he hosted Scholz.

The chancellor said: "Without the support of the United States, and the support of the European states, Ukraine will have not a chance to defend its own country."

Scholz, Biden discuss Ukraine war aid deadlock in Washington

Skip next section Ukraine aid bill inches forward in US Senate
February 10, 2024

Ukraine aid bill inches forward in US Senate

The United States Senate is working through the weekend to try and pass the $95.3 billion (€88.4 billion) aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other allies, despite continued objections from some Republican lawmakers.

The package would commit an extra $60 billion for Kyiv's fight against Russia, mostly to purchase US-made defense equipment, including munitions and air defense systems. It also includes $8 billion for the Ukrainian government.

Senators advanced to the next preliminary steps with a 64-19 vote late into the night Friday, with 14 Republicans joining Democrats to move it forward.

Next to financial aid, US military hardware vital for Kyiv

The Senate could hold a final vote Sunday, ahead of a two-week recess, but the plan would still face a major challenge passing the upper House of Representatives.

In that chamber, the Republican majority is even more hostile to helping Ukraine, as the war prepares to enter its third year.

House Speaker Mike Johnson has indicated he could split the aid for the US allies into separate bills.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday evening again urged US lawmakers to approve the new bill.

"I am convinced that Congress will make the decision to support Ukraine with the necessary aid. This will strengthen our defense," he said in Kyiv.

Skip next section Russia's overnight drone strike on Kharkiv kills 7, including 3 children
February 10, 2024

Russia's overnight drone strike on Kharkiv kills 7, including 3 children

Ukraine's second-largest city Kharkiv was hit by a Russian drone strike overnight, which killed at least seven people, the region's governor said.

Governor Oleh Syniehubov said the Iranian-made Shahed drone hit civilian infrastructure and caused a massive fire that burned down 15 private houses, prompting the evacuation of dozens of residents.

Three children were among the dead.

The head of the local prosecutor's office Oleksandr Filchakov said in a video posted on Telegram that three drones hit the petrol station in the city.

"There was a great deal of fuel and that's why there are these dreadful consequences from the fire," Filchakov said.

The Ukrainian Air Force said air defense systems destroyed 23 out of 31 Shahed drones launched by Russia overnight, which mostly struck the northeastern Kharkiv region and the southern province of Odesa.

Odesa regional governor Oleh Kiper said four people were injured there by the overnight drone attacks, including in the port city of Odesa.

Romania, meanwhile, said Russia staged overnight drone attacks on Ukraine's river ports of Ismail and Reni, near the Romanian border.

Air Force planes were deployed to monitor the situation and nearby residents were sent text alerts.

Life endures in Kharkiv despite constant Russian fire

mm/ab (AFP, Reuters, AP, dpa)