Kremlin claims militants have struck border with heavy shelling – live


Moscow drone attack: Buildings damaged in wake of suspected strike

Russia says it has repelled an attempted attack on its border with Ukraine by “pro-Ukrainian militants”, while heavy shelling and a suspected drone attack forced some civilians to flee the area.

The defence ministry in Moscow said its forces saw off three cross-border attacks near the town of Shebekino in the Belgorod region, and it accused Ukraine of using “terrorist formations” to try to target Russian civilians.

Ukraine denies its military is involved in the incursions, blaming Russian volunteer fighters opposed to Moscow’s regime.

The Kremlin said president Vladimir Putin was being regularly briefed on the situation at the border and noted that Western powers had refrained from condemning the attacks on Russian territory that it blamed on Ukraine.

The Russian Volunteer Corps, a far-right paramilitary group of ethnic Russians that supports Ukraine, said it was fighting on Russian territory.

Meanwhile, a nine-year-old Ukrainian girl, her mother and another woman were killed in a Russian missile strike on Kyiv on Thursday after the air raid shelter they rushed to failed to open.

President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed frustration at the tragedy and said if local officials were unable to provide protection, they could be prosecuted.


Russian mercenary boss slams army ‘clowns’ as he marks birthday at training camp

Russia’s most powerful mercenary, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said his Wagner group would fight on in Ukraine if his men got a separate section of the front without having to depend on “clowns” who ran swathes of the Russian armed forces.

Celebrating his 62nd birthday on Thursday at a training camp, Prigozhin also confirmed that his men would finally leave the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut on June 5 after handing it to the Russian army. The Wagner mercenaries captured the devastated city in late May after months of grinding warfare.

“If the whole chain (of command) is 100% failed and will only be led by clowns who turn people into meat, then we will not participate in it,” said Prigozhin, known for his blunt, often expletive-laced commentary on the conduct of the war.

“Beautiful isn’t it?” he said to Russian reporters with a smile, gazing at a night sky lit up with blasts and red flares against bursts of automatic gunfire from his mercenaries.

Eleanor Noyce1 June 2023 11:00


Russia claims it thwarted three cross-border attacks in Belgorod

Russia’s defence ministry claimed that it thwarted three cross-border attacks near the town of Shebekino in the Belgorod region.

“Overall, the attack involved up to 70 militants, five tanks, four armoured vehicles, seven pick-up trucks and a Kamaz truck,” the Russian defence ministry said yesterday evening.

The ministry claimed to have killed more than 50 Ukrainian soldiers.

Maroosha Muzaffar2 June 2023 05:02


Russia has lost more than 200,000 troops since the beginning of invasion, Kyiv authorities claim

Russia has lost about 208,000 troops since the beginning of the invasion, according to Ukraine.

Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesman for the Eastern Grouping of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that this was more than the 170,000 Russian forces he says were involved in the initial invasion in 2022.

Meanwhile, Sky News reported that Russia has suffered over 60,000 casualties as of 1 June in its assault on the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

Last month, Russia declared its success in capturing Bakhmut after approximately a year-long battle.“We judge that capturing Bakhmut has likely cost Russia at least 60,000 casualties in that Bakhmut-Popasna sector over the course of the year-long battle,” it reported citing a Western official.

Yesterday, Russia shelled Ukraine’s position in Bakhmut at least 476 times, according to Mr Cherevatyi.“We are doing everything to exhaust their logistics — we are hitting the accumulation of equipment and personnel, headquarters.”

Maroosha Muzaffar2 June 2023 04:34


US to stop giving Russia some New START nuclear arms data

The United States has decided to stop providing Russia with some notifications required under the New START arms control treaty — including updates on its missile and launcher locations.

In a fact sheet on its website, the State Department said it would also stop giving Russia telemetry information — remotely gathered data about a missile’s flight — on launches of US intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

The move is aimed to reiterate Moscow’s “ongoing violations” of the accord, Reuters reported.

The New START treaty was signed in 2010 by then-presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev and limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers. The agreement envisages sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance.

“Beginning 1 June 2023, the United States is withholding from Russia notifications required under the treaty, including updates on the status or location of treaty-accountable items such as missiles and launchers,” the State Department factsheet said.

Maroosha Muzaffar2 June 2023 04:21


Kyiv authorities lift air raid alerts and claim 30 Russian missiles and drones were downed

Authorities in Ukraine today lifted air raid alerts across most of the country, it was reported.

Officials in Kyiv said defences downed more than 30 missiles and drones fired by Russia.

“According to preliminary information, more than 30 air targets of various types were detected and destroyed in the airspace over and around Kyiv by air defence forces,” military officials said in a statement shared on Telegram.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko, who earlier reported two separate waves of attacks, wrote on Telegram that there had been no calls for rescue services.

Maroosha Muzaffar2 June 2023 04:02


Reminder: Fresh Russian bombardment of Kyiv kills at least three

Russian forces began June with a fresh aerial bombardment of Kyiv on Tuesday, killing at least three people and wounding others, authorities said.

Two of the dead were children, according to city officials:

Jane Dalton2 June 2023 02:50


Revealed: Life inside the notorious Russian jail holding a US journalist

For decades, Lefortovo prison, where American journalist Evan Gershkovich is being held, has been a symbol of oppression and control in Russia.

Testimony from inmates, lawyers and prison monitors say it is designed to instil fear, isolation and despair, with psychological pressure that defines the torment of prisoners:

Jane Dalton2 June 2023 01:40


Brazilian leader hopes to broker peace talks

Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has reiterated his country’s criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but said he has been trying to remain neutral so he could broker potential peace talks.

After a meeting with Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto in Brasilia, Mr Lula said he was looking to create conditions for both countries to engage in peace negotiations to “stop the war when they are ready”.

“Brazil is working with other countries to achieve peace but nothing will happen until Ukraine and Russia want to,” Mr Lula said, adding that he had recently discussed the theme with other leaders including Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Jane Dalton2 June 2023 00:30


Grain exports have halved, says UN

The United Nations is concerned about the continuous slowdown of the implementation of a Black Sea grain export deal between Russia and Ukraine, a spokesman said.

Only 33 vessels left Ukrainian ports in May, less than half the number seen last month.

He said the UN would engage with the parties toward full resumption of the deal.

Ukraine says the export deal has been halted again because Russia blocked registration of ships to all Ukrainian ports.

Jane Dalton1 June 2023 23:15


Zelensky increases pressure on allies for jets

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said he received “powerful support” from allies at a summit of more than 40 European leaders, but he ratcheted up the pressure on Western allies to provide weapons:

Jane Dalton1 June 2023 22:20

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