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Ukraine news live – Russia mounting assaults to capture Sievierodonetsk

Governor Serhiy Gaidai said Ukrainian troops had been ordered to move to new positions

Arpan Rai,Joe Middleton
Saturday 25 June 2022 02:30
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Ukrainian drone strikes major Russian oil refinery

Russian forces seek to surround the embattled city of Lysychansk in eastern Ukraine and are mounting assaults on the city of Sievierodonetsk to establish full control, the Ukrainian defence ministry’s spokesperson said on Friday.

The eastern city has been the scene of weeks of intense bombardments and street fighting and if lost to Russian forces in a would be a significant setback for Ukraine.

Earlier, governor Serhiy Gaidai said troops in the city had already received the order to move to new positions, but he did not indicate whether they had already done so or where exactly they were going.

“Remaining in positions smashed to pieces over many months just for the sake of staying there does not make sense,” Gaidai said on Ukrainian television.

Defence Ministry spokesperson Oleksandr Motuzyanyk declined to comment on the governor’s remarks and told reporters at a briefing in Kyiv that the information was “closed” to the public.

The battle is key for Russia to establish control over the last remaining Ukrainian-held sliver of Luhansk province, which along with Donetsk makes up the Donbas region, Ukraine‘s industrial heartland.

Meanwhile, at least four people were killed after a Russian military cargo plane crashed in Moscow’s western city Ryazan, reported Interfax news agency.

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Ukraine accuses US-sanctioned lawmaker of working for Russia

Ukraine claimed it had uncovered a Russian spy network involving Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach who was previously accused by the US of being a Russian agent.

Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) said Derkach, whose whereabouts were not made clear, set up a network of private security firms to ease and support the entry of Russian units into cities during Moscow’s invasion on 24 February.

Derkach could not immediately be reached for comment. He has previously denied wrongdoing and said he has been targeted for exposing corruption.

In a statement, the SBU cited testimony from Derkach’s parliamentary aide Ihor Kolykhayev. It said he was arrested at the beginning of the war, and accused him of being a go-between between Derkach and Russia’s military intelligence agency.

Kolykhayev said Derkach’s security firms “had to ensure the passage of (Russian) vehicles, get into armoured vehicles with Russian flags, and thus ensure (the Russian army’s) peaceful entry into the city.”

The SBU said Derkach received sums of $3-4 million every several months in order to fulfil the plan.

Derkach was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury in September 2020 for what it said were attempts to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

The Treasury’s sanction announcement at the time said Derkach had been “an active Russian agent for over a decade.”

Lamiat Sabin25 June 2022 02:30
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In pictures: Russian rocket’s damage to homes in Donetsk city Bakhmut

A man inspects the crater left by the Russian rocket in Bakhmut, Donetsk region

Local resident Tetyana stands in front of her damaged house

Tetyana shows the destruction caused to her home

Lamiat Sabin25 June 2022 01:00
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Zelensky says Ukrainians should ‘rejoice at least a little’ over EU candidacy

Volodymyr Zelensky hailed the “historic decision” of the European Union to grant Ukraine candidate status to join the bloc.

The Ukrainian president said that there has been much talk about the conditions Ukraine has to fulfil or how many years joining the EU would take.

But he urged Ukrainians to “rejoice at least a little” over the news.

Volodymyr Zelensky during his speech

Mr Zelensky said in his nightly address to Ukrainians: “Let’s rejoice at least a little. In a quiet, modest way, silently, but rejoice. For ourselves, for our beloved state. Let’s feel the moment and the taste of this moment.

“Imagine conquering Everest. You reached the penultimate point. You didn’t look around, didn’t even take a breath and talk about the further way to the top. How difficult it will be to overcome the last 1848 meters. Instantly we forgot and devalued our own success.

“Maybe we should first recall that we have already covered 7,000 meters?! Let's not be ashamed to talk about our achievements. Let’s not be a nation with a short memory and inferiority complex.

“We say: Ukraine has been granted EU candidate status. Let's say: Ukraine has gained EU candidate status. Did it fall from the sky? Haven't we endured and done a lot?”

Later in his speech, he said: “Much has been done. Exactly done! Let's not forget that. Let's be proud of ourselves. Respect ourselves.

“And we repelled the Russians. And we will win. Because when we respect ourselves we will be respected by others.”

Lamiat Sabin25 June 2022 00:01
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Air raid sirens ‘sounded in almost all regions of Ukraine'

Air raid sirens were heard across Ukraine, except in the Kherson region and Crimea.

This is according to news website Ukrainska Pravda citing alerts.in.ua, a website that issues air raid siren alerts.

The report states that the first air raid siren was heard at 8.15pm in Poltava, Kirovohrad, Cherkasy, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts.

Then at about 9.20pm, a siren was sounded in Kharkiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, Kyiv, Zhytomyr, and Vinnytsia oblasts, as well as in Kyiv.

At 10.20pm, an air raid siren was heard in all western oblasts of Ukraine, the report says.

Lamiat Sabin24 June 2022 23:00
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Russia kills five Ukrainians in Donetsk region, Ukraine says

Five civilians were killed and four others were injured by Russian shelling in the Donetsk region, Ukraine said.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of Donetsk Oblast Military Administration, wrote on Telegram: “On 24 June, the Russians killed five civilians in the Donetsk region: two in Raihorodka, two in Staryi Karavan, one in Kostiantynivka. Four more people were injured today.”

Lamiat Sabin24 June 2022 22:00
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Ukraine to withdraw troops from Severodonetsk

Ukraine was set to pull its troops from the ruined city of Severodonetsk after weeks of street fighting and bombardment, regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said.

Russian troops also occupied a town about 10 km (6 miles) further south, both sides said today, as Moscow closed in on the last slivers of Ukrainian-held territory in the industrial region of Luhansk.

A Ukrainian tank is in position during heavy fighting on the front line in Severodonetsk on 8 June 2022

Moscow said it had encircled about 2,000 Ukrainian and, what it called, foreign troops in the area.

Reuters news agency said it could not independently verify any of the battlefield accounts.

The withdrawal of troops from Severodonetsk would mark the biggest reversal for Ukraine since the loss of the southern port of Mariupol in May.

Lamiat Sabin24 June 2022 21:00
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Zelensky makes surprise video appearance at Glastonbury Festival

Volodymyr Zelensky makes surprise video appearance at Glastonbury Festival
Lamiat Sabin24 June 2022 20:02
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US denies export privileges for three Russian airlines after alleged breaches

The US Commerce Department today denied export privileges for three Russian airlines that it says violated export controls issued after Russia’€™s invasion of Ukraine.

The export denials for Nordwind Airlines, Pobeda Airlines and S7 Airlines are issued for six months and may be renewed, the department said in a statement.

Lamiat Sabin24 June 2022 19:33
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Ukraine needs ‘fire parity’ with Russia to defend Luhansk, top general says

Ukraine needs “fire parity” with Russia to “stabilise” the difficult situation in the eastern Luhansk region, a Ukrainian top general told his US counterpart during a phone call today.

The call was between General Valeriy Zaluzhniy and General Mark Milley, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Mr Zaluzhniy wrote on the Telegram app: “We discussed the operational situation and the delivery flow of international technical assistance.”

He said Russia’s artillery advantage on the Donbas frontlines is taking a significant toll on Ukrainian troops, and has called on its Western partners to supply more weapons.

Lamiat Sabin24 June 2022 19:00
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Russia warns of ‘consequences’ over EU’s moves toward expansion

Russia said that the decision by the European Union to accept Ukraine and Moldova as membership candidates would have negative consequences.

Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, said the EU was seeking to enlarge the bloc to “exploit” the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in eastern Europe and western Asia.

File photo of Maria Zakharova

She said: “With the decision to grant Ukraine and Moldova the status of candidate countries, the European Union has confirmed that it continues to actively exploit the CIS on a geopolitical level, to use it to ‘contain’ Russia.

“They are not thinking of the negative consequences of such a step...”

The seven recognised candidates for membership of the EU are Turkey (applied in 1987), North Macedonia (2004), Montenegro (2008), Albania (2009), Serbia (2009), Ukraine (2022), and Moldova (2022).

The CIS member nations are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. In addition, Ukraine and Turkmenistan are “founding states” but are not full members.

Lamiat Sabin24 June 2022 18:30

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