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Ukraine news - live: Putin’s troops ‘take control’ of last major eastern city Luhansk

Ukrainian fighters have spent weeks trying to defend Lysychansk after the fall of neighbouring Sievierodonetsk

Moment Russian missile hits Ukrainian shopping centre

Vladimir Putin has been informed by his defence minister that the eastern region of Luhansk has been “liberated” from Kyiv as he claimed Russia’s forces took control of the last major Ukrainian-held city of Lysychansk.

Sergei Shoigu’s announcement follows reports that Moscow had encircled the stronghold amid a fierce battle for its control.

An adviser to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky earlier conceded that Lysychansk might fall to Russia - but had assumed the conclusion of the gruelling fight would not arrive until Monday.

Ukrainian fighters have spent weeks trying to defend Lysychansk and to keep it from falling to Russia, as neighbouring Sievierodonetsk did a week ago.

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.

1656844777

Australia's PM visits Ukraine's Kyiv region

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has visited three war-ravaged towns in Ukraine’s Kyiv region, the local governor said on Sunday.

Governor Oleksiy Kuleba wrote on Telegram that Albanese visited the towns of Bucha, Irpin, and Hostomel, where Ukraine says Russia committed atrocities against civilians. Russia denies the allegations.

“Australia supports Ukraine and wants to see justice meted out for the crimes committed here,” Kuleba quoted Albanese as saying.

Reuters

Emily Atkinson3 July 2022 11:39
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Putin told Luhansk ‘liberated’ as last stronghold falls to Russia

Vladimir Putin has been informed by his defence minister that the eastern region of Luhansk has been “liberated” from Kyiv as Russia’s forces took control of the last major Ukrainian-held city of Lysychansk.

Sergei Shoigu’s announcement comes after Moscow’s military withdrew from the north of the country to focus its efforts on driving Ukrainian forces out of Luhansk and Donetsk regions in the east of the country, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Kyiv since Russia‘s first military intervention in Ukraine in 2014.

Emily Atkinson3 July 2022 11:13
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Watch: Russian ship carrying Ukrainian grain stalls in Turkey’s waters

Russian ship carrying Ukrainian grain stalls in Turkey’s waters
Emily Atkinson3 July 2022 10:44
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Russia ‘encircles last remaining stronghold in Luhansk’

Russian troops have encircled the last major stronghold in the eastern Luhansk region amid a fierce battle for its control, the Russian defence ministry has reportedly claimed.

Russia is focussed on driving Ukrainian forces out of Luhansk and Donetsk provinces in the Donbas, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Kyiv since Russia’s first military intervention in Ukraine in 2014.

Emily Atkinson3 July 2022 10:16
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Smoking out the enemy: How Ukraine is using e-cigarettes to fight a drone war against Russia

Few would connect vaping with armed drones. But in a busy workshop in Kyiv, disposable electronic cigarettes have become the newest weapon of war, writes Bel Trew.

Across the country, Ukrainians have launched groundbreaking initiatives to support and even arm the Ukrainian military against Russia, after President Putin’s considerably larger army invaded in February.

Smoking out the enemy: Ukraine uses e-cigarettes to fight drone war against Russia

Resourceful Ukrainians are using batteries from discarded vape pens as a way to power drones on the front line. Bel Trew reports from a lab in Kyiv where production has begun

Emily Atkinson3 July 2022 10:00
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Ukraine shares video of Russians allegedly dropping phosphorus bombs on Snake Island

Ukraine shares video of Russians allegedly dropping phosphorus bombs on Snake Island
Emily Atkinson3 July 2022 09:00
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Residents describe Belgorod blast

Belgorod residents have said that the the blasts which reportedly shook the city this morning caused all the windows in their houses to shatter.

It is thought that at least three people died after the Russian city bordering Ukraine was hit by blasts early on Sunday.

“The sound was so strong that I jumped up, I woke up, got very scared and started screaming,” a resident of the city told Reuters, adding the blasts took place around 3am local time.

“The missile hit residential buildings about 20 metres from my house .... All the windows in our house were shattered, the doors came out of the alignment.”

Emily Atkinson3 July 2022 08:38
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Mikhail Khodorkovsky: What comes after Vladimir Putin is one of my biggest concerns

Mikhail Khodorkovsky isn’t afraid to speak his mind, no matter how disheartening it is to hear. “I’m a pessimist,” he says, straight off the bat. “I think if the war goes on as it is, for now, in a month or so the fight probably will be in Kyiv and in Odesa.”

Samuel Lovett speaks to the oligarch-turned-dissident about Russia’s war on Ukraine and what comes after it:

Mikhail Khodorkovsky: What comes after Vladimir Putin is one of my biggest concerns

Interview: Once Russia’s richest man, the oligarch-turned-dissident talks to Samuel Lovett about the current state of war in Ukraine, stopping Vladimir Putin’s war machine and succession in the Kremlin

Emily Atkinson3 July 2022 08:16
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No casualties from Melitopol strikes, Russia claims

There have been no casualties from the strikes by Ukrainian forces on Melitopol, a local Moscow-installed official in the Zaporizhzhia region has claimed

“Shells fell on the territory of the airfield. There were no casualties,” Evgeny Balitsky, head of the Russia-installed council in the Zaporizhzhia region, wrote on Telegram.

Balitsky also claimed that several private residential houses near the airfield were damaged.

Emily Atkinson3 July 2022 08:00
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West should have armed Ukraine years ago to avoid Russian invasion, says exiled oligarch

The West should have acted years ago in arming Ukraine with weapons and imposing sanctions on Russia — a move that would have “100 per cent” deterred Vladimir Putin from launching his invasion earlier this year, believes Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an exiled oligarch-turned-dissident.

Mr Khodorkovsky, once the richest man in Russia before his persecution and imprisonment by the Kremlin, said Western governments bear “significant responsibility” for the conflict in Ukraine, having failed to take action against President Putin after the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The former oil and gas tycoon, who at one point had a personal fortune estimated to be worth £12.38 billion, compared the West’s inaction to being slapped by a gangster and handing over money.

Our senior news correspondent Samuel Lovett reports:

West should have armed Ukraine years ago to avoid Russian invasion, says Khodorkovsky

The former oligarch-turned-dissident says Western governments bear ‘significant responsibility’ for the conflict in Ukraine, having failed to take action after the annexation of Crimea in 2014

Emily Atkinson3 July 2022 07:42

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