Russia lays down curtain of fire


A Ukrainian service member points AK-74 assault rifle in the industrial area of ​​the city of Sievierodonetsk, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, Ukraine June 20, 2022. Picture taken June 20, 2022. REUTERS / Oleksandr Ratushniak – REUTERS / Oleksandr Ratushniak

Russian attacks laid down a curtain of fire on Tuesday across areas of eastern Ukraine where pockets of resistance are denying Moscow full military control of the region, almost four months after the Kremlin unleashed its invasion.

“Today everything that can burn is on fire,” Serhiy Haidai, governor of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, told The Associated Press.

Russia’s war has caused alarm over food supplies from Ukraine to the rest of the world and gas supplies from Russia, as well as raising questions about security in Western Europe.

The Russian military currently controls about 95 per cent of the Luhansk region. But Moscow has struggled for weeks to overrun it completely, despite deploying additional troops and possessing a massive advantage in military assets.

“With the help of tactical movements, the Ukrainian army is strengthening defenses in the Luhansk region,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly video address. “That really is where the toughest situation is now.”

In the city of Severodonetsk, the hot spot of the fighting, Ukrainian defenders held on to the Azot chemical plant in the industrial outskirts. About 500 civilians are sheltering at the plant, and Haidai said the Russian forces are turning the area “into ruins.”

Follow the latest updates below.

04:33 AM

Howitzers arrive in Ukraine, first in pledged weapons package from Germany

German self-propelled howitzers have arrived in Ukraine in the first delivery of heavy weapons promised by Berlin, Ukraine’s defense minister said on Tuesday.

Ukraine has pleaded with the West to send more and better artillery as the country runs out of ammunition for its existing Soviet-era arsenal, which is dwarfed by Russia’s.

“We have replenishment! … The German Panzerhaubitze 2000 with trained Ukrainian crews joined the Ukrainian artillery family,” Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on social media.

03:47 AM

EU to welcome Ukraine candidacy on Thursday

In a symbolic decision, Ukraine is set to become an official candidate for the European Union membership on Thursday, EU diplomats said.

Russia’s failure to make a major breakthrough so far since invading Ukraine means time is on the side of Ukrainians, according to some military analysts.

“It’s a heavyweight boxing match. In 2 months of fighting, there has not been a knockout blow. It will come, as RU forces become more depleted,” retired US Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, a former commander of US ground forces in Europe. , wrote on Twitter.

03:31 AM

Italy’s government hit after Five Star party split over war

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s coalition government was rocked by fresh turmoil on Tuesday after the largest party in parliament split, with the foreign minister starting a breakaway group.

Luigi Di Maio said his decision to leave the Five Star Movement (M5S) – the party he once led – was due to its “ambiguity” over Italy’s support of Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.

But it follows months of internal tensions in the party, which has lost most of the support that propelled it to power in 2018 and risks being almost wiped out in national elections due next year.

As many as 60 former Five Star lawmakers have already signed up to Mr Di Maio’s new group, “Together for the Future”, media reports said.

03:21 AM

Latest photos of the war in Ukraine as fighting continues in the east

Housing and Communal College building damaged in a recent shelling in Kharkiv, - SERGEY KOZLOV / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock & nbsp;

Housing and Communal College building damaged in a recent shelling in Kharkiv, – SERGEY KOZLOV / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

Mandatory Credit: Photo by ORLANDO BARRIA / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock (12994967c) View of a destroyed building in the center of Kharkiv, Ukraine, 21 June 2022. On 24 February Russian troops entered Ukrainian territory starting a conflict that has provoked destruction and a humanitarian crisis.  Daily life in Kharkiv, Ukraine - 21 Jun 2022 & nbsp;  - ORLANDO BARRIA / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock & nbsp;

Mandatory Credit: Photo by ORLANDO BARRIA / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock (12994967c) View of a destroyed building in the center of Kharkiv, Ukraine, 21 June 2022. On 24 February Russian troops entered Ukrainian territory starting a conflict that has provoked destruction and a humanitarian crisis. Daily life in Kharkiv, Ukraine – 21 Jun 2022 – ORLANDO BARRIA / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

Mandatory Credit: Photo by OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock (12994963p) Ukrainian servicemen go to a position in the city of Severodonetsk of Luhansk area, Ukraine, 19 June 2022 (issued 21 June 2022).  The city of Severodonetsk and its surroundings witnessed heavy fighting for the last days.  Ukrainian troops control a part of the city include the Azot plant where 568 people, including 38 children, remain in the bomb shelters, the head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration Serhiy Haidai said on June 21. On 24 February Russian troops entered Ukrainian territory starting a conflict that has provoked destruction and a humanitarian crisis.  Fights in Severodonetsk, Luhansk, Ukraine - 19 Jun 2022 & nbsp;  - OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock & nbsp;

Mandatory Credit: Photo by OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock (12994963p) Ukrainian servicemen go to a position in the city of Severodonetsk of Luhansk area, Ukraine, 19 June 2022 (issued 21 June 2022). The city of Severodonetsk and its surroundings witnessed heavy fighting for the last days. Ukrainian troops control a part of the city include the Azot plant where 568 people, including 38 children, remain in the bomb shelters, the head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration Serhiy Haidai said on June 21. On 24 February Russian troops entered Ukrainian territory starting a conflict that has provoked destruction and a humanitarian crisis. Fights in Severodonetsk, Luhansk, Ukraine – 19 Jun 2022 – OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

Mandatory Credit: Photo by OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock (12994963h) A Ukrainian serviceman takes a cigarette proposed by a comrade on a position in the city of Severodonetsk of Luhansk area, Ukraine 19 June 2022 (issued 21 June 2022).  The city of Severodonetsk and its surroundings witnessed heavy fighting for the last days.  Ukrainian troops control a part of the city include the Azot plant where 568 people, including 38 children, remain in the bomb shelters, the head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration Serhiy Haidai said on June 21. On 24 February Russian troops entered Ukrainian territory starting a conflict that has provoked destruction and a humanitarian crisis.  Fights in Severodonetsk, Luhansk, Ukraine - 19 Jun 2022 & nbsp;  - OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock & nbsp;

Mandatory Credit: Photo by OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock (12994963h) A Ukrainian serviceman takes a cigarette proposed by a comrade on a position in the city of Severodonetsk of Luhansk area, Ukraine 19 June 2022 (issued 21 June 2022). The city of Severodonetsk and its surroundings witnessed heavy fighting for the last days. Ukrainian troops control a part of the city include the Azot plant where 568 people, including 38 children, remain in the bomb shelters, the head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration Serhiy Haidai said on June 21. On 24 February Russian troops entered Ukrainian territory starting a conflict that has provoked destruction and a humanitarian crisis. Fights in Severodonetsk, Luhansk, Ukraine – 19 Jun 2022 – OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

A Ukrainian service member pets a dog in the industrial area of ​​the city of Sievierodonetsk, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, Ukraine June 20, 2022. Picture taken June 20, 2022. REUTERS / Oleksandr Ratushniak & nbsp;  - REUTERS / Oleksandr Ratushniak

A Ukrainian service member pets a dog in the industrial area of ​​the city of Sievierodonetsk, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, Ukraine June 20, 2022. Picture taken June 20, 2022. REUTERS / Oleksandr Ratushniak – REUTERS / Oleksandr Ratushniak

02:55 AM

Ukraine strengthening defenses in Luhansk

Ukrainian and Russian forces remained entrenched in eastern Ukrainian battlegrounds going into Wednesday, a day of commemoration in both countries to mark the anniversary of Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.

Fighting in the months-long war has favored Russia in recent weeks because of its huge edge in artillery firepower, a fact Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged in a late Tuesday night address.

“Thanks to tactical maneuvers the Ukrainian army is strengthening its defenses in the Luhansk region,” he said. “That is really the toughest spot. The occupiers are also pressing strongly in the direction of Donetsk.”

“And just as actively as we are fighting for a positive decision by the European Union on Ukraine’s candidate status, we are also fighting every day for modern weaponry for our country. We do not let up for a single day,” Mr Zelensky said , urging those nations supporting his country to speed up arms deliveries.

01:10 AM

Today’s Top Stories

  • Mariupol was once a thriving city of 400,000 people lying on Ukraine’s southern coast, along the Sea of ​​Azov. A predominantly working-class place, with Europe’s largest steelworks at the center of its relatively prosperous economy. Now, instead, it is a place of death. Death, here, assaults the senses

  • Germany has “finally” delivered its first shipment of heavy weapons to Ukraine nearly five months into the war with Russia, Kyiv said on Tuesday

  • Ukrainian forces have launched a “massive” night-time mission to retake Snake Island, the Black Sea outpost captured by Russia at the start of the war

  • Vladimir Putin warned that Russia would deploy its newest intercontinental ballistic missilecapable of reaching Britain in three minutes, by the end of the year



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