Ukraine morning briefing: Five developments as Britain prepares to send armoured missile launchers to Ukraine

Good morning. Russian forces have launched their anticipated offensive in eastern Ukraine, attempting to push through defences along almost the entire front line early on Tuesday in what Ukrainian officials described as the second phase of the war.

Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, said Russia had begun the “Battle of Donbas” in the east and a “very large part of the entire Russian army is now focused on this offensive”.

Meanwhile, Britain is set to send armoured missile launchers to Ukraine to support its defence against the new offensive, according to reports. 

Here’s what happened overnight – and you can follow the latest updates in our live blog.

1. Macron: Talks with Putin have broken down

Emmanual Macron admitted on Monday night that his dialogue with Vladimir Putin has stalled after mass killings and evidence of war crimes were discovered in Ukraine.

Mr Macron told France 5 television: “Since the massacres we have discovered in Bucha and in other towns, the war has taken a different turn, so I did not speak to him again directly since, but I don’t rule out doing so in the future.”

Russia has claimed that the accusations its forces executed civilians in Bucha while occupying the town are a “monstrous forgery”.

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