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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

Joe Middleton,Stuti Mishra
Saturday 25 June 2022 04:02
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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.

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 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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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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Ukraine will need at least 10 years to demine its territory, official says

Ukraine will need at least a decade to clear all the mines and explosives from its land and territorial waters once its war with Russia is over, an emergency services official said today.

Ukraine has managed to clear 620 square kilometres of land that were littered with thousands of explosive devices, including 2,000 bombs dropped from the air, but nearly 300,000 square kilometres are still seen as “contaminated”, the official said.

That is an area roughly half the size of Ukraine's territory, and about as large as Italy.

An undetonated 500kg bomb being removed from an apartment building in Kharkiv, in March 2022

“Up to 10 years, that's the optimistic figure. Because we don't know what's happening on the territories where active combat is ongoing right now,” Oleksandr Khorunzhiy, spokesperson for Ukraine’s State Emergency Service, said.

“Just imagine the number of bombs that have been dropped on us by the enemy,” the official told a news conference.

The first priority is to demine infrastructure, residential areas and roads, but it will take longer to clear woods, rivers and the coastline, he said.

Reuters24 June 2022 18:00
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First trial of Russian soldier charged with rape starts in Ukraine

The first trial of a Russian soldier charged with raping a woman during the invasion of Ukraine has begun.

Mikhail Romanov, 32, will be tried in absentia as he is not in custody.

He’s also accused of murdering a civilian in the Kyiv capital region on 9 March and then repeatedly raping the man’s wife, according to court files.

Read the full story here by Maya Oppenheim

First trial of Russian soldier charged with rape starts in Ukraine

Trial could potentially be first of what amounts to dozens of equivalent cases

Lamiat Sabin24 June 2022 17:30
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Ukrainian police ‘seize Rosatom building in Kyiv'

The National Police of Ukraine has reportedly seized a building in Kyiv owned by Russian state-owned nuclear energy company Rosatom.

The building has an area of almost 1,000 square meters valued at UAH 60 million (£1.6m), according to Ukrainian news agency Interfax.

It was seized after a ruling made by a judge at the Pechersky district court.

The police service reportedly said: “To hide information about the owner of this premises, the relevant information was not entered into the public register of rights to real estate, but was reflected only in the documents of the Kyiv City Bureau of Technical Inventory and Registration of Ownership of Real Estate.”

Lamiat Sabin24 June 2022 16:42
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Russia unable to stop Western weapons flowing into Ukraine, says US defence official

Russia is trying but has been unable to target Western weapons flowing into Ukraine, including longer-range systems that Kyiv hopes will be decisive on the battlefield, a senior US defence official said on Friday.

The official also appeared to play down the significance of Russian advances in Ukraine and said a Ukrainian pullback from Sievierodonetsk would allow them to take a better defensive position.

“In moving the Ukrainian armed forces from Sievierodonetsk back, what they are doing is putting themselves in a position where they can better defend themselves,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Joe Middleton24 June 2022 15:11
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Russian forces mounting assaults on the city of Sievierodonetsk

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 region’s governor said earlier that Ukrainian troops would “have to be withdrawn” from Sievierodonetsk and that they had been ordered to take up new positions.

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.

Joe Middleton24 June 2022 14:15

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