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Russia Ukraine war latest news today: Putin’s forces ‘abandon’ village as it’s reportedly recaptured by Kyiv


Drone footage shows scale of destruction in Odesa after Russian strike

Vladimir Putin’s forces “have abandoned” the village of Piatykhatky on the Zaporizhzhia front after it was reportedly recaptured by Kyiv, according to Russian military blogger War Gonzo.

It is Ukraine’s first village gain for nearly a week and marks a significant escalation of Ukraine’s counter-offensive which was launched earlier this month.

The military blogger suggested Ukraine has concentrated large reserves and “heavy armoured vehicles” in the area, which is the most direct route to Crimea.

Russian-installed official Vladimir Rogov claimed on Sunday that Ukrainian forces had taken the settlement of Piatykhatky and were entrenching themselves there while coming under fire from Russian artillery.

However, he said heavy fighting continues in the area. The reports have not been independently verified.

Russia claims it is inflicting heavy losses on Kyiv’s forces and president Putin said last week that Ukraine had “no chance” of success in the counter-offensive.

Meanwhile, Ukraine said last week it had regained control of about 100 square km (38 square miles) of territory in just over a week, recapturing a string of villages in Donetsk region to the east.

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Evidence clearly points to Russia blowing up Kahkovka dam, investigations find

Multiple investigations published late last week added to the body of evidence suggesting Russia was responsible for the destruction of the Soviet-era New Kahkovka dam in Ukraine earlier this month.

The dam’s destruction unleashed a torrent of water flooding a large stretch of the Kherson region, with officials warning it could lead to water shortages and other long-term impacts for decades to come.

Russia has denied blowing up the dam and blamed it on Ukrainian forces, while Kyiv said it believed Moscow ordered the dam’s destruction in order to slow down its long-awaited military counteroffensive.

Now, a team of international legal experts assisting Ukraine’s prosecutors in their investigation said in preliminary findings on Friday it was “highly likely” the collapse in Ukraine’s Kherson region was caused by explosives planted by Russians.

And an investigation published by the New York Times described the destruction of the dam – which was controlled by Russia at the time – as an “inside job”.

Saxophonist plays on rooftops of flooded Kherson homes after Nova Kakhovka dam attack

The Times investigation cited engineers and explosive experts, analysing available videos, photographs and satellite imagery of the dam, to conclude that “the evidence clearly suggests the dam was crippled by an explosion set off by the side that controls it: Russia”.

It described the dam as virtually indestructible from external forces such as shelling, instead saying that evidence suggests an explosive charge in a passageway running through the dam’s concrete base was detonated, destroying the structure.

This image provided by Maxar Technologies, shows the Kakhovka dam and station in Ukraine after its collapse, on June 7, 2023

(Satellite image ©2023 Maxar Technologies)

The Times cited engineers as saying only a full examination of the dam after the water drains from it could conclusively establish the sequence of events leading to its destruction.

“Erosion from water cascading through the gates could have led to a failure if the dam were poorly designed, or the concrete was substandard, but engineers called that unlikely,” the newspaper said.

Adam Withnall18 June 2023 06:28

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Putin’s forces ‘abandon’ village as it’s reportedly recaptured by Kyiv

Vladimir Putin’s forces “have abandoned” the village of Piatykhatky on the Zaporizhzhia front after it was reportedly recaptured by Kyiv, according to Russian military blogger War Gonzo.

It is Ukraine’s first village gain for nearly a week and marks a significant escalation of Ukraine’s counter-offensive which was launched earlier this month.

The military blogger suggested Ukraine has concentrated large reserves and “heavy armoured vehicles” in the area, which is the most direct route to Crimea.

Russian-installed official Vladimir Rogov claimed on Sunday that Ukrainian forces had taken the settlement of Piatykhatky and were entrenching themselves there while coming under fire from Russian artillery.

However, he said heavy fighting continues in the area. The reports have not been independently verified.

Russia claims it is inflicting heavy losses on Kyiv’s forces and president Putin said last week that Ukraine had “no chance” of success in the counter-offensive.

Meanwhile, Ukraine said last week it had regained control of about 100 square km (38 square miles) of territory in just over a week, recapturing a string of villages in Donetsk region to the east.

Martha Mchardy18 June 2023 12:28

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Death toll rises from flooding after Ukraine dam breach

The death toll from flooding following the destruction of the Kakhovka dam has risen to 16 in Ukraine, Kyiv officials said, while Russian officials said 29 people have died in territories that Moscow controls.

The breaching of the Kakhovka Dam on June 6 unleashed floodwaters across a large swath of land in southern Ukraine and in Russia-occupied parts of Ukraine, destroying farmland and cutting off supplies to civilians.

More than 3,600 people have been evacuated from the flooded areas in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, while 31 people were still missing and some 1,300 houses remained flooded, Ukraine’s interior ministry said on its Telegram channel late on Saturday.

Andrei Alekseyenko, chairman of the Russian-installed administration in the Moscow-occupied parts of the Kherson region, said on the Telegram messaging app the death toll had risen to 29 people.

Ukraine accuses Russia of blowing up the Soviet-era dam, under Russian control since early days of its invasion in 2022.

A team of international legal experts assisting Ukraine’s prosecutors in their investigation said in preliminary findings on Friday it was “highly likely” the collapse in Ukraine’s Kherson region was caused by explosives planted by Russians. The Kremlin accuses Kyiv of sabotaging the hydroelectric dam, which held a reservoir the size of the U.S. Great Salt Lake, to cut off a key source of water for Crimea and distract attention from a “faltering” counter-offensive against Russian forces.

Tara Cobham18 June 2023 12:20

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Ukrainian counteroffensive on four sections of front on Saturday – ISW

Ukraine continued its counteroffensive on at least four sections of the front on Saturday, according to the Institute of War (ISW).

Tara Cobham18 June 2023 11:20

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Putin lectures African leaders seeking peace in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin interrupted opening remarks by African leaders seeking peace in the Ukraine conflict to deliver a list of reasons – including his tried-and-tested tactic of blaming the West – as to why he claims many of their proposals are misguided.

Mr Putin first welcomed the presidents of Comoros, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia, as well as Egypt’s prime minister and top envoys from the Republic of Congo and Uganda to the 18th-century Konstantinovsky Palace on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland. He stressed Russia’s commitment to the continent. But after presentations from the Comoran, Senegalese and South African leaders, he stepped in to challenge the assumptions of the plan before the round of comments from all the representatives could go any further.

Tara Cobham18 June 2023 10:20

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Prigozhin ‘disinterested in subordinating Wagner to Russian Defence Ministry’ – ISW

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin has continued to show disinterest in formally subordinating the private military company to the Russian Defence Ministry, according to the Institute of War (ISW).

It said his behaviour suggests he is unlikely to do so unless such a move would give him more political power in Russia.

Prigozhin “sarcastically criticised” the Russian Defence Ministry’s efforts at formalisation on Saturday, added the policy research organisation, having previously signalled he was on board with the order for volunteer formations to sign formal contracts by 1 July.

Tara Cobham18 June 2023 09:20

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Sunak calls on private firms to step up support for Ukraine economic recovery

Rishi Sunak will call on businesses and investors to “match Ukraine’s bravery on the battlefield” by stepping up support for the country’s economic recovery.

The prime minister will urge the private sector to “help the country rebuild and recover” in an effort to create a “financially stronger, technologically advanced Ukraine”.

Mr Sunak will address more than 1,000 foreign dignitaries from 61 states at the Ukraine Recovery Conference next week – the largest international conference to be hosted by the UK this year.

The audience will also contain business chiefs and global investors.

Tara Cobham18 June 2023 08:20

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‘Significant’ Russian ammunition depot destroyed in Kherson

The Ukrainian military says it has destroyed a “significant” ammunition depot near the Russian-occupied port city of Henichesk in the southern region of Kherson.

Serhiy Bratchuk, spokesperson for the Odesa military administration, said on Sunday: “Our armed forces dealt a good blow in the morning – and a very loud one – in the village of Rykove, Henichesk district, in the temporarily occupied territory of the Kherson region.

“There was a very significant ammunition depot. It was destroyed.”

Ukrainian media posted videos showing a vast plume of smoke rising far on the horizon with sounds of blasts.

Reuters said it could not independently verify the information, and there was no immediate comment from Russia on the alleged attack.

Rykove is about 20km (12 miles) from Henichesk, a port city along the Sea of Azov in southern Ukraine, which has been occupied by Kremlin forces since the early days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Adam Withnall18 June 2023 07:00

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Little to show for ‘peace plan’ meeting between Putin and African leaders

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin met a group of leaders of African countries yesterday, after they travelled to Ukraine and Russia on a self-styled “peace mission”, but the meeting ended with no visible progress.

The seven African leaders – presidents of Comoros, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia, as well as Egypt’s prime minister and top envoys from the Republic of Congo and Uganda – first visited Ukraine on Friday and met with president Volodymyr Zelensky as they discussed efforts to end the nearly 16-month-old war.

The African leaders then travelled to St Petersburg on Saturday to meet Mr Putin, who was attending Russia’s showpiece international economic forum.

Details about the delegation’s proposals were thin.

Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said after the three-hour meeting that the Africans’ peace plan consisted of 10 elements, but “was not formulated on paper”.

“The peace initiative proposed by African countries is very difficult to implement, difficult to compare positions,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

But “President Putin has shown interest in considering it”.

“He spoke about our position. Not all provisions can be correlated with the main elements of our position, but this does not mean that we do not need to continue working,” Mr Peskov said.

Adam Withnall18 June 2023 05:21

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Sunak to ask businesses to back Ukraine

British prime minister Rishi Sunak will ask entrepreneurs and businesses to step up investment in Ukraine at a conference next week to help it rebuild after Russia’s invasion.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky will make a virtual appearance at the two-day event which starts in London on Wednesday, organisers said.

“Ukraine’s bravery on the battlefield must be matched by the vision of the private sector to help the country rebuild and recover,” Mr Sunak will say, according to the text of his speech released by his office yesterday

“A financially stronger, technologically advanced Ukraine will bolster its ability to drive Russia back behind its borders,” Mr Sunak will tell dignitaries and company bosses at the Ukraine Recovery Conference, according to the statement.

Stuti Mishra18 June 2023 04:51


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