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Ukraine news - live: Zelensky adviser admits final key eastern city could fall

Ukrainian and Russian forces make competing claims of controlling Luhansk city

Moment Russian missile hits Ukrainian shopping centre

With a fierce battle under way for control of Lysychansk, an adviser to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has conceded that this last bastion in the eastern region of Luhansk might fall to Russia.

“I do not rule out any one of a number of outcomes here,” said Oleksiy Arestovych. “Things will become much more clear within a day or two.”

The statement comes amid competing claims from both Ukrainian and Russian forces to have control of the city.

While a Ukrainian army spokesperson said that the city has not been seized by the “aggressors”, pro-Moscow separatist leader Rodion Miroshnik told Russian television that “Lysychansk has been brought under control”, though he added it was “not yet liberated”.

Earlier on Saturday, Ukraine’s state emergency service probing the 27 June bombing of a shopping mall in Kremenchuk found up to 29 body fragments in the wreckage. The bombing had claimed 21 lives while 66 were injured.

Russian president Vladimir Putin had said that troops intended to hit a weapons depot nearby, denying that the mall was a target.

1656829462

Ukraine 'hits Russian base in occupied Melitopol’

Ukraine’s forces have bombarded a Russian base with over 30 strikes in the Russian-occupied southern city of Melitopol, the city’s exiled Ukrainian mayor said.

Russia’s RIA news agency, meanwhile, has reported that Ukraine hit the area of Melitopol where the city’s airport is located, but did not specify what had been hit.

Emily Atkinson3 July 2022 07:24
1656828473

Three dead as Russian city near Ukraine border hit by blasts

At least three people have died in Belgorod after the Russian city bordering Ukraine was hit by blasts early on Sunday, claims the local governor.

At least 11 apartment buildings and 39 private houses were damaged, while five homes were completely destroyed, said governor Vyacheslav Gladkov on Telegram.

Mr Gladkov had earlier said the city of nearly 400,000 was rocked by a series of blasts, adding: "Presumably, the air defence system worked."

At least four people were injured and two hospitalised, including a 10-year-old boy, he said.

Read the details here:

Three dead as dozens of buildings hit by blasts in Russian city near Ukraine border

Russian lawmaker blames Ukraine for attack, calling for a military response

Namita Singh3 July 2022 07:07
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Zelensky appeals for ‘colossal investment’ from international community

Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday sought “colossal investment” from the international community so people in Ukraine can rebuild their lives.

“It is necessary not only to repair everything the occupiers have destroyed but also to create a new foundation for our lives: safe, modern, comfortable, accessible,” said Ukraine’s president.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, holds a press conference with Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, 1 July 2022

For Ukraine, this means “colossal investments - billions”, he added. Mr Zelensky said that the country would also need “new technologies, best practices, new institutions, and, of course, reforms”.

Namita Singh3 July 2022 06:50
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US firms help dissenting Russians dodge regime’s crackdown - report

The US government-backed Open Technology Fund is helping dissenting Russians to access anti-censor software that allows them to evade the Putin government’s crackdown on those opposing the invasion of Ukraine, according to a report by AFP.

The group is giving money to select American firms which will aid millions of Russians and help them access virtual private networks (VPNs) free of cost, so they can visit sites blocked by Russian censors.

“Our tool is primarily used by people trying to access independent media, so that funding by the OTF has been absolutely critical,” said a spokesperson for Lantern, one of the companies involved.

The OTF has estimated that over four million users in Russia have received VPNs from the US firms.

Namita Singh3 July 2022 06:30
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Belarusian president claims country intercepted attempted missile strikes by Ukraine

Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday said Ukraine had tried to strike military facilities on Belarusian territory three days ago, but all its missiles had been intercepted.

Mr Lukashenko did not provide any evidence for the claim, reported Reuters. He added that while the country does not want a war with Ukraine, it would respond if its own territory was under attack.

File: Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko during a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Amur Region, Russia 12 April 2022

The Ukrainian military did not immediately comment.

Namita Singh3 July 2022 05:43
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At least 3 killed in blasts in Russia's Belgorod, says governor

At least three people were killed and dozens of residential buildings damaged in the Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukraine border, said governor Vyacheslav Gladkov.

About 11 apartment building and 39 private houses were damaged, he posted on the Telegram, adding that five were destroyed.

Mr Gladkov said earlier the “incident” was being investigated, adding: “Presumably, the air defence system worked.”

At least four people were injured and two hospitalised, including a 10-year-old boy, he said.

The reports could not be independently verified. Ukraine has also not yet officially reacted to the incident.

Namita Singh3 July 2022 05:40
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Troops trying to keep the supply road open near Lysychansk amid Russian bombardment

Troops on a break from the fighting and speaking in Konstyantynivka, a market town about 115 km (72 miles) west of Lysychansk, said they had managed to keep the supply road to the embattled city open, for now, despite Russian bombardment.

“We still use the road because we have to, but it’s within artillery range of the Russians,” said one soldier as comrades relaxed nearby, munching on sandwiches or eating ice cream.

“The Russian tactic right now is to just shell any building we could locate ourselves at. When they’ve destroyed it, they move on to the next one,” he said.

Namita Singh3 July 2022 05:00
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‘Very difficult path’ to victory, says Zelensky

In his nightly television address late on Saturday, president Volodymyr Zelensky said it would be a “very difficult path” to victory but Ukrainians must maintain their resolve and inflict losses on the “aggressor ... so that every Russian remembers that Ukraine cannot be broken”.

Kyiv says Moscow has intensified missile attacks on cities far from the main eastern battlefields and that it deliberately hit civilian sites.

This photograph taken on 1 July 2022 shows a market destroyed during battles of early April 2022 in Irpin, Kyiv region, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Ukrainian troops on the eastern front lines, meanwhile, describe intense artillery barrages on residential areas.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov repeated Russia’s denials that it targets civilians.

Namita Singh3 July 2022 04:50
1656819638

Ukraine requests more weaponry support from the west

Urging the west to supply more artillery support, president Volodymyr Zelensky’s adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said: “The more western weapons come to the front, the more the picture changes in favour of Ukraine.”

The request comes amid reports of Russian forces closing in on Lysychansk, the last bastion in Luhansk.

Namita Singh3 July 2022 04:40
1656819096

Lysychansk ‘under control’ but not yet liberated, says separatist leader as Ukraine disputes the claim

Rodion Miroshnik, ambassador to Russia of the pro-Moscow self-styled Luhansk People’s Republic, told Russian television “Lysychansk has been brought under control,” but added: “Unfortunately, it is not yet liberated.”

Russian media showed videos of Luhansk militia parading in Lysychansk streets waving flags and cheering, but Ukraine National Guard spokesman Ruslan Muzychuk told Ukrainian television the city remained in Ukrainian hands.

Smoke billows over the oil refinery outside the town of Lysychansk on 23 June 2022

“Now there are fierce battles near Lysychansk, however, fortunately, the city is not surrounded and is under the control of the Ukrainian army,” Mr Muzychuk said.

Namita Singh3 July 2022 04:31

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