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Russia Ukraine War News Highlights: Ukraine’s Sievierodonetsk city fully under Russian occupation, says mayor

Ukraine War Today News, Ukraine Russia Highlights: Dozens of Russian missiles rained down on military facilities in western and northern Ukraine on Saturday, local officials said, as Europe's biggest land conflict since World War Two entered its fifth month.

A Ukrainian serviceman looks at the ruins of the sports complex of the National Technical University in Kharkiv, Ukraine, June 24, 2022, damaged during a night shelling. (AP)

Russia Ukraine War Crisis Highlights: According to Oleksandr Stryuk the mayor of Sievierodonetsk city, the Russian forces have fully occupied the strategic frontline city in eastern Ukraine after weeks of fighting and bombardment.

Ukraine’s finance minster Sergii Marchenko and the Federal Minister of Finance of Germany Christian Lindner signed an Agreement between the Governments of Ukraine and Germany on providing EUR 1 billion in grant funding to Ukraine on June 24. Meanwhile, Russian forces are trying to block Lysychansk city from the south in eastern Ukraine, the region’s governor said on Saturday. The city lies next to Sievierodonetsk, which has endured relentless assault and house-to-house fighting for weeks.

Dozens of Russian missiles rained down on military facilities in western and northern Ukraine on Saturday, local officials said, as Europe’s biggest land conflict since World War Two entered its fifth month. The governor of the Lviv region in western Ukraine, Maxim Kozytskyi, said in a video posted online that six missiles were fired from the Black Sea at the Yavoriv base, with four hitting the base and two being intercepted and destroyed before hitting their target.

Meanwhile, European Union leaders on Thursday granted Ukraine the coveted status of an official candidate to join their 27-nation club, a bold geopolitical step hailed by Kyiv and the EU itself as a “historic moment”. Although it could take Ukraine more than a decade to eventually join the bloc, the decision is a symbol of the EU’s intention to reach deep into the former Soviet Union.

Live Blog

Russia Ukraine War Crisis: Russia battling for last pieces of eastern region; war marks four months since Russian invasion. Follow highlights here.

22:27 (IST)25 Jun 2022
Shelling damages Kharkiv nuclear facility in Ukraine, regulator says

Russian shelling damaged a nuclear research facility in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Saturday, the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate said.

The strike damaged some of the site's buildings and infrastructure but did not affect the area housing nuclear fuel and radiation levels there are within a normal range, it said in an online post.

"The probability of new damage ... which can directly affect the state of nuclear and radiation safety, remains high due to shelling by Russian troops," it said. Reuters could not independently verify the inspectorate's account on the incident.

Ukraine's second-largest city suffered heavy bombardment in the first few months of the war, but weeks of relative calm have recently been broken by renewed shelling. (Reuters)

21:56 (IST)25 Jun 2022
Ukrainian troops have withdrawn from Sievierodonetsk - military

The Ukrainian military said on Saturday that Ukrainian troops had withdrawn from the strategic frontline city of Sievierodonetsk in eastern Ukraine.

"After the withdrawal of our military units, the enemy is consolidating its positions in ... Sievierodonetsk," it said in an update. (Reuters)

21:30 (IST)25 Jun 2022
Russia is conducting covert mobilisation campaign - Ukraine spy chief

Russia is using its reserve forces in a covert mobilisation to replenish its ranks in eastern Ukraine and there is no point in waiting for its offensive potential to simply fizzle out, the head of Ukraine's military intelligence agency said on Saturday.

In an interview in Kyiv, Kyrylo Budanov, told Reuters he believed Ukraine could only achieve a victory against Russia through military force.

"We shouldn't wait for a miracle that they will tire and stop wanting to fight and so on. We will win back our territory as a result of our counteroffensive," said Budanov, head of the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine. (Reuters)

21:11 (IST)25 Jun 2022
Ukraine to fight on from higher ground in Lysychansk - spy chief

Ukraine is regrouping its forces from the rubble of the city of Sievierodonetsk to higher ground in neighbouring Lysychansk to gain a tactical advantage over Russia, the head of Ukraine's military intelligence agency said on Saturday.

In an interview in Kyiv, Kyrylo Budanov, told Reuters that Ukrainian forces would continue their defence of that front from Lysychansk in eastern Ukraine and that it was no longer possible to hold the line in Sievierodonetsk.

"The activities happening in the area of Sievierodonetsk are a tactical regrouping of our troops. This is a withdrawal to advantageous positions to obtain a tactical advantage," said, Budanov, head of the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.

"Russia is using the tactic ... it used in Mariupol: wiping the city from the face of the earth. Given the conditions, holding the defence in the ruins and open fields is no longer possible. So the Ukrainian forces are leaving for higher ground to continue the defence operations," he said. Asked if he meant Lysychansk, he said: "Yes, this is the only higher ground."  (Reuters)


Major General Kyrylo Budanov, chief of the Military Intelligence of Ukraine, speaks during an interview with Reuters, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine June 25, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
20:50 (IST)25 Jun 2022
Three European mayors duped into calls with fake Kyiv mayor

The mayor of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv warned Saturday that an imposter is posing as him and communicating with other officials, including three European mayors who were duped into believing they were having a video call with the real Vitali Klitschko.

'Several mayors in Europe have been contacted by a fake mayor of Kyiv who has been saying absurd things,'' Klitschko told German daily newspaper Bild. 'This is criminal energy. It must be urgently investigated who is behind it.'' The office of Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey tweeted Friday night that she cut short a call with the reputed Kyiv mayor after his comments and questions made her suspicious. 'The course of the conversation and the setting of topics'' made Giffey wary, her office said without elaborating.

Madrid Mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida also interrupted a video call with someone claiming to be Klitschko on Friday. The mayor of Spain's capital suspected he wasn't speaking with his Kyiv counterpart and has filed a complaint with police.

Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig did not end his call with the imposter earlier this week because he didn't notice any suspicious behavior, Austrian public broadcaster ORF reported. (AP)

20:16 (IST)25 Jun 2022
Russian forces occupy all of Ukraine's Sievierodonetsk - mayor

The mayor of Sievierodonetsk said Russian forces had fully occupied the strategic frontline city in eastern Ukraine after weeks of fighting and bombardment.

"The city is now under the full occupation of Russia. They are trying to establish their own order, as far as I know they have appointed some kind of commandant," Mayor Oleksandr Stryuk said on national television. (Reuters)

19:27 (IST)25 Jun 2022
Thousands unite in Polish, Ukrainian LGBT+ parades in Warsaw

Thousands of Poles and Ukrainians are walking for peace and demanding an end to discrimination against the LGBT+ community on Saturday, in a joint Pride march in Warsaw that organisers say aims to defend freedom and equality as war casts a shadow over eastern Europe.

The annual Pride march in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv was cancelled due to Russia's invasion, leading the LGBT+ community in Warsaw to team up with their counterparts in Ukraine to organise the event in the Polish capital.

"Russia denied us the right that we were fighting for for years, Russia denied us the Pride, our march of equality that we are holding every year since 2012 in Kyiv. ... That is why we are marching in Warsaw," said Lenny Emson, executive director of KyivPride, who came to Poland for the march.

Conservative attitudes towards sexual orientation are widespread in both countries. Poland's ruling nationalists have made battling what they call "LGBT ideology" a key plank of election campaigns, while in Ukraine far-right groups regularly targeted LGBT+ campaigners and events before the war. (Reuters)

16:21 (IST)25 Jun 2022
Ukraine already using US-supplied rocket systems in conflict - top general

US-supplied HIMARS rocket systems are already working and hitting targets in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine, the country's top general said on Saturday.

"Artillerymen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine skillfully hit certain targets - military targets of the enemy on our, Ukrainian, territory," Chief of Ukraine's General Staff Valeriy Zaluzhnyi wrote on the Telegram app. (Reuters)

15:55 (IST)25 Jun 2022
Ukraine stands with Moldova against threats from Russia - foreign minister

Ukraine stands with Moldova in response to renewed threats from Russia, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Saturday, after Moscow warned of negative consequences over the two countries becoming candidates for EU membership.

"We stand with the people and the government of friendly Moldova amid renewed threats coming from Moscow. All Russia has left is spitting out threats at other states after decades of failed policies based on aggression, coercion, and disrespect," Kuleba said on Twitter. (Reuters)

15:30 (IST)25 Jun 2022
Ukraine will receive a grant of 1 billion euros from Germany

Finance Minister of Ukraine Sergii Marchenko and the Federal Minister of Finance of Germany Christian Lindner signed an Agreement between the Governments of Ukraine and Germany on providing EUR 1 billion in grant funding to Ukraine on June 24. 

The funds will be directed to the state budget of Ukraine to finance priority social and humanitarian expenditures during martial law rule The funds will be directed to Ukraine through the mechanism of the Administrated Account of the International Monetary Fund.

15:02 (IST)25 Jun 2022
Russia pushes to block 2nd city in eastern Ukraine

Russian forces are trying to block a city in eastern Ukraine, the region's governor said Saturday, after their relentless assault on a nearby city forced Ukrainian troops to begin withdrawal after weeks of intense fighting. Russia also launched missile attacks on areas far from the heart of the eastern battles.

Serhiy Haidai, governor of the Luhansk region, said on Facebook that Russian forces are attempting to blockade the city of Lysychansk from the south. That city lies next to Sievierodonetsk, which has endured relentless assault and house-to-house fighting for weeks.

After Haidai said Friday that Ukrainian forces had begun retreating from Sievierodonetsk, military analyst Oleg Zhdanov said some of the troops were heading for Lysychansk. But Russian moves to cut off Lysychansk will give those retreating troops little respite. (AP)

14:37 (IST)25 Jun 2022
Significance of Ukrainian retreat

DW's correspondent in Kyiv, Nick Connolly, explained that the Ukrainian strategy is to make "Russians pay as high a price as possible for the smallest possible gains, similar to what we saw in Mariupol, where you make them fight for every street, for every meter of ground."

Mariupol, which became a symbol of Ukrainian resitance to Russian assault, fell in May after nearly three months of intense fighting.

Connolly said that while the Ukrainian retreat from Sievierodonetsk was a big deal, it was not "unexpected" since Ukraine has to "choose its battles carefully and to use what little equipment it has cleverly as possible."

"Remaining in positions smashed to pieces over many months just for the sake of staying there does not make sense," Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai said on Ukrainian television after troops were ordered to move to new positions.

Haidai tweeted Friday that troops would "move away from the city, to new, more fortified positions." 

13:43 (IST)25 Jun 2022
Russian missiles rain down on military sites across Ukraine - local officials

Dozens of Russian missiles rained down on military facilities in western and northern Ukraine on Saturday, local officials said, as Europe's biggest land conflict since World War Two entered its fifth month.

The governor of the Lviv region in western Ukraine, Maxim Kozytskyi, said in a video posted online that six missiles were fired from the Black Sea at the Yavoriv base, with four hitting the base and two being intercepted and destroyed before hitting their target.

Vitaliy Bunechko, governor of the Zhytomyr region in the north of the country, said strikes on a military target killed at least one soldier.

"Nearly 30 missiles were launched at one military infrastructure facility very near to the city of Zhytomyr," said Bunechko, adding that nearly 10 missiles had been intercepted and destroyed. (Reuters)

13:40 (IST)25 Jun 2022
Russian shelling hits chemical plant where civilians trapped, says Ukraine

Russia launched artillery and air strikes on the twin cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk on Saturday, hitting a chemical plant where hundreds of civilians were trapped, a Ukrainian official said.

Serhiy Gaidai, governor of the Luhansk region, said Russian forces attacked Sievierodentsk's industrial zone and also attempted to enter and blockade Lysychansk.

"There was an air strike at Lysychansk. Sievierodonetsk was hit by artillery," Gaidai said on the Telegram messaging app, adding the Azot chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk and the villages of Synetsky and Pavlograd and others were shelled.

He made no mention of casualties at the Azot chemical plant and Reuters could not immediately verify the information. (Reuters)

13:29 (IST)25 Jun 2022
Boris Johnson says he fears Ukraine will be coerced to make a 'bad peace'

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday that he feared Ukraine could face pressure to agree a peace deal with Russia that was not in its interests, due to the economic consequences of the war in Europe.

"Too many countries are saying this is a European war that is unnecessary ... and so the pressure will grow to encourage - coerce, maybe - the Ukrainians to a bad peace," he told broadcasters in the Rwandan capital Kigali, where he is attending a Commonwealth summit.

Johnson said the consequences of Russian President Vladimir Putin being able to get his way in Ukraine would be dangerous to international security and "a long-term economic disaster". (Reuters)

12:31 (IST)25 Jun 2022
Russia has removed several key generals from Ukraine, says Britain

The British defence ministry said on Saturday that Russia had likely withdrawn several generals from key command roles in the Ukraine conflict this month.

"Since the start of June, the Russian high command has highly likely removed several Generals from key operational command roles in the war in Ukraine," the ministry said in its daily Twitter update.

Ukrainian forces have been ordered to withdraw from the battleground city of Sievierodonetsk after weeks of fierce street fighting, in order to limit more casualties and regroup. (Reuters)

The Russian military extended its grip on territory in eastern Ukraine as it seeks to cut supply lines and encircle frontline Ukrainian forces, while the Ukrainian military announced Thursday the arrival of powerful US multiple-launch rocket systems it hopes will offer a battlefield advantage.

Ukrainian forces withdrew from some areas near the city of Lysychansk to avoid being surrounded as Russians sent in reinforcements and concentrated their firepower in the area, Britain's Defense Ministry said. The city is located in Luhansk province, a major battlefield in Russian President Vladimir Putin's war against Ukraine.

Ukraine's General Staff said Russian forces took control of the villages of Loskutivka and Rai-Oleksandrivka, and were trying to capture Syrotyne, a settlement outside the province's administrative center, Sievierodonetsk. Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai told The Associated Press that the Russians were "burning everything out" in their offensive to encircle Ukraine's fighters.

"The Russians are advancing without trying to spare the ammunition or troops, and they aren't running out of either," Haidai said. "They have an edge in heavy artillery and the number of troops."

After repeated requests to its Western allies for heavier weaponry to counter Russia's edge in firepower, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said a response had arrived in the form of the medium-range American rocket launchers.

The US will send an addition $450 million in military aid to Ukraine, including four more of the medium-range rocket systems, ammunition and other supplies, US officials announced Thursday.

Analysts said the advanced systems would give Ukrainian forces greater precision in hitting Russian targets. Mykola Sunhurovsky of the Razumkov Center, a Kyiv-based think tank, said the HIMARS have a longer range, more precision and higher rate of fire compared with similar Soviet-designed systems that Russia and Ukraine have used during the four-month war.

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First published on: 24-06-2022 at 08:03:54 am
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