Live Updates | Japan to double aid to Ukraine to $600 million

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday his country would double its financial aid to Ukraine to $600 million to support the country badly damaged by Russian aggression.

Japan will provide the additional $300 million through the World Bank to help Ukraine’s financial difficulties due to the Russian invasion, Kishida said.

The announcement comes ahead of Japan hosting US President Joe Biden and two other leaders for a regional strategic framework known as the Quad Summit and bilateral meetings next week, when Kishida is expected to focus on the Japanese support for Ukraine.

Japan quickly joined the United States and other Group of Seven countries and Europe in their sanctions against Moscow for its war in Ukraine, over fears that Russia’s move would embolden China in the region.

The new commitment, combined with the $300 million pledged by Japan last month, brings Tokyo’s total contribution to $600 million.

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINE WAR:

– The Battle of Mariupol draws to a close after the surrender

— UN chief ‘hopes’ for grain deal with Ukraine to help with food crisis

— Senate confirms Brink as new U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

– US intelligence shows Russians fear Mariupol abuses will backfire

— Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

MOSCOW — A provincial governor in western Russia says a civilian was killed by cross-border shelling from Ukraine.

Kursk Governor Roman Starovoit said Ukrainian shelling hit a driver early Thursday who was driving his truck to a distillery in the village of Tetkino.

Starovoit said several other people were injured in Thursday’s shelling.

Russian authorities have repeatedly reported damage and casualties from the Ukrainian bombardment of border areas.

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KYIV, Ukraine – A regional governor in Ukraine said four civilians were killed by the latest Russian bombardment.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said they died on Wednesday when Russian troops shelled the town of Sievierodonetsk. He added that three other residents were injured.

Haidai said the Russian shelling continued early Thursday. Sievierodonetsk is at the epicenter of the fighting in the east where Russian forces have tried to continue their offensive amid fierce Ukrainian resistance.

Separatist authorities in the Donetsk region bordering Luhansk in eastern Ukraine said two civilians were killed and five others injured in Ukrainian shelling over the past 24 hours.

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WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Bridget Brink as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine on Wednesday night, serving as officials plan to return U.S. diplomats to kyiv during the country’s ongoing battle against Russian invasion.

The veteran foreign service officer, who has spent most of his career in the shadow of the former Soviet Union, was named to the post last month by President Joe Biden.

Brink was unanimously confirmed by the Senate without a formal roll-call vote.

US diplomats evacuated kyiv when the war began three months ago, but Brink told senators during her confirmation hearing earlier this month that she would work to reopen the embassy.

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KYIV, Ukraine – The military administration of the region that includes Melitopol on Wednesday reported new resistance actions against Russian troops who have occupied the southern city since the start of the war.

He said a grenade exploded near a Russian command post, followed by an exchange of fire. No casualties were reported.

On Tuesday, the regional administration said Ukrainian resistance fighters had killed several high-ranking Russian officers in the occupied city. The report could not be independently confirmed.

Also on Wednesday, a Russian armored train carrying troops and ammunition overturned in Melitopol, causing the ammunition to explode, the regional administration said on Telegram.

He said the Russian military fails to maintain the tracks while overloading the trains, and as a result of negligence and “with the help” of resistance fighters, the armored train derailed.