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Ukraine war: Zelenskyy warns of Russian advances, Kharkiv strike death toll rises, peace summit

Military medics give first aid to a wounded Ukrainian soldier at a medical stabilisation point near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine
Military medics give first aid to a wounded Ukrainian soldier at a medical stabilisation point near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine Copyright Iryna Rybakova/AP
Copyright Iryna Rybakova/AP
By Daniel Harper
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The death toll from a bombing in Kharkiv has risen to 14, as Ukraine's president warns of increased Russian military activity near the northern border.

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The number of people killed in a devastating Russian bombing of a DIY store in the northern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv has risen to 14. 

The Saturday afternoon attack left 43 people injured, according to Kharkiv governor Oleh Syniehubov. 

Russian troops recently captured villages in the Kharkiv region, with analysts saying they are aiming to get within artillery range of the city. 

More than 11,000 people have been evacuated from the region since 10 May due to the escalating Russian offensive. 

The Ukrainian General Staff, meanwhile, reported intense battles in the Chasiv Yar direction of the eastern Donetsk region, with Ukrainian forces actively repelling Russian advances.

Russia launched extensive missile and drone attacks across Ukraine, with Ukrainian air defences intercepting many threats, although some missiles and drones did cause damage.

In Russia, Ukrainian attacks reportedly injured four people in the Belgorod region, with several drones shot down over the Kursk and Oryol border regions.

Zelenskyy urges world leaders to attend Ukraine peace summit

Ukraine's president has called for Joe Biden and China's Xi Jinping to attend a peace summit in Switzerland next month. 

Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed for their support to ensure global efforts for peace are effective in a video address from Kharkiv. 

The summit, set for June 15 to 16, aims to gather international leaders to discuss the Ukraine conflict, with more than 80 countries confirmed to attend. 

Zelenskyy emphasised the importance of their participation in countering Russian deception.

Russia was not invited to the summit, with president Putin acknowledging their exclusion. 

China expressed support for a peace conference involving both Russia and Ukraine, although their involvement remains cautious. 

The summit seeks to reinforce international solidarity with Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict.

Firefighters put out a fire after Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine
Firefighters put out a fire after Russian attack in Kharkiv, UkraineAndrii Marienko/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

Heightened concerns over Russian military movements

Zelenskyy has warned of increased Russian military activity near Ukraine's northern border. 

Speaking from Kharkiv, he highlighted that Russian troops are preparing for intensified offensive actions, particularly around the Sumy region. 

Ukrainian forces are on high alert, working to prevent Russian advances and protect key cities from artillery range. 

The warning follows extensive Russian missile and drone attacks across multiple Ukrainian regions. 

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Ukrainian air defence units have intercepted many threats, yet the persistent attacks signify the escalating conflict. 

The international community remains vigilant as Ukraine braces for potential escalations and continues its defensive operations.

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