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Russia Ukraine war latest news: US to send cluster munitions to Kyiv for first time


Devastating aftermath of deadly Lviv attack captured in drone footage

The White House weighed in on Ukraine’s potential Nato membership shortly after announcing that it will send controversial cluster munitions to the eastern European country.

The munitions will be sent for the first time amid Ukraine’s ongoing war against Russia, as the conflict enters its 500th day this weekend and ahead of a Nato summit to be held next week in Lithuania.

Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky that his country ‘deserves’ to be in the Western bloc.

White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan on Friday said the upcoming summit will underscore Nato’s readiness to consider Ukraine’s membership.

Mr Sullivan, however, said Ukraine “will not be joining Nato coming out of this summit”.

Meanwhile, he said Kyiv has “provided written assurances” that it would use the controversial weapons “in a very careful way that is aimed at minimising any risk to civilians”. A senior Ukrainian official previously said Ukraine would welcome the munitions from the US as they would have an “extraordinary psycho-emotional impact” on Russian forces.

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White House weighs in on Ukraine’s entry to Nato

Ukraine’s proposed entrance into Nato will be discussed, but not decided at the alliance’s summit next week in Lithuania, the White House said on Friday.

White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan said the summit will underscore Nato’s readiness to consider Ukraine’s membership, which he called a “milestone” in itself.

“The Nato Summit will dive into the question of Nato’s relationship with Ukraine, both the question of its pathway towards future membership and the question of an ongoing partnership that has existed for several years,” Mr Sullivan said.

But Ukraine “will not be joining Nato coming out of this summit,” he said.

Kyiv “still has further steps that it needs to take before membership,” Mr Sullivan said.

Peony Hirwani8 July 2023 05:10

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Russia shells 10 communities in Sumy Oblast

Russian forces shelled 10 communities in Sumy Oblast on Friday (7 July).

They reportedly fired over 111 rounds from various types of weapons, the Sumy Oblast Military Administration reported on Telegram.

Peony Hirwani8 July 2023 05:00

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Today in pictures

A pedestrian crosses a flooded street as a car drives partially submerged during heavy rain in the central part of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv

(AFP via Getty Images)

A French Multiple Launch Rocket System LRU M270 is seen on the Ukrainian troops positions on the frontline in the Donetsk region

(AP)

A Ukrainian self-propelled howitzer “Bohdana” fires towards Russian positions near Bakhmut

(AP)

A Ukrainian serviceman fires a self-propelled howitzer “Bohdana” towards Russian positions near Bakhmut

(AP)

A view shows a residential building hit by a Russian missile strike the previous day, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Lviv

(REUTERS)

Martha Mchardy8 July 2023 04:00

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How many casualties has Russia suffered in Ukraine?

Establishing accurate data on the number of military casualties sustained since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on 24 February 2022 is difficult for two reasons. The severity of the fighting on the ground and the fact that both sides are inclined to keep their cards close to their chests to avoid damaging morale – especially at a time when the war is entering a pivotal new stage.

The Kremlin, in particular, is unlikely to admit to high fatality rates among its troops because to do so would amount to a confession that Vladimir Putin’s spurious war to “de-Nazify” Russia’s neighbour state is not going according to plan and, in fact, represents a monumental miscalculation on the part of its leader, who is already under pressure at home over the attempted uprising by Wagner Group mercenaries.

Moscow is more likely to downplay its own (rarely offered) numbers and accuse its enemies of dishonestly briefing against it whenever outside estimates are offered that imply significant Russian losses.

Martha Mchardy8 July 2023 03:00

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What are cluster bombs and why is it controversial for the US to send them to Ukraine?

The United States has announced that it is sending cluster munitions to Ukraine to help its military push back Russian forces entrenched along the front lines.

The administration of Joe Biden said that it will send thousands of them as part of a new military aid package worth $800m (£630m).

The move will likely trigger outrage from some allies and humanitarian groups that have long opposed the use of cluster bombs.

Martha Mchardy8 July 2023 02:00

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Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak to ‘compare notes’ on Ukrainian fightback

Joe Biden is expected to discuss the Ukrainian counter-offensive against Russia with Rishi Sunak when they meet next week.

The US president will meet the prime minister in London and with the King at Windsor Castle on Monday before heading to the Nato summit in Lithuania.

Mr Biden will land in the UK amid criticism of his plan to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions, which are banned by many allies including Britain.

In their fifth meeting in as many months, the White House said Mr Biden will “compare notes” with Mr Sunak on their support for Ukraine and the situation on the battlefield.

Both men will join their Nato allies in Vilnius on Tuesday, when there will be discussions on Ukraine’s membership bid.

prime minister Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden

(PA Wire)

National Security Council senior director for Europe Amanda Sloat said: “Given that they are meeting the day before – both leaders will be flying to Vilnius – I would imagine that this will be an opportunity for them to touch base on developments in discussions heading into the summit in Vilnius.

“It will be an opportunity for them to compare notes on both of our support for Ukraine and their ongoing efforts on the battlefield.”

The UK is one of 123 signatories to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibits their use or stockpiling because of their indiscriminate effect on civilian populations.

The weapons deploy a large number of bomblets across a wide area.

Unexploded bomblets can continue to pose a threat to civilians long after conflicts end.

Commons Defence Committee chairman Tobias Ellwood urged the US to “reconsider”.

The Tory MP tweeted: “This is the wrong call – and will alienate international good will.

“Their use leaves deadly unexploded ordnance over the battlefield – killing & injuring civilians long after the war is over.”

Martha Mchardy8 July 2023 01:00

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Inside Vladimir Putin’s luxury armoured train – that has its own beauty salon

The hammam features a “fancy shower” including an “aroma foam” mode with a price tag of £3.75 million, with the train also featuring anti-ageing machines, a lung ventilator, a defibrillator and a patient monitor designed to assess pulse, temperature and other parameters.

Martha Mchardy8 July 2023 00:00

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Half of adults who fled Ukraine want to stay in UK even when return safe – ONS

More than half of adults who fled Ukraine due to the war want to stay living in the UK even when it is safe to return to their home country, a new survey has suggested.

Some 52% said they intend to live in the UK most of the time when they feel it is safe to return to Ukraine, according to research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The majority of these people said this decision was because there are more opportunities for work in the UK, the ONS said.

Martha Mchardy7 July 2023 23:00

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Watch: Russian TV shows police raid on Wagner boss’ ‘palace’ in bid to discredit him

Russian TV shows police raid on Wagner boss’ ‘palace’ in bid to discredit him

Martha Mchardy7 July 2023 22:00

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Submit Biden says decision to provide cluster munitions to Ukraine was difficult – CNN interview

U.S. president Joe Biden said on Friday that his decision to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions was a tough one, but that he believes Kyiv needs the weapons so Russia cannot halt the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

“They’re trying to get through those trenches, and stop those tanks from rolling,” Biden said in an interview with CNN. “It was not an easy decision.”

Martha Mchardy7 July 2023 21:31


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