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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.

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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
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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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Zelensky’s adviser acknowledges Lysychansk could fall

With the fighting intensifying in Lysychansk, Ukraine’s last big bastion in the strategic eastern province of Luhansk, an adviser to president Volodymyr Zelensky has conceded that the city could fall.

Oleksiy Arestovych said Russian forces had finally crossed the Siverskiy Donets river and were approaching the city from the north.

This is indeed a threat. We shall see. I do not rule out any one of a number of outcomes here. Things will become much more clear within a day or two.

Oleksiy Arestovych

“If Lysychansk is taken, strategically it becomes more difficult for the Russians to continue their offensive. The front lines will be flatter and there will be a frontal attack rather than from the flanks,” he said.

Ukrainian soldiers ride an armoured vehicle on the main road to Lysychansk in Ukraines eastern region of Donbas on 26 June 2022

Namita Singh3 July 2022 04:19
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Two children among 21 people killed after missile strikes on Odesa

At least 21 people, including two children, have been killed after Russian missiles struck an apartment building and two holiday camps near Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa on Friday morning, Ukrainian authorities have said.

Ukrainian officials told The Independent that at least 18 people perished in the strike on a nine-storey apartment block in the village of Serhiivka, and another three died in a hit on the resort.

A member of Odesa’s military administration said that two children at the resort were in critical condition and the hunt for those who were still missing continued.

In total nearly 40 had been injured, according to Lyubov Hordievska, a spokesperson for Odesa’s regional police force.

Bel Trew and Shweta Sharma report:

Two children among 21 people killed after missile strikes on Odesa

One rocket hit a nine-storey residential building and another struck a recreation centre, Ukrainian officials say

Maryam Zakir-Hussain3 July 2022 04:00
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Ukraine's Zelensky talks to Argentina, Chile presidents

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pressed on with his campaign to obtain support from Latin America with calls Friday to the leaders of Argentina and Chile.

“I continue to establish relations with an important region — Latin America,” Zelenskyy wrote on social media.

The conversations with Alberto Fernández of Argentina and Gabriel Boric of Chile came a little more than two weeks after Zelenskyy spoke with Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso and Guatemalans President Alejandro Giammattei.

Read more here:

Ukraine's Zelenskyy talks to Argentina, Chile presidents

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is pressing on with with his campaign to obtain support from Latin America

Maryam Zakir-Hussain3 July 2022 03:00
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Shaun Pinner: Briton condemned to death in breakaway Donetsk region appeals sentence

A British man condemned to death by a separatist court in east Ukraine has appealed against his sentence, Russian state news agency TASS has reported.

Shaun Pinner, 48, has formally lodged papers in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), the Russian-backed separatist region, said TASS on Friday. Another Briton also sentenced to death, Aiden Aslin, had not yet submitted an appeal, added the agency.

A third man condemned with the Britons, Brahim Saadoun from Morocco, had also lodged an appeal against his death sentence.

Shaun Pinner: Briton condemned to death in Donetsk appeals sentence

No appeal has yet been received from the other Briton, Aiden Aslin, held in the Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic

Maryam Zakir-Hussain3 July 2022 02:00
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Captured Brit accused of being mercenary has ‘connection to Ukrainian or British military'

The director of a charity helping the family of a British man captured in eastern Ukraine said Dylan Healy was detained on April 25 at a Russian checkpoint in the south of the Zaporizhzhia region.

Dominik Byrne, director of operations at Presidium Network, told The Associated Press that Healy is an aid worker and has no connection either to the Ukrainian or the British military. Healy is among at least five foreigners, including four Britons, being held by separatists, who accuse them of being mercenaries fighting for Ukraine. Three have been sentenced to death. The charges against Healy were announced Friday.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain3 July 2022 01:00
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Investigators find missile fragments in apartment wreckage

Investigators have combed through the wreckage from a Russian airstrike early Friday on residential areas near the Ukrainian port of Odesa that killed 21 people.

Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Iryna Venediktova said the investigators were recovering fragments from missiles that struck an apartment building in the small coastal town of Serhiivka.

They also were taking measurements to determine the trajectory of the weapons and “the specific people guilty of this terrible war crime,” she said.

Larissa Andruchenko said she was in the kitchen making tea at about 1 a.m. when a blast blew the doors open. At first she thought the propane gas tank had exploded, and called her husband to the kitchen

.“And right then the lights went off and it was nightmare. The two of us are in the kitchen with glass flying, everything was flying,” she said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said three anti-ship missiles struck “an ordinary residential building, a nine-story building” housing about 160 people.

The victims of Friday’s attack also included four members of a family staying at a seaside campsite, he said.‘I emphasise: This is deliberate direct Russian terror, and not some mistake or an accidental missile strike,” Zelensky said.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain3 July 2022 00:00
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Fighting intensifies for Ukraine's last bastion in eastern Luhansk province

Fighting intensified on Saturday for Lysychansk, Ukraine‘s last bastion in the strategic eastern province of Luhansk, while blasts shook a southern city after the civilian toll from Russian strikes climbed in towns well behind the frontlines.

Andrei Marochko, an officer of the pro-Russian Luhansk People’s Militia, was quoted by Russia‘s TASS news agency as saying that the militia’s red hammer-and-sickle flag was now flying over the administrative building in Lysychansk, although Ukraine‘s military rejected claims that the city was encircled.

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

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

He said the situations in the Lysychansk and Bakhmut areas, as well as in Kharkiv region, were the most difficult on the entire front line.

“The goal of the enemy here remains access to the administrative border of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Also, in the Sloviansk direction, the enemy is attempting assault actions,” he said.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain2 July 2022 23:00
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Hit by all kinds of weapons: The bloody battle for Ukrainian city of Lysychansk rages

Russian forces are firing “all available kinds of weapons” in their bid to take the eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk, the last stronghold of resistance in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk province, officials said.

Ukrainian fighters have come under intense fire in recent days as they try to defend the city and keep it from falling to Russia, as neighbouring Sievierodonetsk did a week ago.

Fighting has raged around an oil refinery on the city’s edge, with both Russia and Ukraine claiming they have control of the key facility.

“Over the last day, the occupiers opened fire from all available kinds of weapons,” said Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai on Saturday.

Hit by all kinds of weapons: The bloody battle for Ukrainian city rages

Lysychansk is the last Ukrainian stronghold of resistance in the province of Luhansk, in the east of the country

Maryam Zakir-Hussain2 July 2022 22:25

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