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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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Russian plane crash: ‘Four dead’ as military flight headed to Ukraine border ‘suffers engine failure’

Four people were killed on early Friday after a Russian military cargo plane crashed in Moscow’s western city Ryazan.

The plane — II-76 military cargo aircraft — crashed and caught fire while trying to make a landing the Russian city.

Five people were hospitalised with injuries, state news agency RIA said.

The Interfax news agency separately quoted Russia’s defence ministry as saying the plane had suffered an engine malfunction while on a training flight. The ministry gave no details of crew deaths.

Thomas Kingsley reports.

‘Four dead’ as military flight headed to Ukraine border ‘suffers engine failure’

Five people have been hospitalised with injuries according to reports

Joe Middleton24 June 2022 07:19
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Ukrainian soldiers will have to exit Sievierodonetsk, says governor Haidai

The Ukrainian soldiers embedded in the key Donbas city Sievierodonetsk will “have to be withdrawn” from the battle-marred region, Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai said on Friday.

He added: “Remaining in positions smashed to pieces over many months just for the sake of staying there does not make sense.”

Arpan Rai24 June 2022 06:39
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Ukraine defeats Russian attack on Lysychansk but loses key village, says governor

Ukrainian fighters have countered and repelled an attack by Russian soldiers in Donbas’s Lysychansk which was the last city in Sievierodonetsk under Kyiv’s control, the regional governor Serhiy Haidai said on Friday.

However, Russia has managed to wrest control of a key village named Mykolaivka which is near a critical highyway to Lysychansk.

The Ukrainian city in Sievierodonetsk has been the scene of heavy fighting in the last month, as Russia shifted its focus to capturing the separatist territories in the country’s east.

Mr Haidai said that the battle has continued to rage in the twin city of Sievierodonetsk.

Arpan Rai24 June 2022 06:33
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PM warns against forcing Ukraine into accepting ‘bad peace deal’

Boris Johnson has said that pressurising Ukraine into accepting a “bad peace” deal would be a “disaster” as he warned Nato allies on the ongoing siege in Europe.

“Now is not the time to settle and encourage the Ukrainians to settle for a bad peace, for a peace by which they are invited to give up chunks of their territory in return for a ceasefire,” Mr Johnson said on Thursday.

He added: “But I think they are going to win. I know they are going to win. It is their country. They are fighting for it desperately hard,” he told reporters travelling with him in Kigali.”

The British PM said that there is “no question there is a lot of Ukraine fatigue now in the world”. He is at a summit of Commonwealth leaders in Rwanda ahead of talks with G7 and Nato allies in Europe.

Read the full story here:

PM warns against forcing Ukraine into accepting ‘bad peace deal’

There are concerns in Kyiv that Germany and France will push President Volodymyr Zelensky to accept a ceasefire.

Arpan Rai24 June 2022 05:51
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Three killed as Russian cargo plane crashes in Ryazan

At least three people were killed on early Friday after a Russian military cargo plane crashed in Moscow’s western city Ryazan.

The plane — II-76 military cargo aircraft — crashed and caught fire while trying to make a landing the Russian city.

Of the total nine onboard, three have been confirmed dead, reported Russian Interfax news agency.

Russian defence ministry said that the cargo aircraft had suffered an engine malfunction while on a training flight.

‘Four dead’ as military flight headed to Ukraine border ‘suffers engine failure’

Five people have been hospitalised with injuries according to reports

Arpan Rai24 June 2022 05:16
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Ukraine’s EU candidate status sends ‘message of solidarity’, says Michael Martin

Ireland’s premier Taoiseach Michael Martin said that Europe is sending out a message of solidarity by announcing the status of EU candidate for Ukraine.

“Today the European Union is sending a message of solidarity to the people of Ukraine that you belong to the European family,” Mr Martin said.

The Irish premier was talking in Brussels ahead of the European Council meeting in which Ukraine, along with Moldova, qualified for the candidate status for future EU membership.

“It’s historic in the sense of the enlargement of the European Union and I’m particularly pleased as a long-standing advocate for Ukraine’s application to candidate status to become a member of the European Union,” he said.

He added: “It’s very significant for Ukraine, very significant for Moldova and, indeed, Georgia, in terms of European perspective.”

Taoiseach: Granting EU candidate status to Ukraine sends message of solidarity

Micheal Martin also accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of ‘weaponising’ food amid ongoing blockades of Ukrainian grain.

Arpan Rai24 June 2022 05:01
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Russia trying to get control of key highway as battle rages on in east

Officials from the Ukrainian military said that the Russian forces are trying to wrestle for control of a key highway in the war-struck country’s east as they are eyeing snapping the supply lines of artillery.

The Russians are trying to overtake the hills overlooking the highway linking Lysychansk with Bakhmut, to the southwest, the military officials said.

It is a critical route of supply line to the Ukrainian forces on the eastern frontline.

The Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway was not used because of heavy Russian shelling, regional governor Serhiy Haidai said.

He added that the Ukrainian forces are receiving supplies via an alternative route.

Arpan Rai24 June 2022 04:34
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ICYMI: EU grants Ukraine candidate status

European leaders last night formally accepted Ukraine as a candidate to join the EU, a bold geopolitical move triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine but a reminder that the 27-nation bloc will need a major overhaul as it looks to enlarge again.

Although it could take Ukraine and neighbouring Moldova more than a decade to qualify for membership, the decision at a two-day EU summit is a symbolic step that signals the bloc's intention to reach deep into the former Soviet Union.

"A historic moment," European Council chief Charles Michel tweeted. "Today marks a crucial step on your path towards the EU," he said, adding: "Our future is together."

Read more below:

Ukraine granted EU candidate status in ‘historic moment’

Volodymyr Zelensky hails move, which leaders claim will put bloc ‘on the right side of history’

Katy Clifton24 June 2022 02:51
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Russia ‘weaponising hunger’

Foreign secretary Liz Truss has accused Russia of “weaponising hunger” and using food security as a “callous tool of war” with its blockade of Ukrainian grain.

Speaking at a press conference alongside Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara yesterday, Ms Truss warned the crisis is “urgent” and must be solved in the next month to avoid “devastating consequences”.

Western officials later said they believe the month deadline is set against a harvest that’s arriving, rather than fixing global food security issues as a whole.

Asked if this target was realistic, they said there is a “delicate and difficult negotiation to be had”, but that an agreement to get the grain moving could feasibly be reached within that time.

They explained there would then be a “lag”, saying: “Will maritime ships start delivering in that timeframe? Yet to be seen.”

Katy Clifton24 June 2022 01:30
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Fighting nears ‘fierce climax’ in Donbas

Ukrainian troops may need to pull back from the key frontline city of Lysychansk to avoid being encircled after Russian forces captured two villages to its south, regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said yesterday.

The retreat of Ukrainian troops from Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk, the last two Ukrainian-held cities in Luhansk, would bring Moscow closer to one of its key war aims of capturing all of that region.

Divided by a river, the cities have become a key battleground in Russia’s assault on the industrial heartland of Donbas and the fighting is nearing a “fierce climax,” a top official said on Wednesday.

The general staff of Ukraine‘s armed forces on Thursday confirmed the loss of Rai-Oleksandrivka and Loskutivka, around 5 km (3 miles) from Lysychansk, and said that Russian troops were trying to surround Ukrainian forces there.

Katy Clifton24 June 2022 00:30

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