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Russia Ukraine war live: Moscow’s Kharkiv troop levels close to Soviet-era as 900 tanks, 100,000 soldiers seen


Crimean Bridge badly damaged after ‘multiple blasts’ in early hours

Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops and hundreds of tanks in Ukraine’s northeastern region of Kharkiv, officials in Ukraine said.

Serhiy Cherevatyi, spokesperson for Ukraine’s eastern command added that more than 900 tanks are now deployed in the area as Russia has drafted in airborne units and their best motorised infantry units to the area. The military activity in the region has picked up, officials said.

The deployment of Russian troops is now close to the around 120,000 seen in the region at the height of the Soviet Union’s 1979-89 war in Afghanistan.

“For two days running, the enemy has been actively on the offensive in the Kupiansk sector in the Kharkiv region,” deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar wrote on Telegram.

In May, around 370,000 Russian troops were inside Ukraine as a whole, according to an estimate by Ukraine’s intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov.

This comes as Russia partially restored road traffic in one lane of the Kerch Bridge linking it to the Crimean peninsula after it was damaged by a suspected maritime drone attack.

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A B&Q generator and a commandeered truck: Behind the British Wolfram vehicles helping Ukraine fight Putin

Wolfram vehicles are now standard weaponry for the British military, with possible export orders pending, writes Kim Sengupta:

The Wolfram armoured vehicle headed for the armoured column coming through the valley and fired salvos from its Brimstone missile system, setting the Russian T-57 tank aflame. Further along the frontline, a rider on an electronic bike was carrying out a lone attack, hitting the convoy at the flank using a Carl-Gustaf Mk4 rocket launcher.

The operation taking place was a military exercise in Lulworth, Dorset – but the tactics and weapons being used were from the Ukraine war. The Wolfram was developed by the British military in the early days of Vladimir Putin’s invasion with an urgent plea for help from Kyiv to counter Russian heavy armour.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain18 July 2023 07:50

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Russia launches drones and missiles on Ukraine’s south and east

Russia launched overnight air attacks on Ukraine‘s south and east using drones and possibly ballistic missiles, Ukraine‘s Air Force and officials said early on Tuesday.

A fire broke out at one of the “facilities” in the port of Mykolaiv late on Monday, the city mayor said. The port city provides Ukraine with access to the Black Sea.

“It’s quite serious,” Mayor Oleksandr Senkevich said on the Telegram messaging app of the fire, adding that more detail will come in the morning.

The southern port of Odesa and the Mykolaiv, Donetsk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions were under threat of Russian drone attacks, the Air Force said on the Telegram messaging app.

It added that Russia may be using ballistic weaponry to attack the regions of Poltava, Cherkasy, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv and Kirovohrad.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports.

Air raid alerts blared in many Ukrainian regions for hours, before being called off at around 04:30 a.m. local time (0130 GMT).

Oleh Kiper, the head of the Odesa region’s military administration, said air defence systems there were engaged in repelling several waves of Russian drone attacks.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain18 July 2023 07:49

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Russia foils Ukrainian drone raid on Crimea

Russia repelled a Ukrainian drone attack on Crimea in the early hours of Tuesday, the Russian defence ministry said, a day after an attack on the Crimean bridge which damaged it and disrupted car traffic.

Russian air defences destroyed 17 drones and another 11 drones were intercepted by electronic warfare systems, the ministry said. The “terrorist attack” did not inflict any damage or casualties, it added.

On Monday, a blast knocked out Russia‘s bridge to Crimea in what Moscow called a strike by Ukrainian sea drones, killing two people.

Moscow annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

A satellite image shows a view of the Crimea bridge, in Kerch Strait

(via REUTERS)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain18 July 2023 07:29

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Russia says Ukrainian drone raid foiled over Crimea

Russia’s defence ministry has claimed the country’s air defences and electronic countermeasure systems downed 28 Ukrainian drones over Crimea in the early hours of today, reported the RIA news agency.

No casualties or damages have been seen so far, the ministry said.

The raid comes a day after an attack by suspected Ukrainian sea drones on the Kerch Bridge to Crimea, which damaged it and disrupted car traffic.

Ukraine has neither confirmed nor denied it carried out the attack.

Arpan Rai18 July 2023 06:28

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Crimea bridge attack: Everything to know about the Kerch Bridge

The Kerch Bridge saw traffic halted for six hours following reports of multiple explosions at around 3am yesterday.

Europe’s longest bridge connects the Russian city of Krasnodar in the east to Kerch in Crimea, which was illegally annexed from Ukraine by Moscow in 2014.

The Crimean Bridge runs over the Kerch Strait and is the only direct road link between Russia and the annexed peninsula.

It consists of a separate roadway and railway – fortified by concrete stilts – which give way to a wider span held by steel arches at the point where ships pass between the Black Sea and the smaller Azov Sea.

Here’s everything you need to know about the bridge, now a sensitive target in the invasion:

Arpan Rai18 July 2023 06:17

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Russia’s Kharkiv troop levels close to Soviet-era, says Ukraine

Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops and hundreds of tanks in Ukraine’s northeastern region of Kharkiv, officials in Ukraine said.

“For two days running, the enemy has been actively on the offensive in the Kupiansk sector in Kharkiv region,” deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar wrote on Telegram.

“We are defending. Heavy fighting is going on and the positions of both sides change dynamically several times a day.”

More than 100,000 Russian troops and more than 900 tanks are now deployed in the area, said Serhiy Cherevatyi, spokesperson for Ukraine’s eastern command.

Russia has drafted in airborne units and their best motorised infantry units to the area, he said, with the deployment now close to the around 120,000 seen in the region at the height of the Soviet Union’s 1979-89 war in Afghanistan.

In May, around 370,000 Russian troops were inside Ukraine as a whole, according to an estimate by Ukraine’s intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov.

Russia is building up its defences and lining up troops near towns Kupiansk and nearby Lyman, regions retaken by Ukraine late last year as Kyiv’s forces remain stacked in the east and south for the counteroffensive launched several weeks ago.

Large groups of Russian personnel were now trying to break through Ukrainian defence lines in the area, officials have said.

“The enemy is concentrating everything in order to break through the defences of Ukrainian troops,” he said.

“Our soldiers are holding their defences, preventing the enemy from fully seizing the initiative and they are continuously launching counterattacks,” the spokesperson said.

Arpan Rai18 July 2023 05:48

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Russia fires drones, missiles on Ukraine’s south and east

Russia resumed overnight air attacks in the early hours today on Ukraine’s south and east using drones and possibly ballistic missiles, Ukraine’s Air Force and officials said.

A fire broke out at one of the “facilities” in the port of Mykolaiv late on Monday, the city mayor said. The port city provides Ukraine with access to the Black Sea.

“It’s quite serious,” mayor Oleksandr Senkevich said about the blaze on the Telegram, adding that more detail will come in the morning.

The air force warned that the southern port of Odesa and the Mykolaiv, Donetsk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions were under threat of Russian drone attacks.

Russia may be using ballistic weaponry to attack the regions of Poltava, Cherkasy, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv and Kirovohrad, it added

Arpan Rai18 July 2023 05:09

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Putin vows revenge after Crimea bridge attack

Vladimir Putin has said his defence ministry is readying proposals for a response to an overnight attack on a bridge in Crimea as he blamed Ukraine for carrying out the strike.

Calling it a cruel and senseless act, the Russian president said the bridge “has not been used for military transportation for a long time”.

He was speaking after a televised video meeting with national and regional officials to assess the consequences of the attack.

While Kyiv has not claimed any responsibility for the attack, Ukrainian media said the war-hit nation’s security services had deployed maritime drones against the bridge.

The attack killed a Russian couple and injured their 14-year-old daughter. The family was driving over the bridge to go on a holiday in the annexed peninsula.

Ukraine has said Russians have no business holidaying on seized territory, especially while Moscow is bombing the country.

The attack on the bridge, the second in less than 10 months targeting a symbol of Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea, comes around summer holiday season as Russians drive to or from the peninsula.

Arpan Rai18 July 2023 04:00

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Putin preparing response to Crimea bridge attack

The Russian president said his defence ministry is preparing a response to the “terrorist” attack.

He said: “There will be a response from Russia to the terrorist attack on the Crimean bridge.

“The Ministry of Defence is preparing relevant proposals. What happened was another terrorist attack by the Kyiv regime, which had no logic from a military point of view.”

Matt Drake18 July 2023 04:00

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Russia says road traffic partially restored on Crimean bridge

Vehicular traffic in one lane of the Kerch Bridge in Crimea has been restored, Russian deputy prime minister Marat Khusnullin said late last night.

“Motor transport on the Crimean Bridge has been restored in reverse mode on the outer-most right lane,” he wrote on Telegram.

But ferry operations were suspended in the early hours today as Russian news agencies blamed bad weather.

An explosion yesterday knocked out the critical link between Russia and the Crimean peninsula as authorities in Moscow blamed Ukrainian sea drones. Ukraine has neither confirmed nor denied it carried out an attack on the bridge.

Arpan Rai18 July 2023 03:47


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