Wednesday, February 21

Russia-Ukraine war live updates: Ukrainian military says Russian attacks repelled in Kharkiv and Kherson | Ukraine


Welcome to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. I’m Virginia Harrison and I’ll be with you for the next hour or so.

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It’s just after 8am in Kyiv and these are the main developments:

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  • The Ukrainian military said on Sunday that its forces repelled attacks by Russian troops in the Kharkiv region in the east and Kherson in the south, where Ukraine launched counteroffensives this month, as well as in parts of Donetsk in the south-east. It said Ukrainian troops had advanced to the eastern bank of the Oskil River in Kharkiv region. “From yesterday, Ukraine controls the east bank,” it said on Telegram.

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  • Five civilians were killed in Russian attacks in the eastern Donetsk region over the past day while in Nikopol, further west, several dozen residential buildings, gas pipelines and power lines were hit, regional governors said on Sunday.

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  • The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, vowed there would be no let up in fighting to regain territory lost to Russia. “Perhaps it seems to some of you that after a series of victories we now have a lull of sorts,” he said in his nightly address on Sunday. “But there will be no lull. There is preparation for the next series … For Ukraine must be free. All of it.”

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  • In an intelligence update, Britain’s defence ministry said Russian strikes on civilian infrastructure, including a power grid and a dam, had intensified. “As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in an attempt to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government,” it said on Sunday.

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  • Ukrainian forces are refusing to discard worn-out US-provided arms, with many reverse-engineering spare parts to continue the counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion. “They’re not willing to scrap it,” one soldier said, recalling artillery with shrapnel damage and sometimes completely worn out from firing round after round against Russian troops.

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  • The Ukrainian military said Russia has deployed Iranian attack drones, the New York Times reported on Sunday. According to a Ukrainian military official who spoke to the New York Times, remnants of the Shahed-136 attack drones have been discovered on the ground during the counteroffensive that Ukraine launched in the north-eastern regions of the country this month.

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  • The Ukrainian military has carried out 20 airstrikes in the past 24 hours against Russian strongholds, according to the general staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Kyiv Independent reported on Sunday that Ukraine’s Air Force had successfully targeted 15 Russian strongholds and four sites, as well as seven control points.

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  • The Russian singer Alla Pugacheva has spoken out against the war in Ukraine and the “death of our boys for illusory goals”. The remarks are the first time that the pop star, an icon in Russia, has publicly criticised the conflict. Addressing the Russian justice ministry, Pugacheva told her 3.4 million Instagram followers: “I am asking you to include me on the foreign agents list of my beloved country.”

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  • The Georgian president, Salome Zourabichvili, levelled heavy criticism against Russia on Sunday after the discovery of mass graves in Izium last week. Zourabichvili condemned “in the strongest terms the atrocities committed by Russia in Izium”, adding that “these war crimes must be answered by justice”, the Kyiv Independent reported.

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  • The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said on Sunday that the mass graves discovered in Izium were evidence of Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine. “Obviously the UK and Canada have been two of the strongest countries in standing up in support of Ukraine and pushing back against Russia’s illegal actions,” Trudeau told reporters in London.

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Key events

Ukrainians flee shelling of Kupiansk as Russian forces try to slow advances

On Sunday, Ukrainian civilians were fleeing heavy fighting as Russia’s armed forces tried to hold off a further dramatic advance by Ukrainian troops in the north-east of the country.

As Luke Harding and Isobel Koshiw report, cars packed with families streamed out of the city of Kupiansk, which Ukraine recaptured just over a week ago as part of a stunning counter-offensive. Kupiansk, a strategic railway junction, sits on either side of the river. It is on the new frontline after Ukrainian forces on Friday crossed to the right bank. They are now poised to push further into Luhansk province, which the Kremlin and its local proxies have controlled entirely since June, and partly since 2014. Here’s the full story.

Ukrainian troops are piling pressure on retreating Russian forces and are poised to push further into Luhansk province from Kupiansk. Photograph: Kostiantyn Liberov/AP

Russian pop star speaks out against war in Ukraine

The Russian singer Alla Pugacheva has spoken out against the war in Ukraine and the “death of our boys for illusory goals”.

The remarks are the first time that the pop star, an icon in Russia, has publicly criticized the conflict.

Addressing the Russian justice ministry, Pugacheva told her 3.4 million Instagram followers: “I am asking you to include me on the foreign agents list of my beloved country. Read more here.

Milley: “Not going too well for Russia”

The top US general on Sunday said it was still unclear how Russia might react to the latest battlefield setbacks in Ukraine and called for vigilance among US troops as he visited a base in Poland aiding Ukraine’s war effort, Reuters reported.

“The war is not going too well for Russia right now. So it’s incumbent upon all of us to maintain high states of readiness, alert,” US Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters in Warsaw.

Milley said he was not suggesting US troops in Europe were at any increased threat, but said they had to be ready.

“In the conduct of war, you just don’t know with a high degree of certainty what will happen next.”

Some recent images from Kharkiv, Ukraine.

People receive humanitarian aid in Prykolotne village, Kharkiv, Ukraine on Sunday.
People receive humanitarian aid in Prykolotne village, Kharkiv, on Sunday. Photograph: Oleg Petrasyuk/EPA
Cars drive across a damaged bridge in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Cars drive across a damaged bridge on Sunday. Photograph: Oleg Petrasyuk/EPA
A Ukrainian flag waves above Kharkiv city on Sunday.
A Ukrainian flag waves above Kharkiv city. Photograph: Vudi Xhymshiti/VX/REX/Shutterstock
A burnt banner with Russian flag in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
A burnt banner with a Russian flag in Kharkiv. Photograph: Oleg Petrasyuk/EPA
A damaged building in Kharkiv after attacks by Russian forces.
A damaged building in Kharkiv after attacks by Russian forces. Photograph: Vudi Xhymshiti/VX/REX/Shutterstock

Russian attacks in east and south repelled, says Ukraine military

Ukrainian military said on Sunday that its forces repelled attacks by Russian troops in the areas of the Kharkiv region in the east and Kherson in south where Ukraine launched counteroffensives this month, as well as in parts of Donetsk in the south-east, Reuters reports.

It said Ukrainian troops had advanced to the eastern bank of the Oskil River in Kharkiv region.

“Since yesterday, Ukraine controls the east bank,” it said on Telegram. Serhiy Gaidai, governor of the neighbouring. Luhansk region, said this meant the “de-occupation” of his region was “not far away”.

the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) says Russia president Vladimir Putin is “increasingly relying on irregular volunteer and proxy forces rather than conventional units,” in its latest update on the Russian campaign.

Putin’s souring relationship with the military command and the Russian (MoD) may explain in part the Kremlin’s increasing focus on recruiting ill-prepared volunteers into ad-hoc irregular units rather than attempting to draw them into reserve or replacement pools for regular Russian combat units, ” the ISW said.

Russian President Vladimir #Putin is increasingly relying on irregular volunteer and proxy forces rather than conventional units and formations of the #Russian Federation Armed Forces.https://t.co/FnqcLd1RQo pic.twitter.com/9mwlzs8RwA

— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) September 19, 2022

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Welcome

Welcome to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine. I’m Virginia Harrison and I’ll be with you for the next hour or so.

It’s just after 8am in Kyiv and these are the main developments:

  • The Ukrainian military said on Sunday that its forces repelled attacks by Russian troops in the Kharkiv region in the east and Kherson in the south, where Ukraine launched counteroffensives this month, as well as in parts of Donetsk in the south-east. It said Ukrainian troops had advanced to the eastern bank of the Oskil River in Kharkiv region. “Since yesterday, Ukraine controls the east bank,” it said on Telegram.

  • Five civilians were killed in Russian attacks in the eastern Donetsk region over the past day While in Nikopol, further west, several dozen residential buildings, gas pipelines and power lines were hit, regional governors said on Sunday.

  • The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, vowed there would be no let up in fighting to regain territory lost to Russia. “Perhaps it seems to some of you that after a series of victories we now have a lull of sorts,” he said in his nightly address on Sunday. “But there will be no lull. There is preparation for the next series… For Ukraine must be free. All of it.”

  • In an intelligence update, Britain’s defense ministry said Russian strikes on civilian infrastructure, including a power grid and a dam, had intensified. “As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in an attempt to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government,” it said on Sunday.

  • Ukrainian forces are refusing to discard worn-out US-provided arms, with many reverse-engineering spare parts to continue the counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion. “They’re not willing to scrap it,” one soldier said, recalling artillery with shrapnel damage and sometimes completely worn out from firing round after round against Russian troops.

  • The Ukrainian military said Russia has deployed Iranian attack drones, The New York Times reported on Sunday. According to a Ukrainian military official who spoke to the New York Times, remnants of the Shahed-136 attack drones have been discovered on the ground during the counteroffensive that Ukraine launched in the north-eastern regions of the country this month.

  • The Ukrainian military has carried out 20 airstrikes in the past 24 hours against Russian strongholdsaccording to the general staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Kyiv Independent reported on Sunday that Ukraine’s Air Force had successfully targeted 15 Russian strongholds and four sites, as well as seven control points.

  • The Russian singer Alla Pugacheva has spoken out against the war in Ukraine and the “death of our boys for illusory goals”. The remarks are the first time that the pop star, an icon in Russia, has publicly criticized the conflict. Addressing the Russian justice ministry, Pugacheva told her 3.4 million Instagram followers: “I am asking you to include me on the foreign agents list of my beloved country.”

  • The Georgian president, Salome Zourabichvili, leveled heavy criticism against Russia on Sunday after the discovery of mass graves in Izium last week. Zourabichvili condemned “in the strongest terms the atrocities committed by Russia in Izium”, adding that “these war crimes must be answered by justice”, the Kyiv Independent reported.

  • The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said on Sunday that the mass graves discovered in Izium were evidence of Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine. “Obviously the UK and Canada have been two of the strongest countries standing up in support of Ukraine and pushing back against Russia’s illegal actions,” Trudeau told reporters in London.




www.theguardian.com

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