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As it happenedended1675448380

Ukraine news – live: Putin has lost nearly 200,000 troops in war, US officials say

Russian death toll includes regular military and Wagner Group mercenaries, says US

Arpan Rai,Emily Atkinson,Lucy Skoulding
Friday 03 February 2023 18:19 GMT
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Boris Johnson criticises Rishi Sunak decision not to give Ukraine fighter jets

Russian troops who have either died or were left wounded in the continuing war in Ukraine is nearing 200,000, according to the US and Western officials.

Senior US officials and Western diplomats said the number has climbed above the 100,000 figure given in November last year, The New York Times reported.

This week, senior US officials said they believed the number for Russia was closer to 200,000, according to the report.

This comes as Vladimir Putin marked the 80th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi forces in the battle of Stalingrad, and invoked the battle as justification for the conflict in Ukraine.

Mr Putin evoked the spirit of the Soviet army that defeated Nazi German forces at Stalingrad 80 years ago to declare that Russia will defeat Ukraine.

Lambasting Germany for helping to arm Ukraine, he said: “Unfortunately we see that the ideology of Nazism in its modern form and manifestation again directly threatens the security of our country.

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KEY POST: Ukraine will fight to hold eastern ‘fortress’ city Bakhmut, says Zelensky

President Volodymyr Zelensky said today that Ukraine would fight to hold on to the eastern “fortress” city of Bakhmut for as long as it could, and urged the West to supply long-range weapons to help Kyiv push Russian forces out of the Donbas region.

“Nobody will give away Bakhmut. We will fight for as long as we can. We consider Bakhmut our fortress,” Zelenskiy told a news conference with top European Union officials following a summit in Kyiv.

“Ukraine would be able to hold Bakhmut and liberate occupied Donbas if it received long-range weapons,” he said.

The city of Bakhmut has become the focal point of Ukrainian resistance to Russia’s invasion and of Moscow’s drive to regain battlefield momentum.

Russian officials have said Russian forces are encircling Bakhmut from several directions and battling to take control of a road which is also an important supply route for Ukrainian forces.

Zelenskiy said Russia would continue to push in the east but that Ukrainian forces would be able to hold out until more Western weapons arrived.

Reuters

Joe Middleton3 February 2023 15:38
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Austria expels 4 Russian diplomats based in Vienna

Austria‘s government said Thursday that it has ordered four diplomats based in Vienna, including two at Moscow‘s mission to U.N. agencies in the city, to leave the country.

The Foreign Ministry said in a brief statement that two diplomats at the Russian Embassy had “engaged in acts incompatible with their diplomatic status” and two at the permanent mission to the United Nations in Vienna “committed acts incompatible with the Headquarters Agreement.” It didn’t elaborate.

The diplomats were given a week to leave Austria.

Austria expels 4 Russian diplomats based in Vienna

The Austrian government says it has ordered four diplomats based in Vienna, including two at Moscow’s mission to United Nations agencies in the city, to leave the country

Joe Middleton3 February 2023 03:00
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Putin commemorates Stalingrad battle, echoing Ukraine fight

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday attended commemorations of the 80th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi forces in the battle of Stalingrad, a long and grueling fight that resonates in the current conflict in Ukraine.

Putin laid a wreath at the eternal flame of the memorial complex to the fallen Red Army soldiers in Volgograd, the current name of the city, which stretches along the western bank of the Volga River. The memorial is dominated by an 85-meter (279-foot) sculpture of a sword-wielding woman, Europe’s tallest statue.

The Russian leader is set to speak at a memorial event and have a meeting with activists later in the day.

Putin commemorates Stalingrad battle, echoing Ukraine fight

Russian President Vladimir Putin has attended commemorations of the 80th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi forces in the battle of Stalingrad

Joe Middleton3 February 2023 04:00
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High-level Kyiv visit aims to deepen EU-Ukraine ties

Senior members of the European Union’s executive branch traveled to Ukraine on Thursday looking to boost relations with the war-torn country and pave the way for it to one day join the bloc, but concerns over corruption and democratic deficiencies remain.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen led a team of 15 policy commissioners who were to spend the day discussing Ukraine’s financial, business and energy needs, and how to bring the former Soviet state’s legislation into line with EU standards.

The highly symbolic visit is the first EU political mission of its kind to a country at war. Von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, who chairs meetings of the bloc’s heads of state and government, will hold a summit in Kyiv on Friday with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

High-level Kyiv visit aims to deepen EU-Ukraine ties

Senior members of the European Union's executive branch are in Ukraine looking to boost relations with the war-torn country and pave the way for it to one day join the bloc

Joe Middleton3 February 2023 05:00
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Olympic bans and boycotts go back a century

Ukraine has moved a step closer to boycotting next year’s Paris Olympics because of the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes.

The International Olympic Committee plans to allow Russians and Belarusians to compete as “neutral athletes” despite their invasion of Ukraine, saying it can't discriminate athletes based on their citizenship. However, countries have been excluded in the past.

The Olympics also has a history of countries choosing to boycott rather than compete against athletes they believed should not have been invited. Here is a list of such occasions:

Olympic bans and boycotts go back a century

Ukraine and the three Baltic countries have moved a step closer to boycotting next year’s Paris Olympics because of the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes

AP3 February 2023 05:58
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ICYMI: Russian state TV describes vulnerabilities of Nato tanks promised to Ukraine

Russian state TV describes vulnerabilities of Nato tanks promised to Ukraine
Joe Middleton3 February 2023 06:00
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Nearly 200,000 Russian troops have been killed in Ukraine, US officials say

The number of Russian troops who have either died or were left wounded in the continuing war in Ukraine is nearing 200,000, according to a report that cited US and Western officials.

On Thursday, The New York Times reported that senior US officials and Western diplomats said the number has climbed above the 100,000 figure given in November last year.

In that month, General Mark A Milley, chairman of the US joint chief of staffs, gave the last public estimate provided by the Biden administration.

Read the full story here:

Nearly 200,000 Russian troops have been killed in Ukraine, US officials say

Top US official said last month that casualties on both sides were ‘significantly well over 100,000 now’

Arpan Rai3 February 2023 06:43
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Trump bizarrely suggests halting military aid to Ukraine will end bloody conflict

Former president Donald Trump on Thursday suggested ending military aid to Ukraine would bring an end to the year-old war by encouraging negotiations that could be led by the United States.

Mr Trump made the bizarre claim during an interview with right-wing talk show host Hugh Hewitt for his eponymous radio programme when Mr Hewitt asked if the US should be sending Ukraine’s defence forces F-16 multirole fighters.

President Joe Biden has said the US would not be sending Kyiv the fighter jets. But rather than address the question he was asked, Mr Trump told Mr Hewitt the US should “negotiate peace” between Ukraine and the country that launched an unprovoked invasion on it last February.

Trump bizarrely suggests halting military aid to Ukraine will end bloody conflict

‘I don't think they should be sending very much, they should be negotiating peace’

Joe Middleton3 February 2023 07:00
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Summary of last 24 hours

The state broadcaster of Ukraine, Suspline, has shared a summary of what’s happened in the last 24 hours.

It writes: “At night, the Russian military attacked the Barvinkove community in the Kharkiv region. A private house was destroyed and a 70-year-old man was rescued from the rubble. Two men died.

“Also at night, the Russian army shelled Kherson. They hit one of the shopping centres, a fire started there. People were not injured. Nikopol in the Dnipropetrovsk region also came under fire. There are no dead or injured.

“Over the past 24 hours, one person was killed by Russian shelling in Donetsk region, and eight others were injured. In the Kherson region, two people were killed in a day, nine more were injured, among them a five-year-old child.”

Lucy Skoulding3 February 2023 10:01
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Criminal charges pressed on head of Wagner group

Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office has now pressed criminal charges on long-term Putin ally, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder and head of the Wagner group.

Grim footage shows Prigozhin at a basement filled with bodies of fighters near Ukraine’s eastern front. The people, many of who were convicts, had been killed in the fight for Bakhmut city.

He has been charged under Article 110 part 3 of the criminal code of Ukraine for encroaching on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine. He has also been charged with waging a war of agression on Ukraine.

Long-term Putin ally, Yevgeny Prigozhin

Lucy Skoulding3 February 2023 10:36

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