Russian advance on Ukraine’s Donetsk region thwarted so far, Kyiv says

Russian advance on Ukraine’s Donetsk region thwarted so far, Kyiv says

KYIV, July 6 (Reuters) - Ukraine has so far thwarted an attempted Russian advance into the north of its Donetsk region but the city of Sloviansk and other civilian areas are being heavily shelled, Ukrainian officials said on Wednesday. Russia has increased its focus on Donetsk, the southern part of which it and its proxies already control, after completing its seizure of the neighbouring Luhansk region on Sunday with the capture of Lysychansk, which now lies in ruins. Moscow says fully pushing the Ukrainian military out of both regions is central to what it calls its "special military operation" to ensure its…
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Ukraine says Russians pillage Lysychansk, Sievierodonetsk as offensive underway in Ukraine’s Donetsk

Ukraine says Russians pillage Lysychansk, Sievierodonetsk as offensive underway in Ukraine’s Donetsk

KYIV/SLOVIANSK, Ukraine, July 6 (Reuters) - Ukrainian defenders fought desperately to withstand a major Russian offensive in the Donetsk region, with the enemy laying down heavy artillery fire to pave the way for ground forces to advance, a senior Ukrainian official said on Wednesday. After Russian forces on Sunday took control of Lysychansk, the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in Luhansk, Ukraine's military braced for an assault on Donetsk, with the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk both in the Russian line of fire. Donetsk and Luhansk comprise the Donbas, the industrialised eastern part of Ukraine that has seen the biggest battle in…
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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

July 4 (Reuters) - Russia said it had established full control over the Luhansk region after Ukrainian forces pulled out of the bombed-out city of Lysychansk. Governor Serhiy Gaidai said the loss hurt "but it's not losing the war".  FIGHTING * Governor of Luhansk Gaidai says he expects the city of Sloviansk and the town of Bakhmut in particular to come under attack as Russia tries to take full control of the Donbas in eastern Ukraine. * The Ukrainian flag has been raised again on Snake Island in the Black Sea, a Ukrainian military spokesperson said on Monday, after Russian troops withdrew…
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UPDATED: Ukraine renews its invitation for Pope Francis to visit

UPDATED: Ukraine renews its invitation for Pope Francis to visit

KYIV, July 4 (Reuters) - Ukraine renews its invitation for Pope Francis to visit Ukraine and urges the pontiff to continue praying for the Ukrainian people, a Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday. "It is time to deepen connections with those who sincerely desire it. We renew the invitation to Pope Francis to visit our country and urge you to continue praying for the Ukrainian people," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said when asked for comment about an interview Francis gave to Reuters. The pope said in the interview that he hoped he would be able to go to Moscow and…
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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

July 1 (Reuters) - Russia rained missiles down near Ukraine's Black Sea port of Odesa on Friday, Ukrainian officials said, hitting an apartment building and a resort and killing at least 18 people. Russia denied the accusation.  FIGHTING * The Kremlin denied targeting civilians. "I would like to remind you of the president's words that the Russian Armed Forces do not work with civilian targets," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters. * Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine where two Britons and a Moroccan have been sentenced to death say the death penalty will start being used from 2025, according to an updated…
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UPDATED: We’ll be with you on ‘long road’ to membership, EU tells Ukraine

UPDATED: We’ll be with you on ‘long road’ to membership, EU tells Ukraine

BRUSSELS/KYIV, July 1 (Reuters) - Ukraine now has a "very clear European perspective" but the road to EU membership will take time and require hard work, the president of the EU executive told the country's parliament on Friday. EU leaders last week granted Ukraine candidate status to join the bloc, formally opening a process that is expected to take years before it becomes a member of the union that now comprises 27 countries.  In a speech by video-link to the Ukrainian assembly, Ursula von der Leyen underlined the progress made by the country in its path towards EU membership while it defends…
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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

June 30 (Reuters) - Russian forces have withdrawn from Snake Island in the Black Sea in a move Ukraine hailed as a victory and Russia said showed Moscow was not seeking to hinder UN efforts to organise a corridor for the export of Ukrainian agricultural produce. FIGHTING * Russian forces withdrew from Snake Island in the Black Sea as a "gesture of goodwill", Russia's defence ministry said.  https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1542464258461601792 * A first cargo ship has left the Russian-occupied Ukrainian port of Berdyansk, a local official said, after Russia said the port had been de-mined and was ready to resume grain shipments.  * Russia's…
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UPDATED: Russia abandons Snake Island in strategic victory for Ukraine

UPDATED: Russia abandons Snake Island in strategic victory for Ukraine

KYIV, June 30 (Reuters) - Russian forces abandoned the strategic Black Sea outpost of Snake Island on Thursday, in a major victory for Ukraine that could loosen a Russian grain export blockade threatening to worsen global hunger. Russia's defence ministry said it had decided to withdraw from the outcrop as a "gesture of goodwill" that showed Moscow was not obstructing U.N. efforts to open a humanitarian corridor allowing grains to be shipped from Ukraine's ports. Ukraine said it had driven the Russian forces out after a massive artillery and assault overnight. "KABOOM!" tweeted Andriy Yermak, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's chief…
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UPDATED: Ukraine says Russian forces fighting on many fronts

UPDATED: Ukraine says Russian forces fighting on many fronts

March 30 (Reuters) - Ukrainian officials reported shelling around the capital Kyiv and the northern region of Chernihiv on Wednesday, despite a promise by Moscow to scale down military operations there. Russian forces were also shelling nearly all cities along the front line separating Ukrainian government-controlled territory from areas held by Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Donetsk region, the regional governor said, and heavy fighting was reported in the southern port city of Mariupol. Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said Russia was transferring forces from northern Ukraine to eastern areas to try to encircle Ukrainian troops there.  He said…
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