KYIV - A massive fire has erupted at an oil reservoir in Crimea after it was hit by a drone, according to a Russia-appointed official in the region.

Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Moscow-installed governor of the Black Sea peninsula’s port city of Sevastopol, posted videos and photos of the blaze on his Telegram channel.

“The four fuel tanks that were hit, they are practically burnt out already,” he said in a video.

Mr Razvozhayev added that the fire was assigned the highest ranking in terms of how complicated it will be to extinguish.

He did not say whether the drone he cited as causing the fire was Ukrainian.

It comes as Ukraine has vowed to launch a counterattack after Moscow launched a large-scale missile assault on Friday that killed at least 23 including four children.

Russia launched a barrage of missiles overnight on Thursday into Friday morning across a number of cities, including Kyiv, Dnipro and Uman.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said: “This Russian terror must face a fair response from Ukraine and the world.”

Key points

- Drone causes fire at Crimea oil reservoir

- At least 25 killed including 4 children in Russian missile attack

- Ukraine vows ‘iron fist’ counterattack after Russian missile strikes

- Putin signs decree introducing life sentences for treason

Drone causes fire at Crimea oil reservoir

A massive fire erupted at an oil reservoir in Crimea after it was hit by a drone, a Russia-appointed official there reported Saturday.

Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Moscow-installed governor of the Black Sea peninsula’s port city of Sevastopol, posted videos and photos of the blaze on his Telegram channel.

Razvozhayev said the fire was assigned the highest ranking in terms of how complicated it will be to extinguish.He did not say whether the drone he cited as causing the fire was Ukrainian.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a move that most of the world considered illegal. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said his country is seeking to reclaim the peninsula during Russia‘s current full-scale invasion.

Ukrainian officials did not immediately comment on the oil reservoir fire.

After previous attacks on Crimea, Kyiv usually stopped short of openly claiming responsibility but emphasized that the country had the right to strike any target in response to Russian aggression.

Photos taken from a video released by the Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhaev telegram channel on Saturday show smoke and flame rise from a burning fuel tank in Sevastopol, Crimea.

Russian embassy’s statement on Irishman killed in Ukraine criticised as ‘chilling’

Ireland’s Russian embassy has warned of possible “ensuing consequences” in response to tributes paid to an Irishman killed while fighting in Ukraine.

The comments have been criticised by a former minister for justice as “threatening” and “chilling”.

Finbar Cafferkey, from Achill Island in Co Mayo, is reported to have been killed while serving as a military volunteer in the eastern part of Ukraine.

Mr Cafferkey had previous combat experience in the Syrian conflict, and those paying tribute to him have described him as an activist on issues such as environmentalism and migration.

In the wake of his death, Irish deputy premier Micheal Martin expressed his sympathies to his family and said Mr Cafferkey was “obviously a young man of clear principles”.

Pope Francis warns of rising nationalism in Europe as he begins Hungary trip

Pope Francis has warned of the dangers of rising nationalism in Europe, and told the Hungarian government that accepting migrants, as the rest of the continent does, would be a true sign of Christianity.

At the start of a three-day trip to Hungary, the pontiff made a hard-hitting speech to government leaders including the prime minister, Viktor Orban, who has had a series of run-ins with the European Union. Francis urged a rejection of “self-referential forms of populism” and strictly nationalist interests.

The Pope also called for a return to the “European soul” envisioned by those who had laid the groundwork for modern Europe after the Second World War, saying nations had to “look beyond national boundaries”.

ICYMI: Ukraine vows ‘iron fist’ counterattack after Russian missile strikes

Ukraine has said it is concluding its preparations for a huge ground assault to try and reclaim land seized by Russia after Moscow launched its first large-scale missile assault in weeks that killed at least 23 people.

Artwork showing train journey through Ukraine goes on show ahead of Eurovision

An art installation showing Ukraine from the perspective of refugees on a train has gone on display at Liverpool Cathedral as the city prepares to host the Eurovision Song Contest.

The work, Izyum to Liverpool by Katya Buchatska, features 12 television screens showing the view from train windows during a 24-hour journey across the war-torn country.

It is one of a number of works commissioned as part of EuroFestival, a cultural programme running alongside the song contest, which is being hosted by Liverpool on behalf of last year’s winner Ukraine.

US 'deeply disappointed' after Russia denies request to visit detained Wall Street Journal reporter

The US is “deeply disappointed” after its request to visit detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was denied by Russia, reported CNN.

At a State Department briefing on Friday principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said: “We have been clear and consistent that American nationals detained abroad, especially those American citizens who are wrongfully detained like Evan, like Paul Whelan, are allotted appropriate and regular consular access by our personnel.

“And so we’re going to continue to insist that.”

The statement comes after the Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday rejected the US’ request to see Mr Gershkovich.

The Russian ministry said that the decision was in response to Washington’s denial to provide visas to Russian reporters for foreign minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to the United Nations this week.

I was only joking about Bakhmut ceasefire, says Wagner chief

The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group said he had been joking when he offered to suspend artillery fire on Ukrainian forces in besieged Bakhmut.

Wagner has been spearheading Russia’s assault on the Ukrainian city since last summer in the longest and bloodiest battle of the war, but Ukrainian forces have so far thwarted its attempts to take full control.

Yevgeny Prigozhin said in an audio message: “A decision has been taken to suspend artillery fire so that American journalists can safely film Bakhmut and go home.”

South Korea considering its options on lethal aid to Ukraine

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said on Friday that Seoul was considering its options when it came to providing lethal aid to Ukraine.

In a speech at Harvard University’s Kennedy School on the fifth day of his state visit to the US, Mr Yoon called Russia’s invasion a violation of international law and the rights of Ukrainians.

When asked about the possibility of South Korea providing lethal aid to Ukraine, the president replied: “We are closely monitoring the situation that’s going on the battlefield in Ukraine and will take proper measures in order to uphold the international norms and international law.

“We are considering various options.”

Earlier Mr Yoon had said to Reuters in an interview last week that Seoul might extend its support for Ukraine beyond humanitarian and economic aid if it comes under a large-scale civilian attack, signalling a shift in his stance against arming Ukraine for the first time.

Zelensky meets with presidents of Slovakia and Czech Republic

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky met with the president of Slovakia, Zuzana Čaputová, and the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel.

Zelensky said they discussed military aid to help Ukraine address Russia’s invasion and “prepare for (the) counteroffensive,” as well as the forthcoming Nato summit in July in Vilnius, Lithuania.

“We are expecting ambitious decisions that will enforce Europe’s security,” he said. “The time has come to eliminate any uncertainty.”

There has long been talk of a Ukrainian spring counter-offensive against invading Russian forces, but it has still to materialize.

Czech president Pavel said what he saw in Ukraine reminded him of the devastation from wars in Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia.

“Fortunately, it hasn’t broken the Ukrainians,” said Pavel, a retired army general and former senior Nato official. “Russia has shown such an inclination to barbarism in recent years that I’m not surprised.”

Zelensky calls for removal of restrictions on Ukrainian food exports

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has called for removal of the ban on importing Ukrainian agricultural products in some neighbouring European countries in a call with European Union president Charles Michel.

“The artificial and illegal restriction of trade with the European Union is hitting Ukraine, resisting Russian aggression, both economically and politically,” Mr Zelensky said according to a release from his office.

“I’m convinced that in the conditions of war with Russia, Ukraine as a candidate country and the European Union must always adhere to the provisions of the Association Agreement and the rules and regulations of the EU Single Market.

“Therefore, any alternative to the legal approach will not be considered a solution to the problem,” he said.

Top diplomats visit Odesa to show support

Seven foreign ministers from a group of Ukraine‘s European backers visited the war-torn country Friday to express support for Kyiv in its defence against Russia’s invasion.

Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, hosting his counterparts from four Nordic and three Baltic countries in the southern port city of Odesa, repeated a plea for the delivery of US-made fighter jets to his country.

“(The jets) are needed to cover our brigades that are going to (counter-attack),” Kuleba said.

Although no promises were made, he added, “I have a feeling that our colleagues are well-disposed in this matter.”

Kuleba met with the foreign ministers of Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Because of government formation talks in Finland, the Nordic country was represented by a senior foreign ministry official.

“Through this visit, we manifest strong Nordic and Baltic support for Ukraine and its people,” said Tobias Billström of Sweden whose country currently holds the rotating six-month presidency of the European Union.

“I honestly don’t remember if Odesa ever hosted this many ministers of foreign affairs at once. If this is the first such time, we are glad, together with our colleagues, to set a new standard,” Kuleba said.

The Body in the Woods | An Independent TV Original Documentary

It was a month into Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Russian forces had withdrawn from around Kyiv and in their wake Bel Trew and her team stumbled on a body by an abandoned Russian camp.

His hands were tied. He had been burned and shot in the back. Soldiers said he was a teenager.

As Bel tried to find out who he was and what had happened, she uncovered a nightmare world: a nation struggling to find thousands of its missing and to identify its dead.

The Body in the Woods by Bel Trew is streaming now on Independent TV and on your smart TV: