Ukraine-Russia war – last episode: kyiv accuses Putin of blowing up the second dam

Ukraine: Destroyed Soviet-era dam near Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Ukraine has accused Russia of blowing up a dam on the Mokri Yaly River to prevent Kiev forces from pushing further south as part of its ongoing counteroffensive.

This comes less than a week after the massive Kakhovka Dam on the much larger Dnipro River in the Kherson region was destroyed, causing a humanitarian catastrophe.

In other developments, Kiev said its troops recaptured a fourth village from Russian forces in a cluster of settlements in the southeast, a day after reporting the first small gains from its long-awaited counter-offensive.

Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar posted a photo showing soldiers raising the Ukrainian flag over what she said was the village of Storozheve in Donetsk, and thanked the 35th Separate Marine Brigade of the to have released. Reuters confirmed the location of the images.

kyiv also said on Sunday that its forces had liberated three villages – Blahodatne, Neskuchne and Makarivka.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday that it repelled offensive attempts by Ukrainian forces in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions and hit targets with high-precision sea-launched missile strikes.

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Putin appeals to Russian patriotism on National Day

Russian President Vladimir Putin marked the country’s National Day on Monday by appealing to patriotic pride at what he called a “difficult time” for the country.

However, at a lavish award ceremony in the Kremlin, Putin offered no direct comment on the latest developments in Ukraine, where Kyiv forces have launched a long-awaited counteroffensive and recaptured several villages in the eastern region of Donetsk in recent years. days.

“This holiday marks the inseparability of our centuries-old history, the greatness and glory of the motherland,” Putin told the assembled dignitaries.

“Today, at a difficult time for Russia, (feelings of patriotism and pride) unite our society even more strongly… (and) serve as a reliable support for our heroes who are participating in the special military operation ( in Ukraine),” Putin said.

Russia’s Defense Ministry released a National Day video on Monday featuring scenes of lakes, forests, churches and Russian Orthodox icons, as well as clips of soldiers expressing their love for their country.

Eleanor NoyceJune 12, 2023 2:33 p.m.

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kyiv accuses Russia of aiming for a second dam

A Ukrainian defense spokesman said Russia blew up a barrage on the Mokri Yaly in the Russian-held part of the Zaporizhzhia region to make it harder for Ukrainian forces to push further south into the part of its ongoing counter-offensive.

It comes less than a week after the huge Kakhovka Dam on the much larger Dnipro River in the Kherson region was destroyed, causing a humanitarian catastrophe in part of the south.

Ukraine and Russia blame each other for the violation.

The Ukrainian-appointed governor of Kherson region said on Sunday that Russian forces shelled three boats evacuating mostly elderly people to safety, killing three and injuring 10.

Joe MiddletonJune 12, 2023 7:51 p.m.

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Too early to tell where Ukraine’s counteroffensive was headed, says US Secretary of State Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was too early to say exactly where Ukraine’s counteroffensive was headed, but said Washington was confident Kiev would continue to be successful in reclaiming its lands seized by Russia .

Speaking at a press conference in Washington on Monday, Blinken said the United States is determined to maximize its support for Ukraine so it can succeed on the battlefield.

A “solid” package of political and practical support for Ukraine, Blinken added, can also be expected at the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius.

Joe MiddletonJune 12, 2023 6:36 p.m.

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Biden’s meeting with NATO chief postponed due to root canal

A meeting at the White House between Joe Biden and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, which was to take place on Monday, has been postponed to Tuesday, the White House announced.

It comes after news broke that the US president would undergo an unscheduled root canal treatment.

Joe MiddletonJune 12, 2023 6:01 p.m.

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ICYMI: Ukrainian soldiers claim success in recapturing Donetsk village

Ukrainian soldiers claim successful recapture of Donetsk village

Joe MiddletonJune 12, 2023 5:50 p.m.

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UN chief fears Russia will walk away from Black Sea grains deal in July

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday he was concerned that Russia might walk away on July 17 from a deal allowing the safe export of wartime grain and fertilizers from three Ukrainian ports in the black Sea.

Moscow has threatened to pull out of the deal known as the Black Sea Grains Initiative – brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July last year – if obstacles to its own grain shipments and fertilizers are not removed.

“I am worried and we are working hard to ensure that it will be possible to maintain the Black Sea Initiative and at the same time that we can continue our work to facilitate Russian exports,” António Guterres told reporters.

To convince Russia to accept the Black Sea grain deal, a three-year memorandum of understanding was struck at the same time under which UN officials agreed to help Russia with its own food and fertilizer exports.

While Russian food and fertilizer exports are not subject to Western sanctions imposed after the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Moscow says restrictions on payments, logistics and insurance have been an obstacle to shipments.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said on Saturday that Russia “cannot be satisfied with the way this memorandum is being implemented”, the TASS news agency reported. He was speaking after meeting with senior UN trade official Rebeca Grynspan in Geneva on Friday.

Eleanor NoyceJune 12, 2023 4:45 p.m.

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Cash-strapped Pakistan welcomes first shipment of cut-price crude from Russia

The Pakistani government on Monday welcomed the arrival of the first shipment of discounted crude from Russia under a key deal between Islamabad and Moscow.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif hailed it as a “fulfillment of promises” to the nation while Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb tweeted that it was a “true service” to the people.

The cargo was being unloaded in the port city of Karachi, the country’s main import hub. Cash-strapped Pakistan had been in talks with Russia to import cut-price crude since February 2022, when former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan traveled to Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin.

Munir Ahmed has the whole story:

Eleanor NoyceJune 12, 2023 4:30 p.m.

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Putin uses public holidays to tout patriotic feelings as support for troops in Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin marked Russia’s National Day on Monday by praising the country’s patriotic tradition of supporting soldiers fighting in Ukraine.

“This holiday marks the inseparability of centuries-old history, the greatness and glory of the motherland, affirms the unity of the multinational people, devotion to their country, a warm and sincere attitude towards their beloved motherland”, he said at a ceremony. presentation of state awards.

“Such strong feelings… in a difficult time for Russia, they unite our society even more strongly, serve as a reliable support for our heroes, the participants of the special military operation,” Putin said, using the terminology Russian official for the Ukrainian conflict.

The celebration comes as Ukraine’s counter-offensive operations against Russian forces, which occupy around 20% of the country, are intensifying. Ukrainian officials have claimed in recent days to have regained control of some villages and made progress at certain points along the front line.

Eleanor NoyceJune 12, 2023 4:10 p.m.

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UN chief fears Russia will walk away from Black Sea grains deal in July

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday he feared Russia might walk away next month from a deal allowing the safe export of wartime grain and fertilizer from three Ukrainian ports in the black Sea.

Eleanor NoyceJune 12, 2023 3:59 p.m.

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Russia uses ‘scorched earth tactics’ to destroy Ukraine

Russia is using ‘scorched earth tactics’ to devastate Ukraine and deal a ‘blow’ to global food security, the Kherson governor has said, after a key dam exploded in the southern region, causing the worst ecological disaster in Europe’s recent history.

Talk to The IndependentOleksandr Prokudin said Russian forces were also heavily bombarding Kherson and its escape routes, resulting in the hospitalization of rescuers, police and doctors who had run to help those most affected by the destruction.

kyiv has accused Moscow of deliberately blowing up the Kakhovka Dam last week to prevent Ukrainian troops from advancing into the southern Kherson region. The dam, located in the Kherson region, has been under the control of the Russian occupation since the first days of the war launched last February. Moscow blamed the destruction of the dam on Ukraine.

The destruction of the Kakhovka dam has triggered an “environmental and humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions”, Kherson governor says Bel Trew:

Eleanor NoyceJune 12, 2023 3:50 p.m.

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