Kramatorsk, Ukraine
Buildings damaged by shelling in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 19, 2022 as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues. Image Credit: Reuters

Russia-Ukraine conflict continues for the 25th day on Sunday. Follow the latest updates:

Recent developments in Russia-Ukraine conflict

US delivers air defence system to Slovakia

The US-made Patriot air defence system is on its way to Slovakia, Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad said Sunday, paving the way for Bratislava to possibly deliver similar hardware to Ukraine.

NATO member Slovakia said this week it was willing to provide its Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft system to Ukraine but only on the condition that it received a substitute to avoid an Alliance security gap.

US President Joe Biden promised to help Ukraine get air defence systems with a longer range than the shoulder-borne Stinger missiles already on the ground, but to do so without entering into direct conflict with Russia.

Strike on Kyiv apartment block wounds five

A shell exploded outside an apartment block in Kyiv, wounding five people, the mayor said Sunday.

The ten-storey building in northwestern Sviatoshyn district was badly damaged, with all the windows blown out and scorch marks from a fire that broke out, AFP journalists at the scene said.

Firefighters led an elderly woman and a disorientated man with facial injuries to an ambulance. Two burned-out cars lay in the debris-covered courtyard, which also houses a playground.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram that "the enemy's airstrikes" had wounded five people, two of whom were taken to hospital.

"It was lucky" that there were not more casualties, Sviatlana Vodolaga, a spokeswoman for the state emergency service told AFP, adding that six people were rescued from the block.

A kindergarten was also damaged but was empty at the time.

The boom of shelling and rocket fire could be heard in the distance from the scene, which is only a few kilometres from the frontline commuter town of Irpin.

Russian navy commander killed in Ukraine

A senior naval commander in Russia's Black Sea Fleet has been killed in Ukraine, the governor of Sevastopol said on Sunday.

Post-Captain Andrei Paliy, deputy commander of the fleet, died during fighting in the eastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said on the messaging app Telegram.

The Russian navy did not respond to a request for comment, Reuters reported.

Sevastopol, which is a major base of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, is located on the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Turkey says Russia, Ukraine 'close to agreement'

Turkey on Sunday said Russia and Ukraine made progress on their negotiations to halt the invasion and the two warring sides were close to an agreement.

"Of course, it is not an easy thing to come to terms with while the war is going on, while civilians are killed, but we would like to say that momentum is still gained," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in live comments from the southern Turkish province of Antalya.

"We see that the parties are close to an agreement."

Cavusoglu this week visited Russia and Ukraine as Turkey, which has strong bonds with the two sides, has tried to position itself as a mediator.

Ankara hosted the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine in Antalya last week.

'Mariupol art school bombed'

Ukrainian authorities accuse Russian forces of bombing an art school in the besieged city of Mariupol where some 400 people, including women and children, had been sheltering.

Russia says has again fired hypersonic missiles in Ukraine

Russia said Sunday it had again fired its newest hypersonic missiles in Ukraine, destroying a fuel storage site in the country's south.

"Kinzhal aviation missile systems with hypersonic ballistic missiles destroyed a large storage site for fuels and lubricants of the Ukrainian armed forces near the settlement of Kostyantynivka in the Mykolaiv region," the Russian defence ministry said.

3.3 million refugees

More than 3.3 million refugees have now fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion, while nearly 6.5 million are thought to be internally displaced within the country, the UN refugee agency says.

The First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, calls on the World Council of Churches to help organise "real" humanitarian corridors.

Ukraine conflict 'sparking turmoil for world economy'

The Ukraine conflict has major economic consequences for energy, food, inflation and poverty, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The EBRD's chief economist, Beata Javorcik, spoke to AFP about the fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, from where more than three million refugees have fled so far.

Global lenders are giving billions for Ukraine, including a 2.0-billion-euro ($2.2 billion) "resilience package" from the London-based EBRD, but there is currently no end in sight to the conflict.

The crisis has sent commodity prices rocketing on supply fears, fuelling inflation that is already at multi-decade highs.

Ukraine suspends Russia-linked political parties

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced the suspension of activities of some opposition parties with alleged connections to Russia, citing martial law.

"Given the full-scale war and ties of some political structures with this state (Russia), the National Security Council of Ukraine has decided to suspend any activity of a number of political parties," Zelenskiy said in a video message on Sunday.

UK companies warn of Russia-Ukraine conflict impact

More than 100 UK-listed companies have warned of negative effects from the war in Ukraine, with few of them so far quantifying the impact on their earnings, according to research by Bowmore Asset Management.

The majority of the 115 companies the firm identified cautioned about effects specific to their businesses in the region, while many others referred to the broader macroeconomic risk generated by the war, Bowmore said.

Latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

Hypersonic weapons

Russia says it has used hypersonic missiles for the first time in Ukraine to destroy a weapons storage site in the west of the country.

Hypersonic missiles travel faster than the speed of sound and can manoeuvre mid-flight, making them hard to track and intercept.

Russia's defence ministry says it used the technology to strike an underground arms depot in the village of Deliatyn, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Ukraine's border with Romania.

Air raids on Mykolaiv

Russian air raids on Mykolaiv were taking place in quick succession Saturday, Vitaly Kim, head of the regional administration, says, a day after a deadly strike on a military barracks in the southern Ukrainian city.

Dozens of soldiers are thought to have been killed after Friday's strike on the barracks, witnesses tell AFP as rescue operations continue. An official toll has not yet been given.

Russians in central Mariupol

Russia says its forces have broken through the defences of the besieged southern port of Mariupol and are now inside the war-torn city.

The mayor of Mariupol confirms to the BBC that Ukrainian and Russian forces are engaged in gun battles in the heart of the southern port, which has suffered relentless shelling.

Zelensky blasts Nestle, banks

In a live address to a Swiss rally, President Volodymyr Zelensky blasts firms including Nestle for carrying on business as usual with Russia "even though our children are dying" and tells the country's banks to freeze funds belonging to the Kremlin elite.

Hundreds still trapped in theatre

Rescuers continue searching for people trapped in a bomb shelter buried under the wreckage of a bombed theatre in Mariupol.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky says 130 people have been saved but that "hundreds" are still trapped in rubble after Wednesday's strike on the theatre, where people were sheltering from the Russian shelling.

'Time to meet', says Zelensky

Zelensky calls for urgent talks with Russia, saying in a Facebook video they are the "only chance for Russia to minimise the damage done with their own mistakes".

He has been pushing for direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Moscow claims that several rounds of negotiations have made progress on one of its key demands - that Ukraine becomes a neutral state. Kyiv, which is demanding international security guarantees, denies its position has changed.