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Russia Ukraine war latest news: RAF scrambles fighter jets to respond to Russian aircraft flying near Nato airspace


Drone footage shows scale of destruction in Odesa after Russian strike

Britain’s RAF scrambled fighter jets last night after a Russian navy aircraft was seen flying near Nato airspace in Estonia, officials said.

“This evening, RAF Typhoons from 140 EAW in Estonia were scrambled to intercept a Russian Navy Tu-134 and 2x Su-27 ‘FLANKER’ Bs flying close to @NATO airspace,” the air force said on Twitter, sharing photos of the two planes flying in close proximity.

The Russian aircraft “failed to comply with international norms by not liaising with regional airspace control”, the RAF said.

This comes as diplomats from dozens of countries are meeting in London today to drum up funds to rebuild Ukraine, a mammoth task whose cost is estimated by the World Bank at more than $400bn (£313bn).

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will announce a new package of US assistance at the Ukraine Recovery Conference and he will be joined by Rishi Sunak and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen among international representatives at the gathering, which hopes to get big businesses to back Ukraine.

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RAF scrambles jets to respond to Russian aircraft flying ‘close to Nato airspace’

The Royal Air Force (RAF) scrambled its fighter jets in Estonia after a Russian Navy airplane was seen flying near Nato airspace, officials said today.

“This evening [Tuesday], RAF Typhoons from 140 EAW in Estonia were scrambled to intercept a Russian Navy Tu-134 and 2x Su-27 ‘FLANKER’ Bs flying close to @NATO airspace,” the air force said on Twitter, sharing photos of the two planes flying alongside in the Estonian skies.

The RAF warplane is seen alongside the intercepted Russian navy airplane.

“The Russian aircraft failed to comply with international norms by not liaising with regional airspace control agencies,” the RAF added.

Arpan Rai21 June 2023 07:21

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Control of Crimea peninsula a top political priority for Putin, says UK MoD

Russia continues to see maintaining control of the Crimean peninsula as its “top political priority”, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) said today.

This comes in the wake of Russia’s continuing effort to “expend significant effort building defensive lines deep in rear areas, especially on the approaches to occupied Crimea in the recent weeks, alongside heavy fighting in southern Ukraine.

“This includes an extensive zone of defences of 9km in length, 3.5km north of the town Armyansk, on the narrow bridge of land connecting Crimea to the Kherson region,” the ministry said.

It added that these elaborate defences highlight the “Russian command’s assessment that Ukrainian forces are capable of directly assaulting Crimea”.

Arpan Rai21 June 2023 07:08

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Comment: People say Ukraine will never recover. They’re wrong

As the disaster of the Nova Kakhovka dam horrifyingly illustrates, the destruction of Ukraine is gearing up and adding daily to the toll of human suffering. Yet history also tells us that a durable peace is much likelier where planning for recovery begins early – before the guns fall silent and a political settlement is reached.

From Bakhmut to Mariupol entire cityscapes have been devastated. But history also tells us that a durable peace is much likelier where planning for recovery begins early, writes Patrick Watt, chief executive of Christian Aid:

Eleanor Noyce21 June 2023 07:00

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Major business investment to rebuild Ukraine at London conference on table today

Diplomats from dozens of countries are meeting in London today to drum up funds to rebuild Ukraine, a mammoth task whose cost is estimated by the World Bank at more than $400bn (£313bn) — a figure rising daily alongside the human toll of the 16-month war.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will announce a new package of US assistance at the Ukraine Recovery Conference, which is both a fundraising forum and a message to Russia that Ukraine’s allies are in it for the long haul.

He will be joined by Rishi Sunak and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen among international representatives at the gathering, which hopes to get big businesses to back Ukraine.

The scale of the need is vast. Many say Ukraine needs the equivalent of the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild Europe after the Second World War. Its infrastructure had been decimated by Russian attacks even before the collapse of the Kakhovka dam this month after an explosion flooded some 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres) of land and displaced thousands of people.

Arpan Rai21 June 2023 06:55

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Ukraine’s ‘main blow’ yet to come, says deputy defence minister

Ukrainian troops are moving forward on the battlefield and facing resistance from Russian troops, deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar, as she warned the main strike is still pending.

“We will advance gradually, with difficulties, facing the furious resistance of the enemy. We must understand that the tasks that are set before the military are carried out by them, and gradual movement is taking place in all directions where the offensive began,” she said on Telegram last night.

“But, of course, the main blow is yet to come.”

Arpan Rai21 June 2023 06:38

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UK’s landmark financial support package for Ukraine expected this week

Rishi Sunak will pledge to stand with Ukraine “as long as it takes” as he announces $3bn (£2.35bn) in bank loan guarantees to bolster Kyiv’s rebuild.

Opening a major conference in London focused on Ukraine’s recovery after Russia’s invasion, Mr Sunak will hail the country’s “defiance” as Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s troops use a counter-offensive to push back the Kremlin’s forces.

He will announce a financial package that includes World Bank loan guarantees worth three billion US dollars over three years.

Downing Street said the guarantees amount to the first bilateral package of multi-year fiscal assistance to be set out by a G7 country.

Arpan Rai21 June 2023 06:10

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Ukrainian refugees helped push German population up 1.3% last year

Large numbers of refugees from Ukraine fleeing Russia‘s war fueled a 1.3% rise in Germany’s population last year, helping push up the number of inhabitants in the European Union‘s most populous country to more than 84.4 million, official statistics showed Tuesday.

Germany’s population expanded by 1.12 million in 2022, the Federal Statistical Office said. That compared with an increase of just 0.1%, or 82,000 people, the previous year.

All of Germany’s 16 states saw their populations increase. The largest proportional increases were in the country’s two biggest cities, Berlin and Hamburg, which both saw rises of 2.1%.

At the end of last year, Germany was home to 12.3 million people with only foreign citizenship, the statistics office said. Of those, 1.34 million Turkish citizens — a substantial minority in the country for decades — made up the biggest single group.

Eleanor Noyce21 June 2023 06:00

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Pentagon says accounting error bills extra $6.2bn for Ukraine military aid

The Pentagon said it overestimated the value of the weapons it has sent to Ukraine by $6.2bn (£4.8bn) over the past two years — about double early estimates — resulting in a surplus that will be used for future security packages.

Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said a detailed review of the accounting error found that the military services used replacement costs rather than the book value of equipment that was pulled from Pentagon stocks and sent to Ukraine. She said final calculations show there was an error of $3.6bn in the current fiscal year and $2.6bn (£2bn) in the 2022 fiscal year, which ended last September.

As a result, the department now has additional money in its coffers to use to support Ukraine as it pursues its counteroffensive against Russia. And it come as the fiscal year is wrapping up and congressional funding was beginning to dwindle.

Arpan Rai21 June 2023 05:23

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Ukraine’s Zelensky: Our forces are destroying the enemy in east, south

President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday that Ukraine‘s forces were destroying Russian forces in the two main theatres of the conflict, the east and south of the country.

“At this time, our soldiers in the south and east are actively destroying the enemy, physically cleansing Ukraine,” Zelensky said in his nightly video message.

“A defence against terror means destroying terrorists. And it is a guarantee that the state of evil will never have the opportunity to bring evil to Ukraine.”

Referring to a conference to take place in London on post-war recovery, Zelensky said rebuilding Ukraine was “a vehicle and a guarantee of security” and a means of “protecting against any repetition of Russian aggression.”

Eleanor Noyce21 June 2023 05:00

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Ukrainian forces ‘gnawing our way meter by meter’, says minister

Ukrainian forces have pushed Russian troops on a defensive in the battlefield as they recapture territory “metre by metre”, the war-hit country’s deputy defence minister said.

“We are moving forward gradually, with small steps but very confidently. And you can even cite an allegory that “we are gnawing away every meter by meter of land from the enemy,” Hanna Maliar said on Telegram last night.

In an update from the battlefield, the deputy defence minister said that the offensive continues in several directions.

“Everything happens there according to the plan established by the military. There are certain advances in all directions where our military is moving. But the enemy will not give up the occupied positions just like that, and that is why fierce battles and a very powerful duel continue,” Ms Maliar said.

She added that the “enemy mines the fields”, including in the Zaporizhzhia region where “the enemy mines even settlements where people live, without warning them”.

Arpan Rai21 June 2023 04:43


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