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Strikes on Kharkiv, Ukraine-NATO Council meeting - Thursday brief

Strikes on Kharkiv, Ukraine-NATO Council meeting - Thursday brief Collage by RBC-Ukraine

Russian invaders massively attacked Kharkiv with Shaheds, hitting residential buildings and killing four people. A meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council was held in Brussels, where special attention was paid to the issue of strengthening air defense.

Read more about what happened on Thursday, April 4, below.

Russia's war against Ukraine: Latest news

Russian army attacked Kharkiv- Hits on residential buildings and casualties reported

On the night of April 4, Russian troops attacked Kharkiv with dozens of Shahed-type kamikaze drones. In particular, a three-story residential building and a 14-story building came under enemy attack. According to the command of the Ukrainian Air Force, the occupiers used a total of 20 kamikaze drones to attack Kharkiv and the region and managed to shoot down more than half of them.

As a result of the attack, 4 people were killed, including 3 rescuers who arrived at the scene and were hit again by the enemy. 12 people were also injured. In addition, the Neutron Source nuclear subcritical facility in Kharkiv was de-energized after the enemy attack.

Read more about the consequences of that night's attack in RBC-Ukraine's article.

In addition, the Russian invaders struck Kharkiv several more times that day: around one o'clock in the afternoon, later in the evening, and around midnight.

NATO-Ukraine Council meeting: Main topics and statements

On April 4, the NATO-Ukraine Council met at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said his main message was to provide additional Patriot systems to the Ukrainian forces.

The Ukrainian minister also said that Germany is immediately searching for all available Patriot batteries and other air defense systems, not only among allies but also worldwide, to transfer them to Ukraine. He said he had a conversation with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock at a NATO-Ukraine Council meeting to discuss Ukraine's air defense.

For his part, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg assured that the allies are looking for ways to support Kyiv and bring Ukraine closer to NATO membership.

In addition, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken discussed in Brussels the acceleration of the provision of additional Patriot missile systems to Ukraine. The Ukrainian official noted that Blinken took "action right away to reciprocate this call."

Romanian Foreign Minister Luminița Odobescu said that NATO member states should take ambitious actions to support Ukraine at the Alliance's summit in Washington, July 9-11.

Latvia prepared new aid package for Ukraine and will donate drones worth €1 million

Latvian Prime Minister Evika Silina said that her country had provided Ukraine with the next military aid package this month. She also noted that Latvia has joined the drone coalition and is actively working in that direction. Ukraine is set to receive a batch of drones soon.

In addition, the head of the Latvian government said the country would allocate 10 million euros to the Czech initiative to purchase ammunition for Ukrainian forces.

Ukraine aid vote in US Congress may be delayed by several weeks, Bloomberg

The vote in the US House of Representatives on aid to Ukraine is unlikely until at least mid-April. The delay could be even longer as Speaker Mike Johnson is still seeking ways to soften resistance from Republican supporters of a hardline stance.

Johnson's team has not shared any detailed plan for the aid package with Republican lawmakers, and it seems they have not yet decided on what concessions he would insist on from the President Joe Biden administration. So, party officials said it's difficult for him to secure support for a vote next week.

In an interview with Fox News, the Speaker stated that he would propose new conditions for the aid. These conditions may include converting the aid into a loan that Ukraine will eventually be obligated to repay, confiscating Russian assets as compensation, and lifting the Biden administration's moratorium on new licenses for liquefied natural gas exports, Johnson said.

The Biden administration rejected a deal to provide aid to Ukraine contingent on lifting the LNG export moratorium.

NATO expects Iran to start supplying ballistic missiles to Russia

Iran is likely to start transferring ballistic missiles to Russia. But this is not happening yet, according to Reuters.

"Iran has indicated it intends to do so and that it will ship ballistic missiles to Russia, and we have no reason to believe they won't follow through on that," the official said.

He emphasized that the Alliance has not yet seen any signs of such deliveries. According to the NATO representative, Tehran will begin the transfer as soon as it agrees with Moscow on "mutually beneficial terms."

China on Ukraine-Russia negotiations: 'Should be no winners and losers'

China will contribute efforts to the political resolution of the war in Ukraine, where there will be no "winner and loser", according to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang Wenbin.

As the spokesperson noted, China's position on the war in Ukraine is consistent, clear, and transparent. Currently, there is a risk of further deterioration and escalation, therefore efforts should be made to end the conflict through negotiations rather than military actions.

"There should be no winner and loser in a political settlement. Rather, it should be peace that prevails. China will continue to play a constructive role to that end. China is neither the one that created the conflict nor a party to it and has never provided lethal weapons or equipment to any party."

According to Wenbin, Beijing is not seeking to benefit from the war, and other countries should not "smear and attack normal relations between China and Russia."