Russia-Ukraine war - live

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Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24 last year, the war has intensified. In recent days, Ukraine has launched counter-attacks. Here is what happened in the war moment by moment...

Russia-Ukraine war - live

26 June Monday

At least 13 Russian missiles were intercepted overnight, the Ukrainian Air Force has said. Three Kalibr cruise missiles were launched from a submarine in the Black Sea and eight Iranian-made Shahed drones were launched from the eastern coast of the Sea of Azov, it said. Air defences destroyed two of the missiles and seven of the drones, as well as four unmanned aerial vehicles, it added. 

Ukrainian troops have taken control of a village in the eastern Donetsk region, the country's deputy defence minister has said. Rivnopil is located at the junction of the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia, and settlements either side of it are already under Ukrainian control. "Defence forces returned Rivnopil under our control. Let's move on," Hanna Malyar wrote on Telegram. 

Vladimir Putin has issued his first statement since the Wagner Group's 24-hour mutiny on Saturday. In a video uploaded to the Kremlin website, the Russian president failed to mention the assault in the message and instead congratulated the participants of an industrial forum. 

Ahead of the Vilnius Summit, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said that Russian President Putin made a 'strategical mistake' in launching a war against Ukraine. Stoltenberg described the failed Wagner rebellion in Russia as an 'internal affair' and said they were closely monitoring the situation. Click for the details of the news.

Prigozhin, speaking for the first time after Wagner's failed attempt at rebellion in Russia, re-emphasized on his Telegram account that it was a 'march' and not a coup. He said their aim was to prevent Wagner's destruction and that they had no intention of overthrowing the country's government. Click for the details of the news.

Moscow has claimed it scrambled a pair of jets after three foreign planes - including two UK Air Force Typhoon fighter jets - approached the Russian border over the Black Sea. The approaching jets then performed a U-turn away from the border, the Russian Ministry of Defence said.

 

25 June Sunday

A fatal missile strike hit a high-rise apartment building in Kyiv yesterday while the world's attention was focused on Russia. The bodies of two more people were found beneath the rubble in the 16-storey property this morning, bringing the death toll to five, Kyiv's mayor said. A further 11 people were wounded when the capital's air defences shot down the missile and fragments of it collided with the tower block. Fires broke out on multiple floors, according to the Kyiv Independent, citing local authority sources. The rocket was one of 20 cruise missiles launched at Kyiv, and a total of 51 at five Ukrainian regions, according to Kyiv and national government officials.

 

24 June Saturday

The Wagner mercenary group attempted a coup in Russia. Click for the details of the news.

Wagner fighters have taken control of all military facilities in the city of Voronezh, Reuters reports, citing a Russian security source.

After Wagner's call for a military coup, Putin made a statement and addressed the nation. He accused Prigozhin of 'treason'. Click for the details of the news.

Russia's mercenary group Wagner sent a convoy to Moscow. In response, the Russian government took measures in and around Moscow. Public events were canceled in the city of Moscow. Click for the details of the news.

The Russian army are carrying out "combat measures" in the Voronezh region, according to its governor. Alexander Gusev said "necessary operational and combat measures" were underway "as part of the counter-terrorist operation".

At least three killed in latest Russian attacks on Kyiv.

The leader of the Chechen forces Ramzan Kadyrov has called the "Prigozhin's treacherous march" a "knife in the back". Chechen fighters "have already left for the zones of tension", said Ramzan Kadyrov. He appealed to "fighters" not to "fall for provocations". War is "not the time to voice personal grievances", he said, referencing the long-running feud between Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Russian defence ministry. "This is military rebellion. There is no excuse for such actions. I fully support every word of Vladimir Putin." He finished by threatening: "The rebellion must be crushed, and if this requires harsh measures, then we are ready."

Russian mercenary group chief Prigozhin responded to Putin's statements after the coup. Prigozhin stated that he would never surrender and at the same time claimed that the Russians stole all the money. Click for the details of the news.

The first statement came from Ukrainian President Zelenskyy after the coup by the Russian mercenary group Wagner. Sharing on his social media account, Zelenskyy said that Russia's weakness is obvious. Click for the details of the news.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Saturday that Russia was closely monitoring Wagner's coup move, Russia's first armed uprising in a decade, and was in contact with its allies. In an interview in London, Sunak said his main concern was the safety of civilians and called on the parties to be responsible. 

Russian troops opened fire on a vehicle believed to be carrying Wagner Group soldiers in Boguchar, Voronezh region.

Measures continue to be taken in Moscow, where the Wagner mercenary group sent their convoys. Following the cancellation of mass events in the morning, this time it was reported that the Moscow River was closed to ship traffic. However, the city's Mayor Sobyanin denied rumors about restrictions on Moscow's road traffic. Click for the details of the news.

Yevgeny Prigozhin has agreed to de-escalate the situation in Russia, the Belarusian president's office has said. The announcement, carried on the official Telegram channel of the Belarusian presidency, said the head of the mercenary Wagner group had agreed to halt the further movement of his fighters across Russia.

Now, Yevgeny Prigozhin has issued an audio message confirming his fighters are returning to their bases to "avoid bloodshed". He says he "gave the order to turn back because of the risk of blood being spilled".

Yevgeny Prigozhin will move to Belarus under a deal brokered by the Belarusian president to end today's armed mutiny against Russia's military leadership, the Kremlin has said.

At least 13 Russian soldiers have been killed as a result of the Wagner mutiny, according to Moscow pro-war media outlets. At least eight people were on board the air control post on an IL-18 aircraft, the publication claimed. Telegram channel Rybar reported more than 20 pilots who were on board seven helicopters and planes were killed.

 

23 June Friday

A drone was downed by anti-aircraft fire over the Russian city of Kursk, a Russian official said. It was shot down late on Thursday near the border with Ukraine, according to regional governor Roman Starovoit.

At least two people were killed in a Russian attack on the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson on Friday, the regional governor said. Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said in an initial post on Telegram that a municipal transport company had been hit in the attack. A 55-year-old man was killed on the spot and five others were taken to hospital. In a later post, he had said a 43-year-old man had also died of his wounds in hospital. 

Ukraine's armed forces have halted a Russian offensive towards the cities of Kupiansk and Lyman in the east of the country, and are advancing in the south, a senior Ukrainian defence official has claimed. "We had very fierce battles in the Kupiansk and Lyman directions, but our soldiers stopped the enemy there," deputy defence minister Hanna Malyar told Ukrainian television.

 

22 June Thursday

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has claimed that Russia is considering staging a "terror attack" on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. "Intelligence has received information that Russia is considering the scenario of a terrorist act at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant - a terrorist act with the release of radiation," he said in a video on Twitter. The intelligence suggested Moscow had "prepared everything" to conduct such an operation, he said. 

Three people have been killed in an explosion in a high-rise building in Kyiv, according to the city's mayor Vitali Klitschko. Others were injured in the incident, said to be a gas leak, he added. Some 18 residents were evacuated from the damaged building, located in Dniprovskyi district.

Thick smoke and flames engulfed a high-rise building in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, this morning. Three people have been killed in the incident, thought to have been caused by a gas leak.

 

21 June Wednesday

Speaking at the Ukraine Recovery conference on Wednesday and Thursday, leaders announced their financial support for Ukraine. In addition to the 3 billion dollars announced by Rishi Sunak on Tuesday, 50 million euros from the EU and 1.3 billion dollars from the US were announced. However, the statement from Ukraine is that the country still needs 6.5 billion dollars.

 

20 June Tuesday

Ukraine claims that the Russian military carried out intensive missile and drone strikes across Ukraine. According to preliminary estimates, 28 of the 30 drones launched by the Russians were destroyed in the attacks last night. Civilians were injured.

NATO will not formally invite Ukraine to join the alliance at the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, in mid-July, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said. Speaking after a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, Stoltenberg said the summit would discuss ways to bring Ukraine closer to NATO but would not send a formal invitation.

The companies behind the Telegram and Viber messaging apps have been fined over war-related content by a court in Moscow. The firms were fined for failing to delete material that the Kremlin deems illegal - remember Russia has banned reference to its "special military operation" as a "war".

Ursula von der Leyen has unveiled a €50bn (£39.7bn) aid package for Ukraine.

Four people have died in an explosionat a Russian gunpowder factory, state news agencies are reporting. The blast happened at a plant in the Tambov region, about 400km (250 miles) southeast of Moscow. 

British Prime Minister Sunak announced that Ukraine will receive a 3 billion dollar aid package in the next 3 years. Ukraine's post-war reconstruction cost is said to be 411 billion dollars.

 

19 June Monday

Ukraine shot down four Russian cruise missiles and four kamikaze drones launched overnight. According to the report from the Ukrainian Air Force, four Russian Kalibr cruise missiles were launched from a submarine in the Black Sea.

Russian troops attacked Ukrainian positions with Soviet-era tanks. The 70-year-old tanks, loaded with six tons of explosives, were said to have been guided by remote control. According to Russian media, the explosion caused several deaths in Ukraine.

A Moscow-installed official in Crimea has claimed that drones struck in northern Crimea last night. The drones allegedly flew at low altitudes and Russian air defences were active, according to Sergey Aksyonov. 

 

18 June Sunday

Ukrainian forces destroyed a "significant" ammunition depot near the Russian-occupied port city of Henichesk in the southern region of Kherson, its authorities have said.

Ukrainian shelling has killed two villagers in Zaporizhzhia, Russian agencies have reported. Citing an unnamed emergency service representative the state-run RIA and TASS news agencies said a child has also been injured after three shells fell on the village of Zelenopol.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that a peace agreement was signed with Ukraine during negotiations mediated by Türkiye, but that Ukraine threw the agreement into the 'garbage of history' after Russia withdrew its troops from Kyiv.

Ukrainian forces have taken control of a village on the Zaporizhzhia front, a Russian-installed official has said. Forces have taken the settlement of Piatykhatky on the Zaporizhzhia battlefront.

 

17 June Saturday

Six hypersonic Russian Kinzhal missiles have been downed over Kyiv today, Ukraine's air force has claimed. 

Russia will ship 41.3 million cubic metres of gas to Europe via Ukraine today.

Russian shelling in Kherson has wounded 23 people, including three children, Ukraine's interior ministry has said. "Artillery was used against the civilian population," it said on Telegram. "Explosions rang out in several districts of the city at once."

A group of African leaders visiting Ukraine will meet with Russian President Putin to discuss a peace mission. The leaders say the 16-month-long Russian occupation has had a negative impact on Africa. The talks are unlikely to end positively because of Ukraine and Russia's tough stance.

Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Synehubov has revised the death toll from a Russian missile strike on a small Ukrainian village in the east to two people on Saturday.

 

16 June Friday

Explosions have been heard in Kyiv as African leaders began their peace mission in the capital. A witness told Reuters two explosions have occurred, which was corroborated by Vitali Klitschko, the mayor. He warned more missiles were headed towards Kyiv.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the opening speech at Russia's St Petersburg International Economic Forum. In his speech, Putin added that Russia will maintain its place among the world's leading economies.

Members of South Africa's peace delegation held on plane to Kyiv for carrying weapons.

At least 23 people have been injured in a "massive" shelling attack against the southern city of Kherson, a Ukrainian official has said. Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak said the strikes hit three different areas of the city, damaging a medical facility, a supermarket and a kindergarten. Three children were among those injured, and three others were seriously wounded - all of them were hospitalised. 

Humanitarian aid sent from the UK has arrived in Ukraine, the country's state of emergency service has said. 

 

15 June Thursay

Russian missiles have again struck Volodymyr Zelenskyy's birthplace, the city of Kryvyi Rih. Three rockets hit two industrial facilities in the central Ukrainian city.

Border guards shot down a Ukrainian drone over the Gomel region of Belarus, reported Russian state-owned news agency TASS.

Kremlin is threatening to terminate the Black Sea grain deal, which is important to the world. "Work is ongoing, but to be honest we don't see any particularly positive prospects," said spokesman Dmitry Peskov."Everything that was agreed on regarding us has not been fulfilled."

Ukraine has regained control of over 100 square kilometres, or 38 square miles, of territory in its counteroffensive against Russian forces, a senior Ukrainian military commander said on Thursday. "We are ready to continue fighting to liberate our territory even with our bare hands," Brigadier-General Oleksii Hromov told a media briefing.

According to the news on the Politico website, the EU Commission has started preparing a new aid package for Ukraine. As part of the package, Ukraine will receive 18 billion euros every year between 2024 and 2027.

Mikhail Podoliak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office, said on air during a teleconference on Thursday that Ukraine's only plan is to kill the maximum number of Russians. "There is only one plan: the most brutal advance with the maximum killing of Russians on this route," he stated, noting that Kyiv "can't just stop somewhere and say 'alright, let's think and talk about something now'," RT reported. "The only possible scenario for Ukraine is to reach its 1991 borders," he continued.

The US, UK, the Netherlands and Denmark will partner to send air defence equipment including hundreds of missiles to Ukraine to help it, the nations have said in a joint statement.

Chechen fighters have been deployed in Russia's Belgorod region bordering Ukraine to prevent attacks from "Ukrainian sabotage groups", Chechnya ruler Ramzan Kadyrov has said. 

 

14 June Wednesday

Reuters is reporting that three people have been killed in a Russian missile strike, according to Ukraine's military. Russian shelling in the eastern Donetsk region has killed two people in Kramatorsk and one in Kostiantynivka, its governor said. Missiles damaged 79 homes and destroyed seven across the two cities, Pavlo Kyrylenko said.

 

13 June Tuesday

At least 11 people were killed when Russian missiles hit civilian buildings in an overnight attack Tuesday in the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih, regional officials said, as rescuers scrambled to retrieve people believed trapped under the rubble.

Shelling starts house fires in Russia. Firefighters tackle blaze in five-storey building 'tragedy'. Six dead and 19 rushed to hospital after fire engulfs four floors.

Ukraine army says it assaults Russian positions near Bakhmut.

A 72-year-old priest was killed in a Russian attack on Bilozerka, in the Kherson region, the head of the Ukrainian president's office said. Artillery struck the courtyard of a church, also injuring a 76-year-old woman, said Andriy Yermak.

Yevgeny Prigozhin - who remains at loggerheads with the Russian ministry of defence - made the comments when asked which area the group would fight in next. "I'm not sure that we will work in Ukraine," said the mercenary leader, whose troops recently took Bakhmut on behalf of Russia after the longest and deadliest battle of the war.

He also gave an assessment of Ukrainian forces which more closely reflects that of Western military experts than Russian propaganda. "As far as I understand, Ukraine's offensive potential is far, far from exhausted. It will take a month and a half or two, and we will have to decide whether they have achieved their result or not."

The Ukrainian Armed Forces shared a video on Tuesday showing a group of marines entering a village in the Donetsk region and liberating it from Russian forces. "The 35th Brigade has liberated the village of Makarivka, Donetsk region from the Russian aggressors but they have not accepted it and are attempting to take it back," one of the soldiers in the group said.

The death toll following the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam and intense flooding in the Kherson region has reached 17, head of the regional government Andrei Alekseyenko said.

UK and US announce new aid packages for Ukraine.

 

12 June Monday

The North Korean leader pledged "full support and solidarity" for the invasion of Ukraine and called to bolster strategic cooperation with Russia, according to state media. "Justice is sure to win and the Russian people will continue to add glory to the history of victory," said Kim, quoted in KCNA.

In his nightly address, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the International Criminal Court has begun an investigation into the dam collapse.

The number of liberated villages in Ukraine's Donetsk region increased to 4.

Ukraine and Russia have exchanged prisoners. As part of the prisoner exchange, 95 Ukrainian soldiers and 94 Russian soldiers were released. In the statement, it was stated that most of the soldiers were wounded and held captive.

Prigozhin, the chief of the Wagner mercenary group, refused to sign the agreement that the Russian Defense Ministry obliges volunteer troops to sign. In contrast, the Chechen paramilitary group Akhmat agreed to sign the contract. According to the Defense Ministry, the contract will offer volunteer soldiers the same benefits as army units.

"In the next few days we should anticipate a major attack in one part of the Donbas or another," said the chair of the UK's defence select committee. Ellwood, the former defence minister, called on allies to provide more tanks, F16 fighter jets and long-range missiles.

It's Russia Day - and a concert is being held in Red Square in Moscow to celebrate. Russia Day, a national holiday, commemorates the adoption of the country's declaration of state sovereignty on 12 June 1990.

Fifth village liberated by Ukrainian forces. "Numerous attempts by the enemy to return the settlement under control, which lasted several days, were unsuccessful," the Zaporizhzhia separate territorial defence Brigade said, posting the following picture.

The biggest drill in NATO's history simulating an attack on a member of the alliance is underway. Air Defender 2023 has been billed as a show of force to Russia, with some 10,000 participants and 250 aircraft from 25 nations.

One man has been killed and another wounded in a Russian attack on the small town of Orikhiv in the Zaporizhzhia region of southeastern Ukraine. The news comes from regional governor Yuri Malashko, who said three bombs had damaged houses and communications in the town, which is about five miles from the frontline.

Ukrainian forces have recaptured more settlements, bringing the total number reclaimed since the beginning of last week's counteroffensive to seven, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar says.

 

11 June Sunday

Two drones crashed early this morning in Russia's Kaluga region, according to the region's governor, Vladislav Shapsha. There are no reports of casualties or damage.

Ukraine's military have destroyed a pair of Russia's TOS-1A thermobaric artillery systems in the southern Ukrainian Zaporizhzhia region during counteroffensive operations, according to geolocated footage, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said on Saturday.

Ukrainian brigade says it liberated village in Donetsk region.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner group, said his fighters would not sign any contracts, as the Russian Defense ministry said all "volunteer detachments" would have to sign contracts by the end of the month.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that Ukraine unsuccessfully attempted to attack a Russian Black Sea Fleet ship.

Russia's defence ministry says that Russian forces have shot down a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet in the Kherson region.

Russia said on Sunday that Ukraine had made unsuccessful attempt to attack a Russian naval ship with six high-speed drone boats as the Russian vessel patrolled major natural gas pipelines in the Black Sea.

Ukraine stated that Russia shot down the boat evacuating civilians during the rescue efforts in Kherson following the attack on the Nova Kakhovka Dam and announced that 3 people lost their lives and 10 people were injured in the attack.

In the latest prisoner exchange between the parties, 189 soldiers returned home.

 

10 June Saturday

Ukraine has successfully breached the first line of Russian defenses in parts of the country in the last 48 hours, the British Ministry of Defense said.

A fire broke out in an apartment block in Odesa after a Russian drone crashed into it at night. According to a Ukrainian statement, three people were killed and 27 people, including three children, were injured in the Russian attack. While the fire was extinguished in a short time, 12 people in the building were rescued.

The last operating reactor at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been put into a "cold shutdown" as a safety measure amid flooding from the collapse of the Kakhovka dam.

Canadian leader Justin Trudeau made a surprise visit to Ukraine to pay his respects to fallen Ukrainian soldiers at the memorial site in Kyiv. Trudeau's visit is a clear demonstration of his support for Ukraine as it prepares for a large-scale counter-offensive.

The UK government has announced a further £16m in humanitarian aid for Ukraine amid the aftermath of flooding caused by the destruction of the Kakhova dam.

Ukrainian forces say they have advanced up to 1.4km at several sections of the front line near Bakhmut over the past day.

Zelenskyy simply shrugged and raised his eyebrows at a Kyiv news briefing with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today, when he was asked to respond to comments by Vladimir Putin that Ukraine had begun its widely-anticipated counter attacks.

 

9 June Friday

Missiles and attack drones shot down in Russian airstrike overnight. The Ukrainian air force says it responded to a Russian airstrike overnight. It says it managed to shoot down four of six cruise missiles launched by Russia - and 10 of 16 attack drones.

The Russian military claimed that there were artillery and infantry battles as well as drone strikes and fierce fighting in both the eastern Donetsk region and Zaporizhzhia in the southeast. He claims eight Ukrainian tanks were destroyed in Donetsk and 13 in Zaporizhzhia.

Vladimir Putin was due to hold his annual press conference this month, but has chosen to postpone it for a few months, according to a new report.

Ukraine released a one-and-a-half minute audio clip proving that Russia was responsible for the dam failure. In the audio recording, a Russian military official claims to have admitted that their sabotage group was behind the attack. "They [the Ukrainian side] didn't screw up there. Our sabotage group is there. They wanted to scare the guy with this dam. It didn't go according to plan, but more than planned," it says.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov considered the drone strike on the Russian city of Voronezh "as an attack by Kyiv on the civilian infrastructure of the Russian Federation". Kyiv did not take responsibility, and Ukrainian authorities denied any role in the attacks.

According to the TASS news agency, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Russian forces repelled two Ukrainian attacks in the direction of Zaporizhia.

Ukraine updated flooding death toll. Four people are now believed to have died in flooding in Kherson, according to Ukraine's interior minister Ihor Klymenko. Thirteen people are missing and so far more than 2,000 people have been evacuated, he added.

"The practice of joint operational and combat training of the Russian and Chinese Armed Forces should remain an important area of further activities," Russian chief of the general staff Valery Gerasimov was quoted as saying.

Last month, Japan agreed to provide Ukrainian forces with 100 self-defense force (SDF) vehicles to transport their weapons. In response, Russia summons the Japanese ambassador.

Russia will begin deploying tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus from July 7 or 8, Vladimir Putin said after earlier meeting with his Belarusian counterpart and ally Alexander Lukashenko.

A state of emergency has been declared by regional governor Alexander Gusev following what Russia claims was a Ukrainian drone strike in Voronezh. "3 people were slightly injured by broken glass as a result of the impact of an apartment building, but did not require treatment in hospital," he said of the incident.

US intelligence shows Iran is supplying materials to build the manufacturing plant in Tatarstan, east of Moscow, which could be operational by early next year. "This is a full-scale defence partnership that is harmful to Ukraine, to Iran's neighbors, and to the international community," said national security council spokesman John Kirby. Kirby added that they were ready to use all the tools at their disposal to disrupt these activities. Iran has previously said it provided drones to Russia before the start of the war but not since.

Russian officials boasted on Sunday that they had "destroyed" eight German Leopard 2 tanks. According to photos from the Associated Press, the tanks Russia supposedly destroyed were actually "two combines and a tractor."

According to the latest data at least five people have died and 13 are missing as a result of the dam destruction.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, Ukrainian forces attacked Russian lines with two battalions four times in an area in Donetsk but were repulsed. It also said Russian forces repelled two attacks just south of the city of Orikhiv in the Zaporizhzhia region. "All counteroffensive attempts made so far have failed. But the offensive potential of the troops of the Kyiv regime is still preserved," said Mr Putin.

 

8 June Thursday

Zelenskyy accused Russia of trying to inflict "maximum damage" after the Kakhovka dam collapsed. Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the situation is dire and called for a "clear and quick response from the world" to help the country recover.

Evacuations from the affected towns and cities had been taking place but were being disrupted by Russian artillery fire, Mr Zelenskyy added in his nightly address. "Russian artillery continues to fire no matter what. Savages," he said.

The Russian defence minister said his forces had repelled overnight attempts by Ukraine to break through the frontline in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, Russia's RIA news agency reported. Sergei Shoigu was also cited by the Interfax news agency as saying that four separate Ukrainian attacks along the front had been halted and that Kyiv's troops had been forced to retreat "with heavy losses".

Russia bombed the Kherson region "precisely during the evacuation of citizens whose homes were flooded". 9 people were injured in the attack.

An industrial site and a car wash in the city of Uman have been hit by two missiles, said the governor of the Cherkasy region, Ihor Taburets. Of the injured, two were seriously hurt, he said.

 

7 June Wednesday

At least one person has been killed and another wounded in a Russian bomb attack on Kherson, the Ukrainian governor of the region says. A total of 29 artillery shells were fired in the city of Kherson, Oleksandr Prokudin said on Telegram.

Moscow claimed that a Ukrainian drone struck Nova Kakhovka, which was evacuating civilians from the area after the dam collapsed.

Ex-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev says it appears Kyiv has launched its long-awaited counteroffensive. "The enemy has long promised a great counteroffensive. And it seems to have already started something," Mr Medvedev, who now serves as the deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, said in a statement on Telegram. "We have to stop the enemy and then launch an offensive," he added. 

Ukraine's deputy defence minister Hanna Malyar says that Kyiv's forces have switched from "defence to offence" around Bakhmut. She claimed that over the past day Ukraine has advanced between 200m and 1,100m around various section of the eastern city, Sky News reported.

NATO is preparing to hold the biggest military exercise in its history next week. "I would be pretty surprised if any world leader was taking note of what this shows in terms of the spirit of this alliance, which means the strength of this alliance, and that includes Mr. (Vladimir) Putin," US Ambassador to Germany Amy Gutmann said. More than 100 aircraft and some 2,000 military personnel have been sent from the US to Europe for the exercise. Around 10,000 military personnel from 25 NATO nations will take part in the military exercise, and practice defensive maneuvers in the German and European air space.

After Mendenev's claims that Ukraine has launched a counter-strike, Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council said that no counter-strike has been launched yet. "All of this is not true. When all this will begin, it will be decided by our military," Danilov told Reuters in an interview. "When we start the counteroffensive, everyone will know about it, they will see it."

An international commission could be formed to investigate the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has proposed. Erdogan said in a phone call with Zelenskyy that a negotiation method similar to those used for the Black Sea grain deals could be pursued.

 

6 June Tuesday

The Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP), located in the Kherson region of Ukraine but controlled by the Russians, was bombed and destroyed. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy put the blame on Russia, saying, "By destroying the dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station, the Russians have confirmed to the whole world that they must be expelled from every corner of Ukrainian territory." According to statements, while the dam collapse poses a threat to the Zaporizhzia Nuclear Power Plant, the situation at the plant is under control.

Images circulating on the Internet showed that a square in the town of Nova Kakhovka was flooded after the dam burst. 17,000 people were evacuated from the region.

A Ukrainian spokesman said that the Kakhovka dam was blown up by Russia to prevent Ukrainian forces from crossing the river. State of emergency declared in the region.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the damage to the Kakhovka dam damag was the result of Ukrainian sabotage.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called the attack “an outrageous act.” Stoltenberg said on Twitter that the attack “demonstrates once again the brutality of Russia’s war in Ukraine.” He also pointed out that the destruction of the dam “puts thousands of civilians at risk and causes severe environmental damage,” Anadolu reported.

“The destruction of civilian infrastructure clearly qualifies as a war crime”, European Council President Charles Michel wrote on Twitter, adding that he was shocked by this “unprecedented attack”.  “We will hold Russia and its proxies accountable,” he said.

Russia Tuesday that Moscow forces had repelled the Ukrainian offensive, killing dozens of soldiers. "For three days, the Ukrainian regime has launched a long-promised offensive in different sectors of the front," Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said. "In total, 71 servicemen were killed and 210 were wounded." He also revealed that 15 Russian tanks and nine armoured vehicles were destroyed, according to Russian news agencies.

Meanwhile, the West continues to expel Russian diplomats from their countries. In a statement made by the Finnish Presidency, it was announced that 9 Russian diplomats working at the Russian Embassy in Helsinki were expelled on the grounds of espionage activities, Ihlas News Agency reported.

Ukraine's Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin announced that a war crimes investigation has been launched into the attack on Nova Kakhovka, along with a possible "ecological destruction" investigation. Stating that Ukraine is collecting information with teams on the ground, Kostin said that they will give all the details to the International Criminal Court.

"The main conclusion is that the burst was deliberate, but the enemy acted in chaotic fashion allowing its own equipment to be flooded," Zelenskyy said. He added: "At the same time, the bursting of the dam will have no effect on Ukraine's ability to recapture its own territory." 

 

5 June Monday

Yevgeny Prigzohin, founder of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, said on Sunday that Ukrainian forces were holding positions on the southwestern outskirts of Bakhmut, a key flashpoint in the Russian-Ukrainian war, euronews reported.

In subsequent statements, he said they had retaken part of the settlements north of Bakhmut, Reuters reported.

Later Pro-Kyiv Russian militia claim control of border village in Belgorod region. A few hours after the attack, the spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry announced that Russia had thwarted Ukraine's attempt to enter the Belgorod region. "As a result of the carried out strikes, 10 terrorists, two boats and an armoured vehicles were destroyed," he said.

Following the strikes, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it saw no hope for extending the Black Sea Grain Agreement.

Prigozhin published a video in which a captured Russian officer "confesses" that he ordered the mercenaries to attack. The May 17 clash between mercenaries and Russian troops was recalled. In the video, the officer explains that he ordered the attack out of "personal enmity", RFL/RL reported.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy met with British Foreign Secretary James in Kyiv. He thanked the UK for their support.

Zelenskyy welcomed what he called "the news we have been waiting for" from troops fighting in and around the shattered eastern city of Bakhmut, but gave no further details. "I am grateful to every one of our soldiers, all our defenders who, during this day, have provided the news we have been waiting for. Fine job, soldiers in the Bakhmut sector!," Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.

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