Ukraine comes under Russian missile fire during Eurovision

Ukraine came under fire from Russian missiles during the Eurovision Song Contest.

Ternopil, the university home town of the Ukrainian act Tvorchi was among the places targeted, according to Dame Melinda Simmons, the British Ambassador to Ukraine.

“Meanwhile, this #Eurovision night Ukraine is under another Russian missile attack,” Dame Melinda tweeted.

Praising Ukraine’s entrants in the song contest, Dame Melinda added: “Tvorchi (definitely) win the prize for graphics. The staging was brilliant.

“And poignant as their university home town of Ternopil was targeted by (Russian) missiles this eve.”

Earlier, localised Ukrainian advances are continuing in the fiercely-contested city of Bakhmut, where the battle has ground on for months and claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Defenders are seeking to cut off Russian troops by surrounding them from the north and south, a defence and security analyst told Sky News.

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Much of the city has been raised to the ground, leaving behind vast smoking ruins that have been compared to First World War battlefields.

It comes as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the Vatican and met with Pope Francis on Saturday.

Ukrainian advances in Bakhmut continue

Defenders forced Russian troops to withdraw from the southern flank of the Bakhmut operation “in bad order”, highlighting a “severe shortage of credible combat units”, according to British military intelligence.

Ukraine’s deputy defence minister says Ukrainian troops are advancing in two directions in Bakhmut but the situation in the city centre is more complicated.

“Thanks to the competent planning of the command and the courage of our fighters, the enemy is not able to take the city under its control”, Hanna Malyar added.

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Has Ukraine’s offensive begun?

Russia has acknowledged that its forces have been pushed back in and around the city, blunting a months-long offensive by Kremlin troops that has failed to make significant territorial gains and suffered huge numbers of casualties.

Military analyst Michael Clarke told Sky News that Ukrainian forces appear to be attempting to cut off Russian troops positioned in the centre of Bakhmut by surrounding them from the north and south.

Two Russian army brigades “look as if they have given up the high ground” which the leader of the Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozhin was “furious with” for leaving his men exposed inside the city, said Mr Clarke.

“He may have to withdraw from Bakhmut, having taken seven-eighths of the city.”

This is just one of many military probes we can expect to see over the next two weeks, before it becomes clear where Ukraine is really trying to break through the frontline, Mr Clarke said.

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Zelenskyy meets Pope Francis

Meanwhile, President Zelenskyy visited the Vatican on Saturday, presenting Pope Francis with a bulletproof vest painted with an icon of the Madonna.

He asked the pontiff to back Kyiv’s peace plan and the Pope indicated the Vatican would help in the repatriation of Ukrainian children taken by Russians.

“It is a great honour,” Zelenskyy told Francis, putting his hand to his heart and bowing his head as he greeted the 86-year-old Pope, who stood with a cane.

Earlier on, President Zelenskyy met with Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni who promised that Italy would support Ukraine for all the time that is necessary.

The Italian premier vowed that she would not call “peace” anything that resembles an invasion.