Ukraine Russia War – latest: Zelensky’s forces make gains at Arkhanhelske, Kherson, Russian official admits

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Moscow protesters shout ‘Send Putin to the trenches’

Ukraine has taken over two more settlements in Kherson Oblast, just days after Russia claimed the territory following a so-called referendum, Volodymyr Zelensky has announced.

He added that the success of the Ukrainian soldiers “is not limited to Lyman” – the logistics center in the east of the country which was also taken over this week, marking a significant victory for Kyiv.

“This week, most of the [battlefield] reports is the list of settlements liberated from the enemy as part of our defense operation,” Zelensky said.

A Russian-installed official in the Kherson region, Kirill Stremousov, admitted in a video statement today that Ukrainian forces “have drilled a bit deeper”.

However, he insisted that “everything is under control” and that the “Russian defense system is working” in the region.

The United States and NATO hailed Ukraine’s territorial victory over Russia in the seven-month war.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has said the capture of the former Russian stronghold makes the war “more difficult” for Vladimir Putin.

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Kremlin says it favors a ‘balanced approach’ to nuclear weapons

The Kremlin said on Monday it favored a “balanced approach” to the nuclear weapons issue, not based on emotion, after a key ally of President Vladimir Putin called on Russia over the weekend to use a “low-yield nuclear weapon” in Ukraine. .

Asked about comments by Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechnya region, who also criticized Russia’s military leadership over battlefield setbacks, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had the right to express one’s opinion, but that Russia’s military approach should not be driven by emotion.

Peskov said the basis for any use of nuclear weapons was established in Russian nuclear doctrine.

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Defense Ministry releases latest map on Russian-Ukrainian war

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Ukrainian forces have made inroads in Kherson region, Russian official says

Ukrainian forces have made inroads in the southern Kherson region and taken control of some settlements, a Russian-installed official said on Monday.

“It’s tense, let’s put it that way,” Vladimir Saldo, the Russian leader of Ukraine’s Kherson region, told state television.

Russia officially decided to annex four Ukrainian territories last week, including the Kherson region, but none are fully under the control of Moscow’s forces and Ukraine continues to advance south.

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Russian journalist under investigation

Prominent Russian journalist Ksenia Sobchak is under criminal investigation for a story police suspect is “false”, state news agency TASS reported on Monday, citing an unidentified source in the press release. law enforcement.

Sobchak, whose late father was mayor of St. Petersburg in the 1990s and worked closely with Vladimir Putin, hosts a YouTube channel with more than 3 million subscribers. She also founded a popular Telegram account that regularly shares stories critical of Russia’s mobilization efforts.

TASS reported that Sobchak’s story was linked to “public funding of festivals” and that she could be charged under a section of Russian law that carries three-year prison sentences.

Neither Sobchak, 40, nor representatives of his news site immediately responded to a Reuters request for comment on the TASS report.

Sobchak has so far avoided prosecution, but authorities have scrutinized her in the past for sharing so-called “LGBT propaganda” and saying Crimea was still Ukrainian after it was annexed by Russia in 201, Reuters reports. .

Since its invasion of Ukraine in February, Russia has cracked down on independent media and prosecuted scores of journalists for spreading “false” information about what it calls its “special military operation”.

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Ukrainian forces advance south as Moscow cedes new territory

Ukrainian forces reportedly retook towns along the western bank of the Dnipro river in southern Ukraine on Monday, with Moscow forced to cede territory along a major second frontline just days after claiming the to have annexed.

The extent of the Ukrainian advance has not been confirmed, with Kyiv maintaining almost complete silence on the situation in the region. But Russian military bloggers described the advance of a Ukrainian tank over tens of kilometers of territory along the river bank.

In one of the few comments from a Ukrainian official on the situation, Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the Interior Ministry, posted what he described as a video of a Ukrainian soldier waving a flag in Zolota Balka, in downstream from the old front line.

Rob Lee, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute think tank, quoted Russian bloggers who reported that their forces were retreating to Dudchany – 40 km (25 miles) downriver from the location. where they had clashed with Ukrainian troops a day earlier.

“When so many Russian channels sound the alarm, it usually means they are in trouble,” he wrote on Twitter.

A Ukrainian advance along the Dnipro River could trap thousands of Russian troops on the other side, cut off from all supplies. The river is extremely wide and Ukraine has already destroyed the main crossing points.

The reports were the first to describe a rapid Ukrainian advance in the south of the country since the start of the war, and come just a day after Ukraine routed Russian troops in a major stronghold, Lyman, in the opposite end of the front to the east.

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Russia attacks 35 settlements with missiles and airstrikes, says Ukrainian military

Ukraine’s military said Monday morning that Russian forces had used missiles, airstrikes and artillery in attacks on 35 settlements in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Air Force attacked a command post, weapons caches and an anti-aircraft missile complex, and shot down a helicopter, an attack plane and eight drones, it said. -he adds.

The Zaporizhzhia region governor said Russian forces attacked the city of Zaporizhzhia and nearby villages overnight, with at least 10 missiles.

Reuters could not independently verify reports from the battlefield.

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CPAC deletes tweet criticizing support for Ukraine against Russian invasion

The Conservative Political Action Conference Twitter account deleted a tweet criticizing Congress for passing aid to Ukraine amid the Russian invasion on Friday.

On Friday night, the Conservative People’s Rally account tweeted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of some territory in Ukraine and Congress’s recent passage of additional aid to Ukraine.

“Vladimir Putin announces annexation of 4 Ukrainian occupied territories,” the tweet read. “Biden and the Democrats continue to send billions of taxpayer dollars to Ukraine. Meanwhile, we are under attack at our southern border. When will Democrats end #AmericaFirst and end handouts to Ukraine? »

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Thousands of Russians drafted for military service in Ukraine sent home

Thousands of Russians drafted for military service in Ukraine have been sent home and the military commissar of Russia’s Khabarovsk region was removed from his post in the latest setback to President Vladimir Putin’s chaotic conscription of 300,000 military personnel.

Mikhail Degtyarev, the governor of the Khabarovsk region in Russia’s Far East, said several thousand men showed up to enlist in 10 days, but many were ineligible.

“About half of them we returned home because they did not meet the selection criteria to enter military service,” Degtyarev said in a video post on the Telegram messaging app.

He said the region’s military commissioner had been removed from office but his removal would not affect mobilization.

Mobilization was presented as enlisting people with military experience, but often seemed oblivious to service records, health, student status, and even age.

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Russians fleeing conscription tell of three-day queues and bribes to cross the border

Russian men desperate to avoid fighting in Ukraine following Vladimir Putin’s conscription order have told of three-day queues at the border and security guards being bribed with hundreds of pounds at “points of wealth control.

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ICYMI: Key city of Donetsk liberated and under full Ukrainian control, says Zelensky

A town in Ukraine’s Donetsk region crucial to Russia’s war plans has been liberated and is now fully under Ukrainian control, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday.

“As of 12:30 p.m. (0930 GMT), Lyman is fully cleared,” Mr Zelensky said in a short video clip on his Telegram channel. There was no immediate comment from the Russian armed forces on the status of Lyman, captured by Kremlin forces in May.

On Saturday, Russia withdrew its troops from Lyman, which had a pre-war population of around 20,000, as Kyiv forces had closed in and threatened to encircle them amid ongoing counteroffensives in the north and east from the country.

Videos uploaded around 11.20am on Sunday – and shared by Mr Zelensky’s office – showed Ukrainian soldiers raising the country’s blue and yellow national flag at the entrance to the city.

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