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Ukraine news – live: Putin facing no breakthrough for months in ‘grim’ war, says US

Russian forces will only make ‘incremental gains’, but no breakthrough in Ukraine, top US intelligence official says

Moment Russian missile hits Ukrainian shopping centre

Vladimir Putin still wants to take over most of Ukraine and the picture for the war remains “pretty grim,” the top US intelligence official said.

“We continue to be in a position where we look at President Putin and we think he has effectively the same political goals that we had previously, which is to say that he wants to take most of Ukraine,” Avril Haines, the US Director of National Intelligence, told a Commerce Department conference.

According to Ms Haines, the US intelligence agencies have drawn up three possible scenarios in the near future, the most likely outcome being a “grinding conflict” in which Russian forces will only make incremental gains, but no breakthrough in Ukraine.

The other scenarios include a major Russian breakthrough and Ukraine stabilising the frontlines while achieving small gains near the Russian-held city of Kherson and potentially other areas of southern Ukraine.

“In short, the picture remains pretty grim,” added Ms Haines.

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Norway announces that it will send long-range rocket artillery to Ukraine

Norway said it would donate three multiple-launch rocket systems to Ukraine, following similar decisions made by Britain, Germany and the United States.

“We must continue to support Ukraine so that they can continue their fight for freedom and independence,” Norwegian Defence Minister Bjorn Arild Gram said in a statement.

The delivery of the multiple launch rocket system, which has better range and precision than Russia’s artillery, will be carried out together with Britain, Oslo said.

“Our guns require extensive upgrading, therefore we have agreed with the British that they receive Norwegian guns so that they can send some of theirs to Ukraine,” the minister said, hailing “good cooperation between allies.”

Norway will also send 5,000 additional grenades to Ukraine, in addition to 5,000 already sent.

Aisha Rimi29 June 2022 23:29
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UK to provide another £1 bn of military support to Ukraine

Britain will provide another £1 bn pounds of military support to Ukraine, the British government said in a statement on Wednesday.

The funding brings the UK’s military assistance to Ukraine to £2.3 bn pounds since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Aisha Rimi29 June 2022 23:05
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Former American soldier held by separatists in eastern Ukraine says he ‘didn’t fire shot'

A former US soldier captured in eastern Ukraine said he did not fire a single shot while fighting for the Ukrainian side, in a plea for leniency from separatist authorities who will determine his fate.

In a video interview with Russia’s RIA state news agency released on Wednesday, Alexander Drueke said his fighting experience in Ukraine was limited to the day he was captured outside Kharkiv, Ukraine‘s second-largest city.

“My combat experience here was that one mission on that one day,” said Drueke, looking haggard. “I didn’t fire a shot. I would hope that would play a factor in whatever sentence I do or don’t receive.”

Mr Drueke, from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and fellow American Andy Huynh, from Hartselle, Alabama, went missing this month. Russian state media later showed video interviews with the pair, saying they had been captured by Russian-backed forces.

The Kremlin has said it cannot rule out that the two captured men would be sentenced to death if put on trial in a region held by Russian proxies who have held large swathes of territory since 2014.

Relatives of the captured Americans say they are not mercenaries and had travelled to Ukraine as volunteers in April to help repel Russian forces, who invaded Ukraine in late February.

Aisha Rimi29 June 2022 22:45
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Switzerland imposes new sanctions on Russia

Switzerland’s Federal Council started implementing the EU’s sixth package of sanctions on June 29, The Kyiv Independent reported. The sanctions include an embargo on crude oil and certain oil products from Russia.

Aisha Rimi29 June 2022 22:14
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Putin: Russia will respond if NATO sets up infrastructure in Finland, Sweden

Vladimir Putin said that Russia would respond in kind if NATO set up infrastructure in Finland and Sweden after they join the U.S.-led military alliance.

Putin was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying he could not rule out that tensions would emerge in Moscow’s relations with Helsinki and Stockholm over their joining NATO.

Putin’s comment came a day after NATO ally Turkey lifted its veto over Finland and Sweden’s bid to join the alliance after the three nations agreed to protect each other’s security.

Aisha Rimi29 June 2022 22:02
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Defence secretary calls for more UK military spending amid rising Russian threat

Ben Wallace calls for more UK defence spending amid rising Russian threat
Aisha Rimi29 June 2022 21:47
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Putin ‘evil’ says Johnson as ministers step up attacks on Russian leader

Boris Johnson has previously suggested the Russian leader’s invasion of Ukraine was an example of “toxic masculinity” and a female president would not have made the same mistake.

David Hughes has the full story:

Putin ‘evil’ says Johnson as ministers step up attacks on Russian leader

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Vladimir Putin was a ‘lunatic’ while Boris Johnson said ‘I think what he has done is evil’.

Aisha Rimi29 June 2022 20:06
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Britain ready to commit 1,000 extra troops to Estonia to defend Nato border

Britain will commit more troops to Estonia to defend Nato’s eastern flank against the Russian threat as part of massive expansion in the defence alliance, Ben Wallace has said.

The defence secretary suggested at least 1,000 extra UK troops would join an enlarged force in the Baltic state, though he stressed that final details would have to be worked out in the months ahead.

Nato leaders at a summit in Madrid agreed on Wednesday to increase its “high readiness” response force from 40,000 to 300,000 troops – but officials said the contribution of each country would not be finalised until early next year.

Adam Forrest has the full story:

Britain ready to commit 1,000 extra troops to Estonia to defend Nato

Western alliance agrees massive expansion plan for 2023, as leaders invite Sweden and Finland to join

Aisha Rimi29 June 2022 19:41
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Plan for 500 modular homes to help house Ukrainian refugees arriving in Ireland

Five hundred modular homes are to be installed in around 20 sites across Ireland to help efforts to house Ukrainian refugees.

The two-bedroom units provided under a 100 million euro government pilot initiative will be able to accommodate 2,000 people. It is expected that the first of the units will be in place by November.

Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have arrived in Ireland since the outbreak of war in their homeland in February.

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is working on identifying the sites for the homes. The units will all be sited on public land in urban areas. It is anticipated each site will house between 20 to 60 units.

Installation work on the 500 homes is due to be completed by next year - a timeframe described as “ambitious, but achievable” by the government.

Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman said the move was an “emergency” response to the refugee crisis.

He said a significant number of Ukrainian refugees were currently housed in student accommodation and he said that would have to be freed up ahead of the start of the new academic year in September.

He added that many refugees are being moved into accommodation pledged by members of the public over the summer.

Aisha Rimi29 June 2022 19:20
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Putin is ‘evil’, says Boris Johnson

Vladimir Putin is “evil”, Boris Johnson said as UK ministers stepped up their personal attacks on the Russian president.

“I think that what he has done is evil,” the Prime Minister told GB News at the Nato summit in Madrid.

Asked if Mr Putin himself was evil, Mr Johnson said: “I think it probably follows that if you are what you do, then certainly.

“It’s been an appalling act of unwarranted aggression against the innocent population.”

Aisha Rimi29 June 2022 18:53

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