Hello and welcome back to the Guardian’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine.
I’m Samantha Lock and I will be bringing you all the latest developments for the next short while.
In a fairly explosive new development, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, fired the country’s head of the security service and the prosecutor general on Sunday, citing dozens of cases of collaboration with Russia by officials in their agencies.
Military officials in both Ukraine and the UK have also warned Russia is preparing for the next stage of its offensive.
It is 7.30am in Kyiv and here is where things currently stand:
The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has fired the country’s head of the security service and the prosecutor general, claiming more than 60 of their employees have been “working against” Ukraine in Russian-occupied territory. He added that 651 criminal proceedings had been registered relating to high treason and collaboration by employees of prosecutors’ offices, pretrial investigation bodies and other law enforcement agencies.
Russia is preparing for the next stage of its offensive in Ukraine, according to Ukrainian military officials, after Moscow said its forces would step up military operations in “all operational areas”. The Ukrainian military said Russia appeared to be regrouping units for an offensive towards Sloviansk, a symbolically important city held by Ukraine in the eastern region of Donetsk. The British defence ministry added that Russia was also reinforcing its defensive positions across the occupied areas in southern Ukraine.
1,346 civilians have been found dead in the Kyiv region after the retreat of Russian forces, according to the region’s police chief. Andriy Nebytov said about 300 individuals were still missing, and that 700 of those killed were shot with small arms such as a handgun.
Russia has lost more than 30% of its land combat effectiveness and 50,000 of its soldiershaveeither died or been injured in the conflict, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the chief of the UK defence staff, told the BBC. The military chief added that Russia posed “the biggest threat” to the UK and that its challenge would endure for decades.
Mourners have buried a four-year-old girl who was killed by a Russian missile strike in the city of Vinnytsia, in central Ukraine, last week. The killing of Liza Dmitrieva, who had Down’s syndrome, as she was pushed in a stroller through a crowded square was reported around the globe, becoming a poignant symbol of the heavy civilian cost of Russia’s invasion.
Russian missiles hit an industrial and infrastructure facility in Mykolaiv, a shipbuilding centre and city near the Black Sea in southern Ukraine. Oleksandr Senkevych, the city’s mayor, said there was no immediate information about casualties.
A Russian attack on the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut in Donetsk has injured six people, including three children, according to local media reports. The three injured children have shrapnel wounds, the Donetsk prosecutor’s office said.
A British man apparently being held captive by Russian forces in Ukraine has been shown in a video appealing to Boris Johnson for help, saying he could face the death penalty. “I would say to Boris Johnson, if you can help, if you can influence President Zelenskiy … or if you can influence President Putin, then please do,” John Harding, in his 50s and originally from Sunderland, said while interviewed by a Russian journalist. “People’s lives are depending on this. So if you can, please help.”
Russian police have detained journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who in March interrupted a live TV broadcast to denounce the military action in Ukraine, her lawyer has said. No official statement has been made, but her entourage posted a message on the journalist’s Telegram account on Sunday, according to Agence France-Presse. “Marina has been detained,” it read. “There is no information on where she is.”
Sunday marked the eighth anniversary of the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Donetsk in 2014, which killed 298 people onboard. Russia denied involvement in the plane’s downing, despite the findings of an international investigation that found witnesses who saw an anti-aircraft missile launcher that had secretly crossed into Ukraine from Russia in the hours before it shot down the commercial flight. Iryna Venediktova, the prosecutor general of Ukraine, called for international action against Russia.
A Ukrainian cargo plane transporting munitions from Serbia to Bangladesh crashed and exploded in northern Greece, killing all eight crew onboard. Serbia’s defence minister, Nebojša Stefanović, said the plane was carrying 11.5 tonnes of military products, including illuminating mortar shells and training shells, and the buyer was the Bangladesh defence ministry. A Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesperson said all eight crew members onboard were Ukrainian citizens.
The European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, will travel to Baku on Monday to seek more natural gas from Azerbaijan, the EU’s executive said, as the EU seeks to reduce its reliance on Russian energy.
The European Union is to discuss tightening sanctions against Russia on Monday, as Moscow is accused of using the captured Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant to store weapons and launch missiles on the surrounding regions of southern Ukraine.