Ukraine war: Russia ‘seriously exaggerated Ukrainian losses’

Ukraine claims to have retaken another southeastern village from Russian forces as its counteroffensive gains momentum.

© 35th Separate Brigade of Marines via Facebook/via REUTERS
Ukrainian servicemen of the 35th Separate Brigade of Marines pose for a photograph with the Ukrainian flag in the liberated village of Storozheve, in Dontesk region, Ukraine, in the still image taken from a social media video released on June 12, 2023. 35th Separate Brigade of Marines via Facebook/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY – 35th Separate Brigade of Marines via Facebook/via REUTERS

Soldiers held up the Ukrainian flag in Storozheve in the Donetsk region in unverified video footage posted online and the defence minister thanked the 35th Separate Brigade of Marines for regaining control of the village.

It follows Ukraine’s announcements on Sunday that its forces had liberated three villages — Blahodatne, Neskuchne and Makarivka — that lie on the edge of Donetsk region next to Zaporizhzhia region. Storozheve is adjacent to Blahodatne.

However, the reported advance, if confirmed, appears modest, with Makarivka about 5 km (3 miles) from what had been the front line. Makarivka is 90 km from the southern rim of the Russian land bridge on the Sea of Azov. 

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02:18 PM

Watch: For every 48cm Russia has gained in Bakhmut, one of its soldiers has been killed or wounded

02:15 PM

Pictured: Russian soldier firing at what the Kremlin says was a Ukrainian drone boat attacking the Russian warship Priazovye in the Black Sea

© Russian Defence Ministry/Handout via REUTERS
A still image from a video, released by Russia’s Defence Ministry, shows gunfire towards what it said to be the Ukrainian drone boat attacking the Russian warship Priazovye in the Black Sea in this image taken from handout footage released June 11, 2023. Russian Defence Ministry/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT. – Russian Defence Ministry/Handout via REUTERS

01:55 PM

Russia transferring units from Kherson to Bakhmut and Zaporizhia, says Ukraine deputy defense minister

Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar says Russian forces are transferring their most combat-capable units from direction of Kherson to Bakhmut and Zaporizhia.

Ms Malyar said it was in response to the destruction of the Kakhovka dam.

01:40 PM

Russia says beat back Ukraine near villages claimed by Kyiv

Russia said it had repelled Ukrainian attacks around several villages in the southeast of the country, contradicting earlier claims from Kyiv’s forces that they had retaken the settlements.

The contradictory reports from Kyiv and Moscow come as analysts have said that Ukraine has launched a long-awaited counter-offensive with Western weapons in an aim to claw back territory occupied by Russian forces.

The Russian defence ministry said on Monday that Russia forces had fought back three Ukrainian assaults near Velyka Novosilka, a town in the eastern Donetsk region where Kyiv has claimed gains.

01:24 PM

German MP facing calls to resign over helicopter deal with Russia

A regional leader in Germany is facing renewed calls to resign after it emerged she promoted a deal for a German company to sell helicopter and drone parts to Russia, writes James Jackson

Newly-released papers show Manuela Schwesig, the head of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, visited Denis Manturov, the Russian minister of industry, in Moscow in 2018 to promote the joint venture.

Ms Schwesig, a former leader of chancellor Olof Scholz’s social democrats, has previously faced questions of her relationship with Gazprom, the Russian state gas monopoly.

Luratec, a German company based in Ms Schwesig’s state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, sold parts to Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of a Kremlin-backed arms manufacturer, despite its head Sergey Chemezov being under EU sanctions.

Mr Manturov’s deputy also visited Rostock, where the two companies were to develop an unmanned helicopter drone. The arrangement came after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and first invasion of Ukraine.

Read the full story 

01:16 PM

Watch: Ukraine’s counteroffensive rolls on with recapture of villages

Replay Video

01:08 PM

US Ambassador to Germany to send a message to Russia

The US Ambassador to Germany Amy Gutmann said today’s Nato exercise would show “beyond a shadow of a doubt the agility and the swiftness of our allied force” and was intended to send a message to countries including Russia.

The air force deployment exercise in Europe would be Nato’s largest ever.

“I would be pretty surprised if any world leader was not taking note of what this shows in terms of the spirit of this alliance, which means the strength of this alliance, and that includes Mr Putin,” she told reporters, referring to the Russian president.

“By synchronising together, we multiply our force.”

12:45 PM

Russia’s Putin pays tribute to Berlusconi as ‘dear’, wise friend

Russian President Vladimir Putin called Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi a dear friend and an outstanding politician in a tribute to the former prime minister who died on Monday aged 86.

“For me, Silvio was a dear person, a true friend. I have always sincerely admired his wisdom, his ability to make balanced, far-sighted decisions even in the most difficult situations,” Putin said in a message of condolence.

12:32 PM

Watch: Residents navigate the floods after the Nova Kakhovka dam collapsed

Replay Video

12:15 PM

Putin appeals to Russians’ patriotism on national day

President Vladimir Putin marked Russia’s national day on Monday by appealing to Russians’ patriotic pride at what he said was a “difficult time” for the country.

However, speaking at a lavish award-giving ceremony in the Kremlin, Putin made no direct comment on the latest developments in Ukraine, where Kyiv’s forces have launched a long-awaited counteroffensive and have retaken several villages in the eastern Donetsk region over the past few days.

“This public holiday marks the inseparability of our centuries-old history, the greatness and glory of the fatherland,” 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 taking part in the special military operation (in Ukraine),” Putin said.

12:12 PM

Watch: Ukrainian soldiers parading their country’s flag apparently in the village Storozheve

11:50 AM

Ukrainian forces have rescued 112 people so far from the left bank of the Dnipro river after flooding

11:38 AM

Watch: Footage of Ukraine’s alleged liberation of Neskuchne village

11:26 AM

Ukraine says Poland’s farmer subsidies not in line with WTO rules

The subsidies that Poland has given its farmers in response to a surge in grains exports from Ukraine are not in line with World Trade Organisation rules, Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka said on Monday.

“These subsidies go far beyond what is allowed by WTO rules. (They) may be a minor development but can be a source of (trade) disturbances around the globe,” Mr Kachka told an International Grains Council (IGC) conference in London.

The Polish government approved subsidies earlier this year to help its farmers compete with a glut of grains from Ukraine that had built up in Poland and other eastern European countries.

11:21 AM

Russia ‘seriously exaggerated Ukrainian losses’

Russia’s defence minister ‘seriously exaggerated claims of Ukrainian losses’ in recent comments about the war, the UK Ministry of Defence said.

The MoD did not specify which claims they were but it follows one press conference Mr Shoigu gave last week in which he said Ukraine had suffered 3,715 casualties over three days.

“Shoigu has provided at least two comments on Russia’s defensive operations, including making almost certainly seriously exaggerated claims about Ukrainian losses,” the MoD said in its daily update on the war.

The MoD said Mr Shoigu’s appearances contrast with other times in the war where he kept a low profile.

“Shoigu is likely acutely aware of the need to maintain a positive image in the face of increasingly unmasked criticism from some fellow Russians.”

10:53 AM

Latest Russian attacks and troop locations from the MoD

10:33 AM

The former Italian PM and friend of Putin Silvio Berlusconi has died

10:12 AM

In pictures: Latest scenes of Kherson which was flooded after the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam

09:51 AM

Ukraine claims recapture of fourth village in eastern Donetsk as counteroffensive rolls on

Ukraine claims to have retaken another southeastern village from Russian forces. 

Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar wrote on Telegram that Ukraine’s flag was again flying over the village of Storozhov, and she predicted the liberation of “all Ukrainian land” would be the final outcome. 

A day earlier, Ukrainian officials said three other small villages clustered together south of the town of Velika Novosilke in the eastern Donetsk region had been liberated.

09:31 AM

Ukraine says nuclear plant’s cooling ponds stable despite depleted reservoir

The water level at the ponds used to cool the reactors at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remain stable and sufficient despite the falling water level of the Kakhovka reservoir nearby, Ukraine’s environment minister said on Monday.

The water level at the reservoir has fallen dramatically since the destruction of the Kakhovka dam last week.

The water from the reservoir is used to cool the facility’s six reactors and spent fuel storage.

© Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
KHERSON, UKRAINE – JUNE 11: A local resident walks in a flooded street after the explosion at the Kakhovka hydropower plant unleashed floodwaters in Kherson, Ukraine on June 11, 2023. (Photo by ) – Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

09:08 AM

Ukraine says heavy battles ongoing after first counteroffensive gains

Ukraine’s top military command said on Monday its forces were engaged in heavy battles in frontline hot spots.

Some 25 battles had taken place over the past day near the eastern town of Bakhmut, and further south near Avdiivka and Maryinka, all in the Donetsk region, but also near Bilohorivka in the Luhansk region, Ukraine’s armed forces general staff said.

Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar posted on Monday a photo showing soldiers hoisting the Ukrainian flag at what she said was the village of Storozheve in Donetsk, and thanked the 35th Separate Brigade of Marines for liberating it.

08:57 AM

Ukraine claims first counter-offensive gains

Kyiv says three Donetsk villages have been liberated by troops while railway lines in Crimea are rocked by explosions, writes James Kilner

Ukraine says it recaptured three villages from the Russians in the eastern region of Donetsk on Sunday, in the first reported gains of its counter-offensive.

“Neskuchne of the Donetsk region is under the Ukrainian flag again,” said the state border guard service.

Earlier on Sunday, Ukraine’s army said its troops had taken the nearby village of Blagodatne. Deputy defence minister Ganna Malyar later confirmed Ukraine’s forces had retaken a third village, Makarivka, northwest of Blagodatne.

“In the south, there is an advance in two directions from 300 to 1500 meters. The settlements of Blahodatne and Makarivka were deoccupied,” said Hanna Malyar, Ukraine’s deputy defence minister. She added that gains had also been made in the eastern Donbas region.

Read the full story

08:39 AM

Mapped: Ukrainian gains over the past few days

08:27 AM

Nato begins unprecedented air drill in ‘show of strength’

Nato will begin the largest air force deployment exercise in Europe in the alliance’s history on Monday in a display of unity toward partners and potential threats such as Russia.

The German-led “Air Defender 23” will run until June 23 and include some 250 military aircraft from 25 Nato and partner countries including Japan and Sweden, which is bidding to join the alliance.

Up to 10,000 people will participate in the drills intended to boost interoperability and preparedness to protect against drones and cruise missiles in the case of an attack on cities, airports or sea ports within Nato territory.

08:08 AM

North Korea’s Kim offers ‘full support’ to Putin on Russia Day

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offered his country’s “full support and solidarity” to Moscow in a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, state media reported.

Mr Kim sent the message of congratulations on the national day of Russia, one of a handful of nations that maintain friendly relations with Pyongyang.

His message, published by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), did not directly mention the invasion of Ukraine or Moscow’s involvement in an armed conflict, but praised Putin’s “correct decision and guidance… to foil the hostile forces’ escalating threats”.

07:59 AM

Latest update on the war from the UK – Shoigu exaggerated Ukraine losses

07:30 AM

Ukraine infantry vow to fight on after US-made armour damaged

Ukrainian troops whose US-made Bradley armoured vehicles were damaged or destroyed in an assault on Russian positions last week vowed on Sunday that they would soon resume the fight.

A group of Bradley fighting vehicles backed by German-made Leopard tanks came under fire on Thursday, as Ukraine’s 47th Brigade launched an offensive southeast of Zaporizhzhia – part of a fresh bid to claw back some territory from Russia.

Drone footage of the ambush, shared on Russian propaganda channels, showed several vehicles hit.

“When our Bradleys are repaired, we’ll be right back at them,” one of the soldiers said.

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