Ukraine war updates: Kyiv downs Russian missiles in early attack

Friday, 2 June 2023 (10:54 IST)
Ukrainian defense systems shot down more than 30 Russian drones and missiles over Kyiv on Friday, authorities said.
"According to preliminary information, more than 30 air targets of various types were detected and destroyed in the airpsace over and around Kyiv by air defense forces," Kyiv military authorites said in a statement.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, who earlier in the day reported two separate wave of attacks, wrote on Telegram there had been no calls for rescue services yet.
Air raid sirens were heard across Ukraine early Friday morning, as Russia launched a new wave of strikes. The alarms were then turned off after the fresh wave of attack was thwarted.
Russian strikes on Thursday killed three people, including a child, in Kyiv.
Moscow has ramped up aerial attacks since the beginning of May, as Ukraine prepares for an anticipated counteroffensive.
Here are some of the other developments concerning Russia's war in Ukraine on Friday, June 2:
Russia shoots down Ukrainian drones in border region, says governor
Russian air defense systems have shot down several Ukrainian drones near the border region of Kursk, regional governor Roman Starovoyt said.
He urged residents to stay calm, saying: "The city is under the reliable protection of our army."
The western Russian region of Kursk has been repeatedly shelled by the Ukrainian army as the conflict dragged on.
Ukraine should 'stay on path' to NATO, former deputy Secretary-General tells DW
Rose Gottemoeller, former deputy Secretary-General of NATO, told DW that Ukraine must continue on its "path" towards membership in the military alliance.
Gottemoeller explained that for Kyiv to join NATO, it needs to "stay on the path it's been on" since Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
"That is to work hard on integrating its military capability and capacity into the NATO style of fighting," she said, adding that the military alliance had done "a lot" to help train Ukrainians since 2014.
She said she believes NATO military aid will continue for Ukraine in the medium and long term.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has repeatedly said that Ukraine belongs in the alliance but they need to be mindful about processes.
But dicussing NATO membership for a country that is in the middle of the war is not a feasible one, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said at an informal meeting of NATO ministers in Oslo on Thursday.
NATO is set for its annual summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on July 11 and 12. 
Zelenskyy says Ukrainian peace plan only way forward
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejected peace plans that took into account Russia's concerns to end the war in Ukraine.
Zelenskyy made the comments in a surprise visit to neighboring Moldova for a European leaders' summit on Thursday, where he pressed dozens of leaders present for NATO and European Union membership.
He renewed calls for endorsing the peace plan for Ukraine, saying: "In war, there is an aggressor and there is a victim." 
The Ukrainian president said that "A peace plan cannot be prepared by the aggressor — it is prepared by those who have suffered." 
"People from other continents do not stand aside... we will be grateful if they come to us, not imposing, but offering. This is a dialogue," he added.
Russia's war in Ukraine, which has entered its 16th month, has split the world. Nonaligned countries like South Africa, India, Brazil have called on both countries to end the conflict.
China, which shares warm relations with Russia, has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict. South Africa has offered a peace plan with some other African countries.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba visited African countries to garner support for their peace plan at the end of May, after Zelenskyy made stops at an Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia and at a Group of Seven (G7) summit in Japan.

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