A major power plant near Kyiv was completely destroyed by Russian strikes early on Thursday, energy company Centrenergo said. Trypillya power plant was the largest electricity provider for three regions, including Kyiv, officials said. "The scale of destruction is terrifying," said Centrenergo chairman Andriy Hota. Russia has long been deliberately and systematically targeting Ukraine's energy system. Mr Hota told the BBC that Thursday morning's strikes destroyed "the transformer, the turbines, the generators. They destroyed 100%". A fire broke out in the turbine workshop of the Trypillya plant - located 50km (31 miles) to the south of Kyiv - following Thursday's large-scale airborne attack. The Centrenergo boss said the plant was targeted by multiple missiles. Staff on shift were able to escape, he said, because they ran for cover as soon as the first drone hit. Residents were urged to shut their windows, charge all their devices and stock up on water. More than 80 missiles and drones targeted sites across Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday. Many targeted energy infrastructure and almost a third made it through Ukraine's air defences. Hours later, Centrenergo confirmed its Trypillya plant had been put out of use. Mr Hota said his company's entire generative capacity in Ukraine was now destroyed. It was one of Ukraine's largest providers of electricity and heat. It operated two other power plants - one in the Kharkiv region which was destroyed in late March, and one in an area of the Donetsk region that was taken over by Russia in 2022 - BBC

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Britain and Finland to Sign Strategic Partnership to Counter Russian Aggression
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Britain and Finland to Sign Strategic Partnership to Counter Russian Aggression

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Finland has joined NATO and restricted much of its border with Russia. Meanwhile, Britain remains a major military supporter of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian air defense forces said they destroyed overnight 16 of 17 "Shahed" drones in Mykolaiv, Odesa, Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, Vinnytsia and Khmelnytskyi regions at night. In Mykolaiv, five people died from an attack on Thursday

A top Vietnamese property tycoon was sentenced to death on Thursday in one of the biggest corruption cases in history, with an estimated $27 billion in damages. A panel of three hand-picked jurors and two judges rejected all defense arguments by Truong My Lan, the chair of major developer Van Thinh Phat, who was found guilty of swindling cash from Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB) for a decade. Lan denied the charges and blamed her subordinates. Lan embezzled $12.5 billion, but prosecutors said Thursday the total damages caused by the scam now amounted to $27 billion — a figure equivalent to six percent of the country's 2023 GDP. The figure dwarfs even the amount that FTX cryptocurrency exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried was recently convicted of swindling his customers out of, estimated at around $10 billion. Still, the death sentence is an unusually severe punishment in such a case - CBS News

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Iran has signalled to Washington that it will respond to Israel's attack on its Syrian embassy in a way that aims to avoid major escalation and it will not act hastily, as Tehran presses demands including a Gaza truce, Iranian sources said. Iran's message to Washington was conveyed by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian during a visit on Sunday to the Gulf Arab state of Oman, which has often acted as an intermediary between Tehran and Washington, the sources said. A source familiar with U.S. intelligence was not aware of the message conveyed via Oman but said Iran has “been very clear” that its response to the attack on its Damascus embassy compound would be “controlled” and “non-escalatory” and planned “to use regional proxies to launch a number of attacks on Israel.” - Reuters

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A grim anniversary looms in Sudan, where war rages and the prospect of famine hovers, the International Crisis Group reports. On 15 April, the country will mark a year since a power struggle between two branches of its armed forces exploded into full-scale conflict. The effects of twelve months of hostilities have been harrowing. Thousands have died in the fighting, or related atrocities, and millions are desperately hungry. The Sudanese state has largely collapsed. As new militias join the mêlée and momentum on the battlefield seesaws, it is clear that the longer the conflict lasts, the harder it will be to piece Sudan back together. The U.S., UN and African Union have revitalised their diplomacy by appointing new envoys, but collective efforts to foster peace still lack coherence and urgency. All states and bodies with influence, including the three Arab powers quietly pushing for a resolution, must work together to press the two sides to end the war. World leaders must also stand with the Sudanese people by addressing aid shortfalls.

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